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At Travellers we recognise that your son or daughter’s placement in a far away country may be a worrying time for you, and you may feel concerned about their safety. We take your child's safety extremely seriously and do all we can to ensure that our projects are safe and that 24 hour assistance is available to all our volunteers.

To help put your mind at rest we have compiled the Parent’s Safety Zone, dedicated to YOU, our Travellers volunteers’ parents and guardians, with the most common questions and answers listed below. It will hopefully answer some common safety questions and give you some guidance on what you can do to help ensure your child has a safe, worthwhile and enjoyable experience on their placement with us.

Risk Assessments: Before offering any of our projects, we do risk assessments of the country and the project that cover safety, transport, accommodation and much more. No-one can guarantee safety anywhere in the world, including on one's own residential area, but we do try to minimise risk as much as possible. Neither can we guarantee that the safety risks might not change between assessments, and change quickly, but in the vast majority of our projects we have staff on the ground who can and will react immediately to any changing safety scenario.

Travellers In-Country Staff: Unfortunately, sometimes people fall and sprain a muscle or break a bone, sometimes they get mugged or have their possessions stolen. Sometimes there are Tsunamis or a surge of civil unrest. All of these can be frightening, and more so if you're in a foreign country. We have teams of Travellers staff in all our destinations so that they can look after our volunteers in any and all situations. In the one or two destinations where we don't have our own staff, we partner with a local project organisation who delegates someone to look after the volunteers.

If you have any questions that have not been covered below, please don't hesitate to contact us by email or telephone (1-603-574-4935) - we are always happy to talk to you.

Parents Zone Home Page
Your Child's Financial Security
FAQs about Safety
FAQs About Travellers
Testimonials from Parents

 “Many thanks for your assistance in making this a smooth process, also to Lucy.  It is always a worry …more so for us as parents than for Kevin himself !! And you have always answered our queries quickly and efficiently”.     Mrs Joy, mother of Kevin Joy going to China

What safety precautions are taken when arranging the placement?

We make sure all our volunteers have extensive information available to them before they leave for their placement. Before they go we:

  1. Discuss their program with them at length to ensure as far as possible that they've made the right choice

  2. Discuss their chosen country and what the cultural differences and social climates are like.

  3. Provide them with an impressive array of information so that they have a in-depth awareness of what's expected of them, the culture that they're going to, the facilities that are available and those that may not be available, and much, much more

  4. Provide them with a Safety Book that we have put together in-house. This has general common-sense safety tips as well as some safety information on their specific destination country. (You can download the Safety Book here if you'd like to read it.)

  5. Require that all volunteers have suitable travel insurance, before finalising flights or placements.

  6. Ask for records of vaccinations.

  7. Ensure that all volunteers complete medical and placement questionnaires before they go. This is again to try to ensure that they've chosen the right Projects and right Country - that their choices will fulfil what they are looking to gain from doing the program.

  8. We inform relevant members of our overseas staff of any allergies or medical issues that he/she may have.

On arrival, our local teams give our volunteers an Induction and Introduction to their new home. These Inductions include familiarising our volunteers with the local culture, the how-to-do's, like using local transport, how to use the banks and ATMs, how to use the phones, etc. The Induction also includes safety issues specific to the region and also to the country.

"The placement is well thought out - even very detailed information on how to get to the school and the mini-bus run given by Natalia.  It made me feel more comfortable, which is obviously very important when you start a placement in a foreign country on your own." (Kim, SA volunteer)


Jim Morel, Travellers Regional Manager in Capr Town, South Africa, showing that we are very in touch with our projects!

What safety information do you provide?
  • During the arrangement of your son's/daughter's program, we allocate unique usernames and passwords for our Extranet site. On this site they can access and download a safety manual that has information about safety when travelling as well as a country manual.

  • This gives details of their chosen country’s background, culture and customs. It gives common-sense advice on what to do or not do to ensure that they minimise any safety risks. It also provides advice on what to wear, local cuisine, traditions and religions. We recommend a thorough reading of this manual for both the volunteer and yourself as this information will help you grasp more of an understanding of what your son/daughter will be experiencing.

  • All volunteers receive a detailed Induction on arrival in their destination. The Induction covers safety in the area as well as cultural norms and useful information on living in their new temporary home.

  • We also have safety advice in the Placement Guide and Country Factfile documents which are also given to all our volunteers. Our information documents can't guarantee safety, but they can help your child to take sensible precautions.

“The safety guide was very useful, and so I felt safe”… Emma, Sri Lanka volunteer

What happens when my son/daughter arrives in the country?
  1. In most cases they will be met at the airport by a member of our staff and taken to their accommodation

  2. Your son/daughter will have been given a contact number in case of problems. Any different arrangements would have been discussed with our office before departure.

  3. Soon after arrival, a member of our staff will give the volunteers a comprehensive induction about the placement and a physical orientation of the local area. This allows a smooth transition into their new surroundings and provides vital information about how to conduct themselves and act appropriately within the community.

Thank you so much for all of your help. I just want you to know how pleased we have been with everything regarding your company and Adam's trip. You have all been so informative and helpful and that has made everything seem easy…. (Adam’s mother)

Is the area where my son/daughter will be staying safe?
We monitor our destinations very carefully and make sure that safety is a priority!

