Although it won’t be the most exciting thing you have ever read it is important that you carefully go through our terms and conditions before applying to a program. The following terms and conditions relate to volunteer and intern programs provided by Plan My Gap Year, bookings relating to flights can be found towards the end of this page. In these terms and conditions, the following words have the following meanings: – “you”, “your”, “participant” and “individual” refers to all people named on the booking form and any other person named who is added or substituted at a later date. “PMGY”, “us”, “we”, and “our” refers to Plan My Gap Year. program applications made with Plan My Gap Year (PMGY) require you to agree with the following terms and conditions and acknowledge that you have read all the information for the appropriate program/s. By ticking the box next to the caption “I have read and agree with the PMGY terms & conditions”, you are confirming your agreement to the following terms and conditions.
* These terms and conditions govern all new applications made on or after 25th November 2020. These may be modified at any time without prior notice being given to you.
1. Travel insurance
Travel insurance is highly advised for all PMGY programs. Where possible, you should arrange adequate travel insurance to cover your entire trip overseas. We recommend you put your travel insurance policy in place as soon as possible once you have confirmed your place with PMGY. This ensures that you have an activated policy in place that may provide some protection to your trip in the event of an unforeseen cancellation (circumstance dependent). It is your responsibility to ensure you have a suitable insurance policy in place to cover all aspects of your time overseas – this includes all the relevant activities you want to get involved in, cover for any medical issues, lost luggage/possessions, flight & trip cancellations etc. Typically, your policy will need to start from the date you leave your home country to the day your return and cannot just be limited to your program duration with PMGY.
In most cases, your travel insurance is valid from the date of purchase and your trip immediately becomes insured. It is likely the case that you cannot make a claim unless you have fully paid for your insurance. Due to regulations by the Financial Conduct Authority, PMGY cannot recommend or advise on travel insurance. Therefore, you are also solely responsible for evaluating the level of travel insurance you require. This includes ensuring all travel activities, regions, and volunteer roles are covered within the chosen policy.
2. Flights or any related travel arrangements
It is the individual’s sole responsibility to arrange and pay for travel to and from their destination/s. PMGY cannot be held liable in the event your flights are changed or delayed by your airline carrier. We also strongly recommend that a return/or onwards flight is booked, individuals may be declined entry through immigration and border controls without proof of an onward journey. Travel documentation should be carried at all times when travelling abroad.
When booking flights, it is advised to adopt a cautious and common sense approach. Therefore, it is strongly encouraged that applicants research airline ticket policies in detail. That is to say, exploring flexible ticket options with the airline in the case that travel dates need to be deferred. It is important to fully understand the flexibility and terms and conditions each airline offers when arranging your flight tickets. Furthermore, policies may differ greatly if arranging flights through a booking agent and not the airline directly. Thus, it is important to be aware of this factor when arranging flights.
In regard to ground transportation please check each program to familiarise yourself with what transport is included. In the event that transportation is not included within your program, you must cover the costs. All of our programs include an airport pick up service on the scheduled arrival days. Therefore, PMGY must be informed of your flight arrangements at least 21 days prior to departure to arrange this. If you arrive outside the arranged arrival date you may have to cover the costs of your transport to our partner team. All flight details provided must be fully confirmed – we do not permit standby flights. We recommend you contact your chosen airline 72 hours prior to departure to reconfirm your flights.
Applications can be made through our website. Making an application does not guarantee acceptance and is subject to availability and suitability.
The individual making the application (the “lead name”) must be 16 years old or older and accept the terms & conditions on behalf of all those involved. Applications are made on the understanding that PMGY uses partner organisations around the world as a supplier for its programs.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to pay your 249 USD Registration Fee and this acts as a non-refundable deposit towards the trip. Once an application has been completed and submitted to PMGY, we will liaise with our partner organisations to assess the suitability and availability of your chosen program. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then you will be contacted via email or telephone usually within 2 working days and your original 249 USD will be refunded in full.
We strongly recommend that you do not book any flights, accommodation, or any additional trips etc before you receive your “Application Successful” email. If you do book any additional trips with third parties we are not liable for these costs if we are unable to confirm acceptance on your chosen program. You may be required to fill out additional forms required by our partner organisations, details of which will be submitted to you once we have received your initial application form.
