Coronavirus (Covid-19) Policy

Updated 9 July 2020

Find out what new measures we have introduced and what would happen if your trip was affected by Coronavirus so that you can book with confidence

WHEN CAN I TRAVEL?

We are hopeful that many countries will be open again for travel towards the end of 2020 / start of 2021 and we are currently taking new bookings for trips from 1 October onwards. We expect that different countries will open up at different times and with different travel requirements, so we are following this closely. As for so many people, our projects are having a very challenging time and will be in great need of support once travel restrictions are lifted!

SAFETY AND SUPPORT

We are a highly experienced team, having been arranging volunteer placements around the world for almost 20 years. We are on hand to support you and are continually monitoring the travel situation for all our destinations through Government advisories as well as our local teams on the ground.

We will update you of any changes that may affect your placement and reconfirm your arrangements 1 month before your start date. While you are away, we provide 24 hour support by phone, email and WhatsApp and have robust incident management plans in place in the unlikely event anything should go wrong.

FLEXIBLE PAYMENT TERMS

For volunteers with placements planned until 31 March 2021, we are giving added flexibility on payments. Normally we ask for final payment by 8 weeks before start date, but we are now reducing this to 1 month before start date at which stage we will reconfirm that your trip can go ahead as planned. We will only ask for your final payment if we are confident your trip will go ahead.

FLEXIBLE DATE CHANGES

If you would like to reschedule (regardless of whether it is related to Coronavirus or not!), we are happy to reschedule for up to 18 months. You just need to let us know 1 month or more before your placement date and it can be open ended if you aren’t sure when you want to reschedule to. We are keeping this free of charge for maximum flexibility!

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS

If the UK FCO were to advise against travel when your placement is due to start, you will be given 3 options to choose from. You can:

  • Change your dates and reschedule your trip (as described above)
  • Change to another placement in any of our countries
  • Receive a full refund

INSURANCE AND PAYMENT PROTECTION

Once your placement has been confirmed, the first step is to take out comprehensive travel insurance. We work with the specialist insurance provider Banner and you can find out more about travel insurance here: www.podvolunteer.org/travel-insurance.html

Pod Volunteer itself has public liability insurance cover of £5 million and also chooses to take out specialist crisis management insurance.

The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection for your payments made to Pod Volunteer, in the unlikely event of insolvency. ABTOT cover provides for a refund if you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad.

AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal