Kilimanjaro Treasure Quest FAQ’s

You may have some questions before traveling across the globe to Tanzania. Hopefully we’ve answered them here:

Q) What is the Kilimanjaro Treasure Quest?

Kilimanjaro Treasure Quest™ (KTQ) Kilimanjaro Treasure Quest is a Hardcore Travel travel competition, safari and Kilimanjaro climb...with a transformational, charity twist. KTQ is a competition where teams compete agains each other to be the first to find the $25,000 Ultimate Treasure. The annual Amazing Race/Survivor(ish), style competition, Safari, and Kilimanjaro Trek for charity, is a competition-seeking, game playing, adventurers dream trip!

Day one features an enjoyable, but highly competitive Tanzanian scavenger hunt; Day two features individual, team competitions, and cultural “challenges” to compete in; On day three, the last day of the competition, each team will be given an envelope with 10 clues and a map to decipher that will eventually lead to where the Ultimate Treasure is hidden. The first team to find the hidden Ultimate Treasure box, wins the first place $25,000 treasure; second and third place finishers receive consolation prizes as well.

“Advantage Passes” get you closer to the Ultimate Treasure quicker, these are what you seek to win. Each of the top 3 teams that win the scavenger hunt on day one, and each of the teams that win the challenges on day two, will receive an “Advantage Pass.” Also, the top three teams that raise the most money for charity will win an "Advantage Pass"

Each team will carry a phone and once the “Ultimate Treasure” is found (there will be consolation prizes for 2nd and 3rd place,) all teams will be called/texted that the treasure hunt is over. The final evening, after the competition, we will have a “Commissioning of Prizes” dinner, where we celebrate and announce the winners and their prizes.

There are literally millions of people who watch The Amazing Race or Survivor and say to themselves, “I’d love to do that but the chances of them picking me are slim to none.” Well, this is the chance of a lifetime where you control your destiny. 

It is an event that thoroughly challenges all of the participants in a fun, exciting, challenging, competitive way. KTQ is all about adventure, giving back, and most of all transformation. This event help participants local charities and our sponsoring charity,  Native Hope, make a positive impact in this world.

The annual event is designed for the adventurous, and is an extremely hands-on one of a kind travel experience, filled with: an amazing competition, a private, guided safari to the breathtaking Ngorongoru Crater,  interesting Massai cultures and a bucket-list attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity.

Q) How do I win the Ultimate Treasure of $25,000?

By competing wisely against your opponents, enduring the challenges, getting a little lucky, and playing the game the right way.  All the well-defined rules will be sent to each participant as part of their digital acceptance packet. This isn’t a cut-throat competition and playing the game obnoxiously, rudely, maliciously, or cheating will only deter or possibly eliminate your team. Competitors are constantly challenged with: language barriers, cultural obstacles, jet lag, personal and team dynamics, and the stress of the competition itself...the team that keeps their cool, maneuvers past difficult obstacles, is positive and focused will prevail.

Simply put, the team that deciphers all 10 clues, which sends them to a specific destinations where a team receives a"Kili-Card," with a word, a combination of words, or a phrase written on the back, and once all ten are assembled in the correct order the 10 cards will tell the team exactly where the Ultimate Treasure is hidden.

Day 1: Scavenger Hunt: each team is give a point valued list of scavenges they can do,  the top three teams that earn the most points completing the scavenges, win an "Advantage Pass." Some scavenges are worth a lot—but are extremely challenging. While other scavenges are easy to complete—but worth significantly fewer points. The top three teams that work well together and create the right risk-reward formula, will win the scavenger hunt and an "Advantage Pass"

Day 2: Challenge Day. Teams and Individuals will compete against each other at our featured team and individual challenges. Top teams and individual winners in each challenge receives an "Advantage Pass", and a prize.

On day 3, the last day of the competition, each team will be given an envelope with 10 clues to decipher that lead to 10 specific places in Arusha where you will then receive a single "Kili-Card" with a word a combination of words, or a phrase written on the back, and once all ten are collected and assembled in the correct order the ten cards will tell the team exactly where the $25,000 Ultimate Treasure is hidden.  First team to arrive, finds the treasure box, and opens it with their key wins the $25,000 Ultimate Treasure. Second and third place finishers receive consolation prizes as well.

