How to Travel Safe while Volunteering Abroad
Cross-Continental Solutions Provides Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs and Has Recently Released a Free E-book to Help International Volunteers and Interns Travel Safe Overseas.
Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) December 31, 2012–International volunteer travel is gaining increased popularity as one can gain life-changing experience while at the same time travel. However, safety concerns of potential volunteer travelers and their families have discouraged international volunteer travel. For this reason, Cross-Continental Solutions has recently released a free E-book to promote safety tips when traveling abroad.
Some of the most important tips for safe volunteer travel are:
• Sign Up with a Reliable Organization for Local Support
When registering with an organization for volunteer or intern abroad programs, orientation and local support are usually provided so the volunteers won’t be left alone in a foreign community to fend for themselves. It is recommended for international travelers to find a reputable yet affordable organization in order to access the local support.
• Make an Effort to Understand the Locals and Be Adaptable
International volunteers and interns have to understand that the host communities may have fewer communication facilities and more corruption than their home communities. There is no reason to be overly anxious, as the local communities are usually very friendly and hospitable towards volunteers who are there to improve things, but at the same time, some precautions should be taken.
It is recommended for international volunteers and interns to do some research about the host community on their own. Getting to know the local people can help volunteers understand what precautions should be taken. It is good to act wisely and avoid saying or doing anything that can make oneself a vulnerable target. It can be helpful to find answers to such questions as: After what time is it not safe to venture outdoors unaccompanied? And what type of behavior can be perceived as offensive by the local people and invite hostility?
• Keep Important Contacts Handy
It is recommended to memorize some important phone numbers, such as emergency contacts and local support numbers. It is also helpful to know where the local police station is so that a complaint can be filed if necessary. Register with the local embassy and keep their number handy.
• Blend in with the Local Crowd and Stay in Groups
Moreover, try to blend in with the local people and don’t go far from one’s group, be it the host family, workplace coworkers, or other international volunteers. Travelers will increase their chances of being safe against crime if they move around in a group as compared to venturing out on their own.
If one does need to go out on their own, try to stay on well-known routes rather than unknown ones. If one has to travel through a new route, ask a trusted person about the right time to go.
• Try to Avoid Expensive Jewelry or Electronics
When going out, try to avoid wearing expensive jewelry (such as gold or diamonds) and other expensive items. If a laptop or camera must be brought, hide them in a backpack and avoid flashing them on the street.
• Avoid Getting into Aggressive Arguments
Avoid getting into arguments with the local people, especially strangers. Sometimes international volunteers may find it tempting to criticize the local culture and get into a right versus wrong debate. It is usually fine to discuss differences with the host family or coworkers in a respectful manner, as this can lead to a good cultural exchange experience. Aggressive debates, however, can be perceived very negatively by some conservative communities and they may feel threatened by the foreigner’s presence. As a result, the traveler may become a target of crime. It may help to avoid sensitive topics, such as politics and religion.
Safety can never be guaranteed, so it’s important for international travelers to take safety precaution. It is often helpful to spend some time learning about local customs and traditions. Some may find it appealing to get travel insurance for a peace of mind. To get the most out of any volunteer abroad or intern abroad experience, one needs to be open-minded, positive, non-judgmental, and adaptable. For more informative advice and resources, sign up for free E-books at www.CrossContinental.org and get great tips via email.
About Cross-Continental Solutions:
Cross-Continental Solutions provides quality yet affordable intern abroad and volunteer abroad programs, ensuring an exceptional cross-cultural experience for those who wish to make a difference. It is unique since participants live and work side by side with the local people. Covering a wide range of needs, opportunities are available in areas such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Work, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental, Micro-financing, Tourism work, Marketing, and more. There are also cultural education and language immersion programs. Explore the options or plan a life-changing trip at CrossContinental.org.