Have any questions about your trip? We want your volunteering experience to be as simple as possible, so we’ve put together a set of questions and answers that we think you might be interested in. For ease of use these questions have been grouped into four categories:
- General questions about travelling with i-to-i
- Questions specific to i-to-i adventures
- Fundraising questions
- Why pay to volunteer?
Who can travel with i-to-i?
Anybody between the age of 18 and upwards, regardless of background, nationality or qualifications can volunteer with us. Some of our projects do accept volunteers aged 16 and above, but this is often evaluated on a case by case basis.To teach English however, you must be a native or near-native speaker of the English language.
Are there any restrictions at all?
You must be eligible to enter the country in which your project is based on a tourist visa or its equivalent. If you are not eligible for these, you shouldn’t apply.
Can I travel with i-to-i if I am under 18?
Yes. If you want to travel alone and you are under 18 years old you can take part on a range of our trips!
What do I do on an i-to-i project?
You’ll be working with a locally run project to make a real difference to the community or ecosystem in the area. Your duties will vary from porject to project but you can find information about exactly what you will be doing on the project details page.
Can I go on a project with a partner?
Of course! Couples and friends are more than welcome at our projects, but we'd always advise for you to book your trip early so we can try to accommodate your requests.
How do I get a Visa?
We will give you directions for obtaining your visa, but you will need to apply and pay for it yourself. We will provide the embassy contact details, visa application form and invitation letter from the country itself (if required). Our in-country team will also help arrange an extension to your visa whilst volunteering with i-to-i, if required.
When are the projects available?
Most of our projects have arrival dates throughout the year but we'd definitely recommend you check the project's availability before you book. Either check the ‘arrival dates’ on the individual project pages or contact the i-to-i office, our fantastic travel advisors will be able to help you out!
Do I need to learn a language before I travel?
On some of our projects, it'd be a big advantage for you to know at least the basics of the local language, and on others it is preferable. However on most of our projects an excellent understanding of English (ie- if it's your first language, or you're a fluent speaker) then you will be fine! In particular, in Latin American countries it would definitely be useful for you to be able to have an understanding of the language and our travel advisors can book you on to a language course.
How late can I apply?
The minimum booking deadline is two weeks for i-to-i volunteer experiences. We usually recommend booking around six months in advance, especially on popular projects, as there can be limited availability. We'd hate for you to miss out! The further you plan it in advance, the more time you have to plan, arrange inoculations and get fundraising - and you can rely on us to give you fantastic advice.
Where do I book?
There are two ways to book a project:
- Simply choose your project and clicking the 'Book now' button.
- By getting in touch with the i-to-i office; our travel advisors will be able to book you on in no time!
How does the application process work?
Once you've chosen which of our fantastic projects you'd like to lend a hand on, you can either book via our website or over the phone. A deposit is required to secure your place on the project and you can either pay the final balance on application, or the overiding total at least 90 days before departure. If your project requires a CV/resume, we'll advise you to send this over to us as soon as possible. As soon as you've booked on we'll send you an email with access to your online account where you'll be given step-by-step advice on how to prepare for your trip. Expect info on how you can obtain visas and inoculations, and even information regarding what you should be taking with you on your trip!
Questions about i-to-i trips
Is it possible to combine projects?
Definitely! You can choose to volunteer on two projects located within a close proximity, or you could travel further afield and discover our projects located on all corners of the world. If you need some advice on where you should volunteer, our travel advisors will be able to help you out!
Are flights included in the project fees?
No, but we can book the flights for you if you wish! Get in touch with us at i-to-i HQ for more.
Can I travel before my project starts?
Definitely, but you will only be eligible for an airport pick up if you arrive on the start date of your project.
Will I be met at the airport?
Yes our in-country team will have your flight details and a member of our team will be waiting for you at the airport, so look out for the i-to-i sign when you arrive! If you are travelling overland, we will provide directions to the project.
Will I be able to work closely with a local community?
We have carefully selected our projects to make sure you'll be giving back to worthwhile, sustainable projects that benefit the local community. You'll be spending a lot of time with the locals who help run the project and the members of the community the project contributes to directly, so you'll be learning about the local culture all of the time!
What if I get sick during my project?
Our in country team are trained on how to handle medical emergencies and you can be ensured that you'll be well cared for. We strongly recommend that you obtain a good insurance policy with extensive cover; we can give you advice about this at the time of booking. We operate a 24/7 emergency support system so that if you do encounter an emergency while you’re away you'll be able to get in touch with a member of our crisis support team.
Can I extend my project whilst on an existing project?
We cannot guarantee that we'll be able to extend your time on the project, but if there is availability then we'll certainly be able to sort that out for you!
Will I be able to travel during my project?
By booking an i-to-i volunteering trip you are committed to the working hours which will benefit the project, but you will have free time scheduled into your itinerary. Feel free to ask the in-country team for any recommendations on sites to see, or things to experience in the local area!
Can I travel after my project?
Yes, once you complete your project you are free to travel independently. Many i-to-i volunteers choose to continue their travels with their fellow volunteers.
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What can I fundraise for?
You could either fundraise to raise money to cover the cost of your volunteering abroad- such as your flights, equipment, insurance and vaccinations, or you could raise funds for the project itself and you could take out resources for the project, such as books, stationery.
How much time should I allow for fundraising?
The longer the better, but most volunteers allow six months or so.
How much can I realistically raise?
If you organise regular events, enlist friends and family to help and you're dedicated you could raise hundreds. It's all down to you!
How do I go about fundraising? Who do I approach? What are the best ways to raise cash?
You can get the answers to all these questions in the free i-to-i fundraising guide.
Why pay to volunteer?
i-to-i's volunteer programme supports good causes worldwide by matching volunteers' skills with worthwhile projects abroad. This programme is not supported by external funding but by the volunteers themselves. The fee you pay covers a number of key services- head over to our 'Volunteer Travel Advice' pages for more information.