Responsible Travel


We are extremely concerned to ensure that our impact is always positive and never damaging

Our placements are in locations where the people and environment are vulnerable and sensitive. Our care for these places is the driving force behind our arranging placements for visitors. For this reason we are extremely concerned to ensure that our impact is always positive and never damaging.

Pod’s social policy

Through our projects our volunteers have a major focus on social responsibility, whether it is through teaching English, healthcare, animal rescue, or helping at one of the many care homes and orphanages we work with. We aim to bring benefit to local communities, especially the vulnerable and the poor and to help sustain a healthy environment where both people and nature can thrive.

Pod’s economic policy

By sending volunteers to work with local communities we are both directly and indirectly contributing to the local economies. Our volunteers are passing on skills that can help locals to earn a living through teaching, healthcare and transfer of professional skills.

Volunteers are also putting money directly into the economy by living and working abroad. The majority of the fee they pay to Pod is spent in-country and we always work with locally owned businesses where possible. In each of the countries we work in we are responsible for the employment of nationals from that country.

Through the Pod Charity we make donations to charitable projects in the countries we work in and encourage our volunteers to undertake fundraising to support the projects they will work / have worked in.

Pod’s environmental policy

We are very conscious of the potential for environmental impact and we are pro-actively trying to minimise this overseas and in the UK. Please see our steps below which we recommend for volunteers and we work with an Amazon research charity to help protect an area of rainforest as well as developing strategies to protect rainforests for the future.

It is important that we regularly visit our volunteer placements around the world but we ensure that this is done responsibly by offsetting the CO2 emissions from all Pod staff trips.

Pod’s responsible travel steps for volunteers

  • Offset your flight carbon emissions with Climate Care
  • Respect local cultures, understand local customs and dress appropriately
  • Buy locally - support the local economy by buying from local businesses and markets
  • Practise fair haggling
  • Buy ethically - don’t buy items made from endangered animals / materials or artefacts
  • Conserve water - water is a valuable resource so take short showers, turn off the tap when not in direct use
  • Respect the local environment and follow local guidelines
  • Do not support animal abuse or illegal wildlife activity - do not pay to have your photo taken with or feed animal props (monkeys, elephants, cubs, reptiles, rare animals etc.)
  • Minimise waste e.g. use a reusable shopping bag instead of plastic bags, use refillable water bottles where possible
  • Dispose of litter carefully
  • Travel greenly - use public transport, bicycles or walk when possible to reduce pollution
  • If donating, give through a local charity - giving out donations directly may not reach the people in real need and can encourage begging

Pod’s responsible UK office

  • Active recycling - we recycle as much of our office waste as possible
  • Use of recycled products - where possible we use paper, envelopes and other supplies that are made from a recycled or sustainable source
  • Minimising amount of printing – we have phased out printed brochures and use online resources where possible. All volunteer information / communications are sent electronically
  • Printing – where it does have to be printed, using an environmentally friendly wax printer
  • Careful energy usage
  • All staff are encouraged to walk / cycle to work and everyone does!
  • We offset the CO2 emissions from all staff flights each year with a community agroforestry project in the Amazon


  • 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