Who Should join Trips?
Our mission is to offer opportunities for people to experience new environments, cultures, and activities, while working on vital service projects that are unlikely to be completed without international partnerships. The appeal of these trips is in accomplishing meaningful humanitarian and environmental aid while learning about and experiencing new cultures. These are not “party trips”. Padma trips, while fun and exciting, can also be quite demanding, strenuous, and at times stressful. Group members should be sound in body and mind to best ensure successful trips, and smooth teamwork among a diverse host of people. With limited instruction, group members must be able to work for a number of hours often performing tiring physical labor in any number of weather and environmental conditions. In consideration of maintaining the safety and healthy dynamics of each service trip, Padma Tours reserves the right to refuse admission of any applicant based on limited group space, or if the applicant is deemed a risk to disrupt the efficacy of the service project or group.
When to Apply?
To ensure your spot on a trip, most students choose to apply in the fall of the previous year of the summer they intend to travel. Admissions remain open until groups are filled, and on rare occasions if a large number of students apply late, additional trips may be scheduled based on availability of staff and projects. As the majority of Padma trips tend to fill quickly it is advisable to apply as early as possible.
Trip Tuition Payments
The initial trip deposit is the first payment towards student’s trip tuition. Remaining tuition can be paid all at once or in three payments due on: February 15, March 15, April 15. Late payments will be assessed a $100 fee. All tuition must be paid by no later than April 30. Failure to pay by April 30 will result in a $250 fee and potential dismissal from the trip. Payments can be made by check, bank transfer, credit card, or paypal. Paypal payments are assessed an additional fee to cover Paypal’s ounce of flesh. Mail checks to: Padma Organization 1 Mimosa Road Santa Fe, NM 87508.
Trip Cancellation Policy and Trip Insurance
We understand that unexpected circumstances sometimes come up and on rare occasions, trip members have to cancel their trips with Padma. Up until one month before your trip departure date, students can receive refunds of 50%of all paid tuition costs, if members need to cancel their trip for any reason. If trips are cancelled due to natural disasters such as volcano, earthquake cyclone etc., or due to civil unrest, trip members will be refunded half of paid trip tuition. Optional trip insuranceis also available for all trip members for $350/trip to be paid at the time of paying your trip deposit. If you choose to purchase trip insurance you may receive a 100% refund of paid trip tuition up to one day before your trip departure if you need to cancel for any reason. Airfare refunds must be dealt with directly with the airlines. Consult your airline’s policy on trip cancellation, and consider purchasing trip protection directly from your airline.
International airfare tends to only increase as the time of departure nears and purchasing your flight at least six months before you travel is a good idea. Many airlines require a parent/guardian approval to allow students to fly unaccompanied if under 18 years old. Many students choose to fly together with other trip members. Lead chaperones should also be consulted about coordinating flights and finding itineraries to accommodate as many students together as possible. Be sure to check baggage limits and fees with your airline as they tend to vary substantially. Many of the less expensive Asian carriers include long layovers. International airline standards require airlines to offer hotel vouchers for all layovers longer than 8 hours. However, passengers often must request vouchers from the airline as they don’t tend to be overly advertised. You may also contact Padma about airline recommendations and personal experiences from out staff based on many years of international travel.
Email us at info@padmaorganization to inquire about current trip availability and to request a specific trip packet with all the details you'll need.