When it comes to the logistics of a short notice trip, we can get things organised pretty quickly on our side. In theory, you could be in a new country within a week of applying. However, in practice, this is dependent on a few factors. Ideally, we’d recommend you give yourself 3 months to prepare, but 4-6 weeks will also give you plenty of time.
‘It’s great helping our volunteers and interns plan last minute trips! It can all seem very overwhelming, but I help them decide on a destination and project that’ll best suit them. I love being able to take all that stress away and help them make a last minute trip possible!’, says Holly Hubble, Project Expert.
Now, as much as we want you to sign up as a volunteer or intern ASAP, the timing is dependent on a few aspects. These are the things you need to consider before you apply:
This is probably the most important aspect to consider before signing up for a last minute volunteer opportunity. Do you have a valid passport? And how long is it still valid for? As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when travelling.
If you need to apply for your passport or your current one needs renewing, find out how long this process will take. You can then have a chat with our Project Experts about the best dates for your trip. Once you have the time frame, you can start preparing for your trip!
If you are still unsure about what country you’d like to volunteer or intern in, then take a look at flight prices and availability online. Some countries can be expensive to fly to at short notice, so this might help you narrow down your choices.
Our Project Experts are happy to advise you, however, we always recommend you take the time to do your own research. Google Flights or Skyscanner are great places to compare flights.
On the other hand, if you don’t want the hassle of booking your own flights, our Travel team can arrange your flights for you. This is especially helpful if you want to join a last minute international trip. It is one less thing for you to organise.
“We look for the best flight options for you so that they suit your plans in terms of route and price. We book flexible tickets, which are date changeable. If you need to change your travel dates for any reason, we can do so for a fee.”, says Terri Peters, Senior Flight Sales Consultant at Projects Abroad.
#5 Parental Consent Forms
If you’re 18 and under, this is something for you.
Although this may only seem like a minor hiccup, we understand that some parents travel for work, even over the summer holidays. To ensure you are able to get a parent to sign a consent form, make sure they are home to sign it in the weeks or days leading up to your project. Simple as that.
#6 Criminal Record Checks
If you’re 18 and over, you’ll need a criminal record check to work with children. This specifically applies to volunteers joining our Childcare Projects. Your Volunteer Advisor will help you apply for this. It usually takes between 2-4 weeks to get, so we recommend you leave enough time between application and your project departure date.
If time is not on your side, we’d recommend projects that do not require this check. Our Conservation, Medicine & Healthcare, and Building Projects are often deemed the best last minute volunteer projects and internships abroad.
#7 Project Payment
With any of our volunteer projects or internships, you’ll pay a deposit when you apply. This is deducted from your total project fee. The final balance of your project fee is usually due 4 weeks before your departure date.
However, as a last minute volunteer or intern abroad, you’ll be asked to pay the balance as soon as you are accepted.
With this list in mind, there’s nothing stopping you from going for it. Will we be seeing you this summer?