Q) Who can participate in The Kilimanjaro Treasure Quest?

A) Kilimanjaro Treasure Quest™ anyone ages 18 plus or age 16 plus accompanied and teamed up with a parent may apply. Anyone who loves competition, traveling, meeting people, a great challenge, and is looking for some significance should apply.  International participants are invited as well but must be able to speak English due to complexities of the game.

However, the competition/safari/trek/and transformation is designed for an exclusive group of just 20 two-person teams.

There is no discrimination against applying for KTQ on the bias or race, color, ethnicity, country of origin, sex, weight, height, sexual orientation, or age (must be over 16 and accompanied by a legal guardian)

Q) Can I apply as a single?

A) Yes you can. Globe-trotting single travelers will be paired up with other adventurous single participants. We will contact you for specifics. Don’t let not having a teammate keep you from apply,ing.

Please note however that the entry fee is based on double-occupancy. Basically, you will be sharing a room with another person of the same gender, unless otherwise requested from both parties. (See Terms & Conditions)

Q) What is the Application Process Like?

A) The process is simple. You apply online, send us a photo, and pay the $39 application fee. We will then call you and discuss in more detail the trip and have a chance for us both to ask any questions we may have.

After the conversation we will make a decision. We would then let you know that you have been accepted! If you are still interested and available to participate,  you will need to send in your $1,000 deposit within the two week deadline.

After we receive your $1,000 deposit we will send you a packet of information and we start the ball rolling. Some of the information in the packet is: domestic airfare information to Miami, passport, visa and immunization info, packing list, fundraising, medical forms and insurance, etc.

Q) What is included in the Event?

A) It's pretty much all-inclusive trip originating in Miami...including event t-shirt and backpack, Medical Emergency Insurance and Evac., and Liability Insurance.

Of course, All Intl tickets (we will fly coach) AND Visa, All Transportation (even airport) first rate and unique accommodations, three hot and quality meals per day and all in country costs. It also includes the Kilimanjaro Treasure Quest and the chance to win $25,000, a private, guided safari in a luxury lodge, and trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

What's not included are: Domestic flight from your hometown, Immunization and Passport costs,  Souvenirs, Walking around money, Alcohol (unless provided) Pre-Post event meals, transport, or accommodations (in case you want to come early to Miami or hang out after the event).

*All trekking clothing, gear, and sleeping bags may be rented in Arusha for a small fee. 


Q) How do I apply and how much does it cost?

A) Apply online to submit your KTQ application. We will then be in touch with you.

The 2017 event entry fee is $9,300 per person

Also included is a major welcoming reception and a wonderful Bon Voyage Party

Once accepted you will receive an exact list of what is and what is not included.

Q) What type (or style) of travel can we expect?

A) Someplace comfortably in between. Remember my Goldilocks Theory of Travel….just right.

First off, savvy travelers know that one roller bag and a small day pack will most certainly do you for any length of time. Less is more. Camping equipment is not necessary during this experience, as you will have comfortable first class hotels available each and every night over the 23-day event–although safaris and over-night cruises have occurred. But frankly, we do stay in really nice places—and I will tell you why.

The event is designed for you to go out into your new and exotic environment, wherever it may be, for a full days’ worth of highly participatory, engaging and interactive site-doing. You may be gone from dawn to late in the evening conducting thrilling scavenges while getting from here to there. We want you to be doing stuff, having unique experiences, competing with others and creating lasting memories. But, we don’t want you to worry a wit about where you are staying. We take care of, book, and prepay all that infrastructure well in advance for you.

Yes, it will be a safe place. Yes, it will be a clean place. Yes, you can get something to eat there. Yes, you can meet others in the bar. Yes, you can get online to blog, Skype or conduct important business if necessary. Yes, you can do laundry if you need to. And yes, you can even pamper yourself after a long day if you desire. So, to that end, yes we have stayed at some really off-the-chart nice places over the years; sometimes big places, sometimes boutique hotels, sometimes palaces, and sometimes once-in-a-lifetime amazing places.

Q) Over and above the event entry fees, how much out-of-pocket money will I need?

A) This is one of the hardest question to answer. It truly varies from person to person, team to team.

