Joining a challenge

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1

Choose your challenge

Choose the activity, country, duration, challenge grading, payment option, and charity to support. You can search our website from over 100 challenges throughout the world. Read the challenge specific itinerary and Q&As thoroughly to ensure you fully appreciate what is involved in the challenge and if you have any questions, please get in touch.

2

Book your challenge

The quickest and easiest way to book is online at charitychallenge.com/book. You should have your passport details handy, and will also need to provide us with your personal contact details, medical, next of kin, dietary requirements and any allergies. Once you have booked your chosen challenge you will be asked to pay the deposit and (if applicable) travel insurance premium online through our secure server.

3

Charity authorisation

Once we have received your booking and deposit payment, we will email your chosen charity to seek authorisation for you to fundraise on their behalf. We cannot proceed any further with your booking until the charity officially authorises you so if you haven't heard back from us within a week, please do follow up with your charity.

4

Members Account Area

Once authorised by your charity, we will email you with your login details to your personal member's area where you can access your account area; sponsorship forms, fundraising ideas, fitness training notes, itinerary, kit list, Q&As, health notes, travel tips, and lots lots more.

5

Three month update

At this point we will upload new documents to your online member's area explaining how to obtain your visa with relevant forms (if applicable for your challenge). We will also update you about your flights and sponsorship/balance deadlines.

6

Sponsorship deadline

You need to have raised and sent to your charity at least 80% of the minimum sponsorship (under the flexi and minimum sponsorship options) ten weeks before you depart. If you achieve this, the charity will pay for the balance of your challenge costs. Your charity will advise you how to pay the money in to them, and you can also set up an online fundraising page.

7

One month update

With only one month to go before you depart, we will upload your final joining instructions to your online members' area. This document will include information on your confirmed flights, where and when to meet the team, emergency contacts and so on.

8

Do your challenge

Having raised lots of money for charity and got incredibly fit, all you need to do now is complete the challenge itself!

9

Final sponsorship

All remaining sponsorship should be with your charity ideally before departure and at the very latest within 4 weeks of the end of your challenge. Once you have returned from your challenge with photos and stories of bravery, you should ideally send a thank you to all those that have already sponsored you and a final request for support from those that have not yet got round to it.

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Your next challenge

Your once in a lifetime challenge is sure to ignite a new passion for doing amazing things. We will be delighted to help you choose your next adventure.

Charities and corporates

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Charity Challenge aims to inspire people to push themselves to their limits, do something amazing and raise as much money as possible for a cause they are passionate about. 

Over the last 17 years, we have helped raise over £47,000,000 for more than 1,700 incredible causes. Our charity clients include Barnardo’s, the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Breast Cancer Care, the NSPCC, Comic Relief, UNICEF, Save the Children and hundreds of smaller bodies. Our corporate programmes have engaged the staff, suppliers and customers of firms like Tesco, Boots, Nationwide, Mitsubishi, The Body Shop, Santander, BP, Coutts, Schroders, Lloyds TSB, Reuters and Accenture. 

We are hugely experienced at operating quality challenges to the highest standards of safety and will do all we can to help your organisation recruit and engage participants and supporters.

Click here to take a look at our Charity & Corporate Partnerships online brochure.

Read more

Private groups

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A growing number of our challenges are exclusively run for private groups. These include: corporate groups supporting their charity of the year, sports and social clubs, groups of friends celebrating a big birthday or colleagues who simply want to participate on the same challenge.

If you have the enthusiasm, the contacts and the desire to make a change, we can organise an exclusive departure date for your private group. We will handle all of the administration and deal with queries about the challenge. All you need do is inspire as many adventurers as possible to join you on the trip.

If your group is smaller than the minimum size required, you can book onto an open challenge and make up a large part of the overall group. To find out more about organising a private group, please give us a call. 

FAQs

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What should I expect?

This is called Charity Challenge for a reason. You have undertaken to push yourself well beyond your normal comfort zone - and all for the good of your chosen charity. In order to raise funds for the cause you are passionate about, you will need to show that you are stretching yourself to the limit - so do not expect a walk in the park. The majority of the countries in which we operate are less developed than the UK. Internal infrastructures are often limited; roads are rough and facilities basic. If you’re after a five-star holiday forget Charity Challenge. If, however, you are seeking an adrenaline-filled challenge and are relatively active, then you’ve come to the right place.

Who takes part in a Charity Challenge?

Participants' motives come in all shapes and sizes. They may have been spurred into action by an illness, divorce, bereavement or perhaps they are setting out to mark a landmark birthday or anniversary. Whatever their reasons, our participants all come united in the desire to do something completely different and all for a worthy cause. Our only stipulations are that you are over 18, relatively fit, willing to muck in and have a positive and flexible approach to adventure travel. We accept 16 to 17-year-olds, providing they are accompanied by a parent or guardian of legal age. As for the upper age limit, well, there’s no such thing! Our more mature clients have included a 75-year-old man who successfully completed the Rajasthan Tiger Bike Ride in India and a 72-year-old man who summited Kilimanjaro!

