How To Plan Your Adventure Travel in Thailand For 2019?
Sensational beach destinations, intoxicating all-nighter parties, lip-smacking foods, hotpot of culture and the dangerously famed Bangkok City, Thailand has a reputation that precedes itself! Sitting smack-dab in the middle of everything literally, Thailand is just hours away from smashing travel destinations like Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali what have you and also right halfway between Australia and Europe. “Oooh, where shall I head on to next?” Now you leave it on all the experts at GDA to add a further edge and element of anticipation to an already exciting prospect for you.
Travel, adventure, volunteering, come 2019, you can check all of them off your list altogether. Some good dose of volunteering with children and the very gentle and very chubby Asian Elephants your Thai journey will come to a full circle with some adrenaline pumping adventure activities. And of course we couldn’t bear for you to face your peers without a few legendary stories from your night at the Full Moon Party, so yeah, we have worked that into the itinerary as well, no thanks required! Fingers hovering over the keyboard to get yourself signed up into one of these programs! But how? Come we’ll make it easy for you, you just gotta scroll down and read on!
Pick a Cause that calls out to you
There are multiple programs although with limited seats up for grabs which are allocated on the terms of first come first serve. So time is utterly essential when it comes to planning your journey as you need to well ahead in advance to ensure your place. It is also suggested because an early application makes logistical planning easy for you as well.
The Entire Gang or No Company at all?
Those who thought that you can only take up volunteering opportunities traveling alone, you thought wrong! There are programs abroad for volunteering that offers a choice between traveling in groups or traveling solo. The choice of a company during travels vary from people to people. Some prefer doing it alone, some prefer to go out with their entire gang or some even with their loved ones and family members.
So now it’s for you to decide whether you’d like to spend your summer bonding with that special person in your life or having an excitement filled trip with your besties or just go out and do some soul searching on your own and meet new people along the way. Choose wisely and proceed! Thailand could be a perfect place to unwind with your friends or simply get lost in the tranquility and finding a spiritual side of yourself, alone.
This is all that is required of you
To be able to opt for an Adventure trip to Thailand you need to be at least 17 years of age. The documents that are required of you to complete your application is a CV listing your academic and personal achievements, your talents, and a well-crafted statement of motivation or letter of intent reflecting on your inherent traits and passions. Also, a criminal background check is carried out for everyone taking up a children teaching or childcare program to maintain the standard of volunteers that are mingling with the children.
The simplest application process that there is
Most of the programs are offered for people going out for vacations in summer or winter or students opting for a gap year or even going out for a school break travel. So there’s a window between the months of January-July and September-December to get your application going. Applications are made available for these programs in an easy format online. All that is required of you is to provide the required documents.
Get your logistics in order
Once your application process is done and over with and your place has been confirmed for the program, you need to get to the logistics ASAP. Why? There’s a lot to do and some of these processes can turn out to be time taking. To make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut at the eleventh hour you need to get started on these at the earliest which includes your Passport, Visa, Air Tickets, Airport Pickup.
- Passport- Make sure you have a passport that is valid for 6 months past your return date. If there’s a frown on your face upon checking your passport you need to get a move on and get it updated as per requirements.
- Visa- There are certain Visa exemptions that allow you to travel to another country without a Visa, or grants you a Visa upon entry and there are countries for which you have to get in touch with the respective embassies and get it done beforehand. Some might even have different provisions for Volunteer travel visa. Research on it yourself or get in touch with your country coordinator for any queries.
- Air Tickets- Once you are certain about your Visa status it’s time for you to get hands on an Air Ticket that fits your budget because let’s face it International air passage can sometimes burn a hole through your pockets. Thanks to the several travel aggregator websites there are multiple choices in different budget ranges which makes your work easier. Also, it is suggested to call on your country coordinator before locking in on a ticket and Airline because they can give you suggestions about Airlines that provides direct flights or flights with minimal layovers. This could save you from a prolonged jet-lag to some extent.
