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9 vital questions to ask before embarking on a volunteer vacation

Volunteer holidays are common with gap-year learners, retired seniors, and tens of millions of individuals in amongst. Probably you are just beginning to travel once again, for the very first time in a very long time, looking at the pandemic, and you are pondering about a volunteer getaway.

These can be a excellent way to see the globe and working experience a location in a extra meaningful way than only remaining a tourist.

Having said that, with so numerous businesses and types of volunteer vacations accessible, it can be tricky to know in which to begin.

In this article are nine issues that you should usually take into consideration when assessing a prospective volunteering possibility.

1. What is the place like?

If you program to volunteer in a nation you have never ever visited, you will want to do some simple analysis in advance of going there. Studying about the neighborhood lifestyle will enable you to recognize how to behave.

Beyond studying in basic about the nation, try to familiarize on your own with the spot in which you will be volunteering. Is it urban or rural? Warm or chilly? Are there community attractions close by that you’d like to pay a visit to? Is there dependable general public transportation in the location? What is the political predicament like in that area? These are just a couple of matters you really should investigate about any possible destination.


2. What will you be accomplishing?

This query could possibly appear like a no-brainer, but some of the operate that you really complete as a volunteer might be unique from what you signed up to do. For instance, you may possibly volunteer to instruct yoga at a meditation retreat in Costa Rica, only to obtain out that you’re also expected to cook dinner and clean.

If you are into cooking and cleansing, no dilemma!

However, if you want to perform only a specific kind of volunteer get the job done, then make sure to inquire the program director or volunteer coordinator to specify particularly what your responsibilities will be. If probable, get this in writing in get to stay clear of stumbling into a circumstance where you are expected to do jobs that are beyond your skill set or convenience degree.

3. What will the hours be?

Some volunteer programs are additional fluid than other folks, with volunteers not doing the job a set quantity of hrs per day and just encouraging “as essential.” Other programs have a rigid routine that volunteers ought to abide by.


The type of application you pick out is dependent on your private tastes. But, no make a difference what system you go with, the volunteer coordinator ought to be able to give you an estimate of how lots of several hours you will be envisioned to get the job done in a given time period of time. For instance, you might be questioned to do the job four several hours for each day or 20 hours for each week.

Being asked to get the job done an extra hour or two on an occasional foundation should not be a bring about for worry, but if you’re routinely acquiring pressured to work a lot more several hours than you signed up for, which is not a superior indication.

Remember that you have each and every correct to refuse to perform beyond the hours you have agreed to. Just after all, you’re a volunteer.

4. What, if any, compensation is incorporated?

Volunteer operate is not ordinarily paid. Having said that, numerous corporations compensate their volunteers in other strategies, these types of as providing cost-free place and board, instructional alternatives, and sightseeing excursions in the neighborhood area.

Right before signing up for a volunteer placement, obtain out what benefits and facilities would be delivered for you.


For example, if you are anticipated to cook your personal foods with food that you have purchased oneself, you really should know this forward of time so you will not show up hungry and empty-handed on your initial working day.

5. What are the lodging like?

Several volunteer positions involve free or discounted accommodations. Volunteer accommodations can array from rustic to high-class, from tent tenting to residence-stays with community households to totally serviced hotel rooms.

When contemplating a volunteer software, you should come across out accurately what type of accommodation it provides.

Will you be anticipated to share a space with other volunteers? Will you share a lavatory? Will your meals be catered for you, or is there a kitchen area where you can cook dinner for yourself? Are there laundry amenities? What type of region are the lodging in?

For example, if you prepare to volunteer in a rural spot, are the accommodations near a bus prevent that can just take you to the nearest town? Or, if you’re volunteering in a hectic metropolis, are the lodging in a community that’s Ok to stroll close to in at evening?


6. Is there a cost?

Several volunteer plans charge individuals a cost.

This can assortment from a tiny “membership” or “service” charge to hundreds of dollars to go over the entire price of a volunteer’s accommodations, foods and transportation.

Moral volunteer systems will normally be very clear about any costs they cost. They need to also be capable to give you an estimate of any other expenditures you might incur, this sort of as bus fare to the nearest metropolis on your day off.

7. Are there reviews of the software from past volunteers?

Responses about an group from previous volunteers is priceless, since people today who have essentially volunteered with an firm can give you the within scoop about what the experience is really like.

Any organization that you are thinking about volunteering with really should be equipped to set you in touch with a former volunteer who can respond to your queries about the system. If an organization can not or won’t connect you with any previous volunteers, this may well raise some purple flags.


Also, you can go online and examine reviews of businesses that are posted by previous volunteers. Googling the identify of the business along with “reviews” or “volunteer reviews” is a good way to get commenced. Check out social media accounts for the organization, as perfectly.

8. What form of assistance is supplied for volunteers?

If a problem occurs all through your stint of volunteering, you should really be in a position to get aid in a well timed manner from the corporation you’re operating with. If the firm does not offer 24/7 support, then it must deliver you with an alternative cell phone amount to call outside of business office hours or in the celebration of an unexpected emergency.

9. Have you study the fantastic print in your volunteer agreement?

Until you are in an very informal volunteering situation, you will probably have at least a primary sort of agreement spelling out what is expected of you, as a volunteer, and what will be provided in return.

Avoid unpleasant surprises by examining the fine print in your deal incredibly meticulously prior to signing it. If there’s everything unclear or puzzling, request the volunteer coordinator or speak to individual within just the business to make clear it for you. Do not be pressured into signing a deal just before you have had a probability to totally comprehend and think about it.


A volunteer holiday can be an immensely worthwhile working experience, but it pays to do your homework just before signing up. By meticulously thinking of each of these thoughts, moreover any other folks you can assume of, you will be extra likely to come across a volunteering opportunity that is appropriate for you.