Only Love Travel Club FAQ'S
WHAT DOES MY PROGRAM FEE COVER?
Your program fee will cover your pre-departure support and materials, food, accommodation, training and orientation, long-term OLF field staff, 24-hour in-country support, project equipment and materials. Not to mention the unforgettable, off-the-beaten-track, life-changing experiences!
I CAN'T SEEM TO DECIDE WHICH PROJECT I WOULD LIKE TO JOIN, CAN I CHAT WITH SOMEONE TO GET MORE INFORMATION?
Absolutely! Our team of Country Experts are here to answer any and every question you have about our programs. Our Country Experts are previous OLF volunteers so we know all about the life-changing experiences you can expect while volunteering with OLF.
DO I NEED ANY EXPERIENCE OR QUALIFICATIONS?
No, our trained field team will provide you with all of the training you need when you join your project. We encourage that you use your own special skills/talents/abilities and hobbies to work with the students.
IS THERE ANY AGE LIMIT?
No, there is no age limit to join our projects! Our projects do have a minimum age of 18, with the exception of our Under 18s projects that are specifically designed for 15-17-year-olds and our family volunteering programs for 14 and under when accompanied by a guardian.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP OR FINANCIAL AID?
Unfortunately, financial aid is not available as our program fees provide vital funding to our projects; however, scholarships may be available for high performing volunteers in the field to stay on their program for a longer duration at no additional charge. Scholarships are given at the sole discretion of OLF.
I AM NOT FROM THE US. CAN I STILL APPLY?
Yes. We accept many international volunteers every year. OLF field staff are fully trained to guide you through the reservation process and can help advise on any special visa and travel requirements. Although we try to meet with potential volunteers before the start of the expedition you will find the OLF pre-check support package sufficient in providing you with all the information you need.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK?
Expeditions are normally booked up 8-12 months in advance while solo traveler projects tend to have more availability. Contact us to check availability for any program that interests you!
CAN I COME WITH FRIENDS OR AS A COUPLE?
Yes. Couples and friends are welcome, dependent on availability and the size of the group. Please be aware that we cannot always guarantee private accommodation, as our accommodations are based on double occupancy so prepare to meet new people!
DO I NEED TO HAVE EXPERIENCE?
No experience is required for expeditions. Most projects do not require experience either. All we ask is for you to keep an open mind and bring passion and enthusiasm.
IS THERE A SELECTION PROCESS?
The only requirement we have is to attend a mandatory pre-check meeting for all trips, prior to departure. This is essential for your safety and enjoyment as well as the projects ultimate success.
CAN I TRAVEL BEFORE/AFTER?
Yes, you can!* Many volunteers arrive early to start exploring or join an OLF project halfway through a longer trip around the world. An OLT project offers volunteers the chance to slowly acclimatize before you head off alone in a new country, as well as introducing you to a large group of potential traveling companions. We are happy to assist post-project travelers with insurance policy alterations as well as flight arrangements. We can arrange your placement wherever you are in the world!
*Please note that due to immigration regulations, it is not possible to travel before or after your OLT program in some locations.
HOW OLD ARE OLT VOLUNTEERS?
The minimum age is 18, and there is no maximum. If you are age 15-17, please visit Only Love Foundations to learn about programs designed for your age group. We are happy to talk through the ages of those booked on to the expedition, internship or project you are interested in, just give us a call!
HOW DO I KNOW YOU ARE REPUTABLE?
Only Love Travel Club was spawned from Only Love Foundation, the award-winning non-profit sector is one of the most well respected and prominent international volunteering organizations. We work with some of the most prominent organizations in the field including Crossing Thresholds, David Sheldrick's Wildlife Trust, and the South African National Parks. Since 2015, we have sent dozens of volunteers away each year for affordable, enjoyable and fulfilling experiences. In 2019, we were announced as “Best Volunteering Organization” from the NYS County Legislator. You can also meet us and our network of ex-volunteers at any event we attend throughout the US, as well as listen in to webinars hosted by our dedicated field staff.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Costs vary between projects and expeditions and are dependent upon our partners’ requirements, requests, and geographical locations. View individual program home pages for specific information on dates, costs and what is included.
