Coronavirus (Covid-19) Policy

Updated October 2021

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 AND WHERE CAN I TRAVEL?

Many of our countries are now open again for travel and we have been able to send volunteers to Belize, Costa Rica, Greece and South Africa in 2021! As for so many people, our projects have had a very challenging time and are in great need of volunteer support!

If you want to travel in the next two months, our best options are Belize, Costa Rica, Namibia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. For 2022, we expect all our countries to be open for travel and are taking bookings for all projects.

Get in touch if you would like to have a chat on your travel plans!

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVEL?

We will guide you through the steps for each destination and there may also be some requirements for returning to your home country at the end of your trip. Some projects require volunteers to be fully vaccinated and a COVID-19 test may also be required for entry to the destination.

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.

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.

WILL IT BE DIFFERENT WHEN I GET THERE?

Our projects have been able to adapt well to COVID-19 and have introduced measures to keep volunteers, staff and local communities as safe as possible. Most of these steps you will already be familiar with, such as social distancing and mask wearing, and you should have an amazing volunteering experience. There may be some restrictions on places you can go / things you can do in your free time, which we will advise you on.

FLEXIBLE DATE CHANGES

If you would like to reschedule (regardless of whether it is related to COVID 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 FCDO advise against travel to your destination or your destination goes on the UK Government Red List on the date your placement is due to start, you will be given 3 options to choose from. You can:

  • Change your dates and reschedule your trip
  • Change to another trip in any of our countries
  • Receive a full refund

If your personal situation means that you can't travel e.g. you test positive for COVID, you would need to make a claim on your travel insurance so it's very important to make sure you purchase travel insurance which provides COVID cancellation cover.

INSURANCE AND PAYMENT PROTECTION

Once your placement has been confirmed, the first step is to take out comprehensive travel insurance. 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.

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