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What to Pack: Must-Have Items for Your Volunteer Trip Abroad to Jamaica

Are you planning a volunteer trip to Jamaica and wondering about some of the must-have items to pack? Chances are, you might be feeling a mixture of excitement and exhilaration at the thought of your trip abroad. So this is why knowing what to pack and how to pack is essential for a successful trip.

When it comes to packing, preparation is important, and knowledge is beneficial. Here are a few tips to make your volunteer experience more fulfilling.

Create a list of your Must-Have items

Picture yourself driving to the airport, when suddenly you realize that you did not pack your passport! Just imagine the confusion and frustration you would experience. One of the easiest ways to prevent this would be creating a detailed list of your must-have items for your trip abroad and checking off each item as you pack. Save this list to your mobile phone or tablet and have a printed copy as a backup. This list could be used on your return trip to check off the items you brought with you.

What to Pack for your Volunteer Trip to Jamaica

Whether you are a first-time volunteer or a seasoned professional, packing can be overwhelming. There is the excitement of making a difference and the exuberance of traveling to Jamaica. Below are the essential must-have items to take along with your excitement:

Clothing – Where you will be volunteering (in a school, orphanage, or other projects) will determine your dress code. Check with your program director to learn about your particular project. If you are volunteering at school, more formal attire is necessary. In contrast, more casual apparel is required for working at a childcare facility. If you are volunteering at a children’s home, you will wear clothing that will allow you flexibility and easy movements, whereas teaching is more of a professional environment. However, no matter which project you immerse yourself in, light, loose-flowing clothing will closely match Jamaica’s tropical weather.

Tools – Where you are volunteering and the project you will be involved in will also dictate what tools and materials you need to bring. Again, your program director can help you with this.

Plan ahead – Not only will this make for a more fulfilling project, but it will also enhance your experience. Prepare a teaching plan in advance. Have an idea of the curriculum you wish to cover during your project time and bring the appropriate materials and books with you. If you are volunteering as a sports coach, make sure that you have items such as balls, ropes, equipment, etc. Medical volunteers/interns should remember to bring scrubs.

Emergency Essentials – Only you know what your emergency essentials are. Still, here is a list, so you’ll have an idea of what to pack:

  • Everyday medication such as pain medication
  • Emergency medication such as an epi-pen or asthma inhaler
  • Feminine protection for females
  • Bug repellent
  • Toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Comfortable shoes/sneakers
  • Sunscreen/block
  • Water shoes for climbing falls
  • Batteries/cell phone charger
  • Extra money/credit or debit card

Don’t forget to look into your cell phone carrier’s roaming fees and, of course, don’t forget your camera.

Packing Tips

  1. Keep in mind the temperature in Jamaica while packing. You may wish to consider light, free-flowing clothing, and utilize layers. When it comes to dressing properly for Jamaica, cotton is your best choice.
  2. Plan outfits ahead of time so that many items are interchangeable. It is better to pack white, light-colored jackets, pants, and skirts rather than limit yourself to very bright colors that only go with certain pieces.
  3. Remember to dress appropriately and respectfully. While it is hot in Jamaica, it is essential that clothing is appropriate in order to show honor and respect to the culture and people that call Jamaica home.
  4. If you want to pack more, use the rolling technique. When you roll your clothes, you will have more space to pack and fewer wrinkles when you unpack.
  5. Stay organized from the beginning. Use plastic baggies with zip closures for things such as cosmetics and toiletries.

One of the main reasons to volunteer for a trip to Jamaica is to make a difference in the lives of others and, of course, to experience a new culture. Remember your must-have items for your volunteer trip to Jamaica so you can be prepared for the experience of a lifetime.

Now that you know what to pack for a trip abroad to Jamaica, you want to move on to the next step and learn more, so you are even more prepared.

What to do next?

To learn more about volunteering in Jamaica, contact one of our program advisors today!

Is it your dream to volunteer abroad but you’re not sure you can afford the trip? Get our Fundraising Unravelled Guide for all the tips and tricks on how to fund your volunteer abroad experience.

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