Although nowhere on earth is 100% safe, our procedures and documentation are in place to give advice and prevent your son/daughter of being in danger when it can be avoided. When circumstances in a country do change (which is very rare!), as is currently happening in Kenya with its civil unrest owing to the elections, we have procedures in place to offer our volunteers alternative placements in another country.

Who are the people taking care of my son or daughter?
  • We have our own, very knowledgeable, staff in our destination countries.

  • Read up on our Head Office Team who will be making all the arrangements for your child's program

  • Read up on our Overseas Travellers Teams - These are some of the people who will be looking after your son or daughter while they're on their program overseas.

  • All of our home-stay families and volunteer accommodation have been risk assessed by our staff for suitability and safety.

We also 'vet' all our volunteers via telephone interviews and various questionnaires. This is so that we can ensure, as far as possible, that we have matched volunteer to project and vice versa. We give all our volunteers the contact details of other volunteers who are going at the same time, so that they can contact each other prior to departure and 'make friends' before they go. Thus when they arrive, they're already among friends.

How safe is the accommodation?
Our country Managers or Organisers have checked our accommodations out thoroughly for health and safety and are on call for our volunteers with any queries or concerns they may have.

Accommodation is often basic in most countries but suitable for the needs of our volunteers. We also study all feedback from our volunteers to ascertain whether additions to the existing amenities can or should be provided.

Our volunteers usually stay with host families or in hostels where other Travellers stay. Sometimes we have houses or apartments that we rent and that are shared by our volunteers. This gives added security of having other like-minded people around and sometimes your son/daughter will meet other Travellers, who will be able to pass on their wisdom and stories about their own adventures.

One of the carefully selected volunteer accommodations.

Where is the nearest hospital, police station?
With all of our projects, we make sure that the best options for emergency contact are readily available to our volunteers. These are usually provided in the Induction they receive on arrival and are also on posters which have been hung on boards or walls in their accommodation.
How will they get to and from their project?
  1. Volunteers may be taken to and from their accommodation and the project with other volunteers by bus, van or a mini-bus by drivers that we employ.
  2. On some projects our volunteers make use of public transport. If this is the case, then full instructions are given and volunteers are usually taken on their first trips by our staff.
  3. All public transport links used have been thoroughly tried and tested by one of our staff members for safety.

The Travellers school bus in Knysna, SA

What can I do to help my son or daughter before they leave?
Encourage them to read all the documentation supplied by Travellers - this is very important because it contains lots of vital information tht they will need both before and during their program.

Encourage them to get organised in advance by sending the UK office all of the information required (but without actually doing it for them, as this is all part of gaining experience and independence). We need this information to ensure that your child's project will run smoothly. Some of the information we ask for is to satisfy ourselves that they have, for example, adequate insurance. Some of the information may be required for us to pass on to our local staff, such as specific medical requirements, like allergies. Again, this is to ensure that we act in the most effective manner should your child accidentally consume something they are allergic to.

Visa application, vaccinations and insurance sometimes take time so it is best to deal with these as soon as possible, instead of trying to rush them a few days before your son/daughter’s departure.

"All the resources are provided and those around offer great support. The most important aspect of my volunteer was the warm family environment. The supervisor, Jorge was incredible. We met each day and any problems where sorted straight away. Sylvia and her family were fantastic, I felt at home as soon as I walked through the door. This has got to be the best hospitality around. You become part of this wonderful family who support you in your work and travel." Katie

What support can we expect from Travellers?
Travellers have been sending volunteers overseas since 1994, which means that we have a wealth of experience and good practice to draw upon.

We keep a constant watch on worldwide events and inform all of our staff about any issues that could possibly affect our volunteers or the location they're in. We are informed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as soon as there is a change to their advice on our destination countries.

Our staff in the UK also keeps touch via email and our easily contactable local organisers will see to any concerns or questions the volunteer may have. And of course, our UK office is always here if our volunteers have any questions or concerns that can't be dealt with by our overseas staff.

“Many thanks for your assistance in making this a smooth process. It is always a worry …more so for us as parents!! And you have always answered our queries quickly and efficiently”

What happens if something goes wrong?
Our emergency phone number (0771 753 2522) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for volunteers and their families.
The overseas Travellers team is always available for help in an emergency and can provide support and a friendly, comforting face. We have a UK team in the office Monday to Friday 9.30 to 5.30 to answer any calls from volunteers overseas who have problems with flights, money etc.
Can I contact you?

We are very happy to speak with volunteers’ parents so please contact us if you have any further questions. However, please remember that due to data protection laws we are only allowed to discuss our volunteer’s details with the volunteer him/herself, unless he or she gives us their permission to talk to a parent or third party. This is so that we protect your son/daughter’s personal information!

“I'd also like to say a big thank you to you for helping him with everything - before and during his placement - it was nice to know that we could contact you so easily and that you could action everything so easily.” – China Volunteer's Parent.

And finally …..
The vast majority of our volunteers have a safe and enjoyable placement, without any problems. However, you may rest assured that should a problem arise, Travellers Worldwide will do their very best to resolve the issue.

“By the way I have been super-glad for all the help that I have received from you and Jenny.
I have felt very "taken-care-of" and safe all through the preparations, so thanks a lot for that to both of you."
Tine Eldrup, Malaysia.

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