How fit do I need to be?

When you sign up to a Charity Challenge you are embarking on a journey and part of that involves training and getting fit for the long road ahead. Of course, a basic level of fitness and good health is required initially, but you do not need to be super fit when you first sign up. More important than your physical shape is your mental and emotional commitment to train and get fit. Our challenges are designed to be demanding in order for you to really earn your sponsorship money. 

Fitness training notes are available in your account area and we recommend you spend a few months before your trip getting fit and building up stamina.

Obviously the more extreme the challenge, the more you will need to train. You do not need to be professional in your chosen sport, but the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy the challenge.

How difficult are the challenges?

There are four difficulty levels:

Moderate: This is the perfect challenge for someone who has perhaps never taken on a challenge event before, and is looking to test themselves on an active physical challenge. Although a moderate challenge might be culturally challenging, it will usually be in hotels/lodges rather than camping, and there will be no altitude involved. Training is necessary for all challenges. On a UK “moderate” challenge, this grading would be perfect for someone who is looking to take their first steps into walking in the UK.

Challenging: A “challenging” trip will test someone who is moderately fit and has a spirit of adventure. You may have had some previous experience, but this is not necessary as long as the correct training is undertaken. A “challenging” trip may involve some altitude, but this will be compensated by easier terrain and hiking conditions. On a UK “challenging” challenge, you will be physically tested but the terrain is often on well-established routes.

Tough: A “tough” trip should be undertaken by someone with previous experience and interest in the activity – whether biking or trekking. It will usually involve camping, and will certainly be in a remote environment, where facilities are not what you would expect at home. A tough challenge will test you both physically and mentally. Both cycle and treks will be hilly, and training is essential. On a UK “tough” challenge, you should expect 10+ hours of exertion over demanding terrain.

Extreme: Extreme challenges will involve altitude, and a great deal of endurance. These trips are not to be taken lightly, and will take place in extreme environments, without home comforts. They are usually undertaken by someone with previous experience in a mountain setting, but who wants to take their experience to the next level physically and mentally. Training is essential. On a UK “extreme” challenge you should have previous experience in the mountains of the UK, as you will be tested to the limits. 

What is the minimum age to do a challenge?

You need to be a minimum of 18-years-old at the start of the challenge. 16 and 17-year-olds may also participate in any challenge with the agreement of, and when accompanied by a parent or guardian on the challenge who is of legal age. The parent or guardian will have to complete the booking form for anyone who is under 18 at the time of booking and sign a parental responsibility form.

What will the accommodation be like?

The accommodation could range from tents on a mountainside, to guest house, community eco-lodge, or a comfortable hotel. Normally, accommodation is based on two people of the same sex sharing a twin room or two person tent. UK challenges are often in larger sized dormitory rooms. Details of each night’s accommodation are given in the full day by day itinerary for each challenge. Let us know on your booking form if there is someone specific you would like to share with.

 

Which charity can I support?

Raising sponsorship requires time and effort, so it helps to be passionate about the cause you support. Aim to choose something with a personal connection, perhaps a cause that has affected you or a loved one in the past. If you have a connection to the cause and a story to tell, it will help to support your fundraising. Our challenges enable you to support any charity you want, providing it is registered in either the UK or Ireland.

If you are still unsure of who to support, visit the Charity Challenge website for an extensive list of organisations that will welcome your support. Please click here for our participating charities. If you wish to support a charity that is not listed on the website, you can provide us with their contact details and we’ll get in touch with them.

Can I raise money for two charities?

No, you may only raise money for one charity. Regardless of the payment option you choose, we will send an authorisation request to your chosen charity so they can confirm they are happy for you to fundraise on their behalf. All information displayed in your login area and in any emails will be for your one chosen charity. In addition, if you are raising funds under the Minimum Sponsorship or Flexi options we will invoice your charity for the balance of your costs and this cannot be split between two separate charities.

How do I convince sponsors that this is a challenge and not a holiday?

The journey you are about to embark on is the furthest thing from a holiday. The physical exertion will be demanding and often extreme. Facilities are basic and you may well be roughing it in a makeshift campsite. Weather conditions are variable and can often be extreme - be it hot, cold, wet or windy. Temperatures could climb from -20°C to +30°C within 24 hours. A Charity Challenge is not to be undertaken lightly as it requires training for months, raising thousands of pounds for charity and then battling through the physical challenge itself. All three of these take time, effort and commitment.

How are challenge places allocated?

