For the latest travel advice please visit your country’s travel advice webpage. Current advice for British citizens can be found here https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. For any current customers who signed up to go on a Politrip prior to March 11th 2020, we will have been in touch with you via email about how COVID may have affected your trip. For anyone signing up for a Politrip beyond March 11th, the following temporary changes to the regular terms and conditions will apply: If your trip is cancelled as a result of COVID 19, you will receive a full refund within 10 working days of cancellation, minus your deposit and application fee, or the option to transfer onto a different trip of your choice at no extra cost. If the trip is of lesser cost, for example if you moved onto the 2020 Virtual Campaign, you would receive the cost difference as a refund. If you wish to cancel your trip voluntarily due to COVID, you must purchase cancellation protection for £75 when you sign up for your trip. If you hold cancellation protection then any payments made towards your trip will be refunded. If you wish to voluntarily cancel your trip due to COVID but have not purchased cancellation protection then you will not be refunded any payments made towards your trip. Politrip does not provide flights as part of our package and is not responsible for flight disruptions as a result of COVID or any other external factors.
You can cancel your trip at any time, however your Politrip fee, once paid, is non-refundable if you decide to leave the programme. Only if we have failed to deliver the trips as advertised are you entitled to a refund. This is because your fee will immediately be used to cover the costs involved in providing your trip, before you depart for your destination. Your flights may or may not be refundable depending on the airline. We are able to consider requests to transfer onto a different trip or to a different location on a case by case basis. Our ability to do this will depend on the number of places available in each location and requests to transfer should be made as early as possible. The Politrip application fee of £20 paid when you pass the eligibility check is only refundable in the case that your full application is rejected, not if you decide after paying to withdraw from the programme.
Because places on our trips are limited, asking prospective Politrippers to pay a small application fee ensures that, providing you pass the eligibility check, we can reserve you a place on the programme whilst you complete a full application. This way we make sure no one’s time is wasted in the application process and the best possible candidates apply!
If your application is successful, you will be enrolled in a comprehensive training and support programme prior to your departure, ensuring you are ready to hit the ground running (or knocking – doors that is) once you arrive in your destination country. We’ll make sure you’re trained in the local political context – that you know who your candidate(s) is/are, what their platform issues are, key local issues, past election results, and how your race relates to the bigger picture within the national political context. We’ll also coach you through some of the main campaigning methods. Never worked a campaign before? No problem. Our management team have well over a decade of combined experience working on campaigns. We’ll familiarize you with some of the main campaigning methods at your destination and make sure you’re well trained in phone banking, canvassing (knocking doors) and how to act as a representative of a major political party. Also included is a training and induction pack which will include information on the area you’ll be staying, your candidate(s), who you’ll be working with, more detail on the tasks you’ll be working on, local sights, attractions, transport options, restaurants and bars (in the US it’s over 21s only remember!) and general information to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
Each group of 4 or more (the minimum size of each group per location is 4 people) will have a paid, Politrip staff member with them for the duration of the trip. This person will arrange your daily volunteering activities, drive your team around, organise social activities and be on hand for support if anything goes wrong. Additionally, Politrip Management will be in-country during each trip and are always just a phone call or email away and will be happy to provide any additional support or advice you may need.
The safety and enjoyment of our Politrippers is of paramount concern, but we realize that sometimes things can go wrong, whether it’s a cancelled flight or someone falling ill. We strongly advise all Politrippers to take out a suitable travel insurance policy, and recommend they select ‘travel disruption’ as an optional add-on. For example, basic annual policies covering worldwide travel can usually be purchased for £30 and up, but expect to pay around £50 for more inclusive policies. In addition to individual insurance, Politrip holds a full Tour Operator’s insurance, ensuring that if anything does go wrong, we’re covered. You will be provided with a 24/7 phone number and email address to contact in case of emergencies.
We take feedback very seriously, and will do everything we can to address any issues in a timely and effective manner. You can use the emergency phone number and email address to relay any concerns directly to Politrip management. All Politrippers will be covered under UK consumer law and will have a right to apply for a refund if Politrip fails to provide the service as advertised. Any issues should be raised at the earliest possible opportunity during or before your trip.
In your application form you will have the chance to choose your preferred trip locations. Where we offer trips with multiple locations, we will always guarantee you one of your top 3 locations or you'll get your application fee back. Politrip reserves the right to cancel or change any trip and offer a suitable alternative at no extra cost to the participant. If this occurs and you are not satisfied with the alternative you will be entitled to a full refund.
Yes, we offer a 25% discount on each additional trip you book (the discount will be applied to the cheaper trip). All past Politrippers are also elgible for this discount at any time.
There may be some cases where non-ESTA eligible individuals may be able to apply for our USA trips (such as US or Canadian passport holders), however we advise anyone thinking of applying from a non-ESTA country to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the online eligibility check. If you are travelling to any of our trips and cannot get ESTA or visa-free access to your destination, please contact us before applying. We will treat each enquiry on a case by case basis.
The vast majority of Politrippers will be placed with local party members or supporters, based on accommodation preferences you’ll provide to us when you join the programme. Some hosts may be active volunteers who will be able to tell you a lot about the local issues you’ll be campaigning on and the candidates you’ll be campaigning for. You could be staying in a guest house with the whole place to yourself, or in a spare bedroom. In some cases you may have to share a room with other volunteers, however we will always make you aware of this before arrival. Either way, we guarantee it will be an authentic experience, embedding you right in the heart of the community you’ll be campaigning in. You will always get a chance to meet your hosts prior to departure via email, phone or video chat. We aim to make these introductions as soon as possible however final accommodation details may not be available until 1 or 2 weeks before departure. Those who aren't staying with hosts will be placed in an AirBnB, hostel or similar accomodation.
