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The Gap Year Blog

The Ultimate Volunteer Packing List

18 Feb 2019 16:20 PM

Although packing means it’s finally time to go on that volunteering project you’ve been waiting on for ages, it’s also one of the least favourite parts of your trip and can come with a lot of stress. Packing the right things is crucial when going on a volunteering trip! Unfortunately, this isn’t the easiest thing to do and you’re especially not looking forward to it. What to pack? How much can I bring? What if I pack the wrong things? But have no fear, Frontier is here to save the day with the Ultimate Volunteer Packing Guide. 

When packing, there are 6 different categories you have to take into consideration: bags, documents, toiletries, clothing, electronics, and extra leisure. We’ll go over all categories and give you an overview of the most important things you should bring on your volunteering trip!

How To Bag

One of the most important tips we can give you is to pack light! Nothing worse than arriving with loads of bags that you can’t carry on your own and that contain too much unnecessary stuff. If you travel by plane, luggage can get very expensive. That’s why we recommend having a carry-on bag and one backpack. This way, you’re packed lightly, and you can carry everything yourself. You can also choose a suitcase, depending on your own preference. But when traveling with a suitcase, you have to consider that having to roll your luggage can be a lot harder and exhausting than carrying it on your back.

Not To Forget

The next important part is all your documents! Can you imagine arriving at the airport and realizing you forgot your passport or visa? To avoid these situations, make sure you check all your documents just before you leave. The documents you need to have with you is your passport, visa, boarding pass, credit cards, and cash, travel itinerary and arrival details, driving license, student card, and an emergency contact list. When traveling abroad you never know where you might end up. These documents make sure that you are prepared for any kind of situation. Also, don’t forget to make a copy of all your documents and keep them together in one place!

Keep It Clean

The third category is all about staying hygienic when traveling to faraway destinations. The things you should definitely bring with you are your toothbrush and toothpaste, some soap, shampoo and deodorant, towels and last but not less important, fresh underwear and socks. Your fellow volunteers will forever be grateful when you show up every day looking (and smelling) nice and clean! Try to use travel size products as well. You can always buy some later if needed.

Don't Be Nude

Another must is clothing! In this category, it’s key to bring not too much but also not too little. Before you leave, look up the country you are going to and the season you are going in. Check what the weather is like now and the weather forecasts. We advise bringing a light rain jacket and a warmer jacket. Even in tropical destinations, it can get chilly at night. Bring enough shirts and bottoms cause you’re sure to get dirty at some point. A scarf can also come in handy sometimes. Don’t forget your swimwear because you will forever regret it.  You can always wash your clothes over there, so don't bring your whole closet!

Can't Live Without This

One of the last things on the list is electronics. We know you can’t live without it, so bring your phone and charger with you. A power bank may also come in handy as plug-ins are not everywhere. Do you love music? Bring your headphones, music player and bond with others over your music preferences!

Survival Tools

Finally, we made it to the last part, and you know what they say right? Save the best for last! Here is everything you need to bring to make sure you’re having a good time and some other things for staying alive! If you love photography and love to capture unique moments, bring your camera. A good reading book is also a good way to spend some of your free time. Bring a notebook and a pen so you can write down what you see and experience. To survive, you need a water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses and medication with a prescription. Medication without a prescription can be withheld at the border.

Here you have it! Everything you need for your volunteering trip. Now you can start packing without any stress. 

Have fun!

By Maya Vekemans - Digital Marketing Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!