DREAM NOW – TRAVEL LATER.
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt around the world, we hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. The health and safety of our travelers and staff is our top priority. All tours are during this Coronavirus crisis are currently paused. We are closely monitoring the situation with guidance from the CDC and the U.S. Department of State.
Meaningful Trips does not share, sell, or trade email addresses, telephone numbers, information collected from forms or specific details about you and your household. Meaningful Trips does not release your credit card or financial information with any other companies or organizations except to process your credit card for your Meaningful Trips adventure. Meaningful Trips does not share any past or current client names and addresses with any other companies or organizations. We will use your information only where required by us to process your booking, ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly, and meet your requirements regarding any special needs, dietary requirements etc.
At Meaningful Trips, the health and safety of our guests and staff is paramount. The U.S. Department of State has a page for every country in the world, where it lists all known difficulties and current threats to the safety of visitors. And, the CDC, Center for Disease Control has information on vaccines and advice on how to stay healthy while traveling and country-specific health information. While traveling, follow basic precautions to stay safe: Be aware of your surroundings, exercise caution when walking alone at night and be vigilant on public transport. We recommend: carry your day pack on your front, do not hang a bag, purse, camera over the back of a chair or on the floor, use of a neck wallet or money belt to keep passport, cash and credit cards safe. Leave your valuable jewelry at home. Use hotel safety deposit boxes when available. Your Trip Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any parts of the trip itinerary if necessary due to safety concerns.
Important Policies and Rules
No Violence Policy
Meaningful Trips does not tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people.
No Drug Policy
Meaningful Trips does not tolerate any illegal drugs on any trips. Possessing or using drugs is not only illegal, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Our guides have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession. Smoking marijuana (even if it is legal in your home state) is not acceptable on any trips.
No Sexual Exploitation Policy
Meaningful Trips does not tolerate patronizing prostitutes or sex workers on our trips. Sexual trafficking and exploitation are abominations and exist in all corners of the world, and certainly in ‘our’ tourism industry. Meaningful Trips joined the fight against human trafficking by signing ECPAT’s Code of Conduct (‘The Code’). The Code is an industry-driven responsible tourism initiative with a mission to provide awareness, tools, and support to the tourism industry in order to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.
Responsible Drinking Policy
If you choose to consume alcohol while traveling, you must drink responsibly, and abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. Our guides have the right to expel any member of the group for excessive drunkenness or misbehavior. By traveling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules and policies. Your group leader has the right to remove
Activity Levels and Qualifications
All welcome. Travel at a relaxed pace. Activity: easy walking and light hiking, 1 – 3 hours, at low elevation. May include short-duration excursions such as: bicycling, sea kayaking, or rafting Class I-II rapids. These activities are optional. May include driving of 3 – 4 hours on some days. Minimum Age: 14* (see note below).
Recommended for fit travelers with a spirit of adventure. Travel at a moderate pace. Activity: moderate walking and hiking, 3 – 5 hours daily, at elevations which may range from 5,000 – 10,000 feet. May include half-day or full-day excursions that include: bicycling, sea kayaking, or rafting Class II-III rapids. These activities are optional. May include driving of 3 – 4 hours on some days. Minimum Age: 14* (see below)
Recommended for fit travelers. Moderate hiking experience and conditioning are required. Activity: 5 – 8 hours trekking daily at high elevation while carrying your own small daypack (water, essentials and warm layers). Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails. Elevations: will range from 6,000 – 14,000 feet. It is important that you read our information about Altitude Mountain Sickness. A doctor’s release is required for persons age 60 or older. Minimum Age: 14 (see below).
As most of our travelers are adults, our minimum age on all trips is 14 years old (unless on a specifically-designated ‘Private Group Departure’ or ‘Family Departure’). All trip participants ages 14 – 20 must be accompanied by an adult.
Information About Group Travel and Our Tours
Meaningful Trips specializes in small-group travel. Tours are typically 6 – 12 persons in size. You will be sharing your tour with others also seeking a fun, safe, responsible, transformative travel experience. Each person will have their own expectations. To each individual traveler, and to the group as a whole, we ask all to be accepting of differences, exhibit patience and kindness, and pack a spirit-of-adventure.
Private Trip Just For Your Group
Like one of our amazing adventures but want to make it private just for your group? Great, we can set up a private departure for most of the trips we offer. So, round-up your family or co-workers or hiking buddies or social group and give us a call. Imagine you and your friends celebrating your 50th birthday while trekking in Nepal. Treat the entire family to kayaking and whale-watching in Baja! Milestones, Family Trips, Reunions, Clubs, Special Groups, Corporate retreats, the possibilities are endless. Pricing for private departures varies by trip and is based on the size of your group. Contact Meaningful Trips for an estimate.
Travel for Free as A Group Organizer
Gather together a group of 10 or more people booking and paying on the same tour with you…and as the group’s organizer, you can get your spot on the trip for free (land tour cost only, airfare not included)!