Each itinerary has a maximum group size, so places are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. You can secure a space on a challenge by booking and paying your deposit. Once a challenge is full, we endeavour to introduce additional departure dates and the latest dates are listed on the website.

Can I organise my own private group?

Of course! There can be few things more fulfilling than bringing together a group of like-minded people who all want to push themselves to the limit and support a cause close to their hearts. By putting together your own group, you will be able to inspire others with your drive, passion and commitment. Many of our challenges are made up of clubs, corporate teams or groups of friends and family members taking part in their own private challenge. Please refer to the private groups section of our website for more information, or contact us to discuss your ideas. 

How is the challenge funded?

In general, there are three ways in which you can fund a Charity Challenge:

Self-funder
With the self-funder option, you personally cover the full cost of the challenge and raise as much sponsorship as you can. The full cost of the challenge is made up of the registration fee which is due at the time of booking, and the final balance which is due eight weeks before departure. The self-funder option generally has no minimum sponsorship requirement, although you are still encouraged to raise as much money as you can for the charity. If there is a minimum requirement, you will be notified on the website.

Minimum sponsorship
With this option, you pay your registration fee when booking the challenge and pledge to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship for your charity. You will need to send your sponsorship money to the charity as you raise it. At least 80% of the minimum sponsorship required must be sent to the charity ten weeks before departure for overseas challenges and 7 weeks before for UK challenges, and the remaining 20% within four weeks of completing the challenge. 

If you have raised the necessary funds, the charity will then pay the balance of your expedition costs. The charity benefits by keeping the remaining sponsorship money and every pound over and above what you raise. 

Flexi
With the flexi payment option, you pay your registration fee  when booking the challenge and make a further contribution towards challenge costs (the balance) eight weeks prior to departure. You will also have to raise a minimum sponsorship. 

Please click here to get a diagram explanation of how the finance works.

What is typically included in the price?

Please note, for each challenge there is a specific ‘what’s included’ section on the website. Typically, the following is included for an international challenge: International flights to and from the UK (usually London) booked in Economy Class; all accommodation during the expedition (usually twin basis but dormitory style on UK events), if camping we provide all necessary communal camping and cooking gear; three meals a day (unless otherwise stated); drinking water on challenge days; entrance fees to national parks or other places of interest visited on the itinerary; internal road and air transfers; all ground staff including English speaking guide, drivers, cooks, and porters; full back-up support including first-aid qualified staff and first-aid supplies; activity equipment including bikes, tents, and rafts; a donation towards Charity Challenge's local community project; a contribution towards funding the reduction of carbon emissions through Climate Care's portfolio of award-winning projects; a Charity Challenge T-shirt and medal; emergency management, public liability, and discount on personal equipment from selected stores.

What is not included in the price?

Transfers to and from UK departure airport; entry visas (if applicable); vaccinations (if applicable); personal equipment; personal spending money; tips, overseas airport departure tax (if applicable) and additional activities not included in the itinerary such as excess baggage charges, all items of personal nature such as laundry, room service charges, drinks, phone calls etc.

Should I tip?

We do not include discretionary tips for your Charity Challenge crew. Your leader will collect the recommended amount (indicated in your challenge Tour Info) towards the end of the challenge and distribute it amongst the support team. In many of the countries in which we operate our challenges, it is customary to tip local people along the way to ensure your group progresses smoothly and easily (i.e. hotel porters, boatmen, restaurant and rest stop staff etc.) To make this process easier, your leader may need to collect a small amount for the “kitty” which is then used to tip these people without you having to remember each time. Where feasible and practical, your leader will do this in front of the group and/or give the tips to one of the group to dole out. 

What is the Small Group Supplement?

The costs and sponsorship levels listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants on the challenge. We can sometimes run the trip with groups of less people, but there will be a small group supplement. This is payable by your charity if you book under the minimum sponsorship or flexi options, and by yourself if you are a self-funder. If a small group supplement is necessary, we will notify you 12 weeks before departure.

Does Charity Challenge include air taxes in its costs?

By booking with Charity Challenge, you can rest assured that we include ALL KNOWN AIR TAXES (including fuel) at the time of costing. Many companies do not include air taxes at all, and some only include certain elements of the air taxes and clients are therefore hit with a surcharge of many hundreds of pounds just before departure. To give you an idea of the applicable air taxes for our main destinations, see below (as of Jan 15):

  • London to Delhi - £400
  • London to Kilimanjaro - £429
  • London to Bangkok - £395
  • London to Beijing - £376
  • London to Cusco - £475
  • London to Kathmandu - £383

These taxes are included for all Charity Challenge expeditions at the time of costing. If the air taxes increase between the time of costing your challenge and your departure, we will absorb up to £50 (depending on the challenge) before passing on any increased costs.

