FAQs

  1. What is the typical age of people who travel with OT?
  2. I am a bit worried about the treks on your trips. How fit do I have to be?
  3. Will I be “roughing it” on the trip? What kind of places do we stay in?
  4. Will I be sharing a room on tour?
  5. Can I book a tour with my own room?
  6. Can I bring things from home to donate to the projects on my trip?
  7. Do your tours include flights?
  8. How many people will I be traveling with?
  9. What should I bring?
  10. Are airport transfers included in your trips?
  11. I want to stay an extra day or 2 before and/or after my tour. Can you book these extra nights’ accommodation for me?
  12. Do I need travel insurance?
  13. Do I need cancellation insurance?
  14. What is included and what is not included in my tour?
  15. How much should I budget for tipping?
  16. Do I need a travel visa and if so, can you help me arrange one?
  17. What vaccinations are needed for my adventure?
  18. What is TICO?
  19. What is MS climb?
1. What is the typical age of people who travel with OT?
OT travellers are generally aged between 30 and 60+ but we have a broad range of ages travelling with us. Our trips are designed to attract people who are adventurous, reasonably active and conscientious about how they travel… so that could be any age! Top
2. I am a bit worried about the treks on your trips.
How fit do I have to be?
Most of our trips involve an active component, usually short day hikes between 2 and 5 hours. Although you don’t have to be an athlete to participate, a reasonable fitness level will be required to enjoy the activities. Please see our active rating for each individual trip for more details. Top
3. Will I be “roughing it” on the trip?
What kind of places do we stay in?
Wherever possible we use deluxe/boutique style accommodation that is comfortable, locally-run and hand picked by us. We know how much a good bed and shower is appreciated after a day exploring a new country. All rooms are twin share and have a private en-suite. When trekking we stay in modest guesthouses or home-stays. These will be simple, but clean with shared bathrooms. Top
4. Will I be sharing a room on tour during one of your special group departures?
Yes. Accommodation on trip is based on a twin share basis. So, if you are traveling alone, you will be paired with another traveller in the group of the same sex. Sometimes it works out that the single traveller can end up with a room of their own based on numbers. Top
5. Can I book a tour with my own room on a special group departure?
Yes. However, if you would like your own room for the duration of the trip, a single supplement payment will be required. This price will vary depending on the trip. Top
6. Can I bring things from home to donate to the projects on my trip?
Of course! Anything that you can donate is appreciated. Keep in mind that a lot of things like school supplies can be bought locally, which saves you bringing the excess weight over, plus it supports local businesses. Souvenirs and things unique to your home country are always appreciated – even something as simple as coins. Depending on your trip we can advise you of the best things to bring with you. Top
7. Do your tours include flights?
No, we do not include international flights in our trip costs; however, we do have a lot of experience in booking flights and will be happy to assist you! Depending on the trip some local flights may be included depending on the itinerary. Please check for each specific trip. Top
8. How many people will I be traveling with on special group departures?
We have a maximum of 14 travellers on our special group departure trips, but the average is less. We feel that with small groups we can provide a more personal experience. Small groups are more flexible and less obtrusive and allow us to follow our sustainable philosophies, especially when travelling in developing countries. Our specialty is customization, so if you have a group already (like families or school groups) or want a more intimate tour (couples or small groups of friends) we can tailor an Original Trails trip to your numbers and needs. Top
9. What should I bring?
You will be on the move a lot while on tour, so it is advisable to bring light, durable luggage that is easily transportable. Small daypacks are especially useful when hiking for carrying water and snacks. A detailed packing list is included for each trip in our individual trip dossiers that will be sent to you upon booking. Top
10. Are airport transfers included in your trips?
A one-way airport transfer to the start hotel is included with all our trips upon arrival in the destination country. We feel it is important and comforting to be greeted by an Original Trails representative and get your adventure off to the right start. As we find people’s plans vary at the end of the trip, our trip prices do not include a return transfer to the airport, but can be arranged upon request. Top
11. I want to stay an extra day or 2 before and/or after my tour. Can you book these extra nights’ accommodation for me?
For sure! Just let us know when you book your tour with us and we will happily organize any extra accommodation for you, pre and/or post tour. If, however the designated hotel is full on the extra nights you wish to stay, we will recommend another hotel for you. Top
12. Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. All travellers that join an OT trip are required to have travel insurance. Our minimum insurance policy for medical emergency, evacuation and repatriation is $200,000 USD (or equivalent in other currencies). We have provided a link to a reliable insurance company, there are many more out there. You can also book through your local travel agent if you prefer. Your insurance details will be requested on day one of your trip. Top
13. Do I need cancellation insurance?
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is optional, but highly recommended. A comprehensive coverage will put your mind at ease. You do not have to worry about any unforeseen circumstances that could happen at any time, like needing to cut your trip early to rush home for an emergency or having a tour changed or cancelled due to natural disasters. Top
14. What is included and what is not included in your special group departures?
All accommodation, transfer to the start hotel, ground transport, internal flights, a 24 hour-on-call tour leader throughout and activities and/or guided- English tours as stated in each individual tour itinerary are included.

