UK: +44 (0)1903 502595 | USA: 1-603-574-4935

Organising Voluntary Projects, Internships and Gap Years since 1994.



This Zone is solely for you as parents and guardians of children who are doing, or want to do, a programme with Travellers. They will be in a foreign country and you will no doubt worry! The best thing you can do is fully acquaint yourself with where they're going, how they'll be looked after, how safe they'll be and who they're going with.

Here we answer all your questions, fill in Travellers' background and reassure you that your children are in safe hands with us!

For most first-time travellers, choosing where to go can be daunting and confusing and they need help and advice. This is why our Country Consultants offer a free, no-obligation service to anyone who wants advice on choosing the best place and the most suitable projects for them. And, along with our in-country support staff, they continue to give assistance for the duration of your child's stay.

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.

Travellers is proud to say that we are a Founder Member of the Year Out Group, which was set up to monitor the practices of organisations like us to ensure that they provide structured, well organised projects to volunteers. YOG was formed in 1998 "to promote the concept and benefits of well-structured year out programmes, to promote models of good practice and to help young people and their advisers in selecting suitable and worthwhile projects."

To be a member of the Year Out Group, members must comply with the following conditions (Travellers contributed significantly to the drawing up of these conditions):

  • The YOG Code of Practice and Terms and Conditions
  • The YOG Charter, signed up to each year
  • Provide annual Accounts
  • Have a crisis and risk policy in place, together with trained staff
  • Have public liability insurance of at least £2 million
  • Organisations that comply with these conditions give volunteers the re-assurance and support that may be essential and will provide help and assistance if required.

"I will focus on two significant issues which gave me great comfort as a Mother with a boy in South Africa. RJ's first placement was at a township school in Knysna (on the Indian Ocean) working with the students in the areas of voice and guitar. He lived in a home with other volunteers, not with a family. Shortly after arriving he could not find his wallet. He went through the usual retracing of steps etc. He had no money or credit cards at that point. Luckily he had his passport. Travellers Worldwide facilitated the transfer of funds, accommodating RJ in every way possible during this time. When I thanked them in emails and apologized for the bother, their response was always, "that is why we are here." Subsequently they also made sure that the replacement credit card I sent went to them at a secure address.

My second and perhaps more important reason for so respecting this organization is their suggestion that RJ change his plans for the second month of his stay in South Africa. About two weeks into his placement at the township school he found out that the other volunteers were leaving early. RJ would have been the only volunteer left for the second month.

RJ assumed he would just deal with this, but Travellers approached him with several alternative placements as soon as they realized he would be the only volunteer. They took the initiative on this, recognizing that this would be a lonely experience for him during his free time. They found a placement for him which worked with his pre-scheduled flight to Cape Town at the end of that second month. He worked at a wildlife sanctuary experiencing a totally different side of South Africa than during his month at the township school. If anything I would say this second placement stands out more for him in hindsight, although, during the first he would report to us how rewarding it was to teach and see the children progress. He is planning on a teaching career in the Performing Arts (he is now a sophomore at Middlebury College), so clearly the experience was positive." From Anne Adler, Richard Adler's mother (South Africa Volunteer)

Read up on our Head Office Team and our Overseas Travellers Teams.


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 at or telephone (+44 (0)1903 502595) - we are always happy to talk to you.

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

  • Discuss their Programme with them at length to ensure as far as possible that they've made the right choice.
  • Discuss their chosen country and what the cultural differences and social climates are like.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • Require that all volunteers have suitable travel insurance, before finalising flights or placements.
  • Ask for records of vaccinations.
  • 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 Programme.
  • 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)


  • During the arrangement of your child's programme, 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.


  • In most cases they will be met at the airport by a member of our staff and taken to their accommodation.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 happened recently in Kenya with its civil unrest, we have procedures in place to offer our volunteers alternative placements in another country, as well as procedures to move them out of the country if we deem it necessary for their safety.

Our country Managers 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.

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. Similar information is also in the documentation they are provided with during the arrangement process.


  • Volunteers may be taken to and from their accommodation and the project with other volunteers by bus, van or a mini-bus by drivers whom we vet before we employ.
  • On many 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.
  • All public transport links used have been thoroughly tried and tested by one of our staff members for safety.


  • Encourage them to read all the documentation supplied by Travellers - this is very important because it contains lots of vital information that they will need both before and during their programme. It will also ensure that they are prepared for the type of culture and life they are about to embark on.
  • Encourage them to get organised in advance by sending the UK office all of the information required 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.
  • Don't do it for them! Encourage them to do all the preparation themselves - this is all part of gaining experience and independence and one of the many benefits of doing a structured placement abroad.
  • Visa application, vaccinations and insurance sometimes take time and if they need your help with this, it's best to deal with these as soon as possible, instead of trying to rush them a few days before your child's departure.

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 managers and representatives 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.

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.

Yes, please do. We are very happy to speak with you, 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!


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.


Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your children's programme or about us. We would be very happy to talk to you.