Our aim is to provide you with transparent pricing and clear instructions as to what is included in our prices and, if applicable, what is not. Nobody likes a nasty surprise, so when comparing prices ensure that all air taxes are included, as well as fuel costs.

How much sponsorship do I have to raise?

Accepting the physical challenge is just the beginning. To participate, you will also be required to raise substantial sponsorship for the charity of your choice. The level of minimum sponsorship is indicated on each of the itineraries. You will be provided with fundraising ideas and sponsorship forms. All money should be sent directly to the charity as and when you collect it. Unless you have covered the full cost of your challenge (self-funder option), at least 80% of the minimum sponsorship MUST be sent to the charity ten weeks before departure. If you do not achieve this, you risk losing your place on the challenge. This is a Booking Condition for participating on a Charity Challenge. The balance (i.e. the remaining 20%) should be sent to the charity within four weeks of returning home from your challenge. Deadlines for UK challenges are slightly closer to departure. 

Can my charity claim back Gift Aid on donations made?

Donations made by taxpaying individuals to charities in respect of sponsoring someone on a Charity Challenge will attract 25% tax relief under the Gift Aid scheme. If someone makes a donation to the charity of say £100, the charity can recover a further £25 from the Inland Revenue. Furthermore, if the person making the donation is a higher rate taxpayer then they in turn will recover £25 when they submit their tax return. 

Sponsorship payments made by persons connected to the participant fail the donor benefit rules and so are not eligible for tax relief under the Gift Aid scheme. Sponsorship payments made by persons not connected to the participant can be made under the Gift Aid scheme. A connected person is the wife or husband, a relative (brother, sister, ancestor (e.g. mother) or lineal descendant (e.g. grandson), the wife or husband of a relative, a company under the control of the donor, or under control of connected persons. For more information, please refer to the Inland Revenue website and enter Gift Aid into its search engine.

Why do the costs sometimes vary for the same challenge?

As our most popular challenges operate throughout the year, some will take place during the destination’s peak season. During this time, air fares and accommodation costs increase. We have addressed this by either increasing the registration fee , the balance or the minimum sponsorship requirement. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

What if I can't raise the minimum sponsorship?

In booking your challenge under either the minimum sponsorship or flexi payment options, you are committing to raising a minimum amount of sponsorship for your chosen charity. You will need to send 80% of the sponsorship to the charity 10 weeks (for overseas challenges) or 7 weeks (for UK challenges) before departure, and the remaining 20% within four weeks of returning to the UK. This is a fundamental part of the challenge and if you do not raise the appropriate funds for the charity, the charity will not be able to pay the balance of your challenge costs, and you will therefore not be able to participate on the challenge. The overall objective of the challenge is to help raise funds for the charity, so please be realistic about that when booking. We will give you plenty of ideas and advice, hard copy and online sponsorship forms, and the charity you are supporting may also be able to provide additional support materials and advice.

When will the balance of challenge costs be invoiced?

You will be invoiced (for self-funders and flexi participants) approximately 12 weeks before departure for overseas challenges and 8 weeks before departure for UK challenges.

When will the balance of challenge costs be due?

The balance is due no later than eight weeks before departure for overseas challenges and 5 weeks before for UK challenges (as per our T&Cs). In exceptional and unavoidable circumstances we reserve the right to request the balance of challenge costs (or a proportion of those challenge costs), prior to 8 weeks before departure. This may occur in the rare case where an airline or supplier requires earlier payment than standard industry terms. 

Who is responsible for Charity Challenge?

Charity Challenge is the concept of and is administered by Challenges Un Limited, a specialist tour operator formed under the laws of England and Wales (Company No. 03786692). We have been running the Charity Challenge programme for over 16 years and have supported thousands of people on adventures in more than 30 countries worldwide. For more visit the WHY CHOOSE CHARITY CHALLENGE? section of our website.

How are my personal details processed by Charity Challenge?

When you complete a booking form, you will provide us with a certain amount of personal data, which we will only process for the purposes of administering your challenge. Examples of this processing include (but are not limited to) sending your name, dietary requirements, allergies or medical conditions to the airline, ground handler and challenge leader where necessary. Please refer to our privacy policy for more details.

Is it safe to book or pay online at www.charitychallenge.com?

During all the confidential stages of booking and paying online, you will see a padlock icon at the foot of the screen. Your personal information is kept secure by encrypted transmission. www.charitychallenge.com uses SSL ("Secure Socket Layer") encryption.  If you have any concerns about booking or paying online, please contact our office on +44 (0)20 8346 0500.

What are the cancellation terms?

Cancellations for overseas challenges will incur the following charges:

  • Cancellations made 57 days or more before departure (you will lose the registration fee ).
  • 43-56 days before departure (you will lose 40% of total challenge cost).
  • 42-29 days before departure (you will lose 60% of total challenge cost).
  • 28-15 days before departure (you will lose 80% of total challenge cost).
  • 14 or fewer days before departure (you will lose the total challenge cost).


