FAQs

If you want to know more, this is the place for you to get started. Here’s a compilation of the most frequently asked questions but if you have something we’ve missed out, fear not, give us a shout and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Participants Please Read This

How do I know which trip is right for me? Open or Close

The real purpose of our trips is to give you a deeper insight into areas that are of interest to you, whether it is a hobby or it is something you may be considering studying further. Therefore it is important that you sign up for the experience that you feel you can take the most from. While the thought of travelling with your friends on a trip could be a lot of fun, if you do not identify with the core theme of the trip, it is best that you give it a pass than be disappointed later. Having multiple interests is possible and also common. At times one trip can help you combine multiple interests. We offer a whole range of trips to meet different interests of young adults, if you are not sure about a particular trip, speak to one of our specialists.

Do I need any special training or preparation before getting on these trips? Open or Close

We offer a wide range of experiences and challenges on different programs and the training or preparation required depends entirely on the trip. Programs such as the Active Leadership Expeditions to the Everest Base Camp definitely require degree of physical fitness (we provide you with training plans to help you with this). The ones with the PADI Diving Certification need you to complete your theory before the trip. While there is no preparation needed for the Wildlife or Marine Internships, these are for participants who have an interest in the subject of conservation. Others, such as the theatre workshop, or topical adventures do not require any specific preparation. We do ask that each participant submits a mission statement so you are clear about what you want to accomplish for yourself from a program.

What is the typical day on a trip like? Open or Close

Typical days vary depending on the trip and to maximise on your time and experience we do start early on most days. Whether you are on a wildlife internship trip or exploring Greece, the mornings are packed with exploration and adventure, and the evenings are spent debating and discussing with fellow participants. Going through the trips in detail will give you a good idea about how your days will look.
It is very important that everyone in the group is on time so we keep up with the schedule. On most days and on all trips, not being on time can mean missing out the entire day’s activity for participants who are late.

What is the standard of accommodation on all trips? Open or Close

From local home-stays to backpackers lodges, camps and hostels – we use a range of places for our programs. Room configurations range from 2 to 6 people in a room. We do our best to offer accommodation with attached toilets but this is never guaranteed (particularly when camping / trekking). Accommodation for boys and girls is separate. In South Africa the lodge has access to a swimming pool as well as a resource room used for planning work.

What sort of food can I expect on the trip? Is vegetarian food available? Open or Close

Simple & healthy breakfast, lunches and dinners are included every day on all trips. Meals are always local and sometimes the food you eat may not be familiar to you but it is one way for global citizens to experience local cuisine so we do encourage you to be flexible and respectful to the food that is served. On camping days you may need to help with the cooking. Safe drinking water is available and bottled water is also available at most places. Vegetarian food is available on all our trips. Breakfast is usually continental style buffet with cereal, toast, jam, butter and sometimes eggs. Lunch is picnic style with sandwiches & dinners are hot meals. You can get your own snacks in a reasonable quantity or buy them along the way as these are often available, however as a courtesy to your hosts, it is expected that you also eat with the group during meal times (and not make a meal of your snack).

Can I choose the activities / work that I can participate or volunteer for? Open or Close

Our trips are meant to expose participants to different experiences and the more you do, the more you will learn. All participants are expected to participate in all planned activities so we encourage you to read up the specific itinerary in details to review if the activities are ‘your thing’. In other words, no you can’t choose the activities you can participate and not participate in.

What if I am unable to cope with the trip? Open or Close

Some of our programs are more physically challenging than others but we will explain the demands of the trips before you sign up for it so you can self-assess your ability to undertake the trip. Our experienced Trip Leaders & partners do their best to ensure that all participants have the opportunity to complete every day’s challenge. Trips that make physical demands (such as treks, cycling tours etc.) are designed to help you achieve & learn in an age appropriate manner and there is always someone with the ‘back of the pack’ to encourage you to get through the trip. Should you have a serious issue that warrants your having to turn around and cut your trip short, your Trip Leader will work with the local offices to help you to return. There is no refund for unused parts of the trip and such a mid0way departure is at a participants expense.

Will I be allowed to use my phone on the trip? Open or Close

Phones are strictly prohibited on all trips. We believe that the best engagement with the program happens when participants are fully committed to it without the distraction of mobile phones and social media. All phones will be collected by the Trip Leader on the first day of the trip and returned to you at the end of the trip. Since you will not have access to your phones, please ensure that you are carrying a camera if you would like to take pictures and an alarm clock. Gadgets like the i-Touch are also not permitted. You may carry an iPod along if you like.

Can I use the phone for photography only, without the sim-card? Open or Close

We understand that mobile phones have replaced cameras, music devices, alarm clocks and much else, so imagining life without this gadget can be hard, even if it’s only for a few days! However, we are very firm in our policy and all phones, whether they have a SIM card or not, will be taken away at the beginning of the trip and will only be returned on the last day of the trip. Please carry a camera if you would like to take pictures. Our Tour Leader will be taking loads of photos and we will share these with you at the end of the trip so, if you choose not to carry a camera, that is also fine.

