How do I know if an Inertia trip right for me?
We’re not your average tour company; rather, we see ourselves as an experience company that looks beyond mass tourism and bucketlist places to really focus on engaging communities and wildlife in some of the most remote places around the world. To us, holidays are about experiences, not vacations, and this is the philosophy that our trips follow. So is an Inertia trip a good fit for what you’re looking for? We created a small list below to give you a better idea of what to expect.
Yes, we’re likely a good fit.
Down for an adventure.
Willing and ready to engage others.
Open minded towards new and unusual experiences.
Respectful of other cultures and traditions.
Duct tape, dirt and beer? Yes, please.
Eat this bug? Yeah, I’ll give it a try.
No, we’re probably not going to work out.
I need to return to a luxury hotel in the evenings.
A picture is more important then the experience.
I value the iconic over the weird or original.
Homestays? Camping? No thanks.
I like to stick to an exact tour schedule.
This is my vacation, I want to relax and sightsee.
Eat this bug? Hell no, get that away from me.
Would you classify these trips as luxury?
Not particularly. We do not offer luxury trips in the traditional sense, unless booked for a private group with such a specification. Rather, our trips are designed to soak in the local environment as much as possible. This occasionally means we stay at really nice accommodations and take chartered flights; but by and large we stay at places that enable exploration or match the budget of the trip.
The specified service level of each trip will give you a better idea of what to expect when it comes to things like accommodations, food and transportation options, but keep in mind, we are not a luxury tour operator waiting with hot towels and welcome cocktails. We expect that each participant actively contribute to the group and the trip in order to foster community and create a positive experience for everyone.
What's included in the price?
In general, our trips include nearly all land costs. This means we include accommodation (double or multiple people per room or tent or homestay), regional flights, transportation, local and overseas guides, entrance fees to places specified on the itinerary, and most meals. Each trip has different meals included, as we tend to give free time to explore in cities and meals during those times are not included. Ask to get a copy of the trek pdf to see exactly which meals are included on each trip.
Most of our trips do not include travel and medical insurance, visa fees and services, international airfare, personal spending, alcoholic drinks, and tips for local guides. Each participant is responsible for getting themselves to the starting location on each trip's start date as well as understanding if they require a travel visa for the countries we are visiting or not.
What's included and excluded on each trip is clearly specified on the cost section of each trip page on our website.
Who leads each trip? Who are the staff members?
Every group journey is co-lead by a trained member of the Inertia home team (from Canada) and a local guide or fixer. On many trips there is also a blogger, photographer or journalist co-leader as well, to help add to the experience for everyone.
Independently arranged trips (non Inertia group trips) are lead by a local guide who is an approved Inertia partner. Should a independent trip request a Western trip leader, we can offer this service at an additional cost.
What happens if I want to cancel? How do refunds work?
We get it, things happen, plans change, and sometimes you have to drop out of a trip. For this, we've created a DISCLAIMER section to clarify our policies on cancellations, refunds, responsibilities, and insurance requirements. Please look it over, or see below:
Deposits, Payments and Refunds
Upon signing up for a trip, we will request a deposit in order for you to secure your spot. The deposit is always set at 30% of the trip fee. Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferrable to other trips. We are only able to return a deposit should we be forced to cancel a trip for any unforeseeable reason.
Balances (the remaining 70%) are due at least 60 days before the start of a trip, and we will start requesting funds approximately 75 days before the start of a trip. Cancellations made after this time period incurs the following penalties:
- Cancel between 59 and 30 days before trip start sate: 50% refund on balance.
- Cancel between 29 and 15 days before trip start date: 30% refund on balance.
- Cancel 14 days or less before trip start date: no refund available.
Is there a maximum number of participants allowed on each group trip? Is there a minimum number needed to operate a trip?
We set a maximum number of participants based on the trip details, location and what we believe would be an ideal group size to give everyone a special, personalized experience while also making it dynamic and social. Typically, this number is between 6-16 people, with 14 being more or less a baseline standard.
Each group journey requires 5 participants in order for us to operate the tour. This minimum number of people is based on meeting the amount of revenue we have to generate to get the trip off the ground and break even.
We list the maximum number of participants for each trip on the trip pages. Once the minimum number has been met, we will inform those who have signed up directly. Once the trip is sold out, we will mark it as sold and allow people to sign up for a waitlist should spaces become available.
