Your trip of a lifetime is all booked and it’s time to get excited! What next? You should start ticking off the PMGY Travel Essentials, to get you well and truly prepared for your adventure.
All PMGY participants will need a visa for our volunteer destinations, so it’s a good idea to research visas with PLENTY of time before your trip. Check the requirements and process first – you may be granted the visa on arrival into the country, or you may have to arrange it in your home country in advance before travelling.
You can find full info about obtaining a visa in your country-specific Volunteer Handbook, but please be aware it’s always best to double-check information with the relevant embassy first as visa fees and procedures can change!
Book your flights as early as possible to ensure you get the best rate! PMGY can also help you to book your flights with ease, you can call or drop us an email, or request a flight quote online.
We advise you to have an onward flight booked after your programme finishes, as many countries require this for entry or visas. You don’t want the airline to decline you from boarding before your adventure even begins!
Although it’s not the most exciting task, you’ll need to get reliable travel insurance to cover you for the whole duration of your trip.
PMGY offers affordable and comprehensive worldwide travel insurance with Endsleigh, designed specifically for volunteers and their travel necessities. Contact our team to easily add it on to your programme!
Do you need to get some of the local currency before you fly? Or is it only available in the country? For many of our volunteer destinations you cannot purchase local currency outside that country, such as Vietnamese Dong and Sri Lankan Rupees. You may wish to apply for a free travel money card with PMGY, just ask us to add it on to your package.
Have you thought about fundraising? If you need some extra help with your finances, you could consider setting up an online fundraising page with GoGetFunding to allow friends and families to learn more about your trip and make donations. Or if you’ve got your trip covered why not raise money to donate to your project, you can fundraise for the PMGY Foundation.
Research about your destination’s currency and get an idea about the exchange rate, so you’re savvy as soon as you get off the plane. Your in-country team will show you the local ATMs and money vendors at your orientation after you arrive, so don’t panic about it straight away. Don’t forget to let your bank know in advance of your travel plans too!
You’ll need to check you have six months validity on your passport for the whole duration of your trip, as well as spare visa pages. Some visas have specific requirements so check in advance.
It’s also useful to keep a digital and paper copy of contact details (you may need this for immigration arrival cards or for any emergencies), flight details, insurance numbers, visa confirmation and a copy of your passport. Don’t forget to give access to a digital copy at home just in case!
It is vital to speak to your GP or travel clinic to find out about vaccinations or malaria prevention for your trip. Each destination differs, and you may need boosters or a course, so check a few months before you intend to travel. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit for Travel website.
There’s a few things you’ll need to send us in the months coming up to your trip. If you need extra details have a read through your handbook!
CRB: Everyone needs to provide a clean CRB or Police Check to join the PMGY programmes. We have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character.
Fees: Any outstanding payments need to be made at least 60 days before your programme starts!
Code of Conduct: Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our volunteers. We’ll send you a Code of Conduct, which you’ll need to read and sign at least a month before your trip. This will also include Medical and Wildlife disclaimers if they are relevant to your programme.
CV: If you’re on a medical or mental health programme you may be required to send your CV or resume a couple of months before your start date. This can be compulsory to gain relevant permission to attend your placement.
Arrival details: We’ll need to know the date, time, airline and flight number for your arrival a few weeks before your trip. A PMGY representative will be ready to pick you up, then your adventure begins!
Your PMGY Handbook will be your bible to being prepared, researching the country and knowing what to expect from your programme. Make sure to spend some time reading through for all your Travelling Essentials.
We hold Webinars each month to provide you with invaluable advice about safety, pre-departure info and tips from our top destinations. It’s also a chance to ask all those questions buzzing around your head and meet one of our PMGY team who will be chatting to you live. Sign up to tune in!
If you’re joining our teaching or childcare programmes you may be interested in an introductory course to teaching English with an online TEFL course. It’s not compulsory, as the only real ‘qualifications’ you need are bags of energy, commitment and enthusiasm! It’s a chance to prepare yourself before you hit the classroom, gaining key skills for teaching English abroad and an internationally accredited certificate.
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Being prepared with packing will mean you’re not running around like a headless chicken the day before you depart. You can grab one of our PMGY Essential Travel Packs too, including all the necessities like a portable charger, travel pillow, combination padlock etc., all in your own PMGY drawstring bag!
You can’t leave home without the most essential thing of all…An open mind and bags of positivity!
PMGY INTERNATIONAL TEAM