Packing for a trip overseas can be tricky – esp if your visiting several countries along the way. You may find yourself in the weeks before your trip panicking about what to bring, what to leave behind and spending a lot of your precious time packing and repacking your bag! To help with this we’ve compiled a list of items which our past volunteers tell us they simply could not live without during their time in Kolkata, India. We hope they help!
- Comfy Shoes: Walking in uncomfortable shoes in hot temperatures is a big No- No, trust me you will be miserable! Do make sure they are supportive with a good sole and are broken in a few weeks before travelling. Also remember that in India its expected for everyone to take off their shoes when entering a building (to prevent germs from the streets) so be careful with strappy/overcomplicated shoes ladies!
- First Aid Kit: Even though there are pharmacies widely available in India its always handy to have your own emergency kit in case you are caught out. There is nothing worse than having a headache at 2am when all of the shops are closed. I recommend the basic’s: Panadol/Nurofen, Immodium, Dioralyte, Rennie/Gaviscon, Suncream/Aftersun, Plasters, Mosquito Repellent/Anti inflammatory Cream plus any other prescription medications you usually take while you’re at home – remember it may be really difficult to pick up your prescribed medication while volunteering overseas so make sure you have enough to cover you for the duration of your stay!
- Ear plugs: Living in apartments and sharing rooms with other volunteers may take some time to get used too, particularly if you’re a light sleeper and wake up often. Ear-plugs will be you’re life saver and investing in them is wise! You might also consider bringing an eye mask if you like to sleep in total darkness.
- Protein/Energy Bars: You will need to keep your energy levels up when volunteering for any substantial length of time. Remember you will be volunteering in hot conditions, walking or using busy public transport and eating food which you are not used to. All of this combined can sometimes leave you feeling a little ‘off’ and therefore its handy to have some energy/protein bars from home on hand to give you a little boost if needed!
Remember packing does not need to be stressful and as part of HOPE’s volunteer programme we offer orientation sessions and opportunities to connect with past volunteers in order to make you feel very prepared for your volunteer experience! To find out more visit http://www.hopefoundation.ie/get-involved/volunteer-with-hope/
Until next time,