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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most common FAQs. If you still have any questions that aren’t covered below, please contact us here and we’ll be sure to help you out!

I'm a newbie. How does this all work?

Welcome newbie!  You're not alone... you've got us to help you get ready for your big trip, then you've got a great group of guys and your Detours trip leader to share the fantastic experience with!

Once you've decided to join us your first step will be to register for the trip.  That snags your space, then from there, you'll have 7 days to make your first deposit payment of $500 USD using any method on our Making Payments page.  Then it's time to book your flights, start packing and getting excited about your upcoming adventure!  90 days prior to your trip starting we'll email you an update which lets you know what's been happening with your trip and reminding you that your final trip payment is due that day, among other trip-specific stuff.  10 days prior to your trip you'll be emailed all your final details including arrival instructions, confirmed accommodation, final itinerary, contact info, etc.  Finally, just get on your flight and be ready for the amazing experience in front of you!

I'm a single traveler. Is that okay?

Most of our travelers are too!  So you're not alone.  It's typical to have at least 60% of the group be single travelers, and then most of the other people come with 1 or 2 other friends or a partner. Everyone who is coming on a trip is excited, so it’s only a matter of time before the group has all become one big group of friends. From past experience, the people who were concerned about this were pleasantly surprised how quickly and easily they made friends with the other group members. We think that coming on your own can be an ideal way to do these trips because you have the benefits of having many new friends to hang out with!

All single travelers have the option of either upgrading to their own private room during the trip or having Detours pair you up with another single traveler at no additional cost.  We don't collect much personal information about our travelers prior to the trip so our roommate matching tends to just match the most similar ages together.  There's a bunch of laws regarding privacy these days so we can't share your roommate's contact info with you, but we can share yours with your consent, then your roommate can connect with you from there.

While choosing to be matched with a roommate can be a great way to make a great new friend there are some important considerations to keep in mind, as follows:

  • Remember the "golden rule": treat others how you'd like to be treated.  You should be prepared to show respect, thoughtfulness, and kindness. That care should apply to each other’s personal property, space, and time.
  • Have a chat about each others habits, such as sleep schedules, closet space, bed preferences, and snoring potential so that you can both be prepared for the most comfortable experience possible.
  • If something is concerning you with your roommate be open about it rather than letting it drag down your experience.  If discussing this with your roommate doesn't solve things please bring it up discreetly with your trip leader who will try to assist.  Please note that roommate changing or switching to a private room mid-trip are often not possible.
Do I need a visa/passport before I go?

The majority of our destinations do not require a visa for entry for most of our travelers.  Exceptions include Egypt, New Zealand, Cambodia, and our Victoria Falls extension in Zimbabwe.  However, in most cases getting a visa for most of our travelers takes minutes.  In Egypt we suggest simply getting your visa at the airport on arrival with the assistance of our local representative at the airport.  In Cambodia, you'll all get your visas together with the assistance of your trip leader.  In New Zealand, it's a simple online form and payment that's required. And in Zimbabwe, it's easy to get this at the airport on arrival.  While at the end of the day ensuring you've got the proper documents required to travel is up to the responsibility of each traveler, we'll ensure to include some tips in our pre-trip update emails for those countries that require visas from most travelers.

You DO need a valid passport to join any of our trips.  Many countries require that your passport is valid for up to 6 months beyond your date of arrival into the country so make sure to check your passport expiry date with plenty of time before the trip just in case you need to get a renewal before departure.

Is this trip right for me?

There's nothing in the world that is ideal for everybody.  Except sunshine and candy, but I digress.  If you're considering joining your first trip with us you'll want to know if it's going to be for you and that's why we like to make sure expectations are clearly set so there are no surprises.  We think our travelers say this all best so make sure to check out our Trip Reviews page where you'll find hundreds of our past travelers have gushed about their experience.

Our unstructured trip style seems to appeal to travelers from all ages.   Most of our travelers are in their 40's, and 50's although travelers of all ages are warmly welcomed. No matter what the difference in age is everyone joining us will have lots of things in common and be looking forward to having the most amazing experience of their life! Keep in mind that all of our trips are considered "active" and require a moderate level of physical ability for certain activities, hiking, or just carrying your bag onto boats/buses/etc. If you're concerned about the level of physical activity required on a specific trip please contact us to chat about it.

We aren't the 5-star pinkies-up-while-drinking-tea people, but we like nice things.  We left our budget backpacking days long ago too so you won't find us in hostels.  Comfortable accommodation in the 4ish-star range (from 3.5ish to 4.5ish) is what you can expect, with more detailed accommodation info located on each trip's info page.