But here is what I can tell you; we get some wealthy Type-A people, some self-described Masters of the Universe, who want to win The World’s Greatest Travelers™ trophy badly—for bragging rights and their mantle places. Knowing that, we have organized event so that the team that throws around the most money will not win this event. It is not about whoever can spend the most will win. It is about one-on-one personal experiences and doing extraordinary things. Not buying stuff

Moreover, the highly participatory culturally-oriented scavenges themselves are all optional and are not expensive endeavors, ever. You always have the option to pick and choose which scavenges you want to do and which ones you can do. More is simply not the goal here. We have a lot of participants that have more will than wallet, and it must be said that they can and do win The Global Scavenger Hunt event just as often as not.

That said, this is a practical question that demands a practical answer. So, here it is: people have different needs, wants and desires. I am comfortable telling you that on average your team will probably spend on average between US$100 to $150 a day out of pocket. And that depends on how much you drink, which optional scavenges you do, what and how much you eat, what you buy along the way as souvenirs, how much you pamper/indulge yourself, and what style and class of public transportation you employ. A train is just as fast in coach as in first class—but the cost is very different! And of course traveling in places on the Indian-subcontinent or sub-Sahara Africa can be a tad cheaper than Northern Europe or the Gulf States. As they say, your mileage may vary.

We try to annually poll a few practical, down-to-earth teams as to how much they do actually spend out-of-pocket. And because of this, we are comfortable with that US$100 to $150 a day per team range.

Q) What do some previous travelers say about their participation in The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) Well, they say a lot of course. When we first put this event together back in 2000, we always thought that it was an once-in-a-lifetime around the world travel adventure. Boy were we wrong! Today, about 25% of our participants are now repeat participants. We think that speaks volumes! Happy travelers willing to come and experience the world like we provide them again…and again…and again.

There must be something about participating in our travel adventure that is enriching, exciting, fun, challenging, and for many, becomes a trans-formative and life-changing event. We like to think that we have turned everyone that participates into turned others into Thrillionaires.

Here are some quotes and videos from former alum. Enjoy.

Q) What does the global media have to say about The Global Scavenger Hunt travel adventure competition?

A) Again, a lot…here are some international media quotes and links to check out. Enjoy.

Here is our 2017 – e Media Kit too…

Q) Okay, if I don’t know where I am going, what about visas?

A) Great question. After all TGSH teams are selected and fully aboard, we then research everyone’s passports to see if and when any visas are required for entry anywhere. We usually are required to organize a few so-called visas-on-arrival for travelers in advance without their knowing. On the rare occasion that we do need a tourist visa before we depart (read: Kenya, India, Russia, Brazil, etc.), we let everyone know at the same time with more than enough time and instructions on how to obtain those visas. Frankly, most places are still rather easy to get into with only a valid passport, the filling out of a simple form, and maybe a few bucks.

We have visited over 70 countries and still haven’t left anyone behind yet…Okay, there was that one guy…but nobody really liked him anyway.

Q) Again, I don’t know where I am going, what about getting the shots or inoculations I might need?

A) Another good practical question. And again, part of TGSH process with all our questionnaires, interview and getting to know you chats, is that we want to fully understand each and every  personal medical issues you have, if any. If the Event Coordinator needs to personally contact your physician on your behalf, they will.

Travelers are always asking us about shots and inoculations, and obviously we are not medical professionals (and you of course need to consult with your own family physician)… but, what we always suggest is to make sure that all your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR and MMRV) vaccine, Hep A, Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td and Tdap) and Typhoid/Polio pricks are all up to date (aka boosters).

As far as mosquitoes go, in the past, I would say that just about 25% of our travelers go on some type of anti-malaria regime. It is their personal choice, as everyone has their own risk tolerance and health and safety thresholds. We also suggest that people look into a new drug called Dukoral that is a cholera vaccine. Always bring a DEET bug spray with you.

Obviously your safety and health on the road are our prime concern, so please take all necessary precautions. Make good choices, and know that what we say here is no substitute for a personal consultation with your qualified medical professional. Nuff said

Q) Do I need travel insurance?

A) Everyone is different and has a different set of personal risk factors, real and psychological. We will not play the fear card here.

