Updated June 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
Some of our countries are now open again for travel and we were very excited to send our first volunteer of 2021 away in May! Our destinations are opening up in different stages and with different travel requirements, so we are following this closely and taking bookings accordingly. As for so many people, our projects have had a very challenging time and are in great need of volunteer support!
It's not a completely straightforward answer (nothing is with Covid!) as it depends on the country you are travelling from as well as the country you are going to! For travel this summer, our best options for UK volunteers are currently Belize and Greece. If you are coming from the US, then we'd suggest Belize, Costa Rica, Greece and South Africa.
Get in touch if you would like to have a chat on your travel plans!
For all our projects we need volunteers to have a negative COVID-19 test before they travel - either a lateral flow or PCR test depending on the project's requirements. 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.
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.
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.
We will update you of any changes that may affect your placement and reconfirm your arrangements before your start date.
For volunteers with placements planned in 2021 and the first half of 2022, 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 ever ask for your final payment if we are confident your trip will go ahead.
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!
If the UK FCDO were to advise against travel when your placement is due to start, you will be given 3 options to choose from. You can:
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.