Should I bring local cash?

There are banking machines all over every destination we offer which will dispense to you the local currency and your trip leader will be sure to direct you to them.  That said, you'll save on bank fees if you visit a currency exchange shop at home before you go.  We advise not doing currency exchange at the airport kiosks as their rates are usually not very good.  Credit cards are accepted sporadically in each destination, so we suggest bringing local cash with you for most things.

In all our destinations you will be using their local currency. You'll want to have a debit card that is able to be used overseas and has a 4-digit PIN number. We suggest having at least one debit card and one credit card. Traveler’s cheques have become a thing of the past just like the mullet so we do not suggest bringing travelers cheques along with you (mullets are ok). Your leaders are knowledgeable travelers who can help you sort out issues with your bank if they arise.

When does my trip start/end?

All of our trips start at 4:00pm in the lobby of our group hotel on day 1 of the trip and finish on the final day of the trip.  No group events are planned on the final day of each trip, allowing you to head out any time that works for you.  If you've got a 6am flight that day, great.  If you end up having an 11pm flight, just as great.  Early checkins at the start of the trip and late checkouts at the end of the trip are always at the discretion of the hotel at the time of arrival/departure. 

What about airport pickups?

Yeah, we can set those up for you.  In your welcome email that you receive after registration we'll let you know all the details.  Then, in your final trip documents that are sent out 10 days before each trip you'll receive your arrival instructions in addition to confirmed itinerary, contact info, trip specific info, packing advice, etc.

What is included in the trip price?

 Inclusions vary in each of our destinations, with the detailed list available on that trip's info page.  All trips include all of your accommodation, transfers between destinations (whether it's by plane, train, or automobile, etc), all breakfasts, a welcome dinner/drinks, your trip leader, plus inclusions unique to that destination.  You'll be in charge of getting yourself to/from the destination country, but our flight partners can help with that if you'd like, just check out our flights page.

Will my cell phone work over there?

If you really need to use your cell phone for calls and such, you may be in luck.  These days many service providers include international data/calls for cheap - but not all of them and costs can vary widely.  Please check in with your carrier for more information about your particular plan.

If your phone is “unlocked” and has an external SIM card then you can usually just buy a local SIM card to swap with yours. This is a simple and cheap solution, but you’ll be operating with a local phone number. Some cell phones do work in the countries we operate in without the SIM card switch, but roaming charges could be very costly.  It really depends on the specific plan you've got with your provider so we really suggest checking with them for detailed roaming info.

I'm a female. Can I come too?

Although over 99% of our travelers are gay men, we don’t discriminate between genders. Just make sure you’re prepared for a fun-loving bunch of gay guys as trip mates!

What kind of experience can I expect?

The philosophy of living care-free and easy-going has been the backbone of our organization from the beginning. We concentrate on creating epic travel experiences by spending an endless amount of time researching and travelling throughout all of our destinations. We seek out the best spots that we feel the average traveler would not find on their own. We’re not your typical “tour” company... Detours is an organization made up of travelers, travelers who love to travel! We are not corporate people in suits, we’re all constantly travelling because it’s our passion and hey, we think we're good at it!! Our trips have their own unique style to them, we don’t show up to a destination and hand out a regimented itinerary...instead we get to know our groups and plan accordingly to what each group’s interests are! Because after all who are we to make you do something you don’t want to while on vacation! We know from experience which activities, day trips, sports, and cultural sights etc etc etc are the best and we offer our advice and we let you plan your own itinerary at each destination with your leaders. By consulting with your leaders once you arrive, you can make your journey as busy as you desire... from all day every day activities or maybe you’re there just to lounge on the beach and catch a tan with minimal activities planned. We understand every type of traveler and we feel that having a pre-planned day to day itinerary set in place before even meeting our travelers would be ridiculous! It’s your trip... and we’re there with you to create the best experience possible! 

Can anyone be a trip leader?

You might think that showing a bunch of guys around a beautiful, tropical country might be your dream job but not everyone will fit the requirements of being a great Detours trip leader. Each leader has to go through a rigorous training session for months before actually getting the role and title of 'trip leader'. These training sessions involve numerous experiments on the quality of sand, weather & temperature in different areas around the globe to make certain our trip members receive the most sunshine, soft sand, and adventure for their hard earned dollar..... food & beverage testing to ensure maximum deliciousness and hours of pillow punching at numerous bungalows/villas to guarantee ultimate comfort. As well, they are often forced to pack their bags, gather people up, get them on a boat, bus, train or plane (whether the people want to leave or not) to the next epic destination while ensuring everyone has all their belongings, travel friends and a smile on their face. It is a tough job and only a select few people will make the cut but if you are interested...let us know and we'll keep our eye out for you during your trip! We’re proud of our team of leaders and we know they will be a highlight of your experience with us.