- Airport Pickup- It is absolutely important for you to clearly understand whether you are getting picked up by someone or do you need to arrange something for yourself. Although any good organization welcoming a volunteer into the country would send a welcome wagon, but it’s always safer and better to be in the know to avoid any unforeseen surprises.
Having a budget always helps
It’s a different case if it’s your umpteenth travel to somewhere far off, alone. But if this is one of your firsts, you will be a step ahead if you have a budget prepared for yourself. Most of the times the volunteers are students traveling on saved up money or sometimes traveling on parents’ sponsorships. Nevertheless, money planning is essential. When going out on an international trip allotting a fixed budget to your every activity abroad is important so that you don’t regret your decisions later. Personal travels, accommodation, food, shopping, day out or a night out, day to day expenses, commuting expenses are some that you need to keep in your mind. Most of the times' food and lodging is provided by the organizer and it is for you to make sure where you’ll be staying? how far is it from the workplace? what could be your possible daily expense? etc. etc. Wrack your brains and get each of your queries sorted beforehand. There’s always someone from the organization’s support team to help you out in these matters.
Do look up the Health Recommendations
Whenever traveling abroad, whether for leisure or for volunteer work, it is strictly necessary to read up on the health recommendations, if you need to get any particular vaccinations done and get the necessary paperwork for the same. A travel doctor is the best way to go who will tell you all you need to to know about vaccinations for the country you’re traveling to. It is also always advised to get a good health insurance to make your medical treatment hassle-free overseas, god forbid if any such situation arises.
Packing made easy
It is good if you have a checklist ready when you are packing for your trip abroad to make it a breezy affair. Do check up on the weather in the country and in the region where you’re traveling to and pack clothes accordingly and pack wisely and keeping things light and easily portable. Owing to Thailand’s Tropical climate the country witnesses high temperatures and humidity almost throughout the year with rains starting from June and continuing till October. The last month of the calendar witnesses mildly sunny weather with the cool breeze. So, pack away your summer essentials and don’t forget your umbrellas and sunscreens. Also don’t forget about the absolute necessities like prescribed medicines, adapters, emergency supplies, etc.
Are you ready for the Culture Shock?
Brace yourself for a culture shock. Every country, no matter how similar you thought them to be as yours, has their own distinctive cultural norms which may come as a surprise. Research on Thai customs and traditions, their food, the Dos and Don’ts to make a smooth transition into the local customs. Thai people have really deep cultural sentiments and they expect the same out of their visitors. So everyone better brush up on their research skills cause you’ve got a lot to explore and assess.
You’re almost there, get along with your Pre-Departure Prep
The pre-departure prep is the final revision of your arrangements basically. This prepares you completely for a fulfilling experience in a country, reducing risks while traveling and also as an ultimate guide for your time abroad. Many organizations leave early instructions to their volunteers about their pre-departure preparations. It includes a walk through the local culture which we have already covered with the last point.
Other than that it is also instructed to look into the safety advice, local laws, climatic conditions so that you can acclimate yourself better to the change of scene. It would be another added advantage if you have a few frequently used words and phrases of the local language down to make your day to day life easy as long as you’re in Thailand. Hello is ‘Sawasdee’ in Thai and Yes is ‘Chai’ in Thai, with a falling tone. Learning a few of these words and nuances will make your trip further impactful.
Another important thing is to get your currencies in order and keep a reserve of local currencies as well as some US Dollars in your travel pouch. It is also directed to let your Bank know about your travels so that they don’t block your cards or withdraw access to your money upon monitoring your activities abroad thinking it’s a fraud. This put together makes one power-packed pre-departure prep counsel.
Journalise the journey
Last but not the least, this experience can prove to be something life changing and a pivotal part of this experience is documenting it properly. Keep a journal, whether written, photographic or videos or a blog to record the entirety of your journey in all its glory!
An adventure trip to Thailand could be just the thrill you are seeking from your summer break in 2019. So we would suggest you pick your pace up and get yourself into the Adventure Travel Program NOW. It’s already fast filling!