Reserving Your Trip
As group sizes are limited, we recommend that you reserve your space well in advance. A $500 deposit via check, Visa or Mastercard is required to reserve your place on a trip. Book online, or contact us at: info@MeaningfulTrip.com. Or you can download the Trip Application from our website and mail it back to our office with a check or credit card information.
After we receive your deposit, we will email you a Confirmation Welcome Packet that includes a Detailed Itinerary, optional Travel Insurance information, and Pre-Departure Bulletin with a packing list, and general information needed to help you prepare for your trip. We will also include required forms for you to complete and send back to us, including the Trip Application, with the Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Form, and Medical Form. These forms are required for participation on any trip. We will send a Final Bulletin with meeting instructions, emergency contact numbers, guide names, roommate assignments, and final trip details approximately three weeks prior to departure.
Payment and Cancellation Policy
A $500 deposit is required at time of booking to secure space. The deposit is fully refundable. (see below). Full payment is due 60 days before the departure date.
If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply:
91+ days prior to departure = Full Refund. (Deposits made by credit card incur a $20 chargeback fee)
61 to 90 days = $500
31 to 60 days prior to departure = 50% of the total trip cost is non-refundable
0 to 30 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable
If you instead transfer to another trip, the following fees are due at the time of the request:
61+ days prior to departure = $0
31 to 60 days = $500
0 to 30 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable
Booking Your Flights
Meaningful Trips tours do not include international or domestic airfare. To purchase your tickets, you can call airlines directly, check travel web sites for specials, or contact your local travel agent. Most tours have a minimum number of bookings required to confirm a trip departure. Always, always check with Meaningful Trips first before purchasing any flights.
Meaningful Trips highly recommends that our travelers purchase travel insurance to protect themselves against financial loss in the case of personal emergency or other unforeseen events. Comprehensive insurance should cover: Life/medical insurance, flight delays, missed connections, lost baggage, emergency evacuation, and trip cancellation insurance.
At Meaningful Trips, we believe all Travel Agents are… meaningful! Thank you for your interest in Meaningful Trips. We work with Travel Agents regularly, and most of our trips are commissionable. Please note, you must hold an official, valid IATAN card to qualify for the Travel Agent commission. Please reach out by email. We look forward to working with you!
Altitude Sickness and Prevention
Applies to trips that involve hiking and trekking at altitudes over 9,000’. The information below is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. Consult a doctor before trekking at high altitudes or using any medications. Most cases of altitude sickness are mild, but some may be life-threatening. Symptoms tend to occur within hours after arrival at high altitude and include headache, nausea, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Mild cases may resolve in one to three days. Severe cases may require oxygen, medications, and moving to a lower altitude.
Steps to Take to Prevent Altitude Sickness:
An estimated 75% of people feel some effects of altitude, mostly in the form of headaches, nausea, fatigue, and trouble sleeping. These are actually mild manifestations of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Mild AMS should not interfere with normal activity and the symptoms should subside as acclimatization occurs. As long as the symptoms are mild, it’s generally okay to continue hiking up at a moderate rate. If feeling poorly persists or worsens, turn around.
- Drink 5 Liters of Water Per Day
Hydrate! Drink a minimum of five liters of water per day, no matter what! This is easier at lower elevations when it’s hot, but becomes more burdensome when temperatures cool off and you perspire less. After a few liters you may feel properly hydrated, but your body is doing extra work with less oxygen and needs the water.
- Avoid Dramatic Gains in Elevation
Daily elevation gains at altitude should be kept to no more than 1,500 vertical feet. No hikers, even strong, fit hikers should ignore this important rule of acclimatization.
- Climb High, Sleep Low
You will acclimatize better if you expose yourself to higher altitudes but return to a lower altitude to sleep. Even on a rest day, hiking up a few hundred vertical feet and then back down helps with acclimatization. At higher altitudes, around 10,000 feet and above, this rule becomes even more important as your body is learning to cope with considerably less oxygen.
- Eat, Eat, Eat.
Your body is doing more work than usual so make sure to stay nourished and full of carbohydrates.
- Avoid Alcohol. Avoid Smoking.
- Listen to Your Body
Everybody reacts differently to altitude so pay close attention to how you feel. Stay hydrated, eat, wear sunscreen, monitor yourself and always communicate any concerns to your leader.
Medications for Altitude Sickness
The only treatment for altitude sickness is descent. Some medications may help with symptoms of mild altitude sickness. Consult a doctor before use. Ibuprofen treats headaches. Diamox (Acetazolamide) is a respiratory stimulant that helps the body metabolize more oxygen, especially at night, thereby accelerating the process of acclimatization.
Severe cases of altitude sickness can be life-threatening. If a trekker ever gets an unusual or severe headache or feels unusually short of breath, they should immediately descend 2,000 feet (600 meters), no matter the time of day. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), excess fluid in the lungs, and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE), swelling of the brain, are rare but life threatening conditions that require immediate descent and medical attention.