Students are The Priority. We take the responsibility of ensuring their health, safety and well-being very seriously. As teachers and parents of children ourselves, we get the importance of preparation, planning and prevention. Our commitment to a high standard of care is reflected in our Best Practices.
No Peace Works Travel student traveler has suffered any injury, serious illness, hospitalization, assault, or evacuation on our program. A high ethic of care and superior organization allows us to adventure responsibly. Peace Works Travel service providers are audited regularly so as to ensure a quality travel experience for the whole group.
While we are prepared to handle accidents, our sensible itineraries preclude high risk of problems occurring. Our planning leaves little to chance. Health and safety preparations begin before departure with “Stay Found and Sound” traveler awareness training and Student Rules of Conduct for smart self-regulation. We encourage travelers to consult their physicians and follow the recommended practices of the Center for Disease Control under the advisement of global travel infectious disease specialists. We monitor the conditions on the ground in our destination countries, and make itinerary modifications as necessary to avoid potential hazards. Our tours take no risks with eating: we avoid street food and cheap restaurants of dubious quality. Every Program Leader is CPR certified, equipped with a cell phone, first-aid kit, bottled water, and all travelers’ personal medical data during every excursion.
In case of an emergency, our urgent response plan is supported by 24/7 support of TravelEx insurance services, including western medical facilities akin to Urgent-Care centers in the U.S. In the case of rare, minor incidents such as 24-hour traveler’s diarrhea or urban pick-pocketing, parents are notified, reports filed and remedies pursued. Whether the issue is mild or severe, we are committed to timely communication and solutions for restoration of the traveler’s well-being.
The safety of our student travelers is our top priority. Additionally, Peace Works Travel independently reviews UN reports and NGO updates, keeping close track of the political and social environments of the countries we visit. We pre-register all of our travelers with the U.S. State Department and American embassies in the destination country. The professional excellence and superior knowledge of our local partners serves our goal of crisis prevention; early-awareness of potential hazards is taken seriously and we err on the side of minimizing risk in determining itinerary modifications. Peace Works Travel reserves the right to cancel or modify an itinerary if conditions warrant a change of plan.
All travelers should see their physician prior to departure in order to make informed decisions about necessary immunizations and booster shots. Generally, our tour itineraries are classified as “urban and upscale” according to the Center for Disease Control, and present very low health risks to the traveler. Vaccination recommendations will vary according to itinerary destinations, season and personal choice. Student travelers who follow our preparatory “packing list” will be well-equipped for the temperatures and conditions present on their itineraries. Our Best Practices further minimize the possibility of illness and injury. In addition, groups are furnished with bottled water, anti-bacterial hand wipes, bug repellent and sunscreen as needed.
To ensure overall well-being, students are never left unsupervised when outside of their private rooms. Program Leaders are always present during group activities and we employ the “buddy system” for brief departures from the group (ie; to use the restroom). Students are not permitted to leave the hotel at the conclusion of the day’s activities and Teacher Program Leaders conduct random room checks during “hotel free-time.” Students who require a rest day are accompanied by a chaperone—no one is ever left behind.
The violent crime rate in our destination countries is lower than that of most urban centers in the United States. Even still, we take the safety of female travelers very seriously. We prepare our students before departure to dress and behave modestly. Adapting to cultural norms of conservative dress and behavior is the best way to avoid unwanted attention. We regularly exercise the right to insist a student change her clothes should she be in violation of these norms. No student of either gender is permitted to engage in unsupervised communication with strangers. No hotel or Homestay rooms open directly to the street: all students are directed to lock their doors when returning for the evening.
Every tour is equipped with standard safety and medical preparations: first aid kits, bottled water and ready access to medical-professional staff. Program Leaders are CPR certified, trained to administer basic first aid, and travel with copies of student medical data forms at all times. Although our solid planning and safety precautions have ensured that no student traveler has ever suffered any injury on our tours, Peace Works Travel is prepared for issues requiring emergency medical care. Our emergency response is supported by 24/7 TravelEx Insurance services for every traveler quality in-country medical facilities akin to American “Urgent Care” centers. In the unlikely event of an emergency, we secure the health and safety of the students first, and contact parents immediately thereafter. Peace Works Travel promises clear and candid communication with parents or their designee.
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Bill Morse, Director Cambodian Landmine Museum, Siem Reap
Briggs Boss, Sophomore, Thacher School
Stacy Serrette, Teacher and Dean of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Paul Rusesabagina, Real-life Hotel Rwanda hero who saved over 1200 people during the Rwandan genocide.
Shirley Hahn, Beverly Hills, California
The Santa Barbara Independent
Alex Greer, Junior, Laguna Blanca School
Kelly Bennett, history teacher, Santa Barbara Middle School
Alexandra Kall, Francis Parker School
Spencer Barr, English Teacher, Santa Barbara High School, California
Stacy Serrette, Director of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Eric Taylor, Francis Parker School, San Diego, California