Frequently Asked Questions
Taking part in a charity challenge is a big commitment and we want to make sure you're fully prepared. Here's a round up of our most frequently asked questions.
If you have any other questions not answered here, please contact our friendly team. Just call 020 7619 0066 or email us and we'll be happy to help.
What is the average age?
It is impossible to give an average age. Charity challenges appeal to people from all age groups. We have taken people from 18 to 80 years old to all corners of the globe. Those aged 16 and 17 are welcome if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Although a minimum age of 18 applies to some of our most challenging events e.g. Kilimanjaro.
What type of person takes part?
Everyone who signs up for a charity challenge has two things in common - a sense of adventure and the desire to help those less fortunate. There are people from all walks of life which makes for an interesting and diverse group of fellow participants. Most people who sign up don't know anyone else beforehand but we quite often get friends, couples and groups taking part. There will be the opportunity to meet other participants at a pre-departure information session plus you can opt to join Facebook to start sharing tips on kit, training and fundraising. It's also a great forum for photo sharing after the challenge.
How fit and healthy do I have to be?
You don’t have to be super fit to take part and it’s not a race. However, our challenges are fairly strenuous therefore you should be of average fitness and enjoy reasonable health. We strongly recommend that you do regular training in the weeks leading up to the event. If you are over 65 you must obtain a signed medical form from your doctor. It is essential that the charity and Classic Tours are aware of any medical conditions that may be affected by participating in the event.
How many people take part?
This varies a great deal from group to group, as some destinations have a limit but on average each charity challenge is made up of 30 – 40 participants plus staff.
What fundraising help will I receive?
Raising funds is often the toughest part of a charity challenge. However, it is possible to reach and even exceed the sponsorship target as many participants of all ages and from all walks of life have proved. We have included a Fundraising Ideas page to give you some inspiration. Whichever charity you sign up with will also offer support and pass on top tips from past participants.
What happens if I can't raise the sponsorship money?
All money raised is a charitable donation until you have paid the minimum sponsorship money to the charity – usually 10 weeks before departure. At this point your place on the charity challenge will be confirmed. If you do not raise the required amount you are liable to forfeit your place on the challenge. All sponsorship forms and sponsorship money should then be forwarded to the charity who will return it to your sponsors where requested. You can however make up the shortfall yourself in order to still take part. If you are having problems raising money do let the charity know well before the sponsorship deadline so that they can offer help and advice.
How much of the money I raise will directly help the charity?
Charity challenges do incur costs for travel, accommodation, food, staff etc. Classic Tours gives the charity a package price per person and the sponsorship level is set accordingly. The charity is obliged to tell you what percentage of your sponsorship money will be used to cover the tour cost – it is usually no more than 50% and often less.
What if my sponsors think my challenge is a holiday?
The challenge of taking part in one of our events starts months before departure due to the fundraising and training involved. Once on the challenge the physical exertion of trekking, cycling, climbing or horse riding for 6 – 8 hours a day is not to be under-estimated. This combined with a different culture, climate and basic accommodation means that the experience is often outside most people’s comfort zone. However, the personal satisfaction of overcoming these physical and emotional barriers and benefiting your chosen charity is fantastic.
Are payments for travel arrangements protected?
Challenges which include a flight are ATOL protected as we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 3379. Please see our Booking Conditions for more information. ATOL protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.
Travel arrangements made by us which include accommodation are fully protected by our bond with ABTOT. As a member of the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), Classic Tours has provided a bond to meet the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. In the event of insolvency, protection is provided for non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK and other non-flight packages excluding prearranged travel to and from your destination. Please note that packages booked outside the UK are only protected when purchased directly with Classic Tours. In the above circumstances, if you have not yet travelled you may claim a refund, or if you have already travelled, you may claim repatriation to the starting point of your non-flight package.
What does the challenge include?
This varies by challenge but in general the following is included: all transportation (flights, ferry, train, coach etc depending on the event), shared accommodation, full board (on challenge days), water and snacks whilst undertaking the activity, luggage transfer, bikes (if cycling outside of Europe), horses (if horse riding) all necessary back-up including support vehicles, Tour Manager, mechanics, doctor or medic and guides.
What is not included in the challenge?
This varies by challenge but in general the following is not included: registration fee, travel insurance, vaccinations, bikes (on European challenges), spending money, visa, tips for local staff, airport taxes, some meals on non-challenge days (varies by event) and optional tours.
Do I need specialist kit?
You will receive a packing list when you sign up which recommends the type of clothing and equipment you will need. If cycling or horse riding the only essential item is a helmet which must be worn at all times when riding - plus a bicycle on European challenges e.g. London to Paris Bike Ride. If trekking a comfortable pair of worn in boots is a must.
Do I need travel insurance?
You must be insured to take part - either through a company of your choice or the Classic Tours recommended policy. If you are organising your own policy please make sure your insurance company is aware of the nature of what you are doing and that it is a charity event. You will need to provide proof of your insurance 8 weeks before the challenge. If your charity challenge is in the EU and you are an EU resident then we recommend you also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to some free health care. This should be in addition to and not instead of comprehensive travel insurance.
Are airport taxes Included?
Airport taxes are not included in any of our charity challenges and are payable by each participant 8-10 weeks prior to departure (depending on the airline).
Where will we stay?
We use different types of accommodation (hotels, guest houses, hostels and camp sites) depending on what’s available in the area which is suitable for groups. As these are charity challenges and not holidays the standard is generally quite basic during the event itself with a better quality (normally a 3 star hotel or equivalent) at the end. Rooming is usually twin, triple or quad share although occasionally we use dormitories. Accommodation is single sex, sometimes we can make provision for couples but this isn’t always possible.
Will I have to carry my luggage?
No, luggage will be transported in support vehicles unless otherwise stated, although day packs may need to be carried on some treks where there is no vehicle access. Small bum bags are useful for carrying personal items with you.
What kind of support is there?
There will be full medical back up, mechanical support (if cycling) and English speaking guides. There will also be support vehicles available (on most challenges) in case for any reason you are unable to continue. A Classic Tours Tour Manager accompanies every challenge.
Are bicycles provided?
Bicycles are generally provided on all challenges that include a flight. You will need to bring your own bicycle on UK and European challenges e.g. London to Paris.
What’s the food like?
The food will be wholesome, tasty and plentiful. It is usually prepared by the local team so we are able to enjoy a variety of local dishes. For example, Morocco - couscous and tagines, China - rice and noodles, India – curries and dhals. There will be snacks and water available on challenge days. If you have a special dietary request please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate it.
How much spending money will I need to take?
This is entirely up to you and depends on how many souvenirs you want to take home. We suggest around £100 spending money for short haul events and £200 for long haul challenges to cover sightseeing, drinks, gifts, optional tours etc.
Can I stay on afterwards?
It is usually possible to stay on after the challenge. If it is an event which involves a flight any extension will depend on airline rules and availability. A fee of £40 per person is usually payable, subject to additional charges levied by the airline.