There is a first time for everything, most people are nervous the first time they leave their home towns or cities for a different country. You have to leave your support system behind, which includes your family and friends. Instead you are headed to a destination that shares possibly a totally different culture than you are used to, and maybe just a few people that you are familiar with. In addition you are not a very well travelled person then you start to be more nervous as your date of departure draws closer. Here are some tips on how you can make your first travel experience easier on yourself, and consequently more memorable and enjoyable.
To begin with, let’s start with what you need to be aware of while at the airport. The golden rule here is always arriving at the airport early for check in, and make sure you have all your travel documents in order and with you. You also need to ensure that all your volunteer paper work is in order, so that when you land there are no surprises waiting to meet you, especially with the authorities. There are a number of new security procedures nowadays at most airports, and it will be harder for you as a first time traveler as you may not be really aware of some of them. The golden rule here is to try and get to the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure time. This way you will have time to relax before your flight leaves.
To help you on your journey, try and eat before you get to the airport. The home meal will be healthier and at the same time cheaper than whatever food you may find at airport restaurants. Also remember to take plenty of fluids and if possible avoid alcoholic beverages, this will help you to avoid jetlag, sleep is also your friend in this regard, so if necessary take some sleeping pills, especially if it’s a long international flight.
The first time you are travelling to a foreign country it is important to you to pack light and only what you need in your trip. A small bag will be less hectic to check out when you arrive and will also be of less hustle when you are making your way around once you reach your destination. A good approach is to carry with you only what you need while travelling and buying new things you feel you need at your destination country.
Once you arrive get yourself enough of the local currency to cover your time in the country, if you plan to volunteer for a long while, then make sure before you leave that you credit card is accepted in the country you are headed to, if not then ensure you carry enough cash with you for the duration of your volunteer work.
Remember you are in a foreign country, so you need to respect the cultures of the locals, try and learn them. Also try not to draw too much attention to yourself through fancy clothing and jewelry; this is how people become victims of criminals. Make sure you check in to wherever you are going to be staying during your visit, as soon as you leave the airport, and once there keep your documents in a safe place, but have copies of them with you, to walk around with.
For more free information and low cost volunteer abroad programs in south America visit http://www.volunteercapitalcentre.org/ecuador.aspx