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Volunteer timeline and checklist

If you want to know how to use Volunteer Alliance to Volunteer – click here for a step by step instructions for how to find the ‘right’ Organization and Request to Volunteer.

But the purpose of this blog is to get you ready to Volunteer abroad. And Requesting to Volunteer is just the first step.

If you are thinking about Volunteering within the next 12 months – then you should start now!

Because there are a lot of things you probably haven’t thought about, like Vaccinations, and these things take time!




Volunteer timeline and checklist


Step 1 – Contact an Organization and Request to Volunteer

as soon as possible, ideally 3-12 months in advance to give you time to do everything else on the Volunteering checklist.

As mentioned above – click here for a step by step instructions for how to find the ‘right’ Organization and Request to Volunteer.

Contacting an Organization is the first step and the most important part of Volunteering abroad. Everything else flows from the Organization where you are going to Volunteer – what Visa you need, what Vaccinations you need, where you fly into and out of etc. The Organization will be able to help you with all of these questions!

This is why we recommend that you Contact an Organization, Request to Volunteer, and then pay the Volunteer Deposit to secure your booking as soon as possible whether you have 3 or 12 months!

A few other things to remember:

  • Organizations are not Hotels! Most Organizations can only host one Volunteer at a time – so its important that you give them as much notice as possible so that they can make arrangements.
  • Organizations can help you with all the other steps! This might be your first time Volunteering – but they’ve done this before, and can help you get ready - what kind of clothes / equipment do I need, what is the name of the Visa I should get and how do I get it?


Step 2 – Visas

at least 3-9 months in advance

If you are Volunteering abroad – you are going to need a Visa. Depending on where you are from, where you are going, and how long you are staying, this can take months! You may even need to get a new passport and/or send your passport away.

So get started on this as soon as you know where you are going (again – this is why you start with your Request to Volunteer).

You should ask the Organization where you are Volunteering and their past Volunteers.

You can also contact you local Embassy or travel agent for more information.


Step 3 – Vaccinations

at least 3-6 months in advance

Like with Visas, depending on where you are from, where you are going, and how long you are staying, this can take months (initial shots, boosters etc.).

Start by consulting your Doctor.

You Doctor might also prescribe you with medication to take on your trip.


Step 4 – Flights

at least 3-6 months in advance

You could book flights last minute – but they tend to get more expensive the closer you get to your departure date.


Step 5 – Travel Insurance

at least 3 months in advance

Aside from being sick, there are other things that could wrong such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, injuries and more. Its not worth the risk!


Step 6 – Luggage

at least 1 month in advance

Give yourself a few weeks to organize your luggage and locate those hard to find items.

Click here for more information on how to pack for Volunteering.