A funny thing called love..
In 2008, Original Trails was started by a wandering Kiwi and a roaming Canadian on a Thai Beach. After free-birding the globe, they were ready to begin another chapter. Each had a story, and each whole-heartedly believed that, not all those who wander are, in fact, lost. They both shared a dream to take travel back to a more authentic level; one full of real adventure and real people. Travel that doesn't just take, but somehow gives back and enriches. So, with the help of the many locals they have met on their travels, Original Trails was born; taking people to unique places and giving something back along the way. 10 years later, the story continues, as they try to preserve the very thing they so love.
Don't sweat the small stuff...
Quite simply, we do the boring stuff and help you to have a smooth and easy adventure. We handle the logistics for you like trains, (local) planes and automobiles and find the perfect places for you to rest your weary head at night. We make sure someone is there to pick you up at the airport after a long flight and wave you good-bye to see you off safely. We don't believe in "organized" tours, but rather "organizing" your tour with you, giving you the perfect balance of a worry-free trip with all the freedom to explore.
Oh, and while you are enjoying, we contribute something to the locals who have whole-heartedly let you in to their homes.
Sounds heavenly, really, don't you think?
Yes, you in the back...
What is the typical age of people who travel with OT?
Age is, but a number! Our trips are designed for people who are adventurous, reasonably active and conscientious about how they travel.
What kind of accommodation do we stay in?
Wherever possible we use deluxe/boutique style accommodation that is comfortable, locally-run and hand picked by us. No one appreciates a good bed and shower after a day of exploring more than us! When trekking we stay in modest guesthouses or home-stays. These will be simple, but clean with shared bathrooms.
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. Double- win, right? Souvenirs, 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.
Do your tours include flights?
No, we do not include international flights in our trip costs. Depending on the trip, however some local flights may be included depending on the itinerary. Please check for each specific trip.
What should I bring?
Once you book a trip with us, you will receive a detailed dossier exclusive for you and your trip. A detailed packing list is included, as well as a detailed day-by-day itinerary and useful tips. Did you know hello in Swhaili is "Jambo"?
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).
Do I need cancellation insurance?
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is optional, but highly recommended. A comprehensive coverage will put your mind at ease and, after all vacations are all about the ease.
How much should I budget for tipping?
Tipping, although not mandatory, does spread the love. For your convenience, we have included a tipping guideline for each trip in our dossiers for your reference.
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 need to be arranged by the traveller. We can advise you , but visa requirements change constantly (we just can't keep us), so it is very important to get the most up-to-date information.
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. Pssst..ask your family doctor first to see what is covered by insurance before going to a travel clinic....pass it on.
What is TICO?
The Travel Industry Council of Ontario. Unlike other countries and provinces travel companies in Ontario are mandated by TICO, so the great thing about booking a trip with an Ontario company is that your purchase is insured. Travel is a unique product as you pay for it in full before you "see" it. With that in mind, TICO administers an industry-financed Travel Compensation Fund. In other words, your travel investment is insured in the case that you don't receive the travel services that you paid for. Yeaaah TICO!!