FAQs – here are the some of our most frequently asked questions:
We’d also recommend you join our on-line Forum it provides a place for past, present and future customers to exchange news, advice and views on topics related to our trips, and as a way for those coming on our trips to get to know each other. We hope that you enjoy using it.
Please note that Discover Adventure does not continually monitor the Forum and will not respond to questions posted there. Please email the office on firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries you would like answered by Discover Adventure staff that are not covered here.
Q: You go to some amazing places but you never refer to your trips as holidays, why is that?
A: We are organisers of Fundraising Challenges, offering trips that are designed to push your limits, they are not holidays. They involve preparation in terms of fundraising and improving fitness. There is a special atmosphere on our trips that you just don’t get on a holiday no matter how active they are – money cannot buy the sense of achievement and self-confidence you will feel after completing the challenge.
Q: Your site talks about Open and Bespoke Challenges, what is the difference?
A: Open Challenges are trips made up of a group of people fundraising for different charities but all with one thing in common – pushing your limits and doing something worthwhile. These types of trips offer you three different payment methods – fundraising, self payment but donate all funds raised to charity, and self payment no fundraising.
Bespoke Challenges are trips we run for a specific charity, you will be fundraising for that charity and to a large extent they become your first point of contact in the run up to any trip, we act as the ‘tour operator’ in this instance. On these challenges, the charity we run the trip for sets its own fundraising targets, etc. Contact them to find out their pricing structure before signing up.
Q: What’s the difference between the payment options?
A: In a nutshell, if you choose the fundraising option you agree to raise the fundraising target and your charity will fund your tour costs. Your charity keeps at least 60% of your funds. If you choose the self-payment option you pay your own tour cost and donate 100% of your fundraising – whatever amount – to your chosen charity. Or you can choose the self-payment option and not raise any funds for a charity.
Q: I’ve never done any sort of fundraising before, what advice can you offer me?
A: Fundraising does take time; most people sign up 6 – 12 months before departure to give themselves plenty of time. We can give you lots of tips and so will your charity, they are the experts after all. Click here for a few ideas to get you started.
Q: Do I have to raise a set amount of money?
A: No, not at all. On our challenges you can choose the self-payment option so you pay your own trip costs and raise funds at your own pace, donating 100% of your fundraising to your charity.
Q: What if I don’t reach my fundraising target for the charity?
A: Your charity’s fundraising team has a wealth of knowledge and experience, so ask for tips and advice. It may be possible to transfer to a later trip or switch to the self-payment option, don’t wait until it is too late for us to help you as it is not always possible to transfer your registration fee. You will usually be asked to get your monies to the charity 10 weeks before departure.
Q: Can I pay my trip cost by instalments?
A: Yes we offer a Flexi Payment option so you can pay in as many instalments as you like to help spread the cost, please call the office to discuss further.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: The quickest and easiest way to sign up once you know which trip you’d like to take part in is to book online. Simply click the ‘Book Now’ button next to the trip of your choice. Alternatively email us for a Registration Pack and return your completed Registration Form to us.
Q: How old do I have to be to go on one of your Challenges?
A: For any of our challenges the minimum age you must be is 18 years old at the time of booking. There are certain exceptions to this rule so if you are under 18 and would like to participate please contact the office for a chat on 01722 718444.
Q: How tough are the challenges?
A: We do grade our trips – Moderate, Tough and Extreme – contact us if you are in any doubt as to which trip would suit you best. There are many factors which add to the overall level of difficultly such as terrain, distances, camping, weather and the extent to which you may be affected by altitude. The trips are designed to create a physical challenge. Training for your trip is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you may not succeed and will certainly find this experience of a lifetime less enjoyable. We provide thorough training guides once you have signed up and are always happy to talk through the trip in more detail with you if you are worried about your fitness at any stage.
Q: I’m worried that I’m not fit enough; do you think I could do it?
A: Most of our participants start out thinking this way, but if you prepare in plenty of time by training and have the right mental attitude you will be amazed at what you can achieve. Our Challenges have been designed to be achievable for most people of average fitness. We offer help and guidance along the way; you may even decide to take part in our training weekends a perfect place to meet others who are signed up on challenges, discuss what clothing and equipment to take, swap fundraising ideas or simply to get motivated. Click here for more information and dates we have available.
Q: Will I be in safe hands?
A: Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries and are trained in expedition first-aid. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Q: What is included in the trip costs?