Politrip will ensure that each team of 4 or more has access to a rental car and driver. Each location will have a paid staff member who will be the primary driver, and in on some trips we may offer discounts to team drivers. There is an opportunity to state that you have a driver’s license in your application form. There is no guarantee that you will be selected for the discount and drivers may not be selected until a few weeks prior to departure. Politrip will arrange ground transportation through our drivers to all of the formal programme activities and social events, however any use of the car must be a group decision and alternative transport such as Uber or public transport may be required at times. Volunteers must pay an equal share of all fuel costs. This is generally no more than $20 per person, per week.
Flights are not included in the majority of our programmes because we want Politrippers to have as much flexibility as possible when booking. We strongly encourage you to travel out to your location before your trip for some traveling, or stay after your placement to do more exploring! Also, as we send volunteers from all over the world to a range of destinations, coordinating group bookings would be a nightmare! This is quite common practice for most volunteer abroad organisations. We subscribe to a number of travel industry newsletters to get alerted first about airfare deals, and will be on hand 24/7 to help to find the best value flights to your destination.
You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here! Politrip works with local campaigns to provide suitable accommodation until the end of your volunteer placement. After that, we ask that all Politrippers find their own accommodation if they are staying longer. Politrip is about adventure and exploring new places just as much as working on campaigns, so we actively encourage all our volunteers to travel around their destination country after their placement. For visa reasons, we advise everyone to ensure they have a flight booked out of their destination before they leave home, but this can be anytime and to anywhere – perfect for those going on a gap year or vagabonding adventure!
Short answer, no. To ensure you get the most in-depth, authentic experience and to maintain confidentiality across campaigns, Politrippers generally will only work on one campaign. This is to protect campaign confidentiality. However, in locations where we have multiple volunteering opportunities with the same party, there may be the chance to visit other campaigns during your trip.
No. Politrip is not formally affiliated with any political party and does not fund or receive funding from any campaign. We are a separate legal entity operating as a Tour Operator, providing volunteer abroad opportunities. We communicate with local campaigns to arrange volunteer placements, but throughout your whole trip, Politrip will be responsible for all the activities you undertake, not the campaign, candidate or party. As you are traveling on a tourist visa, there are limitations to what you can do as a volunteer. You cannot for example be paid or claim expenses, you cannot fundraise or handle money and you cannot do any jobs which could reasonably be considered strategic (what someone would ordinarily be paid for). It is perfectly fine for you to engage with any campaign as a regular volunteer doing tasks which other unpaid volunteers would ordinarily do, such as canvassing, phone banking, attending events and so on.
No. We currently only follow the campaigns of the two largest parties, the Democrats and Republicans. Politrip is a non-partisan organization, however our Politrippers can be as partisan as they wish, and we strongly encourage people to get involved because they agree with the values and policies of a particular party or candidate. Wherever possible we will seek to work with parties and candidates who broadly reflect values such as transparency, fairness and positivity. We recognize the diversity of opinion in politics and how our own philosophies and backgrounds affect our views, and believe now more than ever there is a need for mutual understanding, respect and dialogue between different parties and ideologies. However, we will not associate ourselves with any candidate who has expressed or endorsed views which are racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic or otherwise awful. Ultimately, our choices on which campaigns we send volunteers to are based on demand, accessibility (such as cheap flights) the importance of the campaign and the all round experience you'll receive at your destination!
In 2018, our first year of operating, Politrip offered a total of 50 volunteer placements, and received over 100 applications. This is a competitive programme and prospective Politrippers should aim to make themselves stand out from other candidates during the application process. If you pass basic eligibility there is a very good chance that you will be offered a place on one of our programmes, providing you submit a suitable full application in a timely manner. All trips operate on a first come, first served basis and fill up fast!
Of course, socializing and getting to know the people you’re volunteering with outside of your field office is a huge part of your trip, and any campaign! Each group will have a paid Team Leader responsible for making sure team-building social events take place during your Politrip, and we actively encourage all volunteers to use their evenings and days off to explore their local area. Additionally, every location will include a weekend away to a big city near where you’ll be staying. Please see each trip description on the ‘Politrips’ page for more information. When accepted onto the programme, your training manual will also have lists of local attractions, restaurants, bars and cultural activities carefully curated by the Politrip team. Most people hired to run ground campaigns in local field offices are millennials who also want to relax and have a good time to wind down after a hard day of campaigning.
We are happy to provide a formal reference for any of our Politrippers upon completion of the programme, and will work with your Team Leader or field organizer to prepare it. The training manual will have some top tips on how to include political volunteering on your CV, as well as some of the careers it can help with. Always be honest when talking about volunteering on your CV – if you knocked doors, that doesn’t make you an ‘Outreach Coordinator’ and if you penned a few tweets, you’re not a ‘Digital Marketing Manager’! In most cases, US campaigns will use the term ‘Fellow’ to describe volunteers who show up everyday and contribute above and beyond what the average volunteer might (like you!). This term is considered to be above ‘volunteer’ or ‘intern’ and sets you apart as a super-volunteer!