Are you booked on an expedition this summer? Or perhaps you’re considering reserving a place for 2024 but want to know a little more about the whole travel malarkey. Well, you’ve come to the right place; read on to learn Opwall’s latest travel advice rather than just wing it!
Step 1: Book your international flight!
You are responsible for organising your international travel, so getting from your home country to the expedition country. We are on hand to help you with this process though so don’t worry.
It is incredibly important that you know which international airport you need to arrive to and depart from, what day you need to arrive and depart, and at what time.
All of this information can be found on the resources page for your expedition country on our website, under the specific travel advice page.
If you are at all unsure, please contact the travel team at firstname.lastname@example.org before booking.
FAQ: I need to arrive into South Africa for 10am on Friday, but flights don’t arrive until 11am. Is this okay?
We often get asked this question and how flexible our arrival (the latest you can arrive at the international airport), and departure (the earliest you can depart from the international airport) times are. The short answer is these queries are assessed on a case-by-case basis so please make sure you contact the travel team before booking any flights that fall outside of these specified times. Sometimes we are able to make exceptions, or we can book private transfers at an additional cost to yourself, but other times we simply don’t have any wiggle room.
FAQ: Where would you recommend we book our flights?
We frequently get asked this question at Head Office, ‘where can I get the cheapest flights?’ and we don’t blame you for asking. Everyone wants to make sure they’re getting the best deal on their flights! We don’t have a single, top site that we recommend, but we do have a few top tips for our volunteers.
Firstly, always shop around and check the prices across a few different sites; good places to start are Skyscanner, Expedia and Trip UK. A little trick, make sure you are in cognito mode on your search browser as this means when you come back to look at flights, the prices won’t automatically be higher.
Secondly, it is always worth looking at booking flights directly with the airline too, such as British Airways or Ryanair, as they can sometimes be cheaper as there isn’t an added service fee.
Thirdly, we do have a travel partner called ISON Travel who are on hand to help you with your flights. To find out more or get a quote from ISON Travel, email email@example.com.
FAQ: I am travelling after my expedition, but the Opwall Portal won’t let me add my flights.
If you are travelling before or after your expedition then it may not let you enter your flight details if they are too far in advance or too far after your expedition. If this is the case then email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to upload them to the portal manually for you.
FAQ: Do I book my flight before I hear from the internal travel team?
Yes! Please do! The internal travel team won’t contact you to arrange your internal travel package until you have booked your international flights and added these to your Opwall Portal. Speaking of internal travel…
Step 2: Organise your internal travel through us!
Don’t fret, we don’t leave all of the travel arrangements up to you. We help to organise your internal travel which is the travel from the in-country airport to the starting point of your expedition, and then back to the airport at the end of your trip.
Most of the countries we work in are remote and hard to reach using public transport, hence we help organise this in-country part for you. The length of internal travel varies from country to country, from a simple bus journey in Croatia, to a few days of travel in Indonesia with flights, boats, and buses! Remember to look at the internal travel section on the travel advice page for your expedition country to find out specific information.
FAQ: How long does it usually take someone to get in contact about internal travel?
Once you have uploaded your flights onto your Opwall Portal, the internal travel team will aim to contact you ASAP. Internal travel quotes are sent out from February onwards, with the deadline for organising internal travel being the end of April. Please bear with us though, we have a large number of volunteers to help out and invoice.
FAQ: If I arrive two days earlier, where do I meet the Opwall Team?
Don’t worry if the best flights you can find arrive a day or two early or depart a day later, we can organise any extra night’s accommodation if needed either side. The advantage of using our travel partners for each accommodation is that we only use reputable companies for both the transport and hotels, and you will have a representative with you the entire time in case of any issues. However, if you would rather organise your own accommodation pre- or post-expedition, we can help create customised internal travel packages and give you a specific time and location to meet the Opwall Team!
FAQ: I am happy to go ahead with the internal travel quote, where do I pay for it?
Once you have approved the internal travel quote, we will get everything booked! The invoice will only appear on your Opwall Portal (the same as your expedition payments) once you have confirmed you are happy to proceed. Your internal travel must be paid 8 weeks before your expedition start date!
We hope this has helped to clear up any of your travel queries! One final thing to mention is insurance! Make sure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and make sure you get this now, so it covers you in the unlikely event that you have to cancel your expedition last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. We recommend sourcing a comprehensive policy which covers medical expenses and repatriation, delays or cancellations to your international travel, lost luggage, and if you are planning on bringing something like a camera or other expensive equipment loss or damage to personal belongings. If you are joining an expedition which includes a marine week and diving, you will also need to be covered for SCUBA diving. Remember to upload the details of your insurance policy on your Opwall Portal too once it’s finalised!
FAQ: I have found insurance that covers me for diving, but only to a maximum depth of 30. Is this okay?
Yes, this type of insurance cover is absolutely fine. In accordance with PADI and Opwall Dive Standards, the maximum depth you will be diving to is 18m, even if your certification allows you to dive deeper. The only exception to this is for the Advanced Open Water which students are able to complete at some of our expedition sites in certain circumstances. In this instance, the maximum depth for the deep dive is increased to 30m.
If you have any questions or queries, or just want some general advice remember you can always reach out to our flights team (email@example.com) or our internal travel team (firstname.lastname@example.org). We can’t wait for you to join us in the field on an Opwall expedition soon!
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