Cancellations for UK challenges will incur the following charges:

  • Cancellations made 36 days or more before departure (you will lose the registration fee ).
  • 29-35 days before departure (you will lose 40% of total challenge cost).
  • 22-28 days before departure (you will lose 60% of total challenge cost).
  • 15-21 days before departure (you will lose 80% of total challenge cost).
  • 14 or fewer days before departure (you will lose the total challenge cost).

Please note that on London to Paris bike rides, you will lose 100% of the challenge cost if you cancel 28 days or less before departure.

Most participants complete the challenge they undertake. However, if you are obliged to cut your challenge short due to ill-health or for any other reason, there is no refund of National Park fees or flight and accommodation costs. Any additional accommodation and/or transfer fees, flight and accommodation costs are your responsibility. Please take a credit card to cover any such unexpected costs.

How are the cancellation charges applied?

The total challenge cost consists of the registration fee, balance, fuel and/or currency surcharge (if applicable) and any extras (i.e. single room supplement or extensions). Please note that admin fees are non-refundable in all cases and do not form part of the total challenge cost.

Cancellation charges will be calculated as follows:

For self-funder participants: all cancellation charges will be payable by yourself.

For minimum sponsorship participants: The above cancellation charges will be comprised of your registration fee and, following that, any monies paid by the charity up to the respective percentage of loss (i.e. 60%). In all circumstances we will deduct any monies paid by the charity last.

For flexi participants:  The above cancellation charges will be comprised of your  registration fee and, following that, your balance and any monies paid by the charity up to the respective percentage of loss (i.e. 60%). Subsequently, the same percentage of cancellation charges will apply to any extra services such as single supplements and extensions you have booked and paid for yourself.

Are Charity Challenge ATOL bonded?

Challenges (Un) Limited (trading as Charity Challenge) are ATOL bonded and our ATOL number is 6546. ATOL is a protection scheme for flights and air holidays, managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). ATOL protects clients from losing money or being stranded abroad if the tour operator goes out of business. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk. This protection only covers challenges that include flights organised by us that originate in the UK.

Can I organise my own flights and join the challenge in-country?

The prices quoted for each challenge include return international flights from London to the challenge destination. If for any reason, you would rather organise your own flights, we will (subject to the information below) discount the overall cost of the challenge by the budgeted cost of flights from London (including air taxes). Over 98% of our clients travel with flights organised by Charity Challenge and we assume this to be the case when you book with us. We would ask you to let us know as soon as possible if you intend to organise your own flights so that we do not pay a deposit to the airline to hold a seat for you. If your request to organise your own flights is received after your booking has been processed and deposits have been paid to the relevant airline, or if your request impacts on the overall group rate we have negotiated, the amount that we are able to refund will be reduced accordingly. 

Once you have confirmed that you wish to organise your own flights, please let us know your new flight schedule so we can organise for you to be met in-country, and for any other necessary services such as any additional night’s accommodation (which will be at your own expense). Please note that when organising your own flights, (if you are using our recommended insurance policy), you will only be covered for the equivalent of economy class flights from London. Should you decide to fly business class for example, we will have to notify the insurers to make sure they are happy to accept the increased risk. They may in certain circumstances charge a premium. If this is the case, we will let you know. 

Additional notes from the booking conditions: If you choose to book your own flights you must confirm with the Charity Challenge office before paying for them otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance). If you are joining the challenge locally (i.e. the country the challenge takes place in) our responsibility does not commence until the appointed time at the designated meeting point. If you fail to arrive there at the appointed time, we shall not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you in order to meet up with the group.

In all cases, you will have to pay the registration fee at the time of booking. For Self-Funders we will invoice you the balance of the challenge costs less the cost of UK group flights and air taxes.  For Minimum Sponsorship or Flexi Payment participants you will need to raise the same level of sponsorship. We will invoice your charity for the balance of challenge costs less the cost of the group flights and taxes. It will be for the charity to process any refund to you in the form of a revised sponsorship package, at their discretion. Please note that due to strict fundraising guidelines we are unable to process any refunds directly to you.  Your charity is under no obligation to refund you and the final decision will rest with them in terms of your fundraising agreement. 

What if I live outside the UK and need a connecting flight to join the UK group departure?

If you do not live in the UK but are travelling to join the group from overseas, please be aware that Charity Challenge cannot be held responsible for any delays or missed connections for flights not booked by us. If travelling from overseas, you are advised to book your own flights all the way through to the start point of the challenge in the country of operation from your usual local airport. See the question above, ‘Can I organise my own flights and join the challenge in-country?’ If you do still wish to fly on the group flight, you are advised to leave plenty of time for the connection to allow for delays or for changes to the group flights schedule.

