review

The last 10 weeks have been some of the best of my life. As a first time traveller, just left school, Frontier are perfect. It is guided traveling, the trail leaders use their knowladge of the countries to arrange the best activities to do and they arrange the transport. Frontier's greatest asset seems to me to be the field staff they employ. My month spent on Koh Smach was made infinatley better by Jack Henry who was in charge of the camp. Shadia Maali lead the trail efficiently and was on top of everything and was relentlessy friendly. A special mention has to go to Priya Sharma who was less a trail leader, and more a friend, frontier could not ask for a better spokesman for their company than her. However, Frontier has one very major flaw. I simply cannot see where the money I spent on this trip has gone. A tiny portion of it is actually spent on you. They are supposed to supply breakfast and Lunch, though in reality the money we were given was hardly sufficient to get even get a side dish. However in reality I can't put a price on how much fun I have had in the last ten weeks, though if you are struggling for money or don't have a big budget, I could not reccomend frontier. I have met some brilliant people, made life long friends and seen the most beautiful part of the world. We were doing activities almost every day. From visiting beautiful waterfalls, trecking through the vast jungle to spend a night with elephants, going tubing down a river, seeing Angkor Wat, going to to the war remenants museum and much more. It's a once in a life time adventure. Frontier just need to take a serious look at the price tag. If the field staff were paid I could most certainly justify the money I spent, all three people I mentioned desrved it. However, as it is, I simply don't know what I paid for. I have had the most brilliant ten weeks, given the oppurtunity I would do it all again. Frontier are a friendly helpful company who really know what they're doing. You're in safe hands.

Program: 
Location: 
Program: 
Overall: 
9
Support: 
9
Value: 
1

Comments

Tim; Your trail leader, Shadia, wanted to address some of your feedback. Her comments follow: Hi Tim, Thank you very much for posting your review about your time on the April South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail on abroadreviews.com. It is great to hear that you have had such a great time on the trail and enjoyed all the activities. Priya and myself have very much enjoyed having you as one of our group on this trail. I would like to respond to one aspect of your review where you mention that "if field staff were paid I could certainly justify the money I spent". As field staff for Frontier we are given a great opportunity to work in some of the most exciting and exotic locations in the world. Personally having worked for Frontier for over a year I have gained a great deal in terms of developing my own personal skill set from the logistical and operational side of things to the reality of running a trail on the ground. The remuneration that both Priya and I receive for this work is reflective across our industry and we both feel lucky that we were able to come and work for Frontier out in the field and meet great volunteers such as yourself. As mentioned in our group feedback session, paid work for conservation organisations is hard to come by and I believe my position to be an amazing opportunity for my own career development and future jobs prospects. Thank you again for your review, as mentioned previously we really enjoyed having you with us and hope you have a safe trip home. Best wishes, Shadia, Eco Trail Leader, Frontier/The Society for Environmental Exploration
It's nice to hear from Shadia but that doesn't sound like all her own words. Shadia was a better trail leader than I could have possibly hoped for, she was excellent. I'm very pleased to hear that she got a lot out of the trail even if it wasn't money that she (in my opinion) deserved. The point I'd like to raise is just that I paid nearly £3,000 for the trail and the budget didn't stretch far enough to feed me. I had to use my own money for every meal time, even the meals that you clearly state are provided for us, with the money that we had already paid. I would also like to reiterate that I did rate your company 9/10 for both support and organisation and I had an absolutely fantastic time. I'm just insulted by the generic and impersonal response from your company
I can assure you that the response is neither generic nor impersonal. Shadia was surprised by your comments and this response was written specifically to address the concern you brought up. I am sure you're still in contact with her electronically, so you are more than welcome to confirm this with her. On the subject of money there are two main points i'd like to address: 1) Field staff ARE paid, so there must have been a misunderstanding about this. 2) Our trails are equal in price or cheaper than any comparable trips with other companes. What we believe sets our trips apart is our superb staff - which i gather you agree with. Most of the field staff on your trail had already worked at Frontier HQ, and at least one of them will be returning to work for us again. The suggestion that our field staff are unhappy with our company's policies is - i'm sorry - plain wrong. That said, i do appreciate your review, and we will take your points on board. We will be looking at the idea of trails with more included but this will, neccesarily, make it more expensive. Most feedback suggests that volunteers would rather pay less and have more spending money abroad, but this may not be the case for all. Again, thanks for your review, and we're glad that you had a great time.