We take the safety of our volunteers extremely seriously. To ensure that you travel with safety in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can prepare yourself before you go away:
Learn about the local customs before you travel
Ensure that you don’t become a target for negative attention. A bit of background research can do wonders, and essentially you’ll avoid clashing with the local culture.
Don’t advertise your valuables, and lock them up when you can!
If you’re walking around with the latest technology on show, you’re likely to draw attention to yourself. Rather than flaunting your iPods/phones etc, it may just be better to leave them at your accommodation during the day.
Keep in touch
Follow the advice of your local team (they are the experts) and let them know your plans especially during your free time. Keep in regular contact with people at home by text or email to let them know your whereabouts but don’t set specific times just in case you can’t find a phone or computer at that arranged time. It will only worry people. It’s worth getting together a list of emergency numbers, such as your local coordinator’s number, i-to-i’s number, your insurance provider’s contact details, local embassy and bank provider before you go so you have useful information to hand in case of an emergency. Leave a copy at home with friends and family too. And don’t forget - we offer 24-hour emergency assistance to all our i-to-i volunteers.
Learn a bit of the local lingo!
A simple hello, please and thank you can go a long way!
Try to avoid being left alone, especially when you are unfamiliar with the village, town or city and it is late at night. At night, especially, avoid poorly lit or remote areas of the place you are staying such as the beach or back streets. And never, ever hitch a ride with strangers.
Trust your common sense
Just because you’re away, doesn’t mean you should leave your common sense at home! A sensible rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t do it at home, you shouldn’t do it while you’re away travelling.
The good thing about travelling with i-to-i is that you have a strong support network to rely on in case there is a need for assistance. To find out more about the support you’ll receive when volunteering with us, have a look at our ‘Why Volunteer with i-to-i?’ page.