That said, we highly recommend that you always protect your travel investment and hedge yourself financially from any and all unforeseen out-of-the-blue mishap. If you can’t self-insure and are in need of travel insurance, our Event Coordinator can help you wade through some competitive travel insurance rates. Be smart.

Q) Will we travelers be safe everywhere we go on The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) Of course the long and the short of it, and truly the only honest answer we can give you is that, no one really knows, right. Shit happens!

Yet contrary to the nightly cable news shows promotion of the Mean World Syndrome, we are living in the most peaceful and safest time in human history. The world is not going to hell in a hand basket. Don’t mistake the headlines for the trend-lines. Sure, there are a handful of civil wars taking place within a few pockets of resistance still simmering in the world: Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Somalia, Darfur/South Sudan, Shia-Sunni, and Syria and Eastern Ukraine recently. You could add the Gaza Strip and parts of Chicago to that list. But the indisputable reality is that we are living in a 97% conflict-free and safe to travel world. Frankly, as students of international relations and personal relationships, that is unprecedented. I’ll take those odds anytime. The world is being pacified (for good or bad) by democracy, the United Nations, literacy, globalization, social media, urbanization and secularization. Collectively, it is all having a positive effect on reducing violence in the world. That is great news. Statistically speaking, traveling is 40 times safer than staying at home. And our savvy travelers all listen to the little hairs on the back of their necks. Knock on wood…never had a bad encounter yet after 12 circumnavigations to 71 countries with over 240 travelers. Not one bad encounter. Think about that.

And forget about random acts of terrorism too. According to Brian Jenkins, one of the world’s foremost terrorism experts at the RAND Institute, “It is statistically so unlikely that a traveler will be a victim of terrorism that we’d be better off telling people how to avoid lightning.” And of course we agree—avoid lightening. As participants in TGSH, we have several things working in our favor that help keep us out of harm’s way: 1) we have no known predictable travel route, internationally or locally, for anyone to plot or plan against; 2) we don’t travel with any visible corporate logos and signs; 3) we don’t even really travel as a group save for a couple specially-planned cultural events; 4) we are all seasoned travelers with a greater understanding of a travelers best friend on the road—situational awareness; and finally, 5) we all know how to blend in and trust our well-honed instincts.

Of course bad things can and do happen on the road: ordinary petty crime, crimes of opportunity, car accidents, food poisoning, and the odd ferry or train disasters. But those things take place in our own communities too. So, yes you will be safe, we would not take anybody anyplace we would not take our kids (and we do!) and we want to come home safe and sound too. So be vigilant, be smart and be careful.

Q) I’m not a marathon runner. What is the physical degree of difficulty for participating in The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) A good question. The TGSH is not an athletic competition a lathe Eco-Challenge, nor an endurance race like the Whitbread around-the-world sailing event. It is also not a silly stunt-filled reality TV drama like The Amazing Race. On the flip side, it is not a sleep-on-the-beach resort vacation or a prepackaged on-off bus tour serving three square gluttonous meals a day either. You will be engaged daily in extraordinary activities.

TGSH is what I would call a soft adventure, not a physically grueling hard adventure. It is an adventure of the mind and spirit, rather than body. In the past, our anything but average travelers, have been between the ages of 13 and 75—we won’t hold the young at a disadvantage for lack of wisdom, just as we will not hold the more mature at a disadvantage for their lack of youthful athleticism. Every traveler is equal in this competition. We always say that if you can take a good walk in the noon-day sun, albeit the Equatorial noon-day sun, you should be okay.

That said, it is a marathon of sorts because you will be circling the globe traveling through 24-time zones over a 23 day period. So get in shape (walk around the block a few times with your bags), eat right and take your vitamins.

Q) Again, I don’t know where I am going, how am I supposed to pack for 23-days?

A) Who knows? Our best advice is simple: If you can’t carry it, don’t take it. Because at the end of the day it will be in your best interest to pack as functionally light as possible. In our humble opinion, spring is the best time to travel the globe: No rainy season. No tourists. Not too cold yet. Maybe even an Indian summer in Southern Hemisphere and an early spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Like we mentioned earlier, a single roller-bag and a small day pack should suffice. Remember, they have stores in the rest of the world—and laundromats too!