What do I need to know about organising my own transport to and from London to join the group?

If you need to travel from other parts of the UK to join with the group flights, please note that, in the event of a change to a challenge departure date, time, or airport, Charity Challenge is not liable for any penalty charges associated with connecting travel arrangements. We therefore strongly advise you not to incur any non-refundable incidental expenses before we send your final details around a month prior to departure. Similarly, you are advised only to book fully flexible connecting transport and other arrangements (such as pre or post-challenge accommodation) which can be cancelled or changed without charge.

If I have booked my own flight to London, will I be protected if it is delayed?

Charity Challenge is not responsible for any delays for flights that you book yourself. We can organise a flight to and from some regional UK airports with airlines that have contracts with our group carriers. In the event of any delays to any part of your journey which may lead to missed connections, you will be re-protected (put) onto the next available flight. If, however, you book your own regional flights, you will not be protected and may have to purchase a new ticket for your onward flight.

Can I delay my return flight and stay in-country after the challenge has finished?

On all of our challenges, we aim to secure the most cost-effective package. The biggest single expense on these challenges is the international flights, and in order to keep these costs as low as possible we have an exclusive arrangement with several airlines. The tickets we book however are non-transferrable, non-refundable and non-changeable. In most circumstances, the airline may permit a change to the return date, subject to the airlines availability and terms and conditions. Where we are able to change your return date, there will be a flat non-refundable fee of £60. Of course, if the change of date results in a more expensive ticket, you will also be required to pay the difference. You will not be able to amend the outward date, only the return date.

Your request to extend must be put in writing via your login area before it will be actioned. You should send your request to Charity Challenge. You must give a preferred return date but also two other dates, just in case the first date is not available. If you choose to request a change, and then do not wish to take the requested return flight, you WILL be charged the £60 admin fee. However, if we cannot confirm your requested change of return date, or if the resultant fare increases by £50 or more and you choose not to accept the flight, we will NOT charge you the admin fee.

Can I request special meals and seating on the flights?

We will request airlines to seat our group together. If an individual passenger has a specific seat request, some airlines may be able to request it and some will ask that you try and change it at the airport as changing seats may jeopardise the group seating arrangements. If you let us know of a specific meal request, we will request it from the airline. Please note that meals and seating are not guaranteed by the airlines. Therefore if you have a special meal request we suggest that you consider bringing some additional snack items in case your request is not provided.

How much of an impact will my long haul flight have on the environment?

The Government aims to reduce the UK's total CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by the year 2050. Virtually everything that we do - including breathing - leads to CO2 emissions, which means we all must do our bit. The public perception is that aviation accounts for the lion's share of these emissions, but this is not the reality. In actual fact, the Stern report says that it accounts for 1.6% of emissions (however it is more damaging to emit CO2 at altitude, so this is equivalent to 3.2% of all emissions). Even the clothes we wear account for more emissions per person (on average) than flying. By comparison, our houses are the biggest source of emissions, contributing a staggering 25 per cent. However, Charity Challenge is still doing its bit to counter the impact of long haul flying. Each year we invest funds into Climate Care's award-winning portfolio of carbon reduction projects. See our Responsible Tourism pages to find out more.

Should I just stop flying altogether?

Tourism is the single biggest service industry in the world (1). Nowadays travel and tourism account for 10.4% percent of the world GDP and 8.2% of total employment worldwide (around 231.2 million jobs) (2). For many developing countries tourism is one of the main income sources and a leading source of foreign exchange in 46 of the 49 Least Developed Countries (3). Therefore, ceasing all travel to these countries would have a disastrous impact on their economies. Any potential solution to global warming comes at a cost - renewable energy, cleaner technologies, waste reduction processes, etc. If we cut back on flying altogether, the global economy would crash and investment in these areas would suffer. We at Charity Challenge believe that the solution lies in reducing our emissions by overhauling our daily lifestyles.
1.    In 2006 international tourism receipts reached US$682.7 billion (Source: World Tourism Organization UNWTO, Tourism Market Trends, 2006).
2.    World Travel and Tourism Council (2007). Travel and Tourism Navigating the Path Ahead. The 2007 Travel & Tourism Economic Research.
3.    UNWTO (2007).

Do I need travel insurance?