A: Our Registration Pack gives you full details, but generally we include flights and all transport; accommodation; camping; equipment (except sleeping bag and mat), most meals and full trip support. There is no local payment.
Q: What are the accommodation and general facilities like?
A: For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! Many challenges involve camping because of the remote nature of our treks; tents are usually two-man. Camp is usually equipped with cooks, dining tents, three-course dinners and sometimes a sunset bar! We stay at comfortable (but not luxurious) hotels at the start and end of the trip. Meals are designed to give you plenty of energy. On some trips we use hotels throughout; these are usually of a traditional style, they can vary widely as they are chosen primarily for their location. A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you - we can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow trekkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about!
Q: What are the toilet facilities like?
A: On some trips where we camp, our camps have toilet tents with ‘luxurious’ porta-loos, at other times latrines will be dug. The toilet system we use does keep the camp area as hygienic and environmentally-friendly as possible. We burn any paper waste before we leave camp, and all holes are filled in. During the day we encourage you to burn or carry out (you may find it useful to carry plastic bags with you!) any waste. Please do not leave toilet paper on the trails or behind bushes. You will be briefed fully on toilet etiquette when you join the trip!
Many places where we camp do not have any facilities, but often there are natural water sources such as streams or lakes. Please wash away from the water source where possible (use buckets), and use biodegradable soaps and shampoos, as chemicals do upset the balance of the water and harm plant and animal life, as well as causing potential harm to any local people
Q: I am a vegetarian, will there be food for me?
A: Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in very rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.
Q: Do I carry my own luggage?
A: On each trip your luggage is transported by vehicles, porters, camels, yaks, etc! You cannot access your main packs during the day so need to carry a day-pack with your fleece, waterproof, sun-cream, hat, camera, water etc. On most trips suitcases are unsuitable; you need to bring a soft rucksack or expedition kitbag. Discover Adventure Kitbags are specially designed for the rigours of our challenges and very affordable click here for details.
Q: Do I need travel insurance?
A: Yes, you must have adequate travel insurance cover in order to participate in any overseas challenge. Most charities allow you to organise this independently as long as your insurance company is aware of the nature of what you are doing and that it is a charity event. Some charities have their own specific policy. Alternatively it can be arranged through us, to find out more click here for details.
Q: How am I protected?
A: All bookings are authorised under Discover Adventure Ltd's ATOL license number 5636, through the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority). Many of the flights and flight-inclusive trips on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all challenges and travel services featured on this this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will
not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate.
Q: Do we fly direct?
A: When booking group flights we endeavour to find the best flights that match our itinerary. There are often no direct flights to our destination, so do be prepared for transit stops: bring a good book or chat to your fellow trekkers! Airlines that do offer direct flights rarely offer competitive rates for groups. Please remember that the main purpose of our trips is to raise money for charity!
Q: Can I fly from a regional airport?
A: Some airlines do offer regional departures, but most flights are from London, please check with us. If you book flights to Heathrow or Gatwick, it is your responsibility to allow plenty of time to connect to the group flight and to cope with any flight schedule changes. Please be aware that the best deals allow little flexibility if you need to change them. We regret that we are unable to book connecting flights for you.
Q: Can I book my own flight?
A: If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost. You will be responsible for making your own arrangements for meeting the rest of the group, though we can advise you. We need to know if you do not require our group flight as early as possible; please complete the form in the information pack you’ll be sent with your booking confirmation.
Q: When will I know exactly how much the fuel supplement is?
A: 8 weeks prior to your departure we will know what the charge is and we will inform you.
Q: Can I stay on after the trip for a holiday?
A:Yes, it is usually possible to stay on in the country after the challenge, just let us know as soon as you can – there is a Flight Extension Form in your Pack to do this. The DA Flight Department may be able to help you or advise on booking your own flights. Any arrangements we make for you will incur an administration fee. We offer several challenges where it is possible to take part in a Community Project after you have completed your main challenge. Click here for more details.
Q: Do you practice sustainable tourism?
A: Long before ‘SustainableTourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made the minimum impact on the environment and a highly positive impact on the local communities we pass through. Regular employment in poor areas is vital and impacts on every aspect of the life of the family of each guide, porter, driver or cook we employ. In addition, we are involved with several community projects on a long-term basis. We believe that our trips have many positive advantages for the worldwide communities we work with, the charity you are raising money for and, of course, for you! To read more about this important issue click here.