Applicants have the option to interview before being offered a spot, or securing a spot with a deposit and have an interview later on to confirm it is a good fit. In the event we feel this isn’t the right trip for you, the deposit is fully refunded.
Trip fees do not include flights, visa and arrival fees, passport costs, travel vaccinations, alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, or travel insurance.
The remaining profits return to The Giving Lens to do a number of things. 1) pay our small staff (currently 1 full time and 1 part time) a very (very) humble salary. It also covers administrative and various overhead costs, not limited to website maintenance, advertisements, taxes, software, accounting, banking, and other basic small business costs . We also must retain a comfortable buffer of funds for emergencies, year-end taxes, last-minute drop outs/cancellations, marketing, contests, and many other costs which add up over the course of a year.
Our refund policy is based on the fact that when trips are less than four months away, it is extremely hard to fill a spot. A cancellation after the four month mark is financially stressful on us, as money has been wired to the country, and deposits paid based on a particular number of participants, and donations promised to the NGO.
We cannot always get these funds back, plus loss of currency exchange, and the impact a cancellation has on the other costs of the trip. The truth is this: a cancellation almost always has a negative effect on the most important part of the trip – the donation to the NGO – so it is important we protect our bottom line for them, and for the quality of the trip for the rest of the participants.
These are reasonable terms, in place to protect our other participants, our partner NGO, and are en par with other tour company’s policies.
Terms and Conditions
- Applicant has 5 days from invitation to join to accept and to pay deposit, except in cases of less than three months to departure (see #6). If cannot be contacted by the 7th day, spot is opened up to a waiting list / posted online.
- The Deposit is not refundable but is transferable forward to a future trip with TGL, if FIVE months notice is given.
- Less than five months, deposit cannot transfer forward due to financial stress.**
- Remainder is due 2 months prior to departure. If no contact can be made, three emails of warning will occur before spot is considered forfeited and deposit is retained.
- Remainder is non-refundable, non-transferable as it is made 60 days to departure.*
- Where the applicant has applied with less than three months to departure, payment in full may be required, or 50% now and 50% in several weeks if needed.
- In the unlikely event that the trip is cancelled by us due to civil unrest, a natural disaster, or other unforeseen, rare occurrences, a slew of cancelled spots so that the trip isn’t financially possible, and so forth, there are two options.
- a) Transfer your payments forward to a different trip, plus or minus any difference in cost, which is our preferred option! You get pre-approved for any future trip. We will give you a $100 discount for the inconvenience of having to switch trips.
- b) request a refund in full
All participants are required to produce an electronic signature on the Refund Policy, and on a TGL Participant Contract which states that health and well-being are as listed on the original application; that they have purchased health and travel insurance (including flight cancellation insurance); and a liability waiver.
**in some cases, to the discretion of TGL, if the participant can offer a suitable replacement for the trip (who must do an interview with us to confirm), the position on the team can be transferred to a new person and the finances worked out privately between you and them OR if you have to cancel, and the trip was at capacity, and if we can fill your spot, we will then transfer your deposit forward to any future trip.