I live in some wonderful place that isn't North America, can I still join?

No problem! We've had travelers join us from literally every continent (yes, including a guy stationed in Antarctica) so it really doesn't matter where's home for you.  As long as you can get yourself to our starting point then you're absolutely welcome to join us!

If an emergency pops up and I can't go, what's your cancellation policy?

Because we need to make non-refundable payments for services in your destination as we get closer to your trip, the flexibility we can provide to you when you need to cancel a trip depends on how close that cancellation is to the trip's start date.  Here's our schedule:

  • Cancel/reschedule at least 6 months (180+ days) prior to trip start - deposit is 100% transferable to future Detours trip.
  • Cancel/reschedule at least 4 months (120-179 days) prior to trip start - deposit is 50% transferable to future Detours trip
  • Cancel/reschedule at least 2 months (90-119 days) prior to trip start - deposit is not transferable to future Detours trip
  • Cancel/reschedule less than 2 months (0-89 days) prior to trip start date - all payments non-refundable, non-transferable.

It's optional, but we always suggest taking out comprehensive travel insurance which can include trip cancellation, baggage delay, etc.  Travel insurance can be purchased through our Insurance page.

Why do we have cancellation fees?  Nobody likes them, we get it, and we don't either.  However, travelers payments are used to confirm flights, hotel bookings, and other services on their behalf in the destination country.  As the trip approaches, those payments are subject to increasing costs that must be passed along to our travelers.  This is why comprehensive travel insurance is the best way to protect your payments against many unpredictable life events that may get in the way of you joining the trip.

How often will you be expecting me to get up early?

We are not your typical regimented travel company, so the idea of the trip is to be living carefree, and easy-going, so we definitely plan as few early mornings as possible. We believe your wakeup should be to the sounds of crashing waves and local animals, not a screeching alarm clock. There may be a couple of early mornings on days that we have to travel or get to activites or to beat the heat, but it is certainly not the norm. Also, we would expect that after a day or two that you are accustomed to the time change on our trips. For many people, it takes hardly any time to switch over because as soon as you arrive, you are too excited to be tired.

Do I need immunizations before the trip?

None of our destinations have mandatory immunization requirements, but you may want to get some additional boosters or shots before traveling to our destinations.  While we're very knowledgeable about the places we operate in, we are not licensed to provide medical advice so we suggest checking with a licensed professional such as your local health clinic or your family doctor and let them know which region of the world you are travelling to.  Another really helpful resource is the CDC website.

Why are your trips so much less expensive than the others?

We get asked this question a lot. It's tough to say why other LGBT trips are so pricey, but we just know that we do everything we can to keep our prices affordable for our travelers. We keep a very small and tight-knit staff, we cut out expensive middle-men, we don't have any expensive retail office space, and we keep our overheads as low as possible. All of these savings really add up and they're passed along to our travelers for maximum value. And if you're thinking "is the best price also the best value?" just check out the hundreds of past traveler reviews from guys who raved about their Detours experience.

Do I need travel insurance?

Everyone traveling on a Detours trip absolutely needs some sort of medical travel insurance that will cover you while overseas. It can be arranged through our Insurance page or in some cases you will already be covered through an existing credit card, employer, work or school policy. Whatever the case is, you will need to provide proof that you have medical coverage before you are allowed to join your trip.  This is a very standard requirement of any international tour operator.

Who's my trip leader?

Each group will have a knowledgeable and outgoing Detours group leader responsible for showing you the best experiences our destinations have to offer. These leaders are usually different from trip to trip as our team is continually changing and getting stronger. For example: If your friend did a trip with Shane, he may be busy saving puppies and testing sand somewhere else on the globe so don’t expect to have the same leaders as your friends did.  All of our leaders have spent loads of time in the destinations that they lead trips in and will have answers to many of your questions.  The leaders will also help plan group activities depending on what the group wants to do. Whether it’s scuba diving, a beach day, a viewpoint hike, ziplining, etc etc etc..... your leaders have been trained by Detours as well as through their own travel experiences to direct you and ensure you make the best choices to maximize awesomeness on your trip! Your leaders are also there to deal with any issue that may arise whether it’s a parade of baboons that's forced you to miss your flight, or you maybe ate the wrong food and are not feeling so great and need some advice. All our leaders are experienced in the way of Detours... you can feel confident that they are going to be an essential part of your trip and experience!