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Open Challenges

An open challenge is a trip that anyone can take part in. You can join because you fancy an adventure holiday with a difference or to support a charity of your choice. There is a set departure date and the trip is open to individuals as well as groups who wish to partake in an adventure together.

If you are a charity, you can get involved by offering open challenges to your supporters so they can sign up and raise money for your cause.

We offer a range of trips to a variety of destinations. Please visit our open challenges page for more information.

Most people join our open challenges on their own as an invidiual, however some join with a friend or as part of a group. Please don’t be put off by joining as an individual.

You’ll be travelling with a group of like-minded people who also chose to join a holiday with a difference, and a UK Tour Manager will be with you every step of the way. We provide opportunities to bond with your fellow adventurers, such as team meals and many of our previous participants have let us know that they’ve made new friends for life! You might join as an individual but you’ll leave as part of a team.

Absolutely! Our challenges are also open to anyone who wants to raise money for a charity of their choice.

There are two standard payment options; self-funded (where you pay your travel costs yourself and can fundraise separately) and fundraising (where you fundraise to cover a substantial donation to charity and your travel costs). If you choose the self-funded payment option your charity of choice may request that you to fundraise a minimum amount for them; if they don’t you are encouraged to fundraise as much as you can.

If you are from a charity and want to encourage your supporters to get involved in a challenge without organising a bespoke event, open challenges are for you. You are not required to recruit a certain number of people; you can sign up 1 or 20+! All we ask is that you promote the challenge to your supporters as actively as if it were your own bespoke trip and you will have no problems recruiting lots of participants.

Helping with a project is a great way to interact with the local community and learn the culture and customs of the people as well as making a difference to the lives of others. Getting involved at a project allows participants to see first hand the difference that can be made if people work together. And it’s a chance to give a little something back to the communities who welcome us so warmly.

Project work is also an opportunity to help a group bond as days spent at a project allows a team to get to know one another (if done prior to the physical activity – trek/cycle etc), or enjoy the final days of each other’s company before going home (if done after the physical activity). Another benefit for participants is where in certain destinations a group are taking on an extreme challenge, it allows the opportunity for rest or acclimatisation prior to the physical challenge or a chance to unwind if the project takes place after their challenge.

If you’re fundraising for charity, it will also…

  • avoid ‘free holiday’ syndrome, whereby participants find it hard to overcome the impression that their sponsors are simply paying for a free holiday.
  • encourage local media interest which is often greater when there is a non-local angle on the story and can help fundraising participants increase potential sponsorship income.

All our prices vary depending on the trip and destination. Please click on the particular challenge you are interested in for information on costs and ways to pay or feel free to contact us for more details.

Unlike some companies, our pricing is inclusive of international flights* and all taxes, service charges and fuel supplements. We also include all accommodation, meals and entrance fees as mentioned on the trip itinerary along with any relevant trekking permits. Most of all, we work alongside local agents to ensure each trip is accompanied by an experienced local English speaking guide as well as a UK Tour Manager to look after you from start to finish.

Please refer to the ‘Costs + How to Pay’ tab on your particular challenge to see exactly what’s included on your trip.

*International flights are included where applicable. If you wish to book your own flights, please contact us for a land only cost.

Not a single penny! There are no annual fees, you do not sign up for anything and there is no commitment for you to work with us (although we find that charities enjoy their experience working with us so much they return for challenges year on year). We are here in a capacity to help you raise funds by offering fundraising challenges and we will only invoice you for the tour costs once the minimum sponsorship has been raised.

By not charging you any fees to work with us, we have an added incentive to make the trip work – if the trip is a success for you it is also a success for us!

