Frequently Asked Questions
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 website talks about Open and Bespoke Challenges, what is the difference?
A: Open Challenges are trips featured in our Brochure, they are made up of groups of people fundraising for different charities but all with one thing in common – pushing 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 requiring no fundraising. Our Bespoke Challenges are those that we have been invited by a particular charity to organise for a group of their fundraisers.
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? (Our No. 1 Question)!
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 have particularly fussy eating habits you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply!
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: Can you explain your fuel supplement policy?
A: The increase in fuel prices over the past few years has led to airlines applying a supplementary fuel cost. If your trip has a fuel supplement levied against it we cap the amount you pay at £200 (for all bookings from 12th August 2013 onwards). If you are taking the Fundraising Option, your charity will pay your fuel supplement along with your Trip Cost, provided you have raised the target amount. If you are taking the Self Payment Option, your fuel supplement will be added to your trip cost invoice. Please note, the price you agree to pay at the time of booking excludes the full amount of the airline fuel supplement confirmed by the airline. Accordingly, it will not be treated as a surcharge as set out in the Challenge Agreement. There are several trips taking place within Europe where Discover Adventure absorbs the fuel supplement.
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 participants! 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: 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.