What happens to funds I have raised should I be unable to go or the trip is cancelled? All donations you solicit are to assist in covering costs incurred by you on a LIFE International approved trip. Should the trip be cancelled or a situation prohibits you from traveling, donations solicited on your behalf will be used to fulfill the reservation deposits already made on your behalf, and the remaining funds will be held for your future travel with LIFE International. Read more.
Do I need to take malaria medication? Immunizations? You may need to take preventative medications or vaccines depending on your destination and transit stops. Read more.
What documents do I need to carry? Pack a copy of the page in your passport with your photo and personal information, as well as a copy of pages with visas you need for this trip. Keep a copy of your travel insurance cards in your checked luggage and ensure that your luggage is properly labeled with your contact information. Keep all your boarding passes until your trip is completely over. Make sure you print out a copy of your itinerary to take with you. Keep your itinerary within reach, especially for your return trip, as you may need it to access entrance the airport building
What will I eat? Generally if you are traveling with LIFE International staff, we will make an effort for you to have food which you will be comfortable eating. It is always wise to eat or at least sample what is served, as refusing food could be interpreted as a rejection of your host’s hospitality. Your attempts to try the food will be appreciated, but in the case that you are unable to stomach it, apologies can be made and you will likely find people forgiving. Carry some protein bars or other snacks for those times when no appropriate food is available or you’ve not had enough to satisfy. Read more.
What are the bathing facilities? Pay attention to how hot water is provided! Many countries have either very small water heaters or electric shower heads which heat the water as it passes through. When using an electric shower head, a slow steady stream will give the hottest water as opposed to a faster stream which will be cooler. To avoid electrical shock, never touch the shower-head! If the facility has a very small water heater, the best way to conserve hot water would be to wet down, turn off the water while you lather up, and then rinse quickly.
If possible, bathe at night in order to keep your sheets clean. In hot climates, this will cool your body and increase your comfort. Bring cheap flip-flops or sandals with you to wear in the bathing area.
In Asian countries, “baths” are solely for soaking. Shower with soap before entering the bath. The bath water is used for the entire family; therefore it is very offensive to use soap in the bath. Read more.
How much luggage can I take? Luggage restrictions vary by transportation carrier. Check the carrier website for a detailed description of size and weight restrictions and baggage charges. Also keep in mind as you pack that you will personally need to lift and carry your bags upon arrival. There are no guarantees of porters or luggage carts. Check out this website about packing a carry-on for a ten day trip: http://www.onebag.com/.
What clothing should I wear? The dress standards of each nation, and sometimes region, will vary. LIFE International will work with our host to determine appropriate outfits for the men and women on the team, and communicate with you before the trip. Please be respectful of the host’s instructions even in the public spaces of your accommodations. Read through the culture information given to you, and then check with your Team Leader if you have questions. Pack a fan for hot climates!
When and how will I be able to exchange currency? Currency exchange will be available upon arrival at your destination. Let your team leader know how much cash you would like to exchange. The team leader will work with your host to determine the best exchange location based on safety and economy. Keep receipts of your exchange as some countries will require proof of the original transaction in order to change back to your home currency.
Will there be time for sightseeing? Shopping? Check out the Schedule pages for more information about how time will be spent. It is important that you communicate with your team leader about any needs or expectations you have. Please read this article about taking photos on your trip! 3 Kinds of Selfies You Should Never Take.
Will I have cell/mobile coverage? Contact your carrier prior to travel to discuss your cellular plan for the destination country. They can best inform you and advise you on usage of your device in the country you are traveling to (often called "an international plan" that covers many nations). Always disable your data when traveling to avoid outstanding fees. Data is exchanged continuously, especially on smart phones; charges can add up very quickly.
You may want to consider the purchase of a non-locked*, quad-band GSM cellular phone with a removable SIM card that can be replaced with a local SIM to obtain a phone number inside the country you will be traveling. Many times these SIMs have less expensive rates than your carrier for calling internationally. If you like to maintain email contact, we recommend you buy a dual SIM phone, as a data card can also be purchased to meet your internet needs.
The team leader will carry a quad band phone which will be available to the team in case of emergency. If you have a smart phone, take advantage whenever possible of Wi-Fi spots. Yet, if possible, always have your phone on "airplane" setting or mode to avoid any unintended exchange during your travel.
Please check out these applications for communicating over Wi-Fi and data: Whatsapp, Skype, ooVoo. There are many more available! Before you travel, familiarize yourself with their options for communicating and any fees associated with certain services.