Your Role on a GO Trip
By going on a Go Trip, you are taking a part in God's Restoration work outside of your community for perhaps a week to ten days. Though your time on the ground is brief, your presence sends the signal that you care and want to be a part of making a difference. You will soon realize that in this short time period, your personal ability to make a lasting impact wherever you are going is limited. Rather, you are a small part of a bigger picture--a partnership--that does indeed have a lasting impact. Our partners live and work among the people you will meet, have gained their trust over time, and are committed to the long process of development and discipleship in the communities you will visit. You will learn there are needs where you go, but you must also recognize there are needs right where you live. As you encounter the people and the culture where you are going, we hope you return with a clearer lens about things where you live and have the opportunity to make a direct and lasting impact.
Guidance For When You Go
As you prepare for your Go Trip, here is some guidance about how to approach your time with our partners in another place. Go to learn from our partners. We don't bring answers. Go to submit to our partners. They know what is best for the long term good of the people they are working with. Go to encourage our partners. Their work is difficult. Go to support the long term relationship with our partners. You are representing Crossroads. Go to respect the local people and their culture. You are not there to fix them or pity them.
Development, Not Relief
When you see extreme material poverty and brokenness, your heart is going to be pulled towards pity, rescue, and wanting to give things to people. These are God given instincts. However, we are not going on a rescue mission. There are times and places for providing relief in a crisis so people can survive and get on their feet. God demands it. Relief missions are not where Go Trips and the work of our partners are focused. The partners we work with are focused on long term development that aims for self sustaining and thriving communities. Development work requires viewing people through the lens of their capabilities and assets, not the needs we see and want to solve.
Gift Giving Policy
Can I give gifts out to people I meet?
You were wired and commanded by God to be generous. And a part of your desire to go on a trip like this is your desire to give and serve those in need. So you may feel a little conflicted when we tell you that while you are on this trip, the Crossroads policy is that we do not give gifts to our cross-cultural friends, even if the gifts are asked for or hinted at, and even if you have known them for a long time. Any exceptions to this policy will be determined by the Crossroads ReachOut Director and specifically communicated by trip leadership. Gift giving may seem like a blessing at the time, but it creates unhealthy expectations and relationships with our partners on the ground and the people they are working with to achieve self-sufficiency. Receiving gifts from well meaning visitors can actually undermine the long-term development work of our partners in the communities where they are investing.
A couple of common examples that just might seem like good ideas to you:
Please see separate instructions about giving gifts to your Compassion Child in the Bags and What to Bring section.
Are donations tax deductible?
No. Payments towards Go Trips are not tax deductible.
Can I get a refund if I change my mind?
All GO Trip payments, either paid by the participant or contributions from others, are non-refundable.
There are only two exceptions to this rule. They are listed below along with options for each exception:
Exception #1: You purchased the optional Trip Cancellation Insurance, and then you are not able to travel on the trip due to a last-minute qualifying issue such as illness or family tragedy.
More details on this optional insurance coverage is given in the insurance section below.
Exception #2: A trip is canceled by Crossroads for any reason (things like political unrest, extreme logistical issues, natural disasters, a decision made by a partner organization, etc.)
We encourage you to contact our team to discuss any situation where you may need to cancel your participation in a Go Trip at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do people give?
When someone signs up for a Go Trip, a trip page is created for them in our Go Trips system. Each person is given an account, and a dashboard for their trip where they can stay updated, get information, and much more, including managing their support raising for the trip.
The link to their personal trips page is found on their trip dashboard, and it can be shared with anyone they like, and those people can follow that link to provide funding towards an individual’s trip by credit card or ACH.
Is giving on the site safe and secure?
Absolutely. Our site uses industry standard SSL technology to ensure that the information you enter is kept secure from prying eyes. In addition, all sensitive information that we keep in our database is stored in encrypted form so that it is not human-readable.
Is there a receipt for money given to me?
All giving towards a trip is done online via credit card or ACH, and an email receipt is immediately sent to anyone who contributes.
You can also see who has given towards your trip from your personal Go Trips home page by clicking on the Funding section on the left side of your screen.
What if I raise more money than I need?
Trip participants can direct to other participants on the same trip or the additional money will be directed to the general fund of that specific trip so people in need of additional support may receive it. There is no sharing of trip funds across the various trips, and there are no refunds if you go over your support raising amount.
What insurance is a part of my Go Trip?
