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Why should I travel with PATH Journeys?

If you are reading this, there’s a good chance that you are already deeply concerned about the health inequities faced by people in the developing world. You know the statistics, you’ve read the stories, and you may even have offered your support.

What PATH Journeys offers is something more: the rare opportunity to see the challenges of global health and some of the world’s most innovative solutions—in person. As one of a small group of travelers, you’ll interact directly with the visionaries who are helping create new hope for poor countries and with the individuals whose lives are changing every day.

It’s all too easy for visitors to the developing world to see only poverty and suffering, inequities and ill health. PATH Journeys offers the chance to see the real hope that our work is bringing—with help from people like you.

How long does a trip last?

The length of the PATH Journeys trips varies. Most run between five and seven days. International travel to and from the country generally adds between two and three days total and is the responsibility of each traveler.

How much does a trip cost?

The cost of each trip varies. Trips have ranged from US$8,000 to $15,000. The price covers most of what you’ll need for the duration of the in-country experience: accommodations, most meals, in-country transportation, museum tours, translation services, and fees. International airfare is not included and is to be arranged by the traveler unless assistance is requested.

Who goes on PATH Journeys trips?

Journeys travelers include professionals, researchers, and leaders from the public and private sectors; representatives of organizations that are, or are interested in, partnering with PATH; global and US-based thought leaders and influencers; PATH executive-level leaders; and members of our board of directors.

What is the size of a PATH Journeys group?

These are intimate opportunities to meet and learn from PATH staff in-country and to engage with the beneficiaries of PATH’s work. To ensure a high-quality experience, we limit the size of the groups to 12 guests, plus between two and three US-based hosts—generally an executive-level PATH leader and an industry leader who is deeply familiar with our work.

Are there minimum or maximum ages for travelers?

PATH Journeys trips are not suitable for young children (i.e.., younger than 12 years). However, older children are welcome to accompany their parents or guardians on a trip.

If you have concerns, please contact us to verify that a given trip will not be overly challenging for you or members of your family.

How do I sign up for a trip?

You can initiate the application process by contacting Heidi Peterson, program lead, at hpeterson@path.org or 650.275.3343 or Sarah Siefke, program assistant, at ssiefke@path.org or 206.302.457.

What if I have to cancel?

We realize that unavoidable situations arise that may prevent a traveler from participating in a PATH Journeys trip as planned. However, our country offices must make deposits for hotels and transportation very early to ensure the best experience for our guests. In addition, as the departure date grows closer, it becomes very difficult for us to fill a spot that was otherwise spoken for.

As a result, deposits may be partially or completely non-refundable as the departure date approaches. The cancellation deadline is specific to each trip. Please contact us for information about a particular Journey. Any forfeited deposits will be considered a tax-deductible donation, and the traveler will receive a receipt of their donation. 

Is any portion of the cost of my trip considered a tax-deductible donation?

Journeys trips are not tax-deductible. However, if you need to cancel your reservation past the particular trip’s deadline, non-refundable deposits will be considered tax-deductible donations and you will be sent a receipt.

What health issues should I think about before signing up?

The trips can be demanding, but most adults in reasonable health find them quite manageable physically. You should visit your doctor and/or a travel clinic to learn more and ensure that you receive appropriate vaccinations and medicine for the regions where you’ll be traveling. If you have concerns, please contact us to verify that a given trip will not be overly challenging for you or members of your family.

We also encourage travelers to visit the website of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for country-specific health information, required and recommended vaccinations, and prescriptions to bring with you.

Note: Some vaccinations should be given several weeks in advance of travel, so it’s important to explore this information or to check with your doctor well ahead of your departure. Information will also be provided with your pre-trip materials.

What kind of official travel documents do I need?

All travelers must carry passports with at least six months left before expiration. Visa requirements differ from country to country; we will provide guidance on a per-trip basis.

Will I receive any materials to help me prepare for my trip?

Yes, PATH provides a wealth of information to help you prepare for your visit, including information about the programs you will see, immunizations, money, insurance, and local cultures; a packing list; and a suggested reading list. We are happy to help answer any questions that are not addressed in the pre-departure packet.

What do I need to bring?

Because each trip is different, you will receive a list of trip-specific recommendations as part of your pre-departure packet.

Will there be tour guides? What about translators?

The unique nature of PATH Journeys means that your guides are our own local staff—public health professionals from the countries where we work. Their expertise adds insight and global perspective to what you’ll see. In addition, each trip will be hosted by an executive-level PATH leader and an industry leader who is deeply familiar with our work. Finally, you’ll be assisted along the way by professional tour guides for visits to museums, heritage sites, and the like, as well as by professional translators fluent in both English and the local language.

Will I have free time to explore?

Between visits to the field, we schedule “down time” to relax and absorb the local culture. These days are often spent exploring major cities, visiting significant historical sites, or touring geographical and natural wonders.

Will I have the chance to volunteer while traveling?

The focus of the trips are educational, and while there are many opportunities to interact with local people who are affected by PATH programs, the trips do not offer hands-on volunteer opportunities.

Can I extend my stay after the scheduled trip?

Many travelers plan to arrive early in the region or stay after the official trip ends. PATH will provide a list of recommended destinations that you and your travel agent may consider for a pre- or post-trip visit. Extra travel is not included in the price of the trip and is entirely independent of the Journeys program.

What happens after I return from a PATH Journeys trip?

We hope that you will remain engaged with PATH and especially with your fellow travelers on your return. The friendships and new perspectives built during travel are often lasting and deeply rewarding. Depending on your trip, PATH may invite you to a reunion event a few weeks or months after your return. Many travelers also share their stories and photos to help others understand the experience.

Who should I contact for more information?

For more information, please contact Heidi Peterson, program lead, at hpeterson@path.org or 650.275.3343.