In an earlier blog, I wrote about what to expect when choosing to work as a volunteer at an animal project. As I went on two different volunteering trips myself, I noticed that a checklist on what to bring is also a very helpful tool in order to prepare yourself decently. Therefore, in this blog a list with some convenient items to bring.
- Travel sheet mummy. In most cases, the projects will take care of the bed sheets. However, I like it even better to sleep in my own travel sheet mummy. Mainly for hygiene reasons, but it is also a great way to cover your body up and protect yourself against mosquito bites.
- Pillow case. I like bringing my own pillow case as the travel sheet usually doesn’t cover the pillow.
- Travel mosquito net. Most projects provide a mosquito net, however this may not always be the best quality as some frequently used nets have holes in it. So to secure yourself from bites during the night, it is best to bring one yourself.
Cosmetics and medication
- Mosquito repellent. Consider bringing an environmentally friendly one, like Repel.
- Sunscreen. See my blog about environmental friendly sunscreens to bring one that both protects you, the animals and the environment.
- Medication against clogging /diarrhea. After all, you are in a different country and it is essential to solve this kind of inconveniences as soon as possible if they occur.
- Moist toilet tissues/facial cleaners to clean your face and hands easily, both for on the way and during the project.
- Anti Bacterial Hand Gel. Make sure to bring this one in your hand luggage in case of a bustrip on the way to the project, as you might stop at some restrooms that don’t really meet your standards.
- Long sleeved pants and shirts of a light fabric. I usually wear long pants to prevent myself from mosquitos during the day.
- Swimming short & t-shirt. Most projects will ask you to wear appropriate clothing due to cultural differences. This includes not wearing just a bikini but also a t-shirt and shorts to meet the local standard. For the women: consider buying a man’s swimming short.
- Had or scarf to protect your hat from the sun.
- Walking shoes and/or sandals. It would be best to bring shoes that are easy to put on and off. Since shoes are not allowed in-house in most projects, you can spare yourself a lot of time and frustration by bringing shoes that are convenient to swop.
Food and supplements
- Bars to snack while on the way to the project.
- Mineral supplements to add to your water for some hydrating support, like Royal-D.
Other essential items
- Reusable water bottle. This might be the most important asset to bring, as you will sweat a lot and you need to stay hydrated. Besides, by buying single-use bottles you will only support the creation of waste which is already a huge problem in Asia.
- Travel wash/travel detergent in case of minor stains.
- A fast drying travel towel. As you are likely to have several showers a day, this is quite a necessity when volunteering.
Nice to haves
- Books/series to watch/games for the spare moments and to connect with your fellow volunteers.
- Tissues in a pocket package, very helpful when making trips in the surrounded area or while on the way to the project.