Travel Planning Resources

There's a lot to consider when planning an international trip. To help you with your planning process, we've compiled some links, tips & ideas you might find helpful.

Exchange Rates

Find the current exchange rate in your destination country (or countries).


Find out what kind of weather to expect in your destination cities.

Travel Warnings

Visit the US Department of State to view travel warnings that may affect your trip.

(STEP) Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

STEP is a free government service provided to U.S. citizens traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. The program enables you to enter your travel information so the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.

Passports & Visas

FTI recommends using Travel the World Visas for all your passport and visa related services. Go to (opens in new window) for more information.


Check with the Center for Disease Control to learn what vaccinations they recommend & the time frame in which they need to be administered.

Travel Tips & Fundraising Ideas

Travel Tips

Preparing for a trip abroad? We’ve put together some ideas to help with: cultural awareness, safety & packing. Feel free to download a copy to share with your group.


There are many funding resources available that may help you realize your goal. These sources can include your organization, sponsorships from independent companies, and fundraisers (the nature of your group and trip may determine which finance source will be a better fit). Depending on the type of group you have, such as a group studying abroad, you may qualify for grants to cover or offset your travel costs.

As you may know, the easy, most convenient fundraisers are car washes, bake sales, yard sales, candy sales - all types of sales. Some tend to be more fruitful than others, but in this section, we hope to help make the traditional seem fresh & new. Perhaps we’ll even spark some new ideas.

Yard Sale

A church in Virginia holds a gigantic yard sale once a year. People from the church and community donate the goods, and church organizers sort and sell the items for the event. The lot is divided by category (appliances, toys, clothes, furniture, etc.), and from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m., shoppers can browse, negotiate and buy in a department store-styled fashion. In one year ALONE they raised $40,000!

Tiki Car Wash

Instead of doing the usual group with suds and buckets, try putting a creative spin on the event to attract more customers AND volunteers. How about a tiki- or Hawaiian-themed car wash? Volunteers can wear tropical gear to wash cars in. Have some surf music playing in the background. Give your customers little plastic leis and punch while they wait for their car to get washed.


Volunteers can wear face paint and/or clown noses and wigs. Customers can snack on little cupcakes, hot dogs or popcorn. Young customers can get their faces painted or a balloon sculpture. Don’t forget the cotton candy! Can any of your volunteers juggle or do neat tricks? Someone can be a ringmaster while they collect the donations.

Bake Sale/Chili Cookoff

It seems that themed events always win people over. Try a themed sale, featuring Spanish or French dishes & desserts. Or, if your town or region has its own famous cuisine, base your menu around it. Chili cook-offs are great in the winter!

Iron Chef/Chopped

Invite chefs from well-known restaurants in your area to join local volunteers in a face-off cooking event. Charge your customers by the plate or just an entry fee to witness the action and sample the results.

Letter Writing Campaign

This is a great option for students & groups travelling for humanitarian reasons. You’ll be surprised by the response your team will get if each participant sends out 20, 50 or even 100 copies of a letter requesting sponsorship.

Blog & Social Networking

Visit Fellowship Travel’s blog to learn more about what’s happening at FTI & around the world. Keep up to date with FTI on Facebook at You can also check out videos of some of our volunteer projects on YouTube.