We suggest that when traveling internationally to not use your phone while overseas. It is possible and has happened to us before that a cellular phone signal was stolen and used to rack up international usage even though the actual cell phone was never taken. The team member received their next phone bill with charges they didn’t expect.
If you decide to bring your phone for use we suggest you check with your provider to see what plan would be ideal and what the coverage would be. Some countries depending on the provider have limited to no coverage.
Having an international phone plan can be inexpensive if you use it sparingly. This would be the best way if your parents or others wanted frequent contact with a team member. We always have team members contact home the day of their arrival. We prefer to contact home by phone, but there are times that email is only available or most practical. Just a word of warning, even if a team member purchases an international phone plan sometimes those from home will not be able to contact you as frequently as they would like, simply due to your schedule. Texting usually works much better than actual phone calls, and is much cheaper.
Before the team leaves for their trip, team members will be given an emergency contact. This contact will be to a staff person in the US that can contact the team overseas in the case of an EMERGENCY. Usually we can get in contact and have team member contact home the same day.
iPods, Computers, and Other Electronics
Same as the phones. They are the team members responsibility. Sometimes hotels come with safes, sometimes not. Be prepared to be responsible for the electronics you bring.
Team members are allowed one checked bag. Weight and size is dependent upon the airline the team member is flying.
Carry-on luggage is also dependent upon the airline the team member is flying. Carry-on luggage must follow TSA 3-1-1 requirements: http://www.tsa.gov/311/
What parents can expect
Budgets that team members raise are all inclusive, except for the cost of a passport. The budget includes airline ticket, visas (if needed), food, lodging, transportation, and insurance.
Team leaders are required to have their teams contact home the day they arrive in-country. We prefer they contact parents by phone, and it is usually possible. Rarely is it only possible or more practical to do so by email. Team leaders will also try to get each person to contact home once a week. If you’d like more frequent contact an international phone plan isn’t a bad idea, especially when using text.