It is a booking condition that you have a suitable travel insurance policy that will cover the adventurous nature of your challenge. If you choose to use your own travel insurance policy it must be of at least equal cover to the travel insurance policy we offer. We arrange specialist travel insurance cover with Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited (Underwritten by Zurich). Cover is provided for both UK and Non UK residents, (please see below for more details.) This insurance covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge. In addition, this policy will protect the charity you are raising funds for, as they may be contributing hundreds or thousands of pounds towards your challenge costs. Please see the policy documents here. http://www.charitychallenge.com/pdf/Charity_Challenge_Insurance_2017.pdf

http://www.charitychallenge.com/pdf/Charity_Challenge_Insurance_2018.pdf

We appreciate that whilst you may have your own personal travel insurance arrangements, it is not administratively possible for us to vet each and every one of your policies. While we have taken steps which we consider necessary to review this travel insurance policy, it is not possible to anticipate every conceivable risk or accident that can occur on an adventure challenge. In addition, no insurance policy covers every possible accident that may arise. You are therefore requested to consider for yourself the wording of the policy that we recommend. Nothing will prevent you from taking out additional cover from any insurance company over and above the insurance cover provided under our insurance. All prices include UK Government Insurance Premium Tax @20%.

 

The travel insurance policy is arranged by Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited (Company Number: 856706) and is underwritten by Zurich for all departures. All companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA.)

If you are flying directly to join the group in-country and have purchased our travel insurance policy, please inform us of your flight details so we can ensure you are adequately covered. If you have purchased your own travel insurance policy, please ensure it is extended (where necessary) to provide cover for the travelling time to and from your home country.

For all Charity Challenge departures, Challenges (Un) Limited t/a CHARITY CHALLENGE (Firm Ref 491848) are an Appointed Representative of Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited (Company Number: 856706) who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and whose status can be checked on the FCA Register by visiting www.fca.org.uk or by contacting the FCA on 0845 606 9966.

I have my own travel insurance policy already. Do I still need to take yours?

We do appreciate that some of our participants already have a travel insurance policy. There are however, a few reasons why we advise that each person travelling with Charity Challenge has the specialist comprehensive travel insurance that we offer:

  1. The policy specifically covers the adventurous nature of our challenges, e.g. high altitude trekking and cycling, use of ropes and harnesses, and so on. Many alternative policies do not provide cover for some of the activities undertaken on our challenges and will only insure you up to a relatively low altitude.
  2. The way the Charity Challenge trips are funded is unique in the travel market. Your charity can be paying hundreds or in many cases thousands of pounds towards your costs. If you were to cancel within eight weeks of the departure, the charity would lose a proportion or their whole contribution towards your challenge costs. We have specifically tailored the insurance cover so that in these exceptional circumstances (subject to the cancellation terms), the insurance company (in the event of a successful claim) would refund any challenge costs paid out by the charity directly to the charity, after any excess has been deducted. In this way our unique insurance protects the charity's money as well as yours.
  3. By providing insurance cover which gives adequate medical emergency and evacuation cover, we shall not be faced with a situation where a client may not be quickly and effectively rescued because of inadequate insurance cover. Charity Challenge takes thousands of participants on challenges each year. It would not be feasible to inspect each individual insurance policy to ascertain if it was adequate for all circumstances.

My challenge is within the EU, do I need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

Yes. If you are either travelling to an EU Member Country or are a resident of the EU travelling within it, you should make sure that you have applied for and obtained the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC, which entitles you to treatment under the reciprocal agreements that exist for all EU citizens.

I’m arranging my own flights and flying directly to the destination country of my challenge. Can I still take out your insurance?

Yes, as long as your flights are booked in economy class. You will need to let us know your flight details so we can ensure you are covered for the full duration of your trip as the policy is valid on a “from home to home,” basis. If this is longer than the advertised dates/duration on our website, there may be an additional premium to pay. If your flights are booked in any class other than economy (i.e. premium economy, business, first etc.) please inform us as again there may be an additional premium to pay.

I’m getting a connecting flight to join the group flights from London. Are these also covered?

Yes, as long as your connecting flights are no more than £250 each way. If they are more than this, please advise us of the cost as there may be an additional premium to pay.

I live outside the UK and am planning on flying to the UK for a week prior to the challenge. Will I be covered during this period?

No. As cancellation cover commences when you start your trip it would cease when you leave your country of residence. If you then flew to the UK and in the week prior to the challenge departure suffered an injury/illness that meant you couldn't travel on the challenge, the cancellation cover would not be in effect.

I want to upgrade my economy flights booked with Charity Challenge. Will these flights still be covered?

We will be required to contact the insurance company as there may be an additional premium to pay.

Can I take out your insurance if I live outside the UK?

Yes, the policy covers all UK and non-UK residents. The price of the policy is the same for both UK and non-UK residents.

I'm organising my own extension. Are any extra flights and trip costs covered?

No. If you are booking additional flights and accommodation either before or after the challenge these will NOT be covered.

I'm organising my own extension, can I use my own travel insurance policy from the end of the challenge instead of yours?