International flights, visa fees, airport taxes, extra accommodation, tipping, drinks, departure transfers to the airport, personal donations to our causes and any items of a personal nature are not included.

Meals are often included on treks and excursions, but please refer to individual trip itineraries for details. A recommended food allowance for extra meals not included in the itinerary for each trip is included in our personalized and detailed trip dossier which you will receive from us Top
15. How much should I budget for tipping?
As mentioned above, tips are not included in the tour price. Although it is a common practice in many of the countries we visit, it is entirely at your discretion. For your convenience we have included a tipping guideline for each trip in our dossiers for your reference. Top
16. Do I need a travel visa and if so, can you help me arrange one?
This all depends on your nationality and the country you are travelling to. Visas have to be arranged by the traveller; however we have provided a link to help you determine if you require one at all. If you do need a visa you can arrange them yourself through the local consulate or embassy of your destination country or use the services of a travel agent or visa processing company. As visa requirements are constantly changing it is very important to get the most up-to-date information. Click here for more information. Top
17. What vaccinations are needed for my adventure?
It is very important that you seek the advice of a qualified medical professional to receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information for the region you will be visiting. We suggest your family doctor or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic. We have included a link that provides some general health-related travel information, but this should not be a used as substitution for a doctor.Click here for more details.Top
18. What is TICO?
The Travel Industry Council of Ontario is an organization mandated by the Ontario government to administer the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 which governs all travel retailers registered in Ontario. In addition, TICO administers an industry-financed Travel Compensation Fund. In a nutshell, when you purchase your trip through Original Trails, your travel investment is insured in the case that you don’t receive the travel services that you paid for. Click here for more details.
19. What are the fundraising details for the MS climb trip?
MS Climb is a fundraising group in it’s fourth year of operations. It started in 2008 with a trip to Peru and a climb to Machu Picchu. That first year, MS climb raised over $250,000. Since then there has been one trip per year to the roster and for 2012, there are now four trips. Original Trails is proud to be the official operator for MS Climb running the Mt Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and Great Wall of China hike. The ultimate target for fundraising is $1 million dollars and MS climb is well on it’s way with $847,000 raised so far. To be able to participate in MS climb Kilimanjaro, climbers must raise 15,000 (CDN) through fundraising. These targets are the minimum to raise and do not include airfares and other personal expenses. Participants are from all walks of life, of all age ranges, from across Canada. Some of the climbers have been diagnosed with MS themselves, others have close relatives or friends who suffer from MS, and still others are not associated with the disease at all. Fundraisers can find resources, ideas, inspiration and support through meetings and teleconferences that are held on a regular basis. Click here for more information on the MS climb program and how to register.