Are there any rules I need to follow while on Inertia trips?
Inertia Network group treks are highly explorative and social experiences that go beyond the tourist trail to encourage genuine interaction, exchange, bonding and shared experience. This being said, we have expectations that all participants treat each other and our staff, local partners, and hosts with respect and patience.
We promote egalitarian values when travelling-- do not expect to be served or waited on, rather, we hope you ask yourself how you can be more engaged with the group and local community. Therefore, we require that all participants agree to and sign the following Code of Conduct before being allowed to formally start a trek with us.
- Support each other-- offer a helping hand, attentive ear, or words of encouragement to your fellow travellers, trip leaders, guides and locals you meet along the way.
- Embrace the experience-- sometimes you may feel uncomfortable, sometimes situations are unfamiliar, it’s all part of the experience of travel; embrace it, live it, learn from it and reflect upon it.
- Treat others with respect, but remember respect is a two-way street.
- Engage in respectful dialogue and respect the opinions of others.
- Cause no harm.
- Respect and protect the environment-- pack it in, pack it out (we’re talking garbage and plastic waste here), take only photos, leave only footprints.
- No harassment, bullying, or discriminating against anyone.
- Follow and abide by local laws at all times, especially as they relate to drugs and alcohol. Understand that if you break them, we cannot help you.
- Complaining diminishes the experience for everyone-- if you’re upset about something talk with us privately and we will do our best to help you immediately. We’re all people working together to make amazing experiences; complaining brings down the entire group.
- Please understand that failure to abide by the Code of Conduct may result in your removal from the trip without refund at the discretion of the trip leaders.
Do I need to sign a waiver before participating in an Inertia trip?
Yes, each participant must sign a standard liability waiver and hold-harmless agreement before the start of each trip in order to participate.
Below is a copy of the text of our waiver.
WAIVER OF ALL CLAIMS, RELEASE FROM LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK
I, (Full Name), hereby acknowledge and agree that in my participation in activities by Inertia Network Inc.:
- I will not hold Inertia Network, its officers, directors and employees responsible for any injury, death, accident, illness, delay, personal loss, personal property damage or other loss sustained by me and hereby release Inertia Network, its officers, directors and employees due to any cause whatsoever, including without limitation, negligence on the part of Inertia Network or its employees. I further agree to indemnify Inertia Network and its employees for any and all legal fees (on a solicitor and his own client basis) or costs which may be incurred in defending any lawsuit or claim I may bring against them.
- AND I DO HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT:
(a) I will participate in activities entirely at my own risk. Participation in any outdoor activity and travel in natural, outdoor environments involve inherent risks, dangers and hazards. These risks may include, but are not limited to: natural disasters, forces of nature, weather conditions, rugged or steep terrain, avalanches, rock fall, slippery footing, water, isolation from medical facilities, difficult evacuation, equipment failure, mechanical breakdown, human error and accidents. These and other risks may cause serious injury, illness, death, personal property damage or personal losses.
(b) That this Waiver of all Claims, Release from Liability and Assumption of Risk is binding on myself, my heirs, my executors, administrators, personal representatives and assigns.
(c) That the term "activities" as used in the Waiver of all Claims, Release from Liability and Assumption of Risk includes without limiting the generality of that term, training sessions, programmes and events that are in any way authorized, sanctioned, organized or operated by Inertia Network.
(d) I understand that by signing this release I may be forever prevented from suing or otherwise claiming against Inertia Network, its officers, directors and employees for certain loss or damages, whether for property loss or personal injury, that I may sustain while participating in adventure activities.
(e) I hereby consent to receive medical treatment which may be deemed advisable in the event of injury, accident, and/or illness during this activity.
(f) I understand while participating in this activity, I may be photographed. I agree to allow my photo, video, or film likeness to be used for any legitimate purpose by the activity holders, producers, sponsors, organizers, and assigns.
(g) I understand that the included itinerary is a general guideline of what can be expected on my adventure trip, but is NOT a contract. Factors such as weather conditions, mechanical breakdown, flight cancellations, medical emergencies, political unrest, natural disasters or other uncontrollable circumstances can alter my trip.