No, the Charity Challenge travel insurance policy operates on a ‘home’ to ‘home’ basis. This means it must be active for the entire duration of your trip including any time you are away from home before or after the challenge. If the policy isn't extended to cover the entire duration of your trip and something happened on the challenge that resulted in you requiring assistance, the policy would be void and you would not be covered.

Will I be covered for all activities on my challenge/extension?

The policy will cover you for all advertised activities on the challenge itself and on Charity Challenge organised extensions. For the most up to date information please see the itinerary for your challenge/extension on our website. If you are organising your own extension please read the travel insurance policy carefully for any exclusions. In addition, if you are in any doubt that a particular activity you are planning is covered by the recommended policy, please contact bookings@charitychallenge.com.

I am using my own bicycle on the challenge, will it be insured?

No, bicycles are specifically excluded from cover. They are normally covered under home contents insurance policies which usually include cover when away from the home, but you should always confirm this with your home insurer/broker.

Do I need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions to the insurance company?

 All medical conditions should be declared on your Charity Challenge booking form. You and anyone accepted for cover under this group policy (the beneficiary) MUST comply with the following conditions to have full protection of this group policy. If they do not comply, this group policy may be cancelled or a claim may be refused or the amount of any claim payment reduced.
It is a condition of this group policy that the beneficiary will not be covered for any claims arising directly or indirectly from:


A. At the time of being accepted for cover:
1. Any medical condition you have or have had for which:
a. Symptoms or diagnosis has occurred within the last 12 months or
b. There has been a change in treatment (including medication, dosage, surgery, tests, investigations or diet) in the last 12 months.
2. Any medical condition where you, a close relative or a close business associate:
a. Are waiting for an operation, hospital consultation (other than for regular check-ups), or other hospital treatment or investigation.
b. Have, within the last 6 months, been seen by a specialist (other than for regular check-ups), had an operation or other hospital treatment or investigation.
c. Have received a terminal prognosis.
d. Have not had a diagnosis.
3. Any circumstances are aware of that could reasonably be expected to give rise to a claim on this group policy.


B. At any time:
1. Any medical condition you have in respect of which you are travelling against medical advice or for which you are travelling to obtain medical treatment abroad.
2. Any medical condition for which you are not taking the recommended treatment or prescribed medication as directed by a medical practitioner.
3. Travel against any health requirements stipulated by the carrier, their handling agents or other Public Transport provider.

 

What kind of support do you provide?

We will support you from the time of your booking, right up until you return from your challenge. Once you have booked, you will have access to your very own login area, which contains comprehensive information about fitness training, fundraising, flights and extension options, arrangements for meeting the rest of the group and much more. We also send out reminders about insurance, passports and how/when to apply for a visa. Each challenge has a bespoke kit list and all of our participants have access to kit discounts through major retailers. Our operations managers are on hand via phone or email to answer any questions, from room sharing, to dietary requirements, to which jacket to buy. 
During the challenge, each group will be fully supported by a first-aid trained, English-speaking expedition leader, guides and support team.

Do you help with fitness training?

Yes. Getting fit ahead of your challenge is a vital part of the pre-challenge preparation and the importance of regular training should not be underestimated. We have written fitness training plans for trekking and biking which are provided in your login area, and which give our participants a structure that will steadily increase their training prior to the challenge. Everyone is different and has unique training needs, therefore we cannot offer a bespoke fitness programme for each person. However, our plans are structured in order to give you minimum guidelines, and tips on making the most out of your training treks/rides.

Do you offer training weekends?

We offer superb tailored training weekends for all treks from Saturday morning through to Sunday afternoon. Our training weekends are held throughout the UK. Accommodation is either in a youth hostel or camping in tents (choose your specific weekend according to the experience you want). You will be sharing a room/tent with a member of the same sex. The course is fully catered with breakfast on the Sunday, two large packed lunches and an evening meal on the Saturday night. Click here for more details.

Do you help participants with their fundraising?

We will provide you with general fundraising advice and a full A-Z of fundraising ideas in your login area, alongside hard-copy sponsorship forms. We also suggest you set up an online giving page when you begin your fundraising journey. Your charity can help point you in the right direction. We will often redirect you to the experts at your chosen charity for any technical or charity specific support.

Do you help with visa and vaccination advice?

Yes. In terms of vaccinations, we use the advice given by the NHS ‘Fit for Travel’ website. Any vaccinations or anti-malarial medications that are recommended by the NHS will be indicated in your Trip Notes prior to booking, although we advise you to visit your GP or travel nurse prior to the challenge for any specific advice that might be relevant due to anything in your medical history. We give out visa application advice three months prior to departure, which includes advice on where to access the visa form, how to answer certain questions, what documentation needs to be provided, and information on costs, where to apply etc. We can also provide details of a support agency who can obtain visas on your behalf (for a service fee).

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

Charity Challenge

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