Volunteering abroad and packing light. A small guide.

Packing light for your trip abroad as a volunteer


When traveling abroad it’s best to pack as light as possible, this will not only be easy to carry but will help you avoid costly fees charged by airlines. Here are a few things to consider when preparing for your volunteering abroad trip:

1. Type of luggage

During your volunteer trip you will be traveling through many types of transports, walking and moving through different conditions. Avoid boxy rigid luggage ,what we know works best is a good hiking backpack or travel backpack. We recommend one ranging from 45-75 liters in size.

Here a few reasons why backpacks are best for traveling:

  • You can be hands free !
  • It’s flexible so it can be crammed more easily in to spaces , and can be made smaller if it’s not completely full.
  • They are sturdy.
  • They are often waterproof of water resistant.
  • They have lots of pockets.
  • They don’t attract attention.
  • Some have wheels if you really need them.

Some of the cons is that they are not as rigid and protective as their boxy counterparts, but surely they make this up by a lot of other positive features. Check some quality packs here.

Hiking backpack


2.Pack only what you need

Sounds easier said than done, right ? Often we find that volunteers bring so many things thinking they won’t find them here, but the truth is most stuff can be found through Central America. Pack what you need and maybe one or two things more, but remember that you can always get it at your destination. So before you pack a second charger in case you loose one , remember: pack light.


3.Bring dual purpose items

When trying to save space for your volunteering trip, bringing stuff that has two uses or more can be a huge space saver. Pants that convert in to shorts? Great! Boots that also looks casual? Perfect !.


4.Keep electronics simple.

Do you really need your laptop , tablet ,phone and camera? So why bring them on this trip? Really ask yourself what you will actually use and take this as a chance to disconnect a little from electronics.


5.Leave extra space

Always leave a little space in your bag ,so when you return you can stuff some souvenirs in there.


6. Pack dark colors

Try to lean your wardrobe towards dark colors as they tend to look cleaner for longer and will give you the chance to have more time in between washes while volunteering .


7.Pick the right shoes

While volunteering abroad, you will certainly do a lot of walking , so shoes are probably the most important items in your bag . Pick shoes that are comfortable,sturdy and that can go with pretty much anything . A good winning combo is: Everyday boots or sneakers, nicer but compact shoes, and flip flops. That way you will only pack two pair of footwear at a time.


8.Look at camping gear

Camping gear is great when traveling. It’s usually designed to be light, resistant and functional. For example camping towels are light, easy to dry and roll in to small pack.


So now you know! Less is more sometimes, specially when traveling. Not only will your back thank you but in the long run you will realize that you can make it with a lot less than you are used to.