(h) I will not hold Inertia Network responsible for extra costs incurred by me which include, but are not limited to: extra meals, accommodation, personal costs, or rebooking of commercial transportation in the event of unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances. I confirm that I have carefully read this agreement and understand its terms as acknowledged by my signature below.
I CERTIFY THAT I HAVE READ THIS DOCUMENT AND I FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENT. I AM AWARE THAT THIS IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND A CONTRACT AND I SIGN IT OF MY OWN FREE WILL.
Do I need my own travel and medical insurance? Is this required?
We require that all participants have valid medical insurance when travelling on one of our group treks. The reason for this is that we feel secure in being to help you should an accident happen or you get sick and need to be admitted to hospital or even evacuated.
We ask all participants to submit copies of their medical insurance policies to our office before the start date of their trip. If you are covered through your credit card, please submit a copy of that policy to us as well. This is so that in the case of an emergency we can try to help you to the best of our abilities. If you do not submit this information to us, it is much more difficult to help you in the case of an emergency.
What happens if Inertia Network has to cancel a trip?
We do our absolute best to never have to cancel a trip that has met its minimum participant threshold (5 participants). However, we do reserve the right to cancel a trip at any time for any reason-- act of god, safety, natural disaster, political upheaval, or any unforeseen issue that prevents us from safely operating a trip.
Should we be forced to cancel a trip, you will receive a full refund including your deposit from us within two weeks.
Please note: we are unable to cover any costs you incur should you chose to drop out in this case, including flight changes, ticket fees, vacation time, etc. For this reason, we recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
How safe are Inertia trips?
We push social, cultural, and geographical boundaries to deliver on experiences beyond the tourist trail. Likewise, we expect our local teams to get creative as well when working with us to plan out treks, but this does not mean we sacrifice the safety and security of our participants or staff.
Inertia Network partners with vetted local guides, fixers, and coordinators all over the globe. And after a decade of location management experience, our network is significant. We onboard and train local teams in our values, and encourage them to also explore their own surroundings, and to always be on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities we can share in together. We do not look at nor treat our local teams as service providers, but rather as friends and colleagues. We are in this together; respect and bonding is paramount.
Safety is crucial to any experience and we do not take any uncalculated nor unnecessary risks while planning nor while operating our trips. Participants are briefed before the start of our trips and during orientation on local customes, practices, culture, history and laws. All of this is meant to increase safety and awareness amongst grup members.
Occasionally, depending on the location, we may hire armed guards to accompany the group. This is particularly true in recovering locations or countries with greater security concerns.
Some of these countries have travel warnings, are we able to travel safely to these places?
We operate in a lot of wild places around the world, and this includes places like Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Korea and others with a more dubious safety record. We only operate in the areas within these countries we have fully scouted and deem safe.
Our local teams are experts in their homelands and we exclusively work with people who truly know what they are doing in these places. Each itinerary contains numerous back up plans and we will immediately change an itinerary if there is any sign of danger.
Travel and evacuation insurance is required of all participants and staff while travelling in any country with an active travel warning in place (an exception is made for North Korea, where just medical insurance is required, we have also been working in North Korea for the past 10 years successfully). Please reach out and we’ll schedule a call if you’d like more specific safety questions addressed.
How strenous are Inertia trips? How much “roughing it” can I expect?
The difficulty level of each trip is specified on the description page. This refers to the level of physical and mental “roughing it” you should expect to encounter.
Intense: May include many nights in a row camping with limited to no washroom facilities, and in potentially difficult physical conditions (weather). May include difficult hikes, at altitude, over multiple days, carrying gear. These trips push boundaries the furthest to really get out there and explore remote areas. Specialized skills or gear may be required, depending on the trip.
Difficult: May include multiple nights in a row camping with limited to no washroom facilities, along with multiple day treks. Electricity and hot water may not be available in rural areas. Don’t expect to bathe every night, but there will be ample opportunities as we mix hotel and homestay accommodation with outdoor and extreme rural experiences. Specialized gear or skill is not generally required.
Moderate: Expect some nights in the outdoors or camping, with others in hotels and homestays. Bathing is possible on most nights, and hot water is generally available on most nights. Several-day treks are possible, but hiking times and skill level are not too difficult and in general these trips stick to day trips and overnighters as opposed to multiple night treks. Specialized gear or skill is not required.