In all seriousness, we will provide all team competitors with a packing list as the event’s start draws closer.

Q) Can I bring and use my (fill in the blank) iWatch/smart phone/tablet/laptop?

A) Yes, of course. Our participant’s blog, write articles, correspond with family and friends, and even conduct important business while they are traveling in TGSH. You just can’t use any technology while you are actually performing scavenges. We want you interact with locals, to trust strangers in strange lands, not Google when the temple opens!? We have rules.

Q) What does The Global Scavenger Hunt’s charity aspect mean to me?

How long have you been in business?

REI has offered the finest in outdoor gear since 1938. In that same spirit, REI Adventures has led the way down wilderness paths and cultural back roads to the most intriguing destinations in the world since 1987.

What kinds of trips are offered?

We have adventures that range from weekend getaways to three-week treks. We explore the world on foot, by kayak, canoe or raft, bicycle, safari, 4-wheel drive, cruise ship or a combination of these vehicles! Novices are welcome. We can teach you to kayak or to safely summit a mountain.

How do I know what each trip is like?

This website provides full details of each trip. If you still have questions, please call us at 1-800-622-2236 or e-mail us at travel@rei.com.

Who goes on REI Adventures trips?

Our travelers love the outdoors and want a new experience in a part of the world they have been wanting to visit. Our trips usually have a good mix of men and women, and people's ages vary by trip depending upon a number of factors, including the activity level, duration and price. People join us from all over the world; your traveling companions are just like the people you meet at an REI store.

What is your maximum group size?

We keep our groups small — usually 16 participants or fewer. Our minimum is typically four, but it varies by trip.

What if I'm traveling alone?

About half of our trip participants are individuals traveling alone. We also have people traveling with a friend, a spouse or their entire family.

Note: Prices are based on double occupancy. If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, though, and we will assign you a roommate if one is available (some exceptions apply, see individual trip details for more information).

Please also note that there are a limited number of single accommodations available and that some trips with certain lodging options (such as tent camping or dormitory-styled accommodations) may not offer single accommodations, regardless of a customer's willingness to pay a supplemental fee.

Can I be comfortable doing adventure travel?

Adventure travel and physical comfort can go hand-in-hand. Join us for a hike through the Italian countryside, and you'll sleep in charming inns and dine in fine restaurants. If you prefer mountaineering, these amenities will, of course, be unavailable. That said, our camping trip arrangements are exceptional and comfortable. For example, our African safari trips provide spacious sleeping tents, a dining tent and a shower tent. Hot water is available. Plus, a full camp staff takes care of all the chores!

Do you take children on your trips?

Some REI Adventures trips can accommodate young people who are accompanied and supervised by a legal guardian and who can handle the physical and emotional requirements of the trip. Our REI Adventures staff can discuss whether a trip is suitable for your child. See our family trips for adventures offered for participants of all ages.

Do you offer private departures for small groups?

Yes. We offer private departures for all kinds of groups, including couples, families and friends, clubs and organizations. See our private departures page for details.

Who are your guides?

Take a look at our guides page on our site! REI Adventures finds knowledgeable local experts to lead our trips. We also form business partnerships with local companies around the world to provide expert leaders, transportation, hotels and other services. These men and women know their homeland intimately, and are enthusiastic and accommodating. They 'show you the ropes' and encourage you every step of the way.

What do I need to bring?

Usually all you need to bring is your personal gear. We provide a gear list outlining needed clothing and equipment for each trip on our website. The gear list is also available through your Online Traveler Profile. For the majority of our trips, we provide the rest: tents, rafting gear, sea kayaking, commissary and camping gear, etc.

What's the food like?

On hotel- and inn-based trips, we dine in local restaurants and have the pleasure of experiencing a variety of local cuisine. We eat well on our camping trips, too, which feature an abundance of fresh, delicious food. On our high-altitude climbing trips, we use a combination of fresh and freeze-dried food. All water used for cooking and drinking is purified by filter or it's boiled. We can also accommodate special dietary requests (vegetarian, food allergies, etc.). Please refer to the specific trip itinerary for a list of which meals are included on your trip.

How are your trips rated? What does "moderate" mean?

We have active trips for every skill level, ranging from relaxed to strenuous. These guidelines will help you select the level of adventure that's right for you.

