Volunteer Capital Centre (VCC)

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Monday, July 12, 2010

5 Must Haves for your volunteer/Intern and gap year trip

When you are off to your long and exciting trip abroad, there are some important things you should carry with you. These things are essential to make you be able to enjoy your vacation. These things are useful for international volunteer s, gap years, international interns and tourists. They are important for the experienced travelers and for the first time travelers. They are practical equipment that everyone who travels should have. There is much more to get for your adventure abroad but I think these are things that you must have when you leave your home country:

1. Cell Phone

Mobile phones are very important in this day and age. You will need to be in communication with the people who are around you and family and friends who are at home. . Some mobile companies from your country allow you to use your number in which ever country you are in. Although it might be expensive to some it’s advisable to use the local mobile carriers. Most countries, including third world countries, have a suitable infrastructure for communication. There are many mobile or cell phone carriers. Many of the networks in Africa are GSM, GPRS, EDGE enabled. When traveling there carry a phone that is SIM enabled. Before travelling find out which mobile carriers are available, and what technology they use. Also inquire on the payment plans, like pay as you go etc. If you can’t get a mobile phone that you will be able to use in your destination country, there should be low cost mobile phones that you can buy there

2. Laptops

If you are planning to go for a long vacation, like a volunteer vacation or intern work placement and gap years. Laptops come in handy especially when you want to communicate with your family at home and the people who are with you. Laptops come in handy when you want to keep your work private. There are many internet devices that are low cost which one can purchase in the host country. Although the internet speeds won’t be as fast as what you are used to, it’s available in most countries at low cost. As you will be taking many photos having a laptop is handy as saving them will be easy. You will not run out of space. During those long hours where you have nothing to do, you can watch a movie or listen to songs. While you carry your laptop don’t forget to carry a multi plug that is appropriate for that region. Sometimes an adaptor is needed so that you don’t burn your laptop with too much electricity.

3. Mp3 player, hand held devices

Thanks to Steve Jobs we have iPods, ipads and many mp3 players. Some of these devices come with large storage (some go up to 80 Gb), and some are able to play videos or movies on them. These come in handy when you are on transit. When you are waiting in the airport for your next flight, or during those long flights. Books are good to carry but during turbulence and bumpy rides it’s hard to read. And with audio books you will not need to carry the book itself. Whether you travel by road, air or by sea the Mp3 players will help the time move along faster. Also they are good in some instances you might be in a place where there are electricity interruptions. Other devices you can carry along with you are portable devices like PSPs, and Nintendo DS. If you are into video games carrying handheld devices help a lot to pass time.

4. Medicine

If you have a medical condition, whether it is serious or mild, it’s advisable to carry your own medication. When you are in a third world country the medication that you might need might not be available. Or the one that is there might have negative side effects. Make sure you also carry double the medication that is prescribed, in case something happens and you lose the first prescription. If you are a female traveler, there things you will not find available in third world country, like make up and things that are essential to you. When travelling make sure you carry enough medication to get you through the vacation.

5. Glasses

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, carry an extra pair. During your trip you might accidental loose them, or break them. Replacing glasses takes too long and even though you could be the most careful person something could happen and you lose them. Having an extra pair helps in such situations.

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