Smart Ways to Save and Budget for a Volunteer Trip
Volunteering abroad is a great way to give back to communities and people in need, and it will likely be one of the best experiences of your life. After conducting plenty of research and deciding where you want to go, you will need to focus on budgeting and saving money to travel overseas.
Here’s how to save for a volunteer trip so you can get to your destination with financial peace.
1. Plan Ahead
Funding for volunteer trips may take some work, but if you begin with a plan in mind, you’ll be able to save and budget with ease. It’s helpful to have a goal to strive for. If you want to go on excursions while abroad, you will need to increase your budget. Some programs are all-inclusive, though, which could make planning much easier.
Make sure you spend time researching the location — both because some countries will be cheaper than others and so you know how much money to save. Destinations have various prices on food, drinks and other products, so know the general costs ahead of time.
2. Consider Every Cost
This goes directly with planning ahead. You must consider every cost to know how to budget for a volunteer trip. Again, some trips are all-inclusive, so all the money you need is accounted for unless you want extra for souvenirs. However, if you’re planning on your own, here are the costs you should think about:
- Airfare: This will be one of your biggest expenses, and if you’re going thousands of miles away, it’s going to cost you.
- Lodging: You need a place to stay while volunteering abroad, so make sure your budget covers lodging.
- Food: Some programmes may cover the cost of meals, but for any additional cuisine you want to try, carry extra cash.
- Programme fees: A fee is required for your duration at the programme.
- Vaccinations: Depending on where you go, you want to make sure you get the proper vaccinations to prevent illness or disease.
- Visa: Many countries require a visa to enter. Some may have costs associated with them.
- Travel Items: A pre-travel shopping trip is often required to obtain essential items.
- Travel within the destination: To get to different places within your destination, you need to pay for transportation or rent a bike.
- Emergency money: It’s a good idea to budget emergency money. Just like you might have an emergency fund at home for unexpected expenses, you want a smaller version of that for your trip.
By knowing costs ahead of time, you can better budget and save money for the volunteer trip.
3. Save Your Own Money
You should be saving your own money for a volunteer trip. Begin tracking your expenses and prioritizing your spending. That way, you’ll be able to see where you can cut down on costs and only purchase what you need. The extra money can go into a savings account for your trip.
Break down your spending into various categories. This could be for groceries, rent, gas and entertainment. The next time you go shopping, you might see a new video game you want. Is that more important than extra money for your trip? By tracking your spending, you’ll begin saving funds in no time.
4. Find Outside Sources for Funding
You don’t have to pay for everything on your own when you volunteer abroad. Many people will likely support you and your good cause.
One way to fundraise is by going online. There are multiple websites where you can share your story and ask people to donate. You can share these through social media and encourage your friends and family to do the same and get a broader range of possible donors.
Another option is applying for a travel-abroad scholarship. Some organizations will help cover the bill, and they might even pay for it in its entirety if you’re selected. Treat each grant individually and apply for as many as you can.
Start Saving and Budgeting Now
If you want to go on a volunteer trip abroad soon, there’s no better time than now to begin saving and budgeting. The earlier you can make your plans, the easier it will be to fulfil your travelling and volunteering dreams.
Author - Ginger Abbot
Ginger Abbot is a learning and education writer with a personal passion for study abroad and international travel. She also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Classrooms.com, where you can read more of her work.