Who will I be sharing my room with? Open or Close

You will be sharing your room with 4-6 other participants. Boys and girls room separately on all our trips and all rooms are pre-assigned. On some trips there is a chance that you will be sharing with other people from across the world. We encourage you to embrace this experience and use this as an opportunity to learn more about other cultures.

What is the baggage allowance on these trips? Is there any specific type of luggage I need to carry? Open or Close

The baggage allowance on all of our trips is strictly 10kgs + 5kgs hand luggage. Please note that any luggage beyond this limit will have to be given up before the start of the trip without any exceptions. We recommend that you carry a rucksack or a small suitcase that you are able to easily manage on your own. Some of the places that we stay at have no elevators and you are expected to carry your own bags to your rooms and at all other times.

What should I pack for the trip. Open or Close

We will send a detailed packing list about 3 weeks before the trip. For the active trips you can expect to receive this list about 6-8 weeks before the start of the trip since you need to break into your new shoes and be comfortable with the clothing etc.

Is working with the animals in the wild dangerous? Open or Close

Not only is working with wild animals dangerous but the very nature of outdoor travel comes with some risks. However with our skilled teams and safety protocols these are minimized. Our safety briefing to participants includes a comprehensive orientation on the work you’ll be doing as well as its significance. It is imperative for everyone to understand the importance of respecting all wildlife. It is imperative that you follow & obey the rules at all times, pay attention to your environment and apply common sense.

Why is it mandatory for me to attend the pre-trip briefing? Open or Close

The pre-trip briefing is meant to take you through details that are very important to ensure that you get the most of your experience. This is also a great chance for you to meet other trip participants who are travelling with you as well as your Trip Leader. For most participants this is a new experience and it is a good thing for everyone to get to know each other a little bit before the trip.

Will we be joining another larger group? Will there be other participants at the accommodation? Open or Close

All our trips are exclusively designed and operated for our trip participants. However on the International Wildlife and Marine Conservation Internships, to ensure the best learning, we are part of larger conservation projects and it is possible that there are participants from other parts of the world who are also volunteering or interning with the same projects as part of their curriculum. They do not follow the same program as our group.

Are trip participants allowed to go out on their own during free time? Open or Close

Most of our programs are designed to maximise on your time and each day is designed to be action packed. On most days you will be so engrossed with the new experiences, surroundings and friends, that the days will end rather quickly. All the same, should you have any down time or free time in the interest of safety and security participants are not permitted to break away from the group or venture out on their own without the supervision of your Trip Leader. This is non-negotiable clause keeping the safety of all the participants in mind.

Will I get time for other sightseeing and shopping etc.? Open or Close

While we understand that many travel experiences are expected to include local sightseeing & time for shopping, our trips are designed to provide authentic & genuine grassroot experiences that are typically located far from shopping malls. Whenever visiting local sights is an important part of your experience (such as in Topical Adventures), it will be included. Venturing out on your own is strictly prohibited on all our trips.

Will I get certificate in case I am unable to complete an Internship or Expedition? Open or Close

Each program covers different aspects of the relevant topic over a certain number of days. The depth of the topics covered and work done on each of these days varies and as such the Certificate is a recognition for having been through the whole experience and not part of it. We may however consider genuine cases where the trip had to be cut short due to unprecedented reasons and the participant has experienced at least 80% of the program.

How can I make the most of this experience? Open or Close

We believe our trips are a great opportunity to do many things – learn, grow and certainly have fun. The basic principles of how anyone achieves this is the same everywhere. For an even more wholesome experience you can also read up about the country / location you are visiting and the domain of your trip. Making the most of your experience is very easy if you follow some basic guidelines and respect other people and your environment. All our programs are a great chance to learn more about different cultures and topics, all you needs is an open mind and a willingness to learn. Similarly, we encourage you to respect the food you are served - all our meals are tasty and healthy even if they may seem a little unusual to you at first. The programs are also a great opportunity to sit around the table with participants from all over the country and sometimes the world and swap stories. Finally, being on time shows that you respect your own as well as others time. Being on time (which means 5 minutes early) for all activities means that you don’t miss out/get left behind or keep others waiting for you. Small things like this will go a long way in ensuring you and the rest of the group have a fantastic time on the trip!

Is there anything else I should be aware of? Open or Close

We’d like you to read our ‘Expectations’ from our participants which are excerpts of our Terms & Conditions.

