Cost Breakdown.

At Volunteer Voyages we understand that a trip such as this may represent a significant investment for you. That's why we go out of our way to make it memorable.

Our price for each trip varies based on the destination, special preparations necessary, and the anticipated costs of the equipment and supplies necessary for the project. You will find the trip cost listed with the individual trip.
For some trips we have identified sponsoring organizations that are willing to pay for a portion of the expenses. This may place some restrictions on the type of volunteers that can be included (medical volunteers, for example) and that will be clearly stated in the project description. The subsidy sometimes reduces the cost substantially and that will be reflected in our fees.
• Travel Arrangements
o We will make all of the arrangements for your trip from and back to the arrival airport in our host country. If you are joining us from outside of the US we will make individual arrangements with you. The additional air travel costs in that instance will be negotiated with you.
• In-country Air Travel
o Most international air travel costs will be your responsibility. We are happy to help you make arrangements, however, and can even advise on selecting a travel agent.
o For those trips where we include international air travel, it will commence from one or more common US Point-of-Departure airports, depending on the destination. It will be your responsibility to get to that airport in ample time to connect with us and so that your luggage will also accompany you on the trip. We are often able to negotiate group rates with the airlines we use and that helps us keep the costs down. Unfortunately, because of our commitment to group rates, we are unable to accommodate requests to use your frequent flier miles.
o We will usually arrange for any domestic flights within our host country, whether on commercial or chartered flights. We will keep you informed about the details
• Ground Transportation
o To get around in our host country we will use vans, busses, or boats, depending on the size of the group. We select well trained, safe, courteous drivers and make sure that the vehicles are the safest available.
• Lodging
o The hotels we use are clean and safe. We have hot water most of the time but, since that is not a universal feature in hotels in developing countries, we must be flexible. We rarely stay in what would be considered here to be luxury accommodations but often our lodging is the best that is available where we are working.
• Group Meals
o We are extremely careful about your food and beverages. These elements are among the most crucial for your safety and enjoyment. Whenever possible we eat in restaurants that we have personally evaluated for food safety, sanitation, and service. We will also guide you through your menu choices if you desire, there are so many fantastic dishes to be discovered. At the worksite, or when restaurants are not available we train and hire local villagers to prepare our food under our supervision. In those instances we will shop for fresh food daily and savor the local flavors and styles. Meals that are taken with the group are included, but on any occasions when (if) you choose to dine alone or with a small portion of the group, you will be responsible for that meal's costs.
• Translators
o Nothing limits your experience like not being able to communicate with your hosts. We will contact local English-speaking agencies such as schools, universities, or other groups, whenever possible, for an ample supply of translators. Usually we are able to find university students eager to hone their English skills. In addition to translating our conversations these articulate young people often provide intercultural insights that can't be gleaned from a simple phrase book.
• Tours
o After we complete the labor portion of the trip we offer an option spend a significant portion of time visiting local (and some not-so-local) historical, cultural, and natural attractions. Most of the time there is an entry fee to the park or attraction. We'll pay that for you.
• Guides
o Guides can provide much more insight to the exhibits than we can imagine. We endeavor to hire experienced, English-speaking guides who have univeristy training when they are available. We try to use only one guide for the entire trip so that we get to know their style. Sometimes, though, we may select a particularly talented guide for a portion of the tour for which he or she is uniquely qualified to discuss. We will use other guides for the remaining portions of the tour for which they are well trained.
• Airport Taxes
o Some airports outside of the US still add a departure or airport tax after the ticket is purchased. Here in the US and in most other countries now, the tax is built in to the ticket costs so we usually don't see it. In certain countries, however, you must pay the tax before you are allowed to board the plane. If you forget to save enough money for the tax you might not get to go home. We'll keep you out of that predicament - we'll save it up and pay it for you.
Not Included
• International Air Fare
o For some trips this will be included and we will inform you about that well in advance.
• Alcoholic Beverages
o We have no problem with you drinking alcohol - unless it gets out of hand, of course. Since there is such a variation in the quantity that people drink and in the costs of the beverages themselves, we are unable to accurately predict the costs associated with alcohol use. Therefore, help yourself to a drink but be prepared to pay for it at the time of purchase. Cheers!
• Film or Camera Chips
o This should not be a surprise, but we don't want you to have to guess, either. Please take lots of pictures! You will have a lot of memories to share.
• Souvenirs
o If you want to bring some things back, and you really should, be sure to plan ahead. Most people find that a few hundred US dollars is plenty for souvenirs, but your taste and pocketbook will be the final authority. There are many unique items for sale wherever we go. Some are hand-made, some are mass-produced. Some things to consider are how much room you will have in your suitcase, and how much weight your trinkets will add to your overall luggage allotment. There is always a weight limit for our flights and the penalty for exceeding the limit is very steep indeed - but sometimes worth it.
• Snacks
o As with our discussion about alcohol, some people are big snackers and some rarely take a nibble. Since this is another area with a huge variability potential, keep some pocket change handy for that irresistible treat - but not from a street vendor! We can help you decide what's safe.
• Tips
o Gratuities are confusing at best. Sometimes they're included in the charges, sometimes not. Some things that we routinely tip for in the US might not be tipped elsewhere. We can help you figure out some general guidelines regarding the appropriate levels for tipping but you'll need to make the ultimate decision. After all, you should be rewarding them for what they did for you, personally. Sometimes it may be appropriate for the group to collect money for a tip and present it as a lump sum.
• Personal Medications
o If you routinely take medications you will need to bring them, along with the appropriate documentation. We will also give you a list of recommended medications for specific reasons (such as altitude sickness prevention) that you can ask your doctor to prescribe. They will be your responsibility, too.