If you’re booked on to one of Real Gap Experience's volunteering trips this year, you’ll probably be thinking about what you should pack away with you on your big adventure. (Clothes/sassy bits and bobs never stray far away from our brain!)
We get asked this question a lot at RG HQ, and we reckon these things will get you by:
1) Be culturally sensitive. At some of your projects, you’ll be required to cover your knees and shoulders – and it’s worth checking up where this’ll be applicable before you go. Hint: do not upset any of the locals!
2) Check out the weather forecast before you go. Generally, we’d say to take a mix of everything – from a light weather rain jacket (just in case!) to something warmer, and then things you can layer. Even if you know it’s going to be hot before you travel, it’s always worth having one item as a back up. Good shoes are very important too. Make sure you have something to cover your shoulders if it gets scorching too – we don’t want any of you to get any sunburn, now! (And on that note: a hat. Very important!)
3) Be comfortable. Volunteering isn’t a fashion show, and generally light, cool clothes are the best to wear. Don’t wear anything too tight – it’s all about feeling your best and comfortable in what you’re wearing!
4) Trainers are the one. Don't bring along your best pumps though; they'll probably get dirty (and nobody wants that).
5) A good, hard wearing backpack - A good proportion of our projects are located in remote, rural areas so suitcases are not ideal! Look out for a bag with a great waist support to minimise any future back pains - remember. comfort is key!
6) Lightweight travel sleeping bag - Rolling up into a tiny size, these travel sleeping bags are a travellers best friend. They work as a perfect layer for inside your bed (incase it gets extra cold at night) as well as working perfectly if you go on any extra trips during your free time.
7) Travel towel - They dry so much quicker than standard towels, and work wonders when you're tight on packing space.
8) Waterproof jacket- Unfortunately it doesn't just rain at home, and the likelihood of it pouring down at least once during your time away is pretty high. It's better to be safe than sorry!
9) First aid kit - better to be safe than sorry y'all.
Been volunteering before? Let us know any essential items you thought were useful by commenting down below.