Travel insurance is purchased on your behalf when you are a part of a Go Trip. Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance is an optional coverage you can purchase on your own.
For questions, please contact us at email@example.com. Details on each below.
Travel Insurance is included in your Go Trip price and you are covered from the time you depart to the time you return for things like medical care while on the trip, lost baggage, lost or stolen passports, emergency travel delays, and a number of other less common situations. You are given an insurance card as a part of your Go Trip documents.
In general, if you incur out of pocket expenses for certain emergencies, you can be reimbursed for them up to policy limits if meeting the terms & conditions. If you have an emergency on your trip, involve your trip leader right away in helping you to navigate best steps, and if needed, contacting the insurance company.
View the policy overview here
Terms and conditions can be found here
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
This coverage is optional, and you must opt in for this coverage after we purchase your Travel Insurance, and more than 21 days before trip departure. We will communicate to you about purchasing this insurance 6 to 8 weeks prior to trip departure. This policy costs an additional 5 percent on top of your Go Trip cost, and is paid directly by you to the insurance company.
This policy covers you in the event that you need to cancel your participation in a trip due to sickness, injury, personal tragedy, and a number of other less common situations.
If your situation meets the terms and conditions of the policy, you can be reimbursed for any trip payments made that were not otherwise reimbursed to you, which includes your deposit. Please note that you will be responsible for distributing reimbursed funds to anyone who helped you financially to pay for your trip.
View the policy overview here
Terms and conditions can be found here
Obtaining a Visa to get into Bolivia unfortunately isn't cheap. Currently (it often changes) it is $160 for a 10 year Visa to Bolivia. The group will handle getting that taken care of before the trip as it will take a long time to try to do this when you land. This cost is not covered in your trip cost and is something you will need to factor as you're preparing for the trip. Normally these visas will be obtained 6-8 weeks before the trip departure date. Your Trip Leader will provide you instructions.
General Passport Info
TO OBTAIN A PASSPORT FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Go in-person to one of 7,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver's license.
RENEWAL OF A PASSPORT:
Read through the criteria below to determine if you need to renew by mail or in person. If you already have a passport, but it doesn't have two consecutive blank pages or it expires within six months after your trip, you'll also need to renew.
RENEW IN PERSON IF…
RENEW BY MAIL IF…
Regardless of which method you will be using, you'll need to get passport photos taken. AAA will take passport photos for free if you have a membership. Many other places, such as Kinko's and Walgreens, will take passport photos for a fee.
Please, please, for the love of all things bureaucratic, make sure you have a passport.
Deciding what vaccinations to get before traveling is an important discussion between you and your health care provider. Some resources to assist you include websites from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. On the CDC website, in addition to vaccination guidance, you will find topics like Special Needs Travelers, Safe Food and Water, and Insect Protection among the many helpful topics covered.
Suggested Places to Get Immunizations
Below are some suggested places to get your trip immunizations. Please be sure to call ahead to make sure the vaccinations are in stock and available. Also, please be sure to get your shots at least six weeks before we leave. None of the places below accept insurance. However, if you have health insurance you should check to see if you can be reimbursed for the cost of the shots.
Bags and What to Bring
Most work supplies will be provided. Depending on the work that you're doing, it's sometimes good to bring clothes that can get dirty, and perhaps your favorite gloves, stethoscope or utility knife. Talk to your team leaders about this.
It's not a Crossroads' event without a t-shirt. Check with your trip leader if you haven't already heard about the t-shirts.
How Many Bags Can I Take?
Airline rules allow you to check one 50 lb. bag for free. You must stick to one bag, and they are very strict about the weight limits, so keep that in mind. An overweight bag will cost you a lot of money. If you follow our advice on packing, these limits should not be a problem. Be sure to check the weight of your bag at the airport before you check in. You are also allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item. Carry all your valuables with you on the plane, as well as a change of clothes and some toiletries for your first day on the ground (just in case your bag takes a side trip to Turkey). Remember to follow carry-on size rules, as well as the 3-1-1 rule for toiletries, meaning you are only allowed to bring 3 ounce bottles of liquids, and all the bottles must fit in one bag. Check the TSA website for more info. Some people might be asked to take a second suitcase full of team supplies. This will be paid for out of the trip budget, or, in the case of medallion members on Delta, we can take these bags for free. If you are a medallion member and are flying on Delta, please let your trip leader know.