  1. (1) Relaxed: Adventure travel at its most relaxed pace.
  1. Activity: 1-3 hours most days
  2. Distances: walk less than 3 miles most days
  3. Surfaces: flat terrain
  4. Elevation change: little to none
  5. Altitude: less than 3,000 ft
  1. (2) Easy Active: Great for newcomers to active travel.
  1. Activity: 2-5 hours most days
  2. Distances: Hike up to 6 miles, cycle 10-30 miles most days
  3. Surfaces: flat or rolling terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  4. Elevation change: up to 2,000 ft/day
  5. Altitude: up to 6,000 ft
  1. (3) Moderate: For outdoor novices and above.
  1. Activity: 4-6 hours most days
  2. Distances: Hike up to 10 miles most days, cycle 20-40 miles most days
  3. Surfaces: rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  4. Elevation change: up to 3,000 ft/day
  5. Altitude: up to 10,000 ft
  1. (3) (4) Moderate Plus:
  1. Trips rated as Moderate Plus [3-4] are recommended for travelers seeking both moderate [3] and vigorous [4] activity levels. Please refer to daily trip itineraries for specifics.
  1. (4) Vigorous: Recommended for fit travelers with basic skills
  1. Activity: 5-8 hours most days
  2. Distances: Hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 30-50 miles most days
  3. Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  4. Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  5. Altitude: up to 14,000 ft.
  6. Experience and a doctor's release may be required
  1. (5) Strenuous: Designed for very fit travelers.
  1. Activity: 10+ hours/day
  2. Distances: Hike 12 or more miles most days, cycle 50 or more miles most days
  3. Surfaces: remote, mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, uneven trails with loose features.
  4. Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  5. Altitude: may well exceed 14,000 ft
  6. Experience and a doctor's release are required


Do I have to be an REI member to go on your trips?

Although you do not need to be an REI member to go on an REI Adventures trip, REI members do get a substantial discount. As an REI member, you can apply for an REI MasterCard®, can get you a 5% rebate on the cost of the trip if you pay for it with your REI MasterCard.

Can I give a trip as a gift?

You can, whether by purchasing a specific trip or an REI Gift Card which can be applied to any of our trips. There's also our REI Adventures' Gift Registry, which can be used for any occasion — a wedding present, honeymoon trip, graduation gift, birthday or any other celebration. For more information on our Gift Registry, please call us at 1-800-622-2236.

Do REI Adventures trips earn a dividend?

No. REI Adventures trips aren't included in the member refund portion of the REI dividend. However, the special REI member pricing discount is approximately equal to the amount which would be received as a dividend.

Do REI Adventures trips earn a rebate?

Yes. REI Adventures trips are included in the 5% REI MasterCard rebate program.

What is TripAssure Travel Insurance Services?

TripAssure Travel Insurance Services has specialized in travel insurance programs since 1961. For unforeseen circumstances that may arise, we strongly recommend the purchase of the Adventure Protection Plan. TripAssure offers Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance for REI Adventures. This pays for loss due to covered unforeseen circumstances or death, injury or illness of you or a family member. TripAssure also covers emergency medical transportation and medical expenses. REI Adventures recommends that you purchase this customized insurance policy that meets the needs of an active traveler.


Reservation FAQs

                                        How do I sign up for a trip?

                                        When are payments due?

                                        What forms of payment do you accept?

                                        Do REI Adventures trips earn dividends?

                                        Do you offer any discounts for repeat travelers?

                                        Do I have to be a member to go on an REI Adventures trip?

                                        Do I need a visa or passport?

                                        What if I need to cancel my trip?

                                        What If I need to transfer to another trip?

                                        Should I purchase trip cancellation insurance?

                                        What if REI Adventures cancels my trip?

                                        What if my trip doesn't have enough participants?

                                        What if I don't need every hotel/activity/etc. on my trip?

                                        Is airfare included in the trip price?

                                        Can you help me book my airline tickets?

                                        What are my responsibilities/obligations as a trip member?


How do I sign up for a trip?

Reserving a trip is easy! Sign up online or call us at 1-800-622-2236. Our group sizes are small, though, so departures frequently sell out months in advance.

