iCare FAQs

About Private Travel

Q: Are your trips ‘tours?’

A: iCare journeys are not ordinary “tours,” and iCare Travel is not an ordinary tour operator. There are no regimented schedules with buses, packaged elements, and being rushed around.

Additionally, your itinerary is not set in stone. It is flexible, so you can enjoy any surprises or delights you may encounter.

A better description of our trips would be “customized journeys,” or “personalized vacations.”

Q: Where do you go?

A: We arrange trips all over the world. Our strength is working together with some of the most highly regarded travel and excursions suppliers worldwide, with ground operations in 80 destinations.

Our Featured Destinations are special places were we have both established itineraries and travel philanthropy opportunities.

Q: What kind of people go on an iCare Travel vacation?

A: Our clients tend to be savvy, caring people who like a unique travel experience. Often times, they want the convenience of guides and our expertise, but want some independence in their trip as well.

iCare travelers typically range in age from 16 to 85. They are families, friends (e.g.,women getting together for a ‘girl’s vacation’), co-workers, donors going to see their donations, hiking groups, faith-based groups, alternative travelers, and more.

Those who join iCare Group Departures tend to range in age from 40’s to 60’s. They tend to be educated and altruistic people who are looking for an authentic and up-close cultural adventure where they can “make a difference.”

Q: Are the itineraries ‘fixed?’

A: Not in the way you might think.

For private travel, we create an itinerary with you that includes free time and flexibility as you wish, so you can immerse yourself in the wonder of the places you are exploring at your own pace.

On iCare Group Departures, the itinerary is more structured as is needed for a group, yet still allows for free time, flexibility, and serendipity.

Q: Do you have set departure dates?

A: For Private Custom trips, you can travel when you like. For some destinations, certain days of the week are more optimal for starting your trip, and certain times of the year may be more optimal.

iCare Group Departures naturally have set departure dates.

Q: Are these escorted trips? What about guides?

Private custom trips are not escorted, and use guides at times when they will greatly enhance the trip.

iCare Group Departures use more guides, and usually have a USA-based trip leader.

Q: Is there free time to do my own thing?

A: There is as much free time as you wish when your trip is “private” (your own customized vacation). And, if you wish, we will suggest when and where you might enjoy your free time the most, considering your interests and desires.

Even on our Group Departures, you will have plenty of alone time and flexibility. We know our travelers can be independent and curious people, and they may want to explore on their own.

Q: What is included in the cost?

Cost includes: the region’s “must sees,” accommodations, meals (where specified), excursions with suppliers and guides (when included), internal transfers, and special activities.

Optional Activities available at your destination may or may not be included in cost.  

Q: What type and standard of accommodation will I encounter?

Accommodations are typically 4 and 5 star wonderful properties. We may use a 3 star property on certain occasions–in remote areas, or when the property is unique and has a fine quality of its own.

Q: Will someone meet me at the airport?

Yes. Your private vehicle and driver, guide or other representative will be waiting as your plane descends.

Q: What is the ‘iCare Price Advantage?’

Your trip cost may reduce as your group size grows! We will send you a refund check as the group size goes beyond 8 people.

Q: I’m not interested in doing anything touristy. Can you take me ‘off the beaten track?’

Absolutely.

About Group Departures

Q: How many people travel on your Group Departures?

Maximun group size is 10 people, 8 for the Galapagos.

Q: Is it all group travel? I’m not so sure about traveling with a group.

A: No, only our iCare Group Departures are “group” travel.

Travelers who join a Group Departure tend to be special people, because of the philanthropy element. You may be delighted to find that being part of the group was a highlight of your trip. You may even stay in touch with your companions long after your journey has ended!

About Travel Philanthropy

Q: How does the travel philanthropy work?

“Travel philanthropy” is a type of responsible travel where generous behavior—such as donations of items or time—is facilitated by travel.

Travel philanthropy is not “voluntourism.” While we have a few Wish List donation items that provide opportunities to give service, “sweat investment” typically is not part of the program.

Q: Can I book a trip through you without doing any philanthropy?

A: Absolutely. And, by doing so, you still are helping to make the world a better place.

When you do business with iCare, you support the staff and programs of our nonprofit the iCare Travel Foundation. iCare Travel covers overhead costs for the Foundation, which helps the world’s less fortunate.

Q: If I participate in your iCareShare philanthropy program, is my trip tax deductible?

A: Certain parts of your trip will qualify for a tax deduction. When the details of your trip are known, we can discuss in more detail.

About Travel Safety

Q: I have concerns about safety, particularly in areas of the world that seem to be unstable.

A: In terms of international politics: we monitor security situations around the world and do not arrange travel in destinations that seem unsafe.

Q: What happens in if there is an emergency?

A: Your safety and comfort is of the utmost importance to us. Each traveler receives emergency contact information for our associates in the areas where you are traveling. We have exceptionally reliable and skilled in-country staff–people we know we can trust. iCare staff—as well as our in-country representatives–are available around the clock 24/7 to respond to your needs.