DoTheDifferent provides educational travel programs for young adults with the aim of holistic development including making them more responsible & sensitive to their surroundings. All programs are based on group travel and participants join in from different parts of the country, and at times the world. DoTheDifferent programs maintain high standards of personal behavior on all programs and all participants are expected to abide by the authority of the Trip Leader designated by DoTheDifferent who is the final authority on the program. Participants are expected to be completely immersed in the program to benefit from the it and parents / guardians are discouraged from contacting the participants directly or indirectly as this disrupts the flow of the program and is unfair to the other participants. Please review the programs carefully before booking them as all participants are required to partake in all activities so as to benefit from the program content. Participants are expected to respect their and others time and be punctual at all times. All programs have luggage restrictions that all participants must adhere to. Usage of mobile phones during the program is strictly prohibited. We have a zero tolerance policy towards smoking, drinking and any substance abuse while on the program. Any misconduct, disruptive behavior, indiscipline, bullying, cultural disrespect, gender insensitivity, actions that put the group at any risk, breach of safety rules by the participant will result in the participant being sent back from the program at the parents / legal guardians cost. No refund will be provided in such cases and parents will be responsible for the costs of all travel and logistics from there on. Participants removed from the program on the basis of misconduct are also not eligible to receive any participation certificate from DoTheDifferent or their partners.

If You are Parent, Please Read This

What are the type of trips available for 13 to 19 year olds? Open or Close

We are all about encouraging Young Adults to learn from experiences that are simply impossible to replicate in a classroom. Broadly, we offer:

  • Wildlife and Marine Conservation Internships
  • Active Leadership Expeditions
  • Topical Adventures that revolve around History, Science, Geography etc. and
  • Special Interest Programs that are based on theatre, photography and culinary arts.

There are different programs available under each of these themes and experiences range from studying Wildlife Conservation in the African bush to attending Drama School in London. Marine Conservation with diving, trekking to the Everest Base Camp or tracing the myths and legends of Greek Mythology are some of our other programs.

How can my child benefit from joining one of these trips for young adults? Open or Close

Being a young adult is exciting but it can also be overwhelming to be at crossroads of subject choices and colleges. Teenagers today have varied interests and educational institutions are also seeking individuals who are well rounded and more aware the world they live in. Our trips give teenagers hands on exposure and the chance to: learn about alternate career opportunities, further their interest in a specific area, or develop personal traits such as their leadership skills. Our programs are a great way for young adults to have new and unique experiences in a safe, secure environment; an opportunity to acquire skills - independence, interdependence, leadership; and build empathy by getting introduced to new cultures, and engaging in community work. Our participants frequently add their participation certificates with college CVs to demonstrate their wide range of interests and learning beyond what conventional classrooms can offer.

Why do we need to pay for an Internship? Open or Close

Our internship programs are designed with partners who are engaged in volunteer work at the grassroot level with the aim of giving back to local communities. This requires a set up and involves expenses. They also engage experts in various fields who are trained and paid to facilitate learning. The trip price includes volunteer fees to cover these expenses and maintain a standard of services. Meals, transport, upkeep of accommodation, maintaining safety standards, the ability to provide emergency medical support, all come at an expense.

Who manages the #DoTheDifferent Young Adults Internships and Expeditions? Open or Close

#DoTheDifferent trips are expertly managed by Active Holiday Company, a leader in activity based travel. We work with the most reputed on ground partners and the trips are crafted by our experts in close association with organisations that are leaders in the field of the subject. For example, our wildlife & marine conservation programs are delivered in partnership with award winning organisations known for their work in conservation such as The Corbett Foundation and African Impact. The culinary internship is designed in partnership with Alain Ducasse in France who are pioneers in Culinary Education.

How safe are these trips? Open or Close

The safety of our participants is paramount. Upon arrival, the first thing they will go through is a safety briefing that lists out the dos and don'ts and also information on how to get the best from their days on the trip. It is imperative that the participants follow rules at all times. All participants are under the guidance of our expert Trip Leaders at all times. Our on-ground experts come with experience and are trained to handle any situation that the participants may encounter during the Internship. Obviously caution always needs to be taken when working with wild animals on a conservation project; however, experienced staff provide guidance throughout the trip to ensure the safety of every participant.

How do you handle medical emergencies? Open or Close

Our on-ground partners for our Internship & Expedition trips are carefully and stringently scrutinized for their processes and experience. All our programs are managed by teams who are trained and equipped to deal with all situations and each program is delivered through on-ground local experts who have tie ups with emergency operators such as medical air rescue services and competent medical practitioners. It is very important that all participants have adequate insurance to cover for unforeseen medical expenses in the unlikely event of a serious illness or accident.

How safe are the countries you visit on these internships? Open or Close

Every country in the world has some safety challenges and this includes developed & western nations. Whether developing or under-developed, our programs are always held in politically stable and safe countries. Certain news can sometimes raise concerns, however, the safety of our participants is above everything else and, should an extreme situation arise while they are on a trip, our protocol requires that the participants are removed from that country or region immediately.

