When I decided that I wanted to travel to Thailand, I did hours worth of research to find the perfect program. When I found Volunteering Solutions, I realized that they offered trips during my timeline, were affordable, and had a variety of different trip experiences to choose from.
I decided on the Summer Special, which is 3 weeks of volunteering and traveling throughout Thailand and added an extra "beach week" at the end of my trip.
I am fortunate to have traveled to many different countries throughout my lifetime with many different programs and I admit, I was a little skeptical about this program at first because I had never met anyone who had traveled through them before. My best friend and I decided to go to Thailand together, just in case things didn't go as planned, so that we could go off and travel on our own if need be.
I am happy to say that our trip to Thailand was everything we hoped it would be and more.
We spent time on Khao San Road (the backpackers hub), toured famous temples in Bangkok, and taught students at the Wat Pho Temple. We traveled to Surin by 7 hour train ride, bathed elephants in the river, and cut down sugar cane and palm fronds to feed them. We had the chance to experience Buddhist Lent in Surin, which educated us so much about Thai culture and beliefs. We volunteered at a preschool in Surin where we taught children in the mornings and completed various school improvement projects in the afternoon.
On a free weekend, many members of our group traveled to Angkor Wat Temples in Cambodia. It was an absolutely breathtaking addition to our trip and our Thai guides helped us plan our excursion so it was both safe and affordable.
We trekked through Khao Yai National Park where we saw exotic wildlife and were truly immersed in the jungle. For those of us who stayed for the beach extension, we stayed at a beach side resort with private beach bungalows and a private beach and pool. We explored multiple islands during our stay including Koh Phangan, Koh Nang Yuan, and Koh Tao. We hiked, snorkeled, and lounged on the beach. We went to a Black Moon Party where we enjoyed bumping music, neon body paint, and delicious food.
This trip literally encompassed almost everything that Thailand has to offer. Our Thai guide was extremely knowledgeable about everywhere we traveled and all the experiences we took part in. The trip was very organized and I felt safe at all times.
Another part of the program that I really enjoyed was that it included volunteers from the US, Canada, and Europe. Having diversity among our travel partners made our exploration of Thailand more fun and always allowed for interesting conversations and opinions. By the end of the trip, we were like family and it was so difficult to leave each other after an entire month of bonding experiences.
Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend volunteering and traveling through Volunteering Solutions, especially to Thailand on the Summer Special. My best friend and I who traveled together enjoyed the program so much that we are already looking at trips for next year through VolSol.
If you are questioning whether or not to take the next step of traveling, I say go for it. Educating yourself through travel is one of the best life decisions you could ever make! :)