Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Travel Q & A

With our new itinerary, we've had many of you asking for clarification.   These seem to be the most common questions:

-Why does IAN have an itinerary now?  We never had one before.  There are several reasons.  One is to make your experience more enjoyable.  Another is to honor the schedule of the children and nannies in the care center and orphanage, which we'll talk about more below.  Finally, it's to respect the time of our in-country staff.  With so many families traveling, and the additional court trip, it would be so easy for our staff to get overwhelmed.  We know they will want to provide the best hospitality possible, and yet still focus on the most important job: getting children home.  By making travel a group experience rather than individual service, we are saving time and resources, which in turn benefits your children and the ones who will come after you. 

-Do we have to follow the itinerary?   Only for your court appointment and visiting hours at the orphanage/care center.  The tours and fun events are completely optional.  Keep in mind that our staff will be limited in the services they can provide outside of the itinerary.

-Will this cost us extra?  Yes and no.  There is no additional fee added to the in-country fee you already pay.  If there is a cost, such as for dinner out, you will be responsible for that on your own. 

-Am I allowed to go to the orpahange AND the Care Center?  Yes. 

-Why are visiting times with my child limited?  To protect the routine of the children.  All of our children are on a schedule of meals, naps, school for older kids, etc.  As parents know, having visitors come and go all day can be very disruptive and unsettling for the children.  As always, IAN's first priority is the care and well-being of our children.

-Will I receive an itinerary for my embassy appointment travel?  Yes, but the schedule will be minimal.  Our experience is that families traveling for their embassy appointment want to spend as much time as possible bonding with their new children - we think that's great! 

-Can I stay at guest houses or hotels not on the list?  Of course!  IAN staff just won't be able to provide transportation to other places. 

-Can I have the itinerary now?  Your coordinator can send you a sample of the itinerary if you're interested.  The sample is subject to change, and your official version will be sent to you about a week before travel, as soon as all families in your party have submitted their itineraries. 

Did we miss any of YOUR questions?  Leave them in the comments or contact your coordinator. 

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