For individuals looking to complete a PMGY program as part of a School/College/University elective/placement, it is the sole responsibility of that individual to establish the suitability of a PMGY program in meeting the requirements outlined by the relevant body. Whilst PMGY is unable to fill in required paperwork before a participant is confirmed on a program, the individual is encouraged to speak to a PMGY representative to establish whether the required parameters can be met before confirming their place on the program through payment. When appropriate, School/College/University representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements. Should PMGY fail to meet the requirements of a confirmed participant’s School/College/University Elective/Placement, it may be possible for a refund of the Registration Fee to be granted. However, in such circumstances, any fees that may have been paid in addition to the Registration Fee would be bound to standard PMGY Terms and Conditions. Additionally, PMGY would require written confirmation from the School/College/University of the individual outlining a valid reason why the individual’s Elective/Placement has been rejected before a refund of the Registration Fee could be finalised.
All programs require a Criminal Background Check which the individual must pay for. For British Citizens a “Basic Disclosure” background check from Gov.uk is acceptable. For individuals outside the UK, you must obtain an appropriate Criminal Background Check from your national Government/Police service. The Criminal Background Check must be dated within 18 months of your start date. If you believe you will experience any problems sourcing a Criminal Background Check within your home country then please contact us prior to applying. All customers must submit this form to PMGY, via email or post, as soon as possible. Should your Criminal Background Check uncover any records of immoral or illegal behaviour carried out by you, PMGY reserve the right to cancel the individual’s program application without refund.
PMGY must receive your DBS check at least 21 days prior to your program start date. Please do apply for this in plenty of time to factor in unexpected delays. Failure to submit this check within this time frame will result in your program being cancelled without refund.
The remaining balance must be paid no less than 60 days prior to your program start date otherwise it will be treated as a cancellation and you will forfeit your deposit. Any applications made within 60 days of the start date must be paid in full.
While we do try and provide a social experience, applicants should realise that PMGY can never guarantee a minimum number of participants to be present in each destination. The number of participants signed up to a specific program can fluctuate at any time and it is ultimately a matter out of our immediate control.
4. Participant criteria
Each participant on a PMGY program must be at least 16 years of age, however, some programs require you to be 17 or 18 years of age or older, please see the program information for individual program requirements. It is the sole responsibility of the individual to disclose any physical, mental health or medical information about them which may affect their ability to fully partake in the program. If you have a medical condition which may hinder your capability to fully participate in the program you must inform PMGY, in writing. Failure to supply us with this information may result in your program being terminated without refund.
5. Changes in price
Our low-priced programs are potentially vulnerable to currency fluctuations and rising transportation costs. We, therefore, reserve the right to change our prices at any time, please check our website for our most accurate prices. Once bookings are confirmed by us we will absorb any increase in costs.
6. Payment methods
We accept credit and debit cards. Please note credit card payments from participants outside the EU will attract a 5% admin fee to help cover additional bank fees PMGY incur.
7. Changes and cancellations (by you)
Alterations to your booking will attract an administration fee of 60 USD for each program change per person. There may be additional costs imposed by suppliers providing specific aspects of our programs and by requesting a change you will also be liable to absorb these costs. We cannot guarantee changes can be made and are always subject to availability. Changes cannot be requested any less than 60 days prior to your program start date or once your trip has commenced. In such circumstances, it would be considered a cancellation. PMGY will do its best to ensure changes are made with minimal disruption.
Cancellations must be made in writing and will be only processed once your written letter is received at PMGY’s office, this includes international bookings. In the event you wish to cancel a booking, our cancellation policy for standard PMGY programs is as follows:
– Notification of at least 60 days prior to program start date: loss of your 249 USD Registration Fee.
– Notification less or equal to 60 days prior to program start date or at any time during your program: loss of 100% of the Program Fee and Registration Fee.
Please note your original 249 USD Registration Fee is non-refundable in the event you cancel or are unable to make the trip.
If you decide to change your trip dates with us to a later date, then you are still bound to the same changes and cancellations as your original trip dates with us. Thus, if you defer your trip to a later date and then decide to cancel such trip; your parameters for cancellation remain based on the notice period given to us from when you originally amended your trip dates with us prior to your original program start date.
All weekend trips are strictly non-refundable in the event of a cancellation.
