The below questions are the most common inquiries we receive from our travelers and friends. If we've missed one, feel free to contact us and we will answer you asap. Please also read our Terms of Service
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION's (NGO's) TO PARTNER WITH?
We diligently vet each NGO we work with, only choosing to partner with credible and highly regarded organizations that contribute sustainably to the local communities they serve. We don’t want to just provide our travelers with a photo op, we want them to contribute to something that tangibly benefits the community they're serving and intangibly benefits the traveler. Our belief is that you are not just signing up to volunteer you're also signing up to learn. We strongly feel that all of the NGO's with which we work, adhere to these core values and have a need for the services you are providing.
We place a great emphasis on the specific needs of the local communities we're working in. The information on what they need comes directly from the source; the NGO's and the community leaders with whom they work. We feel approaching each destination by listening to NGO's instead of relying on our assumptions, is the most effective way to create sustainable change.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH ACCOMMODATIONS TO USE?
Sustainability is the foundation of what we do, so we want the lodging we work with to operate with the same vision. This is why the majority of our partners are designated as eco-friendly accommodations. The goal is to make our journeys’ impact beneficial to the environments we're traveling to and to the people who live there.
Accommodations can vary from hotels, vacation rentals or any other style of lodging that fits our commitment to quality and environmental consciousness.
HOW MUCH FUN WILL WE HAVE?
The Vacation Project is not just about service but also about enjoying yourself. We believe this is what a truly fulfilling vacation feels like, equal parts service and socializing. Because this is our fundamental mission, there will be social activities built into every trip to enjoy with the group. We will always make time to have a good time. This is reflected in each itinerary no matter the destination and will make up a significant portion of every trip.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes, all travelers are required to maintain or purchase medical and trip cancellation travel insurance prior to departing for your Vacation Project.
ARE THE DESTINATIONS SAFE?
Safety for our travelers and the communities we serve is our top priority. We curate all aspects of the trips with safety in mind and try to anticipate the unforeseeable. With that said, we strongly encourage our travelers to exercise general caution while traveling abroad. This is because we take our travelers to rural destinations and enable access to off the beaten path experiences. Additionally, in light of the physical nature of the service projects, we require that each traveler obtains travel insurance while they're abroad. This will provide peace of mind enabling you to fully immerse yourself into the experiences.
WHO ELSE WILL BE ON THE TRIP?
We love group trips where we get the opportunity to meet new people. Our belief is that the best way to forge sustainable bonds is with a small group who can spread their experiences back home. This is why we like to limit our group sizes from 10-16 people; varying by destination and project. We believe a more intimate number of travelers has a less disruptive impact on the communities we are working alongside, while fostering kinship among your fellow like minded travelers. Lodging will be shared occupancy; unless otherwise requested. Please contact us directly if you would like to ensure shared lodging with a companion.
Many of our travelers are young professionals however, all adults 18+ are encouraged to join us.
DO YOU OFFER CUSTOMIZED TRIPS?
Yes! We are happy to work with you to create custom experiences for solo or group travelers. Please contact us for more information.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT/VISA/VACCINATIONS?
As we're currently only offering international destinations, a valid passport will be required for all itineraries. U.S.A. nationals generally do not require a visa for our destinations however, please confirm all travel requirements with: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html prior to departure to confirm. For all other nationals, please refer to your governments’ website for travel requirements.
For any country specific medical requirements or notices please refer to: www.cdc.gov or your countries equivalent governmental entity.
IS MY MONEY REFUNDABLE IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP PRIOR TO DEPARTURE?
All of our rates are non-refundable. This is because we need to confirm with partners well in advance the number of people embarking on each travel project. Some trips have a required deposit (typically depending on how far in advance it is booked) and others require full payment at the time of booking. For trips that accept deposits, the remainder is to be paid 30 days in advance. However, we know things happen that are out of your control. For extenuating circumstances, please let us know as far in advance as possible so we can try to accommodate your specific situation.
CAN I CHANGE MY ITINERARY IF I AM UNABLE TO ATTEND THE VACATION PROJECT ON MY INITIALLY SELECTED DATE?
We want to make sure everyone is prepared to work and play. If for some reason you are unable to attend the trip on your selected departure dates, please reach out to us in advance and we will attempt to place you on a future departure/itinerary.
DO THE ITINERARIES INCLUDE FLIGHTS?
Unless otherwise stated, none of our itineraries include flights. We build our itineraries with flight cost and seasonality in mind so that flight expenses are not prohibitive to joining our projects!
SHOULD I BRING MONEY?
Your lodging, most meals, activities and project costs, are all included in the itinerary rate so there’s not much you will have to buy. We do recommend however, that all travelers bring a reasonable reserve of money for any miscellaneous expenses over the course of your stay.
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE SPECIFIC DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
We try our best to accommodate specific dietary restrictions/requirements. Please keep in mind that this may be difficult to facilitate in some of the rural locations on our trips so, we advise you to bring any additional snacks that fit your nutritional needs.
WHERE DOES MY MONEY GO?
We are a for profit LLC and believe in transparency of pricing. We take a margin which is built into your itinerary cost (included in the total cost of your booking). We also would like our travelers to know, our aim is to provide economic stimulus to local for profit entities for every destination where we operate. From local guides to locally owned lodging. While working alongside non-profit NGO’s is an impactful endeavor in and of itself, we believe we can additionally benefit communities by providing local for profit organizations with economic gains that employ local residents.
All of our trips are meticulously curated, creating many of the unique experiences we offer on The Vacation Project itineraries. Partnering with NGO’s closely, we are able to provide experiences that may not otherwise be accommodated. This includes but not limited to, the duration of our service projects and the subsequent missions to which our travelers are able to contribute. We add this service fee because of the labor involved in the coordination of logistical nuances along with our partnerships with hotels and local guides. This enables us to further facilitate the nightlife and social activities we organize as part of your trip, as well as grow our global reach so we can continue to expand our projects throughout the world.