ARE THERE ANY EXTRA COSTS?
This is dependent upon your chosen program. Expeditions, projects, and internships include all your food, accommodation, training, project equipment and global support unless stated otherwise (see your specific program page for more detailed information). The only extra money you will need is a small amount for spending money. As a rough estimate, we recommend around US$250 a month for spending money on all our programs.
HOW CAN I PAY?
Payments for OLT programs are made in full at the time of booking, or in installments until 12 weeks before the start date of your program. Our team will be happy to talk through the options with you.
CAN I FUNDRAISE?
Yes, with prior planning and hard work you can raise all the money for your expedition or project. Get in touch with us for more information on fundraising advice!
CAN YOU ARRANGE MY FLIGHTS?
We recommend consulting the various flight comparison and airline direct web pages online to get the best possible flight price to your chosen OLT program destination. We recommend www.skyscanner.com & www.fareboom.com
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
Travel Insurance is highly recommended. While we go above and beyond to make sure everyone is safe and well taken care of, volunteers are allowed to explore on their own which brings the risk of self harm. Upon signing the contract to join us, Only Love Travel is not responsible for injuries or death during our trips.
DO I NEED A VISA?
This depends on your country of origin and the location of your project, expedition or internship. The OLT field manual contains further information on Visa requirements for each specific location.
WILL I BE MET AT THE AIRPORT?
On most programs, you will be met by a OLT representative at the airport if you arrive on specific dates prior to the program start date. Please ask our dedicated advisors to explain the arrival logistics if you have any further questions.
WHAT SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE CAN I EXPECT?
The very best! We pride ourselves on our local knowledge and network of enthusiastic and well informed staff and representatives. On our expeditions and projects, you will be working directly alongside full time OLT staff with the experience and skills to make your expedition fun and fulfilling. Our partner projects are chosen for their commitment to the projects and to you as a volunteer. We provide you with regular updates before departure and we are always there at the end of the phone or via email throughout and after your trip.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?
Depending on the country, accommodations may vary from Fancy and nice, To regular and underwhelming. But the experience outside of the accommodations and changing lives is what it’s all about.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?
The food will be nutritious and healthy throughout your stay. Most locations will serve vegetarian meals, utilizing locally sourced produce.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
Most of our locations can provide for special dietary requirements. However, if you have any specific concerns we would encourage you to contact us.
DO I NEED TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT?
Most locations require a moderate level of fitness especially if you want to get the full amount out of your time there. If high levels of fitness are required this is highlighted on the program homepage.
WILL I HAVE ANY FREE TIME?
We always create time to explore surrounding environments and to make trips to other locations however, there are some exceptions to this where the requirements of our project partners dictate otherwise.
HOW DOES OLT MAKE SURE I AM SAFE WHILE I AM IN THE FIELD?
The health and safety of all OLT volunteers is a top priority. In view of this, OLF has compiled strict systems and procedures, including the presence of long term staff on the ground who work closely with local partners to ensure they are up to date with local developments. We periodically review risk assessments for each location and project, and have emergency actions plans in place for a variety of scenarios, protocols for the incident and near miss reporting, and weekly reporting to OLT managers to ensure we always up to date with local and regional developments. All our volunteers and staff receive a full orientation, always have permission to decline to participate if they feel unsafe, and have access to a 24-hour emergency support system, including senior experienced staff on standby both in the country and regionally in case of incident or concern.
ARE THERE ANY MEDICAL RESTRICTIONS?
All volunteers will need a sign off on any disclosed medical conditions from a qualified GP/Doctor and admission to your chosen program is subject to consideration of all medical conditions so we can ensure the safety of all volunteers. Exclusion from one option for medical reasons does not necessarily prevent participation on all of our programs. Our professional advisors will always be able and happy to help you find the most suitable volunteer experience.