How much money should my child carry? Are there any other costs we need to consider? Open or Close

Nearly all our trips are all inclusive and when they are not, the cost of all optional activities or other essential expenses are clearly laid out. Accommodation, transport, all meals, pick up and drops to the airport etc. are always included. Certain optional experiences may cost extra and can be pre-paid. Cost of telephone, internet, wi-fi and personal expenses such as snacks, chocolates, souvenirs are not included and occasionally an odd experience may be at own expense. You also need to factor in travel expenses – such as meals at the airport. The exact amount recommended depends on the country and the trip duration but our general recommendation is Euro 300 on European trips, US$200-300 on African Trips, US$200 for Asian trips and Rs.5000 for Indian trips. Each participant is responsible for their belongings on the trip except for emergency funds (if needed) that need to be handed over the to the Trip Leader (in cash) on returnable basis. More details will be given to you after you sign up for the trip

Can I send snacks with my child? Open or Close

While participants can carry (a very small stock of) snacks and chocolates, these are not meant to substitute meals that are served during the trip. There is adequate food available on the trips and a very big part of the travel experience is for our participants to sample and adjust to different types of food available in different parts of the world. That’s what it means to be a world citizen. You are doing your child a dis-service by sending quick meals such as cup noodles and other meal substitutes and we strongly discourage it. Plus, please remember that we are very particular about the total baggage allowance not exceeding 10kgs and the snacks must be included in this luggage allowance.

Is there a Trip Leader from India on all the trips? How does the airport pick up work? Open or Close

Each trip has a Trip Leader traveling from India and all of our Trip Leaders have very interesting backgrounds that integrate with the trip style. The Trip Leader travels on the suggested group flights which could be from any metro city in India. Should you choose to book your child on a different flight, the Trip Leader will meet up with your child at the airport from where they will become part of the group. Please ensure your child arrives and departs within the time band given by us. Please check with us before booking flight tickets.

What if a participant takes ill / gets injured? Open or Close

It is unlikely but not impossible that a participant may get ill or injured during the trip (and this is a possibility even when your child is under your expert care). Our Trip Leaders are equipped with comprehensive medical kits and can deal with most minor medical issues. Should the situation demand, our Trip Leaders will work with our local partners to ensure that the child receives immediate medical assistance and in extremely rare circumstances, should the situation turn serious, we will repatriate the participant by using the insurance policy. The parents will always have the latest updates from us on the child under these circumstances.

How do I know where my child is? How can I contact my child? Open or Close

Each participant will receive detailed travel documents, which will include details of the trip as well as how to prepare and what to expect on the trip. This document will also include the contact of the Trip Leader (to be used only in case of an emergency). To ensure engagement with the program, participants are strictly not permitted to carry a mobile phone on the trip and you will not be able to communicate directly with your child for the duration of the trip.

4 to 5 days before departure we also create a WhatsApp group with all the parents and we will endeavour to post updates received from our Trip Leaders every other day (their location network permitting). Please know that many places do not offer the same connectivity that you may be accustomed to in your city. Therefore, it may be difficult to reach even the Trip Leader at times. Moreover, our protocol states that the welfare and well-being of the participants is a higher priority for our Trip Leaders than providing daily updates. However, in case of a real emergency, parents may call the Trip Leader or contact our office so we can arrange for your child to contact you. Parents are not allowed to meet their child/visit the internship site during the duration of the trip without any exception.

Is there anything else I should be aware of? Open or Close

We’d like you to read our ‘Expectations’ from our participants which are excerpts of our Terms & Conditions.

DoTheDifferent provides educational travel programs for young adults with the aim of holistic development including making them more responsible & sensitive to their surroundings. All programs are based on group travel and participants join in from different parts of the country, and at times the world. DoTheDifferent programs maintain high standards of personal behavior on all programs and all participants are expected to abide by the authority of the Trip Leader designated by DoTheDifferent who is the final authority on the program. Participants are expected to be completely immersed in the program to benefit from the it and parents / guardians are discouraged from contacting the participants directly or indirectly as this disrupts the flow of the program and is unfair to the other participants. Please review the programs carefully before booking them as all participants are required to partake in all activities so as to benefit from the program content. Participants are expected to respect their and others time and be punctual at all times. All programs have luggage restrictions that all participants must adhere to. Usage of mobile phones during the program is strictly prohibited. We have a zero tolerance policy towards smoking, drinking and any substance abuse while on the program. Any misconduct, disruptive behavior, indiscipline, bullying, cultural disrespect, gender insensitivity, actions that put the group at any risk, breach of safety rules by the participant will result in the participant being sent back from the program at the parents / legal guardians cost. No refund will be provided in such cases and parents will be responsible for the costs of all travel and logistics from there on. Participants removed from the program on the basis of misconduct are also not eligible to receive any participation certificate from DoTheDifferent or their partners.