  1. How do I know that Travellers is a "real" company?
    Travellers (TravelQuest Limited) was established in 1994 and is currently celebrating its 17th year. Travellers is registered with Companies House (Registration No. 3072191). The company is one of the leaders in the volunteering sector and has built a deservedly excellent reputation over this time, not least for the amount of in-depth information which we provide.
  2. What credible affiliations do you have?
    Travellers is a Founder Member of the Year Out Group (, which is a self-regulatory body set up with approval from UCAS and the DfES. Members of the Year Out Group must adhere to the very highest standards of year out provision and are only approved and accepted by the Group after rigorous inspection and approval process. Travellers is a Founder member and contributed substantially to the Code of Conduct requirements for the Voluntary Sector.
    In the UK, Travellers has been with the Careers Services and Students Unions (and the Departments) in all the Universities in England since its inception in 1994 as well as with most Sixth Form schools and colleges. In the USA, we have also worked for many years with various universities and schools and have also had long-standing relationships with schools and universities in Canada, South Africa and Australia.
    We work with many, many government departments, ruling bodies, NGOs, sports affiliates, and local community centres in all our countries around the world.
  3. How do I know where my child will be?
    All volunteers are given their full destination addresses, contact telephone numbers, emergency numbers and Overseas Manager's contact details, including, where possible, the address and contact details of our partner work organisations (e.g. schools, game reserves, work experience partner companies, etc.).
    We also provide a separate document with all the above information specifically to be given to our volunteers' parents and families for them to keep while their children are on their projects. So please make sure you ask theme for your copy.
  4. Are you registered with ATOL, etc.?
    Your child has the option to arrange his/her own flights or we can assist them with their flight arrangements. If they choose to have us assist them, we will liaise with them regarding dates then put them in touch with a travel agent that we have been working with since shortly after our establishment in 1994.
    All arrangements for flight bookings/payments will be fulfilled by Murray Rogers Travel Ltd., ATOL No. 6856. (Read more about Murray Rogers Travel Ltd.)
    As happens when volunteers make their own flight arrangements, airline tickets are sent to them before they leave home, so they are always in possession of their outward and return tickets.
    Where possible, we arrange placement dates so that two or more people can travel on the same flight and we provide your child with the names and telephone numbers of other volunteers on their flight, so that they can chat to each other or even meet up before leaving for their placement.

Please remember, you can always call and speak to us directly. We are very happy to answer any and all questions you may have.


Got any questions? Please email us:

What happens to my child's money if you get into financial difficulty or go into receivership?
Travellers Worldwide (TravelQuest Ltd t/a Travellers Worldwide) are a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ''The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992'' all passengers booking with TravelQuest Ltd are fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form.

The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of TravelQuest Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapmans Stevens through CBL Insurance.

In the unlikely event of Insolvency you must Inform Towergate Underwriting Travel immediately on +44 (0) 1932 334140. Please ensure you retain this booking confirmation form as evidence of cover and value.

Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid back to you by your Travel Insurance or any losses which are recoverable under another insurance or bond.

Travel Arrangements: If you have asked us to help you arrange your flights, all such arrangements will be fulfilled Murray Rogers Travel Limited, ATOL No. 6856.

Thanks for all the help from Travellers for Kevin. I hope that his experience out there can be put to good productive use back home. Every good wish for the future with Travellers. Every one of you deserves a medal for your good work... Fionnula McGowan, Mother of Kevin McGowan, Brazil Volunteer


Amy's mother.
Amy's programme was the Street Kids Project in South Africa.

Hi Sharon, I just had to email you to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking such good care of Amy while she was in Knysna. She is missing you all and is full of stories about her trip.

I think it really has been a life changer for her. She is more confident and has more belief in her ability to achieve her goals for the future (plus she had LOADS of fun)!

I must admit we had reservations about her going off on her own, but our minds were put at rest almost immediately when we heard how well she was being supported. She speaks about you all with such affection that I am sure that she will feel the need to come out for a visit. ( I may just sneak along as well)!

Well, many, many thanks again from Amy's dad and I, to you and your team and your friends for taking such great care of our girl.

Kindest regards,
Lesley Coombes x

Alex's mother

Alex has spent the last 3 months in Ghana working for Metro TV and has enjoyed the most rewarding placement. We flew out for 2 weeks to holiday there and had a fabulous time. The people are so welcoming and I can fully appreciate why she has fallen in love with this country.

Thank you for arranging this and her previous placements (India and China). She has had the most amazing 12 months and has earned her place at Journalism School thanks to the work experience she's had. I believe that this last venue has been really rewarding for the opportunities they have given her...even to the point of making her own mini-doc that has been broadcast. She will tell you all about it on her return. Many thanks again, Travellers.

Eilidh’s mother

I wanted to email you to let you know that Eilidh is having the most wonderful time in Cambodia, she is really enjoying working with all the children teaching them Art and English and thoroughly enjoying herself with all the other volunteers. They are off to Siem Reap for a few days to visit Angkor Wat and she is planning to stay on to travel in Laos and Thailand at the end of her volunteer placement with some of the other volunteers …

We are all very impressed with your Travellers Worldwide Volunteers Programme and with the care and attention to detail you and your staff adhere to. We have already recommended you to many other parents of children who are thinking of volunteering.

Zenona's father

I strongly feel that I should thank all of you once more for your prompt and effective actions you have taken in order to help us with our problem and I wish to congratulate you for you high level of professionalism.

Kevin's mother

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.

Holly's mother

Thanks for the information. It was very helpful and made me feel better as a parent.

Alex's mother

"I am replying on behalf of Alex who is still away traveling and at the moment in the Australian outback so will not have internet! He has had an amazing time in NZ and loved the whole experience - he particularly enjoyed the work at the primary school (perfect placement for him) and learnt so much from being there as well as the coaching, life in the hostel and travels around NZ.

He was with a great group of people and they traveled together on N. Island. He then explored S. Island on his own and again meeting up with great people. I will get him to reply once back in the UK –end of April (Borneo next so probably won’t manage internet there as he is trekking in some remote parts!).

From my point of view, I am extremely satisfied with the project from start to finish - many thanks for your part in making it such a worthwhile experience for him.


Please fill in the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Please be as detailed as you can, so that we can give you the best advice - many thanks.