8. Changes and cancellations (by us)
PMGY reserve the right to cancel or significantly alter your booking at any time. A “significant change” does not include a change of partner organisation, transport or named accommodation but is normally considered a change of more than 24 hours in departure or return timings, a change of departure point or a major itinerary re-routing. If this does occur, we will endeavour to notify you as soon as possible and either offer a replacement program or a full refund of the Program Fee less the Registration Fee (the Registration Fee will be 100% creditable for future use). PMGY will provide such a refund in situations where a program has been cancelled due to insufficient numbers.
Altercations or cancellations can come about because of unavoidable, unusual and unforeseen circumstances beyond our control or affected by reason of circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. In these cases, any Program Fee paid will be refunded when the circumstance creating a cancellation takes place 61 days or longer before the trip start date. Should the circumstance generating cancellation occur within 60 days or less, the Program Fees will be protected as credit and can be put to another trip with us. Alternatively, it can be used to defer the scheduled start date with us. As payments have already been made in advance to the local teams who prepare to host you within this time window, we are regrettably unable to provide cash refunds should the cancellation occur by us 60 days or less before the scheduled trip date. Nevertheless, the fees paid remain fully protected to re-schedule your trip with us.
Circumstances amounting to “force majeure” include any event which PMGY or the supplier of the service/s in question could not even, with all due care, foresee or forestall. Examples include, but are not limited to, war, the threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, pandemics, computer or systems failure, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, acts of God and all similar events. Minor alterations may be made to each program if necessary, these include but are not limited to, changes in named accommodation, pick up times etc.
We assess local conditions and updates from country-specific local authorities as primary sources of information regarding overseas travel advice. As we have people join us from all sections of the globe, we adopt a local approach to our overseas travel advice. Trips will be cancelled if local conditions are deemed by PMGY to be unsafe, pose security risks and/or be inaccessible to travel to. If you are travelling within the next 60 days, we will endeavour to notify you as soon as possible and either offer a replacement program, a deferment of your trip dates or full credit with us to be used any time in the future.
We use the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office as our primary source of information regarding overseas travel advice. Specific and up-to-date information on travel advice can be found here on their website (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice). In the event of potential security risks in a PMGY destination, we will follow the FCO advice in the first instance. The trip may be cancelled in the event the FCO ‘advise against all but essential travel’ to the area where you will spend the majority of your time with PMGY. If you are travelling within the next 60 days, we will endeavour to notify you as soon as possible and either offer a replacement program or a full refund of the Program Fee paid. The Registration Fee is not refundable, but instead will be 100% creditable towards a future trip with PMGY.
Our programs are subject to cultural conditions at the time. Participants and aspects of your program may be absent due to cultural commitments with little prior notification and we and/or our partner organisations reserve the right to amend the itinerary in these circumstances and no refunds will be given. This includes public holidays which are sometimes taken at a moment’s notice in a number of the locations PMGY operate within. In such circumstances, we will do our best to provide an alternate arrangement.
By signing up to a PMGY program you are acknowledging that our website and printed literature provides a rough overview of the programs we offer. Certain changes including alternative accommodation and differing project working hours/settings may occur therefore a flexible working attitude is essential. PMGY also reserve the right to change our in-country partners at any time. Any changes are done so with our volunteers in mind and ultimately to improve the overall PMGY experience.
9. Visas, vaccinations and destination guides
Any information or advice provided by PMGY in relation to visa requirements, vaccinations, and destination guides is done so in good faith but without the responsibility of PMGY. Information published is deemed accurate at the time of publishing but may be liable to change without our knowledge.
PMGY have no affiliations or links with visa services or high commissions/embassies. Because of this, should participants encounter issues with their visas or visa process they should contact the appropriate visa service or high commission for more information or to attempt to resolve any issues themselves. This is also applicable to any visa extension processes should they be required when in-country. PMGY will always do their best to offer subjective advice and guidance where possible on visa processes and support with any extension processes where applicable but cannot be held accountable or liable should participants run into visa issues or have difficulties in visa approval and/or visa extensions.
Participants are strongly advised to begin their visa application process as soon as practically possible to allow for a time window of contingency plans or alternative application processes should difficulties or issues arise.
We are not medical experts so therefore not legally entitled to offer advice. You should contact your local doctor’s surgery to arrange an appointment regarding vaccinations. You should do this at least 4 to 6 weeks before you depart as some immunisations take a few weeks to become effective. Please note you should contact the relevant embassy in your country to ensure you are legally entitled to enter the country prior to your application with PMGY.
