Q: Are flights included in the cost of my trip?
Flights are not included in the program fee, but Discover Corps has a partnership with an agency who can assist in organizing airfare if needed.
Q: How far in advance do I need to reserve my trip?
The farther in advance you book, the better selection of dates you’ll have. On most trips you’ll want to book 3 to 6 months out. For holiday trips, you’ll want to reserve 6 to 8 months out. Rest assured, though, we’re also masters at accommodating last-minute reservations! You can always contact us with any questions.
Q: Can I travel solo? Are there additional fees?
We welcome solo travelers on all trips, and there is no additional fee unless a single room upgrade is requested. We also offer certain dates that say STS (Solo Traveler Savings), which offer a single room upgrade for no additional cost. Locate these available dates on each individual trip page or contact us for more information.
Q: What does ‘double occupancy’ mean? Does that mean the trip prices covers two people?
Double Occupancy refers to the accommodations. The program fee you see on each trip page is per person.
Q: How large are the group sizes?
Group size varies based on the trip, but generally you will see an average of 8 and a maximum of 15. The average and maximum group sizes for each individual trip can be found in our catalog or by requesting an itinerary for that trip.
Q: Are there age restrictions on your trips?
We ask that travelers inquire for a trip based on their child’s age. For the majority of Discover Corps trips, the minimum age requirement is 8 years old, but there are some with a 5 year old minimum and others with a higher minimum age.
Q: What trips do you suggest for families traveling with small children?
For families traveling with children as young as 5 years old, we recommend: Galapagos: Family Volunteer Vacation, Costa Rica: Family Volunteer Adventure, and Cuba: Building Bridges. These trips will not only be easy on the parents but will also be a trip children will love.
Q: Which trips would be best for older adults or someone with mobility issues?
Older adults or someone with mobility issues should take into consideration several factors prior to traveling including amount walked per day, activity level, and number of stairs in accommodations to name a few. In our opinion, the best trips for older adults would be any of our Cuba trips, Belize: Wildlife Safari, or Kenya: Safari & Conservation.
Q: I have a disability or someone in my family has a disability – will that be an issue?
Generally no, but it depends on the severity of the issue. Most developing countries do not adhere to the same wheel accessibility as the U.S., so we recommend contacting Discover Corps directly to discuss and determine which trip would work best.
Q: I have special dietary requirements – will that be an issue?
For most of our destinations, we are able to accommodate dietary restrictions. We do our best to accommodate all diets, but we do recommend you still inquire with a Discover Corps travel specialist about specific needs.
Q: Is the water safe to drink in the country I’m visiting?
Because we can’t 100% guarantee that all destinations have potable water, we supply purified drinking water at all times.
Q: Do I need travel insurance? What should it cover?
Travel Insurance is not required but we highly recommend that a plan is purchased to protect any delays or cancelations that could incur. We partner with Travel Guard and can refer you to them for a quote.
Q: Can you help with Visas?
Although we don’t organize them directly, we will guide you through the process on how to obtain them and partner with an agency that we can refer you to. Discover Corps can help answer any questions along the way.
Q: Are my belongings safe while I’m on my trip? Are there safes for storing valuables?
Yes. We trust that your belongings are protected while under our staff’s watch, but as an extra precaution there are lock box’s in most accommodations.
Q: Is tipping commonplace in the places we’re visiting?
On most trips, tips are provided for restaurants, hotels, and baggage. However, tips are usually suggested for the guide and the driver. Please see the “What’s Included” section of the trip you’re interested in for more details. Once you book your trip, you will be given a full pre-departure guide document that outlines everything you need to know for your specific country and trip.
Q: Are Discover Corps trips suitable for LGBTQ travelers?
Yes, we are confident that LGBTQ travelers would be more than welcome on our trips and in the destinations that we operate.
Q: How do I find out what the Visa requirements are for the trip I’m interested in?
A valid passport is required for all destinations. For any specific Visa requirements, please refer to our DC travel portal under “Travel Documents.”
Q: I’m concerned about the political stability and/or safety of the country we’re visiting. Is it safe?
Discover Corps holds the safety of our travelers and staff as our #1 priority. We provide safe and secure lodging, healthy, hygienic meals and bottled water, safe and comfortable transportation, and expert local knowledge in order to facilitate safe travel programs. Discover Corps also does not take travelers to destinations that are deemed unsafe. We are constantly keeping up with local news in the countries we visit and can help answer any concerns that may arise before your departure or during your trip.
Q: What is the best way to carry money?
It’s best to divide money into different places and keep small bills handy. In some destinations, accommodations offer safety boxes. Additionally, in nearly all countries we operate in (with the exception of Cuba), you can use local ATMs to take out money throughout the trip.
Q: Is refrigeration available for medicines?
While we can’t guarantee your accommodation will provide a refrigerator, most of the hotels travelers stay in do offer refrigerators. Most guest houses/homestays have a refrigerator in the kitchen. Please inquire with us so that we can confirm whether or not a refrigerator will be available.
Q: What if I end up ill or get injured on the trip and am unable to continue? What happens then?
In the case of injury or illness, first and foremost, we would seek proper medical attention. In each of the locations we operate, we have designated medical clinics and hospitals that we take travelers to in such cases. If you are unable to continue and have to return home, travel insurance will most likely cover the costs and Discover Corps guides will make sure you are taken care of. You can inquire with Travel Guard for the policies and the guidelines concerning this situation.
Q: What type of luggage do you recommend I take?
It depends on the destination and the activities involved. However, a rule of thumb across all of our trips is to pack as lightly as possible. This will simply reduce the amount of luggage you are carrying around throughout the trip and make things easier. Typically, rolling luggage works best, but keep in mind that uneven sidewalks and cobblestones in many destinations may make this more difficult.
Q: What clothes and footwear should I pack?
Each destination varies in climate, so it is recommended to look over the packing list that is provided under each destination in the Discover Corps Travel Portal.
Q: What essential documents do I need to take?
Any international travel requires a valid passport . Discover Corps recommends you take 2 photo copies of your passport and leave one at home and take the other with you. Trips such as Cuba also require you to take specific documents, which is outlined in the Discover Corps Travel Portal.
Q: Can I opt out of certain activities?
Travelers can opt out on certain activities, but keep in mind that each program is a set price and includes most activities (certain trips such as the Costa Rica: Family Volunteer Adventure have separate activities as add-ons).
Q: Will my mobile phone work? Will I have access to the Internet?
It’s not guaranteed that your phone will work, we recommend reaching out to your cellphone provider to see the available international plans. For most of our destinations, wifi is available in hotel lobbies, rooms, or common areas. Please check with a Travel Specialist to see if it is available in the program you’re visiting. Also, because many of our destinations are developing countries, we can’t guarantee that any wifi provided will be the same speed as it is in the U.S.
Q: Do I need to get vaccines before I travel?
In most of our destinations, there are no required vaccinations. Please check the Discover Corps Travel Portal and pre-departure documentation for details on what is required in each destination. We also recommend consulting with your local travel clinic for recommended inoculations for all international travels.
Q: Are you allowed to pet the animals you see?
Some programs will allow you to have direct contact with the animals your volunteering with. However, in order to protect the wildlife and the safety of our travelers, it is not recommended to touch any wildlife that is not permitted by your guide.