Frequently Asked Questions
We know you have some questions about all these amazing, once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Here are some of the most common ones. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you've got a Q that isn't answered here. Each trip itinerary also has its own FAQ.
How do I apply?
Each trip has a link to its unique application under "Save You Spot". All of our trips are booked through Mobilize, a secure web-based platform for managing our adventures. You are required to fill out a brief application and pay a deposit fee via credit card to secure your spot. Once the application and deposit have been received and confirmed you will have access to the trip hub where all the information, details, updates and communication about the trip is accessible.
Do you have insurance?
Yes. Purposeful Nomad is a fully insured through American International Group, Inc. Here at Purposeful Nomad we do our best to ensure that every program is a success. However, in the event of something unexpected we want you to be fully protected. We REQUIRE that you purchase international medical insurance. This is different from your health insurance. International medical emergency travel insurance is short-term protection for any medical costs incurred outside your home country. It’s incredibly easy and usually below $100 depending on the coverage you want. Two companies we recommend are SOS and World Nomads but you are free to use the company of your choice.
What if I get injured?
Your safety is paramount and will be taken very seriously. In case of an emergency our drivers will be at hand to take anyone to the clinic or hospital. Because we will be in rural areas and partaking in adventurous activities having your own travel insurance in addition to our company insurance will protect you from any unwanted costs in the end.
What if I have to cancel last minute?
A cancellation request must be received in writing by email from a participant. Verbal notice will not serve as a valid cancellation. Should you choose to withdraw from the program at any time, unfortunately the deposit is non-refundable (unless the program is cancelled by Purposeful Nomad). Cancellation by you up to 90 days prior to departure will result in full reimbursement minus deposit.
Cancellation by you less than 90 days will result in no refund. Purposeful Nomad is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies.
Do I need to speak the language?
Nope! Included in all our trips are bi-lingual guides.
Do your guides speak the language of where we go, or do you hire a translator?
In most cases Purposeful Nomad has a guide that speaks the language in addition to a local, bilingual guide. Wherever needed there is a translator.
What if I have food allergies?
There is a spot in the application to note all allergies and food restrictions. Purposeful Nomad will work with you personally to make sure this is something that we can accommodate.
What if I feel uncomfortable with someone on the trip? Do you have guidelines for people’s expected behavior on the trips?
While participants do not receive any formal guidelines on how to act, everyone will be treated with the utmost respect and compassion. In the unlikely situation that a participant does not follow this basic code of conduct, our facilitators will work hard to find the best possible solutions. If anyone at any time does not feel comfortable with a fellow member of the group you may talk to a Purposeful Nomad guide and the appropriate measures will be taken.
Can I enjoy some alcoholic beverages on the trip?
You may. Alcohol is not included in the price of the trip and where available you may choose to purchase that on your own. We ask that you use more precaution in high elevation areas such as in Ecuador as the affects of alcohol are greatly increased past 9,000 feet. There are certain settings during some trips where alcohol should not be consumed for cultural reasons, but our guides will give you a heads up when we encounter those moments.
What do I need to bring?
Once you have applied for the trip you will be sent a recommended packing list specific to that trip.
Do I have to be able-bodied? In great shape?
Each trip has varying levels of activity so it depends on the itinerary. Overall, everyone must be healthy and physically able to move about without complication. You are responsible for taking all necessary health precautions before and during your trip. It is the client's responsibility to ensure they seek professional medical advice before travelling and to take all necessary health precautions and preventative measures. Having said that, every activity is optional and should you choose not to participate in everything that is completely fine. We encourage everyone to take it at their own pace. Every hike will have different levels of length and difficulty, as well as different activities to choose from.
Will the group be together the whole time?
Yes. Groups travel together at all times in a private van with driver and guide. There are specific days where you are welcome to choose your own adventure or wander out on your own if desired. A few meals are not included and they are noted on each itinerary.
Will there be local guides on the trip?
On most of the trips there are local guides that will be with us the whole trip. They are here to assist you, help with logistics and share local culture and history.
How do we vet the organizations & partners we work with?
Founders Caitlin and Jess personally meet with the communities and/or non-profits which we partner with during the trip creation process. We ask the hard questions, for example: where do you get your funding? And, who benefits from the work being done? We also ask about the needs and strengths of each community and if we could provide a service, activity or new skill for one of our upcoming trips. Most importantly we listen to their answers. If we don’t like what we hear or it doesn’t align with our values then we simply move on. Meet some of our amazing partners!
What makes Jessica and Caitlin qualified to operate Purposeful Nomad?
Jessica and Caitlin founders of PN have traveled, volunteered, lived and worked in over 62 countries in the past decade. Caitlin has worked as a guide in the Dominican Republic and has operated an eco-lodge in Portland, OR. She has lived in Chile, Argentina and the Dominican Republic and has deep knowledge in how to work with local communities, logistically plan trips and execute meaningful programs.
Jessica Scranton is a photographer working with nonprofits, women’s groups and leaders in the international development sector. Her hands-on experience in the field working for nonprofits has given her deep insights into the benefits and failures of aid work, volunteering and tourism. She has witnessed the positive impact that occurs when people come together and learn from each other through community engagement.
Caitlin and Jessica have combined their years of experience to create Purposeful Nomad to help leverage more women into the world in a safe and secure way.
Who is our ideal traveler?
We like to say: It’s not about age but all about attitude! Our ideal client is open to trying new things, getting their hands dirty, looking to engage with local communities and most importantly they have an open-minded, curious attitude. All types of ages, sizes and women come on our trips. Feel free to review Our Travelers page for more examples of recent travelers.