Fees paid to PMGY are not refundable should participants have issues attending their trip due to visa or vaccination issues that are out of PMGY control.
10. Code of Conduct
PMGY is fully committed to responsible volunteer travel and sustainable tourism. This Code of Conduct is designed to help you achieve the most out of your time abroad while doing it in a safe and responsible manner. It also ensures that the organisations and people we work with are treated with respect and that consideration is given to other cultural aspects during your placement.
Any breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in your placement being terminated without refund.
• I agree that I will not hold PMGY (including all employees, shareholders and partner organisations) liable for any loss or harm I may suffer including loss caused directly or indirectly by personal injury, emotional injury, death, illness or disease, damage to or loss of property.
• I agree that I have declared any medical/mental health conditions or physical limitations which may affect my ability to fully partake in the overall experience.
• I agree that I have been advised that a suitable travel insurance policy for the duration of my trip overseas is recommended. I have assessed the level of cover I require and have insured myself against all the activities I plan to partake in while abroad. I have ensured that all my travel dates have insurance cover including any travel before the PMGY program or onward travel planned.
• I agree that I do not have a criminal background and have never engaged in any illegal activities. This will be outlined in an official document provided by myself at least 21 days before I travel.
• I acknowledge that PMGY will do their best to cater for dietary requirements, but ultimately, I am responsible for communicating any dietary requirements to PMGY and recognising if and when I may need to bring/purchase individual ingredients at my own expense to ensure I police my own requirements.
• I agree that outside of PMGY Weekend Trips, weekends are my own time for independent travel. When travelling, I acknowledge and respect I am signed out of the PMGY program until I return back to the participant accommodation after weekend travel and thus responsible for my own safety and wellbeing and will manage any accidents or incidents that may occur in this time.
• I agree that I will not drink excessive levels of alcohol overseas that could impede my overall judgement and safety.
• That PMGY has a zero-tolerance policy towards the possession and use of illegal substances and will result in instant termination.
I acknowledge any breach of the Code of Conduct can result in potential disciplinary action and ultimately termination of the program with no refund or onward support applicable. Should I choose to leave the program early for whatever reason then PMGY are not liable for any refunds for unused time/expenses for onward costs.
General Code of Conduct
I agree to:
• Follow the appropriate dress code as outlined by the local team and in line with the local culture.
• Maintain a positive and proactive approach through my experience.
• Follow the project schedule provided by project staff or the in-country team.
• Assess the risks of every activity I am involved in and seek further advice or guidance if in doubt.
• Ask permission from the project staff if I want to take any photos/videos of children/adults at the project location.
• Respect, and seek to understand, the culture of the country in which I am joining PMGY.
• Inform the local team of any medical issues, which may arise during my time in-country.
• Speak to the local team directly in the event of any issues or complaint while in-country.
• Not engage in any sexual relationships with any project staff, local team members or local members of the public.
• Abide by the laws of their chosen destination.
• Ensure I have sought professional medical advice in regard to any potential vaccinations/anti-malarial medication required.
• To attend my project every day unless ill or unfeasible to attend.
• Recognise that HIV exposure risks can exist across some countries. I will follow the protocol of the local staff, look to ensure my own safety and wellbeing and take responsibility for establishing which children/adults are at risk.
Accommodation Code of Conduct
I agree to:
• Respect local customs and abide by the rules of the accommodation in which I am staying. This includes any dress code policy that may be in place across the accommodation.
• Not invite any outside visitors back to the accommodation.
• Be aware that there are no refunds if I decide to go on an independent trip or leave early.
• Maintain high levels of hygiene and cleanliness at all times.
• Be vigilant with my possessions and use safes/lockers to store any valuables where appropriate and will not hold PMGY responsible for any losses incurred.
• Respect local policies on the consumption or possession of alcohol.
• Abide by any curfews within the volunteer accommodation.
• Not consume alcohol in the event I am under the legal drinking age at any time whilst on the program. (Please note this can vary between 18-21 across PMGY destinations).
• Acknowledge and respect that outside of traditional program/working hours (unless there is an emergency) the in-country support teams have their own livelihoods and independent downtime.
Medical & Mental Health program Code of Conduct (If applicable):
I understand that PMGY is never able to guarantee a hands-on experience at the medical projects. This is ultimately determined by my experience (if any) and the discretion of the medical professionals I am working with.