Easy: May include some nights glamping or in homestays, otherwise the majority of the time is spent in guesthouses and hotels, check the service level on the trip to see which category of hotels you can expect, generally in the 3-4 star range, occasionally in the 5 star range. Hot water, bathing, and comfortable beds should be expected on almost all nights.
How flexible are the trip itineraries?
The quick answer is: it depends. We look to create experiences in their entirety instead of sticking with a rigid minute-by-minute itinerary. Our itineraries serve as a guideline for the trip, rather than something to be seen as set in stone.
We will readily change itinerary details based on local conditions— a festival, or unusual activity that unexpectedly pops up, new opportunities for genuine engagement, a meal at someone’s home— are all things we will explore when the opportunity arises. We value the entirety of the experience, rather than sticking with a very rigid schedule, so it’s a good idea to expect changes.
What should I pack and is there a weight limit?
Before the start of each trip we send out a packet of information to each participant. This packet includes a packing list of mandatory and recommended items-- which are largely dependent on the itinerary, activities we do, and weather of each location. All of our trips have weight and luggage restrictions, as these are mostly set by airlines and transportation services we encounter throughout the trip. Normally (but not always), this means up to one 23kg bag and a 5kg carry-on.
Please keep in mind, each participant is responsible for carrying their own bags and equipment, including at times at distance. On many trips there are occasions where you are able to store your larger bags and carry overnight packs or day packs, so it's always good to have a small or medium sized backpack with you.
Can I work with Inertia to create a private trip and custom itinerary?
Of course you can. Just REACH OUT and let's talk. We operate in every country we currently have group treks in as well as dozens more, so we can work with you to create a tailer made itinerary for your group.
Our team has worked with university student groups, professional organizations, companies and non-profits to design experiences for their members.
Where do we sleep on these trips?
Where we sleep may include hotels, guesthouses, homestays, tents, and even nights under the stars; we do whatever it takes to create an awesome experience. Groups are kept small and intimate, they're priced to be inclusive instead of prohibitive, but not sacrifice the experience.
Group dynamics between adventurers is key to each trip's success. This means we normally do not include luxurious accommodations (although some treks do, if we believe it truly augments the experience and remains affordable). At the same time, we try our absolute best to stick to clean accommodations. As a rule of thumb, if we are staying at hotels, it's safe to assume they are in the "three-star" range unless otherwise noted. Our preference is to stay in homestays and guesthouses over hotels.
Do you offer single supplement or do we always have roommates assigned?
We consider single supplement requests on a case-by-case basis, should the option even be available. Here's our thinking: the entire point of Inertia is to bring people together, explore the world earnestly and openly, and to allow oneself and others to be vulnerable. This is how we grow and learn. We are not just a travel company who takes people to cool places, we are all about shared experiences and connectivity. We believe that having a roommate or roommates adds value to your experience on our group treks and is an important component of our programs.
This being said, if you’re joining with a friend or significant other, you can room together throughout the trip. If you’re joining solo, you will be given a roommate from the trip of the same gender. If you really want your own room, then talk to us and we'll find a solution for you.
Note: on some trips you will have your own room anyway, normally due to bed arrangements.
What happens if I require a visa for one or more of the countries we visit?
Depending on your country of citizenship and the immigration policies of countries we are visiting, you may or may not require a visa or separate entry clearance document before arriving in that country. This varies greatly depending on your nationality. We do not provide visa services (although fellow Canadian citizens may inquire about this when joining a trip, we may be able to help you out since our trip leaders will also normally need a visa).
This being said, we can help offer advice on obtaining a visa, as well as provide support documents (letters of invitation, reservations, etc) whenever possible. Visa policies tend to vary depending on where you apply for your visa, the politics of the day, and the mood of the consular officer reading your application. Some countries are notoriously fickle with issuing visas (China and Russia for example), while others are very straightforward (Myanmar and Tajikistan for example).
It is also important to keep in mind that many countries require you to apply for a visa at their diplomatic mission in your country of citizenship or official residence. We have seen cases of individuals having to fedex their passports to visa services in their home countries in order to obtain visas when travelling or living abroad without proper long term residence papers.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us anytime and we’ll get right back to you.