A deposit is required when you sign up. Your travel specialists will inform you that your trip has been confirmed once your trip meets the required number of participants. We ask that you don't purchase airline tickets until your trip has been confirmed.

When are payments due?

Most trips require a deposit (usually fully refundable until 90 days before departure) and a final payment two months before departure. Weekend trips require payment when you book. Some trips have a special deposit/payment policy, which is noted on the trip itinerary. You can make payments online or by giving us a call at 1-800-622-2236.

What forms of payment do you accept?

All prices quoted are in US dollars and subject to change. Payments must be made in US dollars. We accept Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express® and Discover® for trip payment, as well as REI dividends and REI gift cards.

Do REI Adventures trips earn dividends?

Trips do not earn REI dividends, but REI members do receive special pricing. You can apply your REI dividend as payment toward the purchase of any trip.

Do you offer any discounts for repeat travelers?

Yes! REI Adventures travelers are entitled to a discount to be applied towards their next REI Adventures trip. Travel with us within the following year and SAVE up to $200: 

  1. $200 off any trip in Africa or Asia or an Antarctica cruise
  2. $100 off any trip in Europe, Latin America or Australia & New Zealand
  3. $50 off any trip in the United States, Canada or Mexico


Do I have to be a member to go on an REI Adventures trip?

You don't have to be an REI member to go on an REI Adventures trip, but REI members enjoy many benefits, including a yearly member refund, discounts on rental gear and special pricing on REI Adventures trips. To learn more about the advantages of REI membership and to join REI, see our membership page or call 1-800-426-4840.

Do I need a visa or passport?

A valid passport is required for all US citizens traveling to other countries. Many of our trips take place in countries that also require US citizens to carry a travel visa. If your trip requires a visa, information will be included in your pre-departure materials. Learn more about visa requirements.

What if I need to cancel my trip?

If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply and are due to REI Adventures at the time (prior to departure) we receive written notice of your cancellation.

  1. 91 or more days
  2. 61 to 90 days
  3. 31 to 60 days
  4. 0 to 30 days
  5. $0
  6. $400.00
  7. 50% of trip cost
  8. 100% of trip cost


For our Weekend Getaways, the following fees apply and are due to REI Adventures at the time (prior to departure) we receive written notice of your cancellation.


  1. 30 or more days
  2. 15 to 29 days
  3. 0 to 14 days
  4. $0
  5. 50% of trip cost
  6. 100% of trip cost


Some trips have specific cancellation fees, which are noted on the trip itinerary. Please see specific trip itineraries for details.


To protect your investment, we recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance.


What If I need to transfer to another trip?

If you decide to transfer to another trip, the following fees apply and are due to REI Adventures at the time (prior to departure) we receive your request to transfer.

  1. 61 or more days
  2. 31 to 60 days
  3. 0 to 30 days
  4. $0
  5. 50% of trip cost
  6. 100% of trip cost


For our Weekend Getaways, the following fees apply and are due to REI Adventures at the time (prior to departure) we receive your request for a transfer.


  1. 15 or more days
  2. 0 to 14 days
  3. $0
  4. 100% of trip cost


Some trips have specific transfer fees, which are noted on the trip itinerary. Please see specific trip itineraries for details.


To protect your investment, we recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance.


Should I purchase trip cancellation insurance?

Sometimes life happens, and you need to cancel your trip or return home early. REI Adventures cannot issue refunds in many cases. Travel insurance helps protect against last-minute cancellation, trip interruption and to cover medical treatment or emergency medical evacuation during your trip. We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance in advance of your trip.

What if REI Adventures cancels my trip?

REI Adventures reserves the right to cancel all or a portion of a trip. In the event of such a cancellation, full or partial refunds, if any, will be at REI's sole discretion. REI Adventures is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the trip (including non-refundable air tickets, visa fees, gear or medical expenses, etc.).

What if my trip doesn't have enough participants?

Each trip requires a minimum number of participants. If we sign up enough participants to run a trip, the trip is confirmed, and we'll alert travelers so they can purchase their airfare. Many of our departures confirm with as few as four trip participants.

In most cases, if a trip doesn't have enough participants, you may either transfer to another departure date or trip, be refunded your deposit or you might be able to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer participants.