There are plenty of companies which offer adventure travel trips and charity events, and you may have even worked or travelled with them in previous years. So what would be the benefit to you of booking a trip with The Different Travel Company? Well, we believe there are several advantages:

  • We are a small, dedicated and flexible company which offer a personal service and excellent support to our participants and charity partners.
  • As an ATOL-bonded tour operator, you know you can trust our organisation and you are ATOL-protected abroad.
  • All our staff are experienced travellers and have a passion for overseas adventures.
  • Many of our open challenges include community projects which help communities at home and abroad, which not only makes them different but gives our challenges more appeal to potential supporters if you are fundraising.
  • We offer advice on how to make your trip carbon neutral, which makes them ethical and sustainable.
  • Where possible, we work with smaller local agents in our destinations to support local businesses and often use the same expert local guides year on year who have lots of experience with our groups.
  • For charities, we offer a range of marketing support services for your challenge, and we aim to help you to make our challenges a success for you, for us, and for the local community.
  • Charities will also have a dedicated account manager so you know who to turn to for advice and help with your challenge.

Great! We’re thrilled you’ve found a trip you would like to join!

Please read through all the details on the website including information on the itinerary and how tough the trip is expected to be just to make sure you have chosen the right adventure for you. Once you’re happy, please click ‘Book Now’ and you’ll be taken to our registration form. Please complete the form and medical declaration and pay the initial deposit required. Once we have received your form and deposit we will send you a confirmation of receipt along with a trip dossier, discount voucher, training guide and fundraising guide (if applicable), it’s that easy!

Closer to your trip we will send information about your international flight (if relevant), visa requirements, suggested kit list etc as well as some useful hints and tips on how to get started with your training. We strongly recommend you begin your training at least 6 months prior to the date of departure of any trip.

Your final documents including your flight e-tickets (if relevant) will be sent to you approx. 2 weeks before the date of departure, by which time, you’ll no doubt be raring to go!

We offer a very flexible support package to meet your needs and the needs of your charity. At the very least we will provide you with print-ready marketing materials such as flyers, photographs, trip dossiers and copy for your website or newsletter if required. We also provide tips on how to effectively market the challenge and advice on how to convert enquiries to bookings.

We will put your logo onto our charity partners page with some information about your charity, and this list will be available to people who would like to choose a charity to fundraise for if they are undecided.

We can also help with fundraising ideas and payment options for your participants, such as part self-funding, part sponsorship so you achieve as much sponsorship money as possible without piling on the pressure to your supporters.

Our trips include all aspects of the tour from flights and accommodation to permits and guides. Anything which is not included is made very clear at the time of booking. We offer a full pre-departure package which includes specialist advice on what to take on your trip, advice on insurance and how to travel responsibly.

We may also offer post-trip options for those who wish to extend their trip.

As a licensed ATOL-bonded travel tour operator, you can rest assured that when you book with us, you’re protected too.

As with all our trips we need to have at least 10 participants for the trip to go ahead. If we do not reach this number, then the trip is unlikely to run. In the unlikely event of us having to cancel an open challenge we will let you know as soon as possible and work together to place team members on a suitable alternative where possible.

Hopefully you can find the answers to all your questions on our website, but if you think we’ve missed anything, please feel free to contact us.

Once you’ve found a trip to suit the needs of your charity, all we ask is that you try and encourage as many participants to join as possible by actively promoting the challenge via as many avenues as possible (e.g. your website, newsletters, social media etc). Then…

  • Once a supporter contacts you enquiring about a challenge, please email them the trip information and answer any questions they have (or you can refer questions to us).
  • Supporter completes the booking form for the challenge and pays their registration fee to us. Only when the registration fee and form is received does this constitute a booking.
  • We confirm receipt of booking form with supporter, send them a trip dossier, discount vouchers, fundraising guide, training guide etc. and inform you, the charity, of the booking and the supporter’s details.
  • You liaise directly with the supporter to offer assistance on fundraising for the challenge.
  • Supporter raises the minimum sponsorship by 12 weeks before departure.
    NB. If the supporter hasn’t raised the sponsorship by this time, they can pay the remainder themselves or cancel (all options can be discussed at the time in this case).
  • The Different Travel Company invoices you, the charity, for the tour costs for the supporter out of their minimum sponsorship and this is paid to The Different Travel Company at least 8 weeks before departure.
  • Supporter receives their pre-departure info with flight details and other specific info about the trip 8 weeks before departure.
  • Supporter receives the final tour info and flight e-tickets approx.  2 weeks before departure.
  • Supporter departs for the trip of a lifetime!