Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) about i am VolunTourismSM programs. We welcome your emails about anything else that you wish to know. Feel free to visit our contact page. We will reply either by email or phone to your queries so make sure to leave your contact information for a quick response.
What do charges include?
Our charges are almost all-inclusive. Almost, because we allow you to determine how and how much you wish to spend on some outings. Additionally, the cost of airfare, spending money, souvenirs and add-ons are not included. Everything else such as most meals, accommodation, travel and medical insurance, airport transfers both ways, ground transportation, a local tour and community project expenses are covered in our fees. These fees make it possible to provide you with a quality experience while ensuring that programs are well supported.
Are there set dates for trips? Can I travel at any time?
Yes there are set dates and you have the choice of several dates throughout the year for vacation and volunteer trips. You may also set your own date and organize your own group trip under our Build Your Own Program option. With the exception of our camp programs we accept volunteers on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The earlier you reserve your travel dates with us the better but registering at least 6 weeks in advance enables us to receive and process your application in a timely way and to make the necessary preparations.
When are registration and payment cut-off dates for trips?
Registration and payments for trips must be completed no later than 3 weeks in advance of travel. However, we recommend aiming to complete registration and payment at least 1 month before your trip. Build Your Own Program and some customized camp programs may require registration and payment at least 6 weeks in advance to allow time for preparations.
What is the organization's policy on payments?
All payments for trips should be received in full at least 3 weeks in advance of the travel date. This includes all final deposit payments by credit card. All final deposit payments by check must be received 4 weeks in advance of the travel date to allow sufficient time for bank transactions. Cash payments are not accepted.
i am VolunTourism is unable to confirm reservations until payments are received in full and final deposit payments have been completed. Late payments may result in late cancellations. Late cancellations or changes in reservations will incur charges in keeping with our cancellation policy except in cases of sudden illness or death, in which instance proof must be provided. 100% refunds are not possible even under such circumstances as costs are incurred as soon as registration for a program begins. However, we aim to reduce charges as much as possible. See our cancellation policy.
Electronic receipts, or E-Receipts, are generated instantly for all credit card payments as proof of purchase. E-Receipts for check payments are emailed once checks have been cleared.
Registration Confirmations and Receipts
- Your registration and trip reservation will be confirmed by email. We advise that you book your flights after receiving this confirmation email.
- An E-Receipt will be emailed to you as soon as the details of your reservation have been confirmed and/ or all your supporting information and payment have been received by us. We will provide you with the necessary information about your trip along with the E-Receipt. For your convenience the contact information for your local trip host will also be included. On the day of your trip please present your E-Receipt along with your valid photo ID. The E-Receipt is your proof of purchase so please make sure to print a copy and carry it with you.
- Non Refundable Deposit: The $100 program registration/booking fee which is non refundable. No exceptions.
- Medical Cancellations: An original doctor's note signed by your physician is required for cancellations made due to medical reasons. A full refund will be given minus the $100 non refundable registration fee and any unavoidable customized program expenses.
- 42 Day Cancellation: All cancellations made 42 days or 6 weeks before the start of the program will be refunded 80% of the program cost (if paid in full). The $100 non refundable registration/booking fee is not included.
- 30 Day Cancellation: All cancellations made 30 days or 4 weeks prior to the start of the program will receive 50% refund of the program cost (if paid in full).
- 21 Day Cancellation: No refunds will be given when a cancellation is made within 21 days or 3 weeks of start of a program. No exceptions.
Please read this policy carefully. This policy takes effect once you complete registration. Please understand that once your reservation is received your registration may exclude other people from participating in a program, due to room and space availability. Additionally, we hire staff, reserve accommodations, and purchase supplies based on anticipated participation and because of these and other costs we cannot give full refunds for most cancellations.
There are no refunds for voluntary withdrawal from programs, for campers expelled for inappropriate behavior at camp, or for injuries sustained prior to camp or at camp. We are also unable to issue a credit for any future programs. All requests for refunds must be sent to us through our Refund Request Form.
What is the organization's policy on refund?
Please see our cancellation and refund policy statements above.
What type of travel experience does Jamaica offer?
Jamaica is a perfect destination for volunteers and travelers looking for varied experiences with friendly people. From quaint rural communities to a vibrant urban and music culture, from excitement and adventure to nature treks and hammocks swinging in the shade, Jamaica offers something special for every type of traveler. Jamaicans are the unique ingredient that makes the experience of the island's rich heritage and beauty memorable for a lifetime. Our volunteer projects provide interaction with Jamaicans as part of a natural, equitable, and fulfilling exchange. The opportunities for fun, relaxation, discovery and 'giving forward' are endless.
Will electronic devices work there?
Jamaica's electricity supply voltage is 110 -120V, the same as US and Canada. 3-prong or 3-pin outlet plugs are standard. We recommend that Europeans travel with their own adapters as their appliances are built for 220 -240V and use different plugs and frequencies. As a rule electronic items will not run as efficiently across different frequencies but this is especially so for clocks and equipment with motors. Although the voltages for Jamaica, US and Canada are the same, the frequencies (usually written in hertz or 'Hz') are slightly different. If you are in doubt or are traveling with expensive or sensitive equipment check the voltage and frequency information listed on the device or in the manual. You may have to purchase an adapter.
These websites may be useful for more information:
Who participates in i am VolunTourism trips and projects?
An international mix of persons of different ages, backgrounds and stages of life participate in i am VolunTourism trips including students and instructors from all levels (minimum age for kids' travel camps is 7 years; maximum age for adult trips is 75 years), persons of various career backgrounds and retirees. People across age groups and from diverse backgrounds also travel with us to simply volunteer.
What types of programs are available?
You can get involved in service learning, study abroad and camp-based programs while volunteering as a dancer, photographer, musician, artist, journalism student, athlete, coach (soccer, track, volley ball, tennis, field hockey, swimming and basketball), tutor (reading, SAT or PSAT prep), wellness instructor (yoga, tai chi chuan, qi gong), trained lifeguard, web designer, journalist, marketing specialist, accountant, plumber, mason, carpenter, librarian, environmental researcher, retired, active or student nurse. Special projects can be facilitated on request for persons preparing dissertations and research papers.
Where do trips and projects go?
Programs are available in selected rural and urban communities in Jamaica. See program brochures for specific trips and destinations. Other Caribbean and regional communities will be included in the near future.
Where does my money go?
65% of volunteer contributions go toward expedition costs, 15% to safety and trips, 10% for promoting trips, 7% for empowerment camps and 3% to expenses including medical and evacuation insurance.
What results have the projects achieved?
i am VolunTourism has empowered over 1000 low income and underserved students and athletes in summer camps and workshops and has provided scholarship opportunities to preparatory schools and colleges. Read more about Sidi Genus, an i am VolunTourism Sports Ambassador on scholarship who was recruited and developed during summer camps.
Camping is a highly beneficial, enjoyable and educational activity that builds a wide range of skills during the holidays. Read more on the benefits of camping by the American Camping Association.