Stow all medications in your carry-on. It's best that all prescriptions are in the original packaging -- you really do not want to explain to customers what the mystery white pills in the baggie. Also, bring a copy of any prescriptions in the event you need a refill.
You will typically only need to bring enough money for gifts, a snack at the airport or in the hotel, and possibly for a church offering should you choose to participate. Other expenses are covered in your trip costs. We recommend a total of no more than $100-200 U.S. dollars. If you want to use local currency, we strongly encourage you to exchange money before you leave. Try your personal bank first. In the past, Fifth Third Bank has exchanged money within one week. AAA can also exchange money. There are also places to exchange money in airports, but the fees are high. Do not rely on airport banks to exchange money since they typically run out with large groups. You can't exchange money when you land. Yes, there are places, but we have too many people for everyone to exchange money at the same time at the airport. Credit cards will work most places (Visa and MasterCard more so than Amex). If you plan on using a credit card on the trip, notify your credit card company in advance. Otherwise, they may decline your card when charges show up from another country. Never use your debit card. It is harder to fix if it has been compromised. Because credit card fraud is very prevalent in foreign countries, we recommend using a credit card and not a debit card. Credit cards offer better protection. Also, do not bring traveler's checks--they are extremely difficult to cash.
No Gifts or Candy To Hand Out
Please refer to the official gift-giving policy. Any gift needs will be supplied by our team leaders or you will be given specific instructions by your trip leadership.
Remember: Keep everything in one suitcase and one carry-on.
Misc Items (not necessary but helpful):
Don't forget to bring the most important thing: Your passport! Your passport should never be anywhere but on your body until we make it to the destination. In the past we have had people leave passports in a carry-on and then leave the carry-on on the plane. Very depressing when you are in Atlanta and your passport is enroute to Boston.
Pack your carry-on with all of your 'must have' items:
medicines, toiletries, and extra change of clothes, important documents, etc. This way if your luggage is delayed for any reason you will not have a problem. Pack toiletries in zip lock bags to avoid leakage. Remember 3-1-1 rule for carry-on toiletries. All medications, including vitamins, must be in original container. Make copies of your passport and keep a copy in a separate place in your luggage or on your person along with your I.D.
To Avoid Disruptive Actions
To avoid actions that will disrupt the team and our ability to accomplish our mission. This includes, but is not limited to: same sex and/or extra-marital sex, drug and alcohol abuse, violent actions, etc.
To Be A Blessing
To do all I can to ensure this trip is a blessing to me, my teammates, the organizations we are working under, our partners, and, most importantly, the people we serve.
To Be A Servant Learner
To recognize that, while I may have the ability to bless others, the people I am serving and working with have much to offer; I will be a servant-learner.
To Be Open To Receive
To be open to receive what this trip has to offer me, and in pursuit of that to consciously and continuously put myself in a position to best experience the people I work with, the people I serve, and the environment in which I will be working.
To Keep A Positive Attitude
To do my best to keep a positive attitude, knowing that this trip can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and to remain open-minded to all that I will see and experience.
To Put The Team Ahead Of Myself
To put the team ahead of myself, understanding that the team's mission is more important than my personal comfort; To stay flexible and accept change as it comes, regardless of my own feelings; and to follow the team plan even if it doesn't fit my specific wants.
To Represent Our Team Well
To remember that my actions not only reflect on me, but also on all other members of the groups with whom I am associated. I will remember that one person's positive or negative viewpoint of any of these groups can be forever altered by my actions.
To Respect Differences In People
To accept that everyone will engage uniquely on this trip; To recognize that some team members will work harder than others, some team members will spend more time building relationships than others, and we will all approach different situations in different ways-all of which are critical to the success of our team.
To Solve Problems Maturely
To solve problems by going directly to the person with whom I have a concern prior to enlisting support from other people. If, after the initial difficult conversation I still don't feel right, I will ask someone who might feel the same way if they will go with me to resume the difficult conversation. If after that interaction I haven't been satisfied, I will find a person in a position of leadership and seek their guidance.
To Trust Those In Authority
To trust those in authority over me. Even when a decision is made that I don't understand, I will remember that I don't have all the information nor the responsibility of those in leadership. I will commit to not being a burden to team leaders, so they can focus on the mission of our team and not my personal issues.
To Watch Out For Others
To always and diligently watch out for those around me- my roommate and fellow team members- to ensure that everyone is safe and healthy at all times, and to take action if that is not the case.