Corona virus alert - Everything you need to know about how the global Covid-19 pandemic is affecting Kaya programs.

These are challenging times across the globe. The situation continues to change daily as we deal with the spread of Covid-19, and the resulting travel restrictions being put in place. With that, even the experts can’t tell us how long this will last and we can’t promise when we will all once again be off on our responsible travels.

However…what we can say for sure is that it WILL eventually end, and as soon as it does, our communities will be eagerly awaiting the return of Kaya participants.

To support our eager travellers in moving forward with their plans during this time of uncertainty, we want to give you the confidence to start planning and selecting your volunteer program, internship, or study abroad placement.

After social distancing and self-isolation, you will once again be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So… we are offering all interested travellers a zero deposit option. We are still very much here, ready to connect with you, and to discuss your perfect location and program. You can then book your placement, whether for later this year, or for 2021, and you won’t pay ANY fees until we can confirm and agree dates for your future placement.

Further to this, if fees either increase or decrease between now and when we secure your placement, we will guarantee you the lowest price for when you do come to pay down the line.

How will this work?

  • Browse our programs online or contact a Kaya Placement Advisor to discuss the programs you are interested in joining
  • Conduct a placement interview in which we discuss your program options, our approach to volunteering, service and internship work
  • Complete your application, selecting your ideal program, and give us an idea of when you may want to travel
  • Once international travel becomes more stable, we will contact you to discuss potential dates for your program
  • If, at that time, you want to confirm your dates, ONLY THEN will we request a deposit payment (or full program payment if you plan to travel in the following 6 weeks)
  • If those dates don’t work for you, then cancel your application without any financial commitment

As experts in travel, we also want to keep you updated on what we know – and what we don’t. Here are the questions we CAN confidently answer.

Is Kaya Responsible Travel taking bookings right now?

Yes! We certainly are. Whilst an awful lot of travel restrictions and project closure currently apply, that DOESN’T mean that you can’t start planning for when you CAN get away. And after being cooped up, and seeing many communities struggle in the absence of visitors, goodness knows that we’re going to need it!

If I book now, is it refundable?

In light of the current climate regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have completely waived our deposits for new bookings. Therefore, you can book your place now, and not pay any fees until you can confirm dates in the future. It’s better than a refund!

Is it wise to be booking now?

Absolutely. If you are booking, and planning for the future, it means that you are using this time to do all your research whilst stuck in isolation. You are ensuring you book your placement at the lowest price if fees increase for 2021, and you are giving yourself something to look forward to – all without risking any money.

And if you are choosing one of our more popular placements, you will be given first refusal on any placement once travel returns to normal and placements fill up.
Furthermore, you can give hope to the project at your destination that support will return for them, and that there are people who still want to support global issues, just as soon as they can make it there!

What can I book for now?

Anything! All of our destinations have ongoing work, but are currently limited by our inability to travel to them. Once it is safe and feasible to return, our project teams look forward to welcoming back the eager volunteers and interns. At this time there are some countries without border restrictions, but as outbound travel becomes more restricted in the UK, Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and other locations, we are advising people not to travel until restrictions are lifted. Some countries may return to normal before others and we will keep abreast of the situations domestically, and at our Kaya locations. In the meantime, all programs and locations are open for future bookings.

What happens if things change while I am abroad?

The last few weeks have seen us assist many Kaya participants who were abroad when rules and regulations changed. ALL of our participants have shared with us their stories of how supportive our ground teams have been, and how quickly they were able to get them home, or adapt their situations where necessary. Many of those who departed are planning to return as soon as restrictions are lifted, and can’t wait to get back on the ground. We hope that our future participants will see a reduction in disruption, but we know that our emergency protocols have been tested and they work! We are encouraging all participants to wait until the travel landscape is less volatile to avoid being affected while away, but if the situation changes, know that the Kaya team has already proven to have great people and great systems in place to react.

What happens if I have already booked my program and now am unable to travel?

For those already booked on a Kaya program who have found themselves impacted by travel restrictions, we revised our terms and conditions to enable greater flexibility. We called these the Kaya Amended Coronavirus Terms – Kaya ACT. Read more about those at this link.

Here are the questions we CAN’T answer for now!

When will travel bans end?

The truth is that right now, nobody knows. The next few weeks might give us some more clarity, or it may take many more months before we can see the end of the crisis. All we can do is remain flexible and ready for when things finally settle down. Rest assured, we are keeping a very close eye on any updates, and will be very happy when we can finally answer this question.

Will I need extra visas?

The answer to this changes daily at the moment. We can tell you what the visa requirements are for your location on any given day, but those are changing with travel restrictions. Once those are lifted, we will have a better idea of which visas, if any, are needed for your location.

How can I protect myself with regards to flights, insurance, etc.?

Currently, travel and medical insurances are available as usual, HOWEVER, since March 11th, when the global pandemic was officially announced, insurance companies are identifying Covid-19 as a “known risk” and are not insuring against medical or travel incidents related to this. Once the global pandemic is revoked, we expect coverage for this to resume, but we will have to wait and see how the insurance companies react. This is part of the reason we are delaying asking for deposits and payment – to ensure you are not impacted financially if things do not improve.

In the meantime, airlines are operating very flexible arrangements for new bookings, so if you do decide to make a flight booking, or have a current flight booking you need to change, call the airline and discuss their policies. If you are considering insurance, ask specifically for their terms related to Coronavirus coverage.

The Kaya team will remain connected with our communities during these difficult times and wish for the best possible outcomes and a swift return to normality to all countries around the world. We hope you will join us in preparing for what we can do when that time comes.

We have released our Kaya Statement here for further reading on updated T&Cs, and we continue to update our Coronavirus (COVID-19) blog daily, found here.

Speak to a Kaya advisor today using the Chat now button in the bottom right or email us here.