Flights—who books? How much? When, where, how, why!

Once your programme is confirmed, you can start getting ready by looking at flights. One of the Gotoco team will let you know when your team should book their flights and will confirm any information relevant to your programme. 

Below is more information about our flight booking policy. 

Are my flights funded???😊

Gotoco is a unique platform that links students, recent graduates and others up with funded opportunities all over the world. There are three different funding streams and how your transport is funded depends on which stream you're on. You will be told the funding stream that you're on when you're invited to interview with a programme.

1. Direct funding:

Some programmes fund you directly—in this case you will need to pay flights upfront and be reimbursed in part or in full by the programme later. 

2. University-arranged HE Turing Scheme Funding and Other University Funding:

Some of you are joining us with Turing Scheme funding through your universities. In these cases, we have setup special programmes to be eligible for university partnerships. For these we charge, £480 to meet the costs of programme support, delivery and TEFL. Any funding you have over £480 can be applied to your flights. If there is no surplus, then you'd need to book out of your own pocket.

3. Gotoco's Trinity CertTESOL Funding:

Most of you are joining fully-funded on the Gotoco Trinity CertTESOL pathway. If you are a UK citizen, resident or studying in the UK and would like to be on this track, please drop us an email. For you, we have a generous budget to meet flight costs...

If you're on option 3, Gotoco's Trinity CertTESOL Funding, read on below for more information about how the funding works:

How much funding is there for our return flights?

We offer funding in two ranges: a normal range and a high range. You should aim to purchase in the normal range, you will need pre-authorisation from one of our team if you wish to be reimbursed for a flight in the high range. These rates are set out below:

Normal range for a return route:

£150 within Europe (except Greece)

£225 Greece

£705 to our further flung placements (e.g Colombia & Guatemala, Thailand, Vietnam) 

£1,060 for Bali

High range for a return route:

Sometimes prices surge out of control, this is particularly common during the major August holiday period...In those cases, our maximum return route budget goes up to:

£250 within Europe (except Greece)

£325 Greece

£905 to our further flung placements (e.g Colombia & Guatemala, Thailand, Vietnam)

£1,360 for our furthest-flung places (Indonesia - Bali)

If you book a flight in the normal range, we will reimburse your bank as soon as you land in the destination! If you are only able to find prices in the high range, then when it comes to reimbursement you will need to ensure that you have pre-authorisation for monies over the normal range budget. Pre-authorisation can be demonstrated by showing us a screenshot of either:

a) our team authorising you in chat/email to spend the high range budget. You can message us during your flight search to get this.

b) the search results page of Skyscanner showing that you couldn't get a layover flight from the UK's main airports (London) to the destination in the normal range. For this, your screenshot will need to have used Skyscanner and sorted flights by price. We will need to be able to see the dates too.

*Our ethos is backpacking! We usually will not approve unnecessary direct flights or luxury routes. We want you to have an adventure—this may mean being outside your comfort zone at points. If you have a choice between going direct to Bangkok or having an 18-hour layover in Saudi Arabia, we would usually strongly urge you to do the latter, because who knows when you'll ever return to Riyadh? If you really want to fly direct/business class etc, then you will only be offered our normal range reimbursement and can choose to pay for upgrades yourself. 

**Funding is allocated to cover costs relating to your programme, such as cultural activities or a post-programme cultural tour (depending on your programme). If you use the high range budget, then the budget for other aspects of your trip may be reduced. So, please aim to work within the normal budget.

***You can only claim up to the actual amount you pay on flights, please bear this in-mind before spending your own Airmiles.

Does Gotoco book for you?

In some cases, where we want people to fly in groups to facilitate airport pickup, or routes are complex and pricey, the Gotoco team may step in to book your flights for you. If this is relevant to you, we will tell you. For everyone else, it is up to you to get a flight booked inline with the dates your programme has told you.

Sounds great. So, how can I book my own flight?

Its easy! Before you have a go, please carefully read our FAQ on the topic, here.

Why doesn't Gotoco book for you?

Our goal is to link you to link you to well supported, social and safe projects abroad. We want you take things into your own hands as much as possible, so we strive to be light-touch. We won't molly-coddle and package things. Wherever possible, we will give you full control. So in this case, when possible we will ask you to book your own flights. Benefits of this are many, e.g:

  • Greater choice and more fun (I): The OTA is your oyster, you can book whatever suits you. If there is a train that will get you there in budget, or you can visit some exciting destinations enroute, then please do! If on an EU project, why not Interrail there or fly via popular resorts that have cheaper routes? If headed to Asia, why not take a day trip in Doha, Dubai or even Riyadh?
  • More control and responsibility: You are less likely to miss a flight if you booked it yourself! If you need to make changes, cancellations or refunds - it will be easier for you if you booked direct.
  • Fun (II): Once again, fun. We want you to be able and empowered to fully plan your own trip. If you want to keep the journey open and hitch-hike home, that is something we can organise for you and we don't want to stand in the way of you taking things into your own hands.
  • Learning/experience: We want you to taste the life of a TEFL teacher, now is the time to learn everything you need to know.

What if I don't know the best dates for my arrival/departure?

Usually your programme page will inform you of the best dates to fly in and out. If it doesn't, then please ask your programme directly ( now, ideally). If they are non-responsive, then drop the Gotoco team an email and we will help you chase them to get the dates confirmed. Before you book anything, please double confirm direct with your programme host—sometimes they have complex arrival dates planned and so it's always worth double confirming things like this! If the dates they give you do not match the dates on your programme information page, please email Gotoco to confirm.

Gotoco has asked me to book a flight, but I just don't have enough money to do so.

If funds are tight, in the first instance, you should aim to purchase on a student credit card, or borrow from a friend/family member, we encourage borrowing in this way because we know that we will reimburse you as soon as you arrive at your Gotoco destination—it's perfectly safe taking credit when you have a reasonable exit plan!

If you are really unable to find funds, then please do contact Gotoco's team and explain the exceptional circumstances. We are passionate about offering a programme that is accessible for all, so we will never allow a shortage of funds to stop our offer holders participating! If there is really a need, then we will do everything we can to get something booked for you. If you request that Gotoco books for you, then you are likely to sacrifice flexibility and choice - but will still be able to get there. If you are in a position to book for yourself, we strongly recommend that you do so. If you find yourself unable to book the flights, then just email/WhatsApp your contact and we will sort it.

For more information on what is funded and what you need to pay for, please go click here

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