There are both good and bad ways to travel.
Whilst travelling with Choose a Challenge, we expect all our travellers to behave appropriately at all times. In line with our ethical pledges and sustainable accreditations, we expect all our travellers to respect this Traveller Conduct Policy, and use it to guide them in what we hope will be a safe, enjoyable and unforgettable experience in-country.
What is a traveller conduct policy?
Our Traveller Conduct Policy (TCP) is a set of guidelines we have drawn up from our many years of experience working in adventure travel. It is designed to encourage all who travel with Choose a Challenge to travel carefully, thoughtfully, considerately and sustainably.
Your conduct during your challenge is ultimately dictated by our Terms & Conditions.
This TCP acts as a supplement to the Terms, to make them more accessible, and to help guide your actions whilst travelling with us to ensure the promotion of the local communities supported by our work, the sustainability of our operations, and the maintaining of the environment and artefacts that you’ll come into contact with as a result of travelling with us.
The sections that follow are listed in alphabetical order.
Why is a traveller conduct policy important?
We live in a world of unprecedented change, where carefully examining each of our each of our actions, behaviours, and carbon footprints is vital to ensure the wellbeing of our planet and its people, artefacts and wildlife.
The adventures we provide take young people to some of the world’s most treasured and beloved sites. Maintaining these sites for future generations is our utmost priority.
In addition, some of our adventures take place in developing countries, where local communities and individuals may be more vulnerable than at home.
We urge all to follow the below guidance to ensure the safety, security, and sustainability both of our travellers and of the local people and communities in our destination countries.
If you have any questions about this policy, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abusive behaviour & violence
All of our staff, charity and in-country partners, interns, reps and travellers have the right to enjoy their work or travel with us, without fear of abuse or violent behaviour.
Abusive or violent behaviour will not be tolerated in any form, and participants who behave in this way will be removed from their trip with no opportunity for refund or appeal.
If you experience violent or abusive behaviour on your trip, please let us know in your feedback form after you return to the UK. If a situation is ongoing in-country, please speak to one of our ICOs or call our emergency line.
Alcohol & illegal substances
We understand and appreciate that alcohol consumption can form a significant part of any of our trips, and can add to the fun, especially during post-challenge celebrations. Alcohol should be drunk responsibly, and common-sense should apply when drinking abroad.
You must not consume illegal substances of any kind during your trip. You should inform yourself on which substances are illegal in your destination country before you travel. Be warned, the penalties for drug possession in some of our destination countries are extremely severe including lengthy jail sentences and even the death penalty, whether you are a tourist or not.
All staff, reps, interns and in-country partners working for Choose a Challenge agree to drink only ever in moderation (if at all) for the duration of their posting. In addition, there will always be at least one fully sober member of our in-country team available at any time.
If you cannot contact a member of staff and you need one, please call our emergency line.
We take animal welfare extremely seriously. Whilst in-country, do not participate in or encourage any cruelty to, or mistreatment of animals of any kind.
Whilst, sadly, we can never guarantee that some organisations in the same destinations we travel to will not participate in mistreatment of animals, we can (and do) discourage it in all its forms, and we do not work with local partners who we suspect mistreat animals.
Free time during your trip
For all elements of our trips, we work extremely hard with our in-country teams to ensure your safety throughout. Of course, when you have free time built into your itinerary - for example, in Cusco before your Machu Picchu trek, or in Zanzibar after your Kilimanjaro trek - you are welcome to spend your time as you please.
Do note though, that we cannot control for risks associated with activities unrelated to your trip, which you may choose to undertake during free time. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are satisfied that any activities you undertake during this free time are safe, and we will not accept liability for incidents that occur in circumstances where you have opted to undertake dangerous activities in your allocated free time.
Local people & communities
We are extremely proud of the partnerships we have in local communities all over the world.
Our in-country teams are made up of local people, with expert local knowledge and a genuine passion for the sites and communities in which they are based. We do not send Western guides over to our destinations to run the trips for them.
All of our guides, porters and support staff are paid a fair wage and we operate strict limits on how much weight they are permitted to carry. We also encourage travellers to tip appropriately in each destination country.
To support the local community when you arrive in-country, consider purchasing local goods or contributing to local organisations who work to benefit the local people.
Minimising your impact
Our team work extremely hard to ensure that our travellers, partners, suppliers and staff observe ethical practice to minimise the impact of travel on the environment.
We’re very proud of our Travellers Against Plastic (TAP) pledge, and we hope you are too. You should always look to minimise your impact wherever you travel. Consider carbon-offsetting your flights, buying local goods in-country, and saying ‘no’ to plastic waste.
For more of our tips on minimising your environmental impact, see your Challenge Briefing Pack, or visit our blog at chooseachallenge.com/blog.
Our staff & interns
Choose a Challenge is a community of like-minded adventurers, and we’re very proud of this.
We carefully select and train our interns - many of whom have travelled with us as a participant before - to ensure that they can provide the best quality of care and assistance to our groups in-country.
All of our staff, partners, interns, whether in-country or in our London or New York HQs, deserve to be treated with respect. Please follow their instructions, learn from their guidance, and enjoy their company. They are there to support you.
One of the amazing things about travel is that it brings people together. Making new friends and forming new relationships is a cornerstone of travel, and we would never change or discourage the forming of consensual physical relationships amongst travellers.
During your trip, all staff, reps, interns and in-country partners working for Choose a Challenge agree to a Code of Conduct which prohibits them from forming physical or romantic relationships with participants for the duration of their posting. We believe this promotes professional, friendly customer service and support in-country.
If you feel that these standards of professionalism have not been met, or you feel uncomfortable due to the behaviour of someone claiming to represent Choose a Challenge, please contact us.
Reports will be treated confidentially.
Be wary of the dangers of open water, and observe common-sense pool and water safety whenever you travel. Where there are rules for the swimming pool in your accommodation, follow them.
Be aware that, if you are swimming in the sea, dangerous currents and riptides may be present, and you should only swim at a depth or distance from the shore which is appropriate for your skill-level.
We are careful to ensure that the risks associated with pools and open water which feature in or near our itineraries are carefully controlled. Please ensure you are familiar with your own responsibility to behave appropriately and safely around bodies of water.
Consequences for non-adherence
If we discover that whilst travelling with us you have made a serious violation of this Traveller Conduct Policy, we reserve the right to remove you from the trip, with no right to refund or compensation from us.
We may also contact local authorities and seek other action deemed appropriate, such as legal action or reporting your behaviour to your university or Students’ Union. If you are removed from our itinerary you will be responsible for all accommodation, travel, and other costs relating to your removal.
The full details of this can be found in our Terms.