What if I don't need every hotel/activity/etc. on my trip?

REI Adventures doesn't give any refunds for unused hotel rooms, meals, sightseeing trips or trek arrangements. Trip price is quoted as a package; credits are not given for services not used.

Is airfare included in the trip price?

Our prices are land costs only; airfare is additional.

Can you help me book my airline tickets?

If you're looking for the best price, we suggest contacting your preferred airlines directly or searching online for airline tickets. REI Adventures also has experienced travel agents on staff who can help you with ticketing and reservations around the world for an additional fee. Please call us at 1-800-622-2236 for details.

What are my responsibilities/obligations as a trip member?

Camaraderie is a big part of REI Adventures trips. Your fellow travelers are also REI members: people who enjoy being active and exploring the outdoors. We encourage you to carefully review the trip information in order to make good decisions about which trips are right for you.

Keep in mind that different travelers will have different goals, perspectives, experiences and abilities. With that in mind, we ask that the group respect each individual's conditions and needs throughout the trip. We want everyone to enjoy themselves to the fullest. Often, trip participants become lifelong friends.

By participating in an REI Adventures trip, you assume certain obligations to REI Adventures and the other trip members. It is your responsibility to:

REI Adventures reserves the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a tour participant should such person's behavior, health or mental condition impede the operation of the trip.

Medical Considerations: If you have any medical or psychological conditions, it's very important that you let us know well before departure so that we can work with you as much as possible. Trip leaders have the right to disqualify anyone at any time during the trip if they feel the trip member is incapable of continuing and/or if a trip member's continued participation jeopardizes the group's or the individual's own safety. Under these circumstances, refunds are not given.


REI Adventures may contract with independent contractors to provide transportation, guide services and/or all other related travel services. We assume no responsibility, however caused, for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service provided by an independent contractor or resulting directly from the following: - acts of God - detention - annoyance - terrorism - thefts - pilferage - force majeure - civil disturbances - government restrictions or regulations - strikes - delays and expenses arising from quarantine - failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled - discrepancies or change in transit or hotel services over which we have no control.

We reserve the right to make reasonable changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary or advisable for the comfort and well-being of trip members.

Q) I have never really traveled internationally, is that a problem?

A) Well, yea probably!? We want to make sure we’re not committing travel malpractice by allowing some greenhorn cruise addict to compete who would seriously have no business competing. Can you just imagine if we dropped some neophytes in Delhi for four days and just said “Go do your list of scavenges“!? Jeez, we may never see them again. So, yes, we do interview everyone for suitability and having traveled (you and/or your teammate, international and/or domestic) is kind of important to us…go figure.

TGSH is for the most creative, curious and travel savvy globetrotters and travel enthusiasts out there. Participants should have some working knowledge and experience in dealing with spontaneous travel circumstances and snafus, dealing with different cultures, logistics and language barriers. Having said that some people know a lot after traveling through just a few countries, while some folks are still, well, not so competent, after visiting 100 countries. It is quality not quantity.

Q) Is this just another version of those reality TV shows like The Amazing Race?

A) We get asked this question a lot sadly. Almost daily in fact. The short answer is NO!

We started our event in May 2000, a year before The Amazing Race aired on TV. We are flattered by the comparison—we think? But our travel adventure competition is “open” to all comers, real people, real travelers; not perfectly cast players for dramatic purposes. Our event does not induce drama between teammates or other competing teams. Our participants actually have to trust strangers in strange lands—not depend on the accompanying producer to make sure they get where they are going. We also don’t kick any team out of the competition for not doing well in any particular leg. Our competitors perform real authentic site-doing scavenges, not just perform pre-staged action stunts. (Can you do it again, we didn’t get that!) And finally, our event crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers™ in the only annual around the world international travel adventure competition. It is the travel world championship. Finally, our event attempts to raise consciousnesses and fund for worthy cause, not worry about ratings and ad revenue. (I know, all sour grapes, right!?)

That said, on occasion, portions of The Global Scavenger Hunt are recorded and eventually seen in numerous media outlets: network news, in documentaries, on YouTube and in our participant’s homes during family video-watching night. 

If you have any additional questions, please e-mail us: ringmaster {at} GlobalScavengerhunt.com.

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