I agree that PMGY does not hold any responsibility or liability if I make the decision to engage in a hands-on activity when at the project. This is a decision ultimately made by myself if authorised to do so by the medical team. Any outcomes or potential consequences as a result of carrying out hands-on work and procedures at the project will be my direct responsibility and liability.
Wildlife program Code of Conduct (If applicable):
I understand that as a wildlife participant, I will be working with a variety of potentially dangerous animals and wildlife. I assume all risks associated with volunteering but not limited to, the risk of injury or disease transmission from the animals and wildlife.
I understand that there is always a risk of injury and/or property damage involved when working with wildlife, especially during activities related to rescuing, handling, transporting and rehabilitating wildlife, and I agree to assume any and all such risks.
I understand that I am responsible for assessing my own personal risks when potentially handling wildlife on-site at the project.
11. Complaints procedure
If you are unsatisfied with any aspect of your program you must make it known to the relevant in-country coordinator at our partner organisation at the earliest opportunity. If you are not satisfied with the response and feel the incident has severely affected your program enjoyment, you should contact a PMGY International Office as soon as possible. In such an instance you should outline the nature of your complaint and what steps you have taken to overcome the issue/s in-country. All communication should be conducted via email and must be completed so at the time of the incident taking place. When dealing with such complaints PMGY cannot accept online chats, Facebook messages, text messages etc as appropriate means of communication. If you decide to raise an issue once you have completed your program and returned home, then you acknowledge that this severely reduces the ability of PMGY to provide an acceptable resolution.
All complaints must be put in writing and sent to the PMGY office before they can be registered and acted upon.
12. Personal risk
Your booking is accepted on the understanding that you realise the hazards and potential risks involved with this kind of travel. Such travel can often be hazardous and involves a certain degree of risk, inherently dangerous activities and personal perils to the individual both foreseen and unforeseen, all of which are fully accepted by and solely assumed by the individual. It is your responsibility to assess the risk factor/s of any activities you participate in overseas. Therefore, PMGY including all employees, shareholders and partner organisations are not liable for any loss or harm you may suffer including loss caused directly or indirectly by personal injury, emotional injury, death, illness or disease, damage to or loss of property, hostage situations, war or terrorism. You are recommended to insure yourself against any of the foregoing measures.
The nature of this travel also requires you to have a flexible outgoing approach and acknowledge that delays and alterations to itineraries may occur. You understand that the majority of the accommodation offered will consist of shared rooms and/or facilities and will be of a basic level. PMGY will always endeavour to provide suitable alternative arrangements should you feel uncomfortable, but no guarantee is made.
13. Data collection
You authorise PMGY to collect information such as name, contact details, address details, travel preferences etc and use it within the limitations of the Data Protection Act 1998. Such information may be used for marketing purposes which you can opt-out of at any time. It will also be disclosed to our partner organisations (some of whom are outside the UK/EEA) to help aid the administration process and enhance the quality of your program. We may also disclose your personal information to current and potential participants in PMGY programs and their parents/guardians. By disclosing such information volunteers can get to know each other prior to the commencement. In addition, all information provided by you in any feedback material such as questionnaires which we ask you to complete can be used by PMGY to share with potential and current volunteers. The purpose of this is to allow applicants to contact you in order to find out about your experiences of PMGY’s programs and to gain a clearer understanding of what they can expect if they enrol to a similar PMGY program. We may also use this information for bona fide marketing and promotional purposes such as, but not limited to, brochures, website, and video presentations. If you object to such a disclosure email PMGY on [email protected] and we shall cease disclosing your information as referred to in this clause.
Please note that the data protection laws outside the UK/EEA are not as strong as the laws governed within the UK. However, we will endeavour to safeguard the information provided and we have put in place a suitable physical, the electronic and managerial procedure to do so.
Individuals acknowledge that any comments, photos or videos submitted to us can be used for promotional material by PMGY.
15. Governing law
These terms are governed by the law of England and Wales.
All communications in relation to this contract, unless specified otherwise, must be written in English, by the Lead Name on the application and delivered by hand or recorded delivery to the PMGY office in the UK.
PMGY is removed of all involvement and liability in any extensions you make to your original booking or additional activities which fall outside your original booking through PMGY.