Preparing For Your Trip
Preparing for your Global Builders Trip
You’ve taken that step of faith and just signed up to lead or join a Global Builders trip, now what do you do? How do you prepare for such an experience? The good news is you are not alone, we are here to help!
We want you to have the time of your life as well as provide a meaningful experience of service and impact. This is why we try our best to provide you with everything you need to help prepare, guide, and assist you and your group.
Scroll on to review the resources available to you as a Global Builders volunteer.
We strive to keep the registration process as simple as we can, only asking for what’s really needed. We have a simple online form that you fill out followed by an online waiver; that’s it!
Once approved by the team leader, you can submit your payment or use our fundraising pages to help cover your trip fee or raise additional funds for our work. Learn more about the registration and payment process.
After signing up, your team leader and the Global Builders staff will be here to answer any questions to help you feel prepared and ready for the exciting adventure you are about to take! If you have any questions or concerns never hesitate to contact us.
When you register for a GB trip, you’ll receive a confirmation email with links to your Country Guidebook. In these you will find the essential things you need to know about the country, program, and local area, including:
- Country background information
- Packing list
- Emergency contact information
- Information about accommodations
- Food safety tips
- R&R activities
- Safe travel tips
- Travel insurance benefit guide
- Language guide
If you can’t find the link to your guidebook, feel free to ask your Team Leader or contact us.
The international travel landscape is constantly adjusting in level and extent of restrictions due to COVID-19. While we strive to stay up to date on the latest updates, you should also monitor the entry requirements of your destination. An excellent resource is the Covid-19 Country Specific Information from the U.S. State Department. Rules change often and vary by country, so we recommend bringing your Covid vaccination card or certificate.
The health and safety of our volunteers is very important to us. As such, we encourage all of the travel vaccinations recommended by the CDC, including vaccination for Covid. Before a trip is posted on our website, we also allow Team Leaders to put in place a Covid vaccination requirement on their teams, and some do so. For most open teams, you can determine if that requirement is in place by clicking on the Team Leader’s name in the trip listings, or else you may contact the Team Leader or us to inquire about a particular trip.
Prevention: Health and Safety
The world’s places of greatest need tend not to be the safest. When we travel to those places, we share in the risks that those who live there must live with every day. With that said, we prioritize safety and have prepared excellent resources to help you prevent and respond to health and safety issues.
Pre-trip Training – We have created our own extensive pre-trip training that includes extensive advice regarding health and safety preparation. It also will help you better understand how your trip will make a difference. Like the Guidebook, you receive access to this resource in your confirmation email after you register.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The CDC are experts about staying healthy throughout your trip including important vaccinations you may need beyond just Covid. Get this expert advice on the travel section of the CDC website. We recommend following the CDC-recommended health and safety guidelines in consultation with your doctor.
U.S. State Department – The U.S. State Department provides three helpful resources for travelers prior to their trip.
- The Travelers Checklist is a short list to promote safe travel.
- Their travel alerts and warnings often cover the troubled parts of the world where we work. You should become aware of the warnings before you make the decision to travel to any location.
- The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) improves your communication with the embassy by letting them know you are there. The good news: we already take care of this one for you by registering all of our participants! (Non-U.S. citizens may wish to alert their own embassy.)
Global Builders Insurance
Our emergency medical insurance program through Berkley Accident and Health is an important part of the safety net that we provide. With its assistance services provided through Generali Global Assistance, it stands ready to help address situations like emergency medical expenses, security evacuations, and medical evacuations, and it even provides some travel benefits like trip interruption. This policy does not apply to volunteers on Puerto Rico trips.
Each Puerto Rico volunteer is typically enrolled in a robust program through Seven Corners.
More details about these insurance programs will be provided through your confirmation email, or you may contact us to request more details in advance.
We want you to look and feel like a team, so we provide you with an awesome t-shirt and hat/facebuff delivered by your team leader, and a custom country patch mailed to you after your trip.
We offer personalized fundraising pages that you can use to cover your trip fee or just raise extra for the community you’ll be building. Share your page with your friends via email and social networking sites. Click here to start creating your own page!
Note: For covering our trip fees, we ask that volunteers NOT use third party fundraising platforms, as they are incompatible with our system.
Find it hard to picture? Get a glimpse of where you will be traveling in our extensive photo collections on Facebook and in Fuller Center Photo Partner!
Don’t have time off work? Check out these resources we created on How to Get Time Off and use the Handout for Your Employer.
Most importantly, we take care of the slew of short- and long-term arrangements needed to ensure you have food, housing, and local transportation within the country as well as sustainable, community-led work in which to participate. You probably won’t see this while you’re preparing, but you’ll be glad we did when you get there!
Every trip has one or more designated Team Leaders who coordinate the specifics for each trip. Closed teams like churches and schools choose their own leader, while open teams are led by experienced travelers. When you have questions, start by asking your Team Leader.
If you’re a current or prospective Team Leader and want to sharpen your leadership skills, we recommend you check out the resources below. These are presentations from past Team Leader gatherings that give advice from some of our most accomplished leaders.
- The Nuts and Bolts of Team Leadership, 2019 (Ian Burkes, Fuller Center)
- Pre-trip communications with your team members (Andy Rivinus, Team Leader)
- Phone calls with new participants (Bob and Leslie Bell, Team Leaders)
- Cultural Competency (Ashley Murray, Mercer University)
- Crossing Cultural Barriers (Hailey Dady, Purdue University)
- Herding Those Cats – Team Management (Gohar Palyan, Fuller Center of Armenia)
- Team Dynamics and its handout (Wanda Smith, Team Leader)
- Team Dynamics (Amanda Shenk and Charles Buracker, Team Leaders)