Chris planned an unforgettable trip to Costa Rica.. Every last detail was taken care of, all of the transfers on time, and most importantly, the trip was truly incredible. Each day held new treasures, one experience more engaging than the next. We visited a medical center for Nicaraguan refugees, handmade chocolate bars at a local chocolate shop, had a walking tour of a local food market and enjoyed many laughs and good times. I would recommend Hands Up Holidays without any reservations!
I just got home from a wonderful trip hosted by Chris Hill with Hands Up Holidays. He took myself and a few other travel advisors from around the US to Costa Rica to give us a taste in 4 days of what we could send our clients to do. Highlights from this trip were touring the amazing food markets in San Jose and then having a cooking class with Eric and Maria in Maria’s home and enjoying the fabulous ceviche and empanadas we made. Then touring the Finca Rosa Blanca organic coffee plantation and Poas volcanoe tour on our way to the Arenal area. Then we were able to enjoy Tabacon resort and thermal spa. Hot springs create warm pools and waterfalls through the property. Gorgeous and so restorative. Then we were able to explore the rain forest at Sky Hike and see the breathtaking views of the mountains, rain forest and Arenal lake while zip lining. Quite an adventure!! But what made this trip unique and so extra special was the volunteer opportunities we were able to participate in. It was only a short trip but the time we were able to work in the medical clinic that serves mostly refugees from Nicaragua was so rewarding. Being able to speak with the patients and see what this wonderful program FIMRC.org is doing first hand and contribute even if just for little while,really filled your heart. The medical facilities, day care, special needs programming and soup kitchen are all so beautifully run but with so much need for supplies, funds and extra hands. Thank you Chris for this experience!! What a special company this is! Chris Hill has built a wonderful company combining luxury travel, cultural immersion and volunteer opportunities and partnerships. This would be a wonderful experience for my clients that want to explore the world and gIve back to the communities they visit. My clients will love Hands Up Holidays.
Not day goes by without reflecting on a trip my son and I took over the summer, following his high school graduation. We wanted to explore another country, and give back to a community in need. Chris was an amazing travel consultant and planner for us as we decided on Guatemala and building a home for a family. Words cannot express how meaningful the journey was, but also what an amazing trip combining the best of experiencing the country, seamless experiences, and expert knowledge shared by Chris all the way through! Thank you Hands Up Holidays, for helping us shape an incredible rewarding experience.
I contacted hands up holidays after searching for a volunteering holiday for myself and my 7 year old daughter. I’ve never taken her abroad on my own before so I wanted somebody to take care of all of the organising so we could relax and enjoy ourselves without the stress. Chris was quick to respond to my requirements and suggested an amazing itinerary volunteering with elephants in Thailand that met my limited budget without compromising on service. Chris understood that we wanted to experience the volunteering program but that having a young child we also wanted the comfort of luxury accommodation. From the moment we booked our trip I felt very confident that all the necessary arrangements had been taken care of which meant all we had to do was turn up!! Chris even sent us a video from our guide before the trip so we knew who was collecting us from the airport which was a lovely touch and very reassuring to see a familiar face after a long trip from England. The service continued throughout our trip and we felt like royalty with every hotel and tour guide and Chris even contacted us while we were there to make sure everything was ok. I would like to thank Chris for making our first holiday together such an easy, stress free experience with memories which will last a lifetime!
We had a wonderful family adventure arranged through Chris at Hands Up Holidays in our recent trip to Africa. We knew we wanted to accommodate the varying interests of our three children, aged 16, 13 and 11, with a travel experience that would expose them to a world outside of our normal, somewhat sheltered, life. Chris worked with us to find the best options within the short time that we had, and the volunteering in a small village in Zambia was the highlight of our two and a half week trip to Africa. The quality of the charity we worked with, The Butterfly Tree, was outstanding and inspiring. In addition, after discussion of our preferences and budget, the choices for accommodation and safari that Chris chose for us were a perfect fit. Thank you for such an amazing travel experience that we will always cherish.
This company is so special. A fine balance between professional and super friendly. We were looking for a month away to travel and volunteer in some capacity but we were not up for back packing. Chris inspired us with all the possibilities for our month long trip to Thailand and helped us every step of the way to design our adventure. He understood our budget and constraints with two young children. We immediately felt we could completely trust Chris and his team, our intuition served us well. There were so many highlights but the stand out experiences were the Elephant volunteering in Chiang Mai, the cooking classes with trips to vibrant markets and the Songkran water festival in Bangkok. Travelling with two young children meant we needed comfort. Chris arranged the best hotels with a daily tour guide (on excursion days) and air conditioned van and local driver. We felt like VIP's! Chris and his team couldn't have done enough for us. Every need of ours was met with a smile and can do attitude. During the trip, we had to cancel a scuba diving trip which we had booked privately. The company refused to return our payment even though we had met their cancellation policy. Chris stepped in to ensure we got our refund. Also, I had a freak accident coming off a speed boat, I ripped off my toe nail! Chris took time daily to check on how I was and to ensure I could find a local clinic or hospital daily for bandage changes. His warmth, honesty, compassion and humour made us feel as though he was right next to us the whole time 24/7. Would I recommend Hands Up Holidays? Unreservedly YES! I cannot wait to book our next adventure with them again.
My son and I had a wonderful experience with Hands Up Holidays. We volunteered at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, something we've dreamed of doing for a long time. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Chris Hill, our dream was able to be realized. There were other parts of Thailand we wanted to explore as well, and Hands Up Holidays made all the arrangements, providing transportation and friendly, knowledgeable and experienced guides who promptly met us at the various airports we flew into. The hotels Chris booked for us far exceeded our expectations. Chris is so pleasant and worked with us every step of the way, quickly answering every question and concern and making sure every detail was taken care of. We were provided with all the information and phone numbers we needed to contact our local guides and everything went extremely smoothly from beginning to end. Chris even personally checked up on us at one point when my son was not feeling well. I would without hesitation recommend Chris and Hands Up Holidays for a volunteer experience of a lifetime!
On New Year’s Eve 2015, my wife and I decided to take a year to travel the world with 5 of our children (Ages 8 to adult.) It was a daunting project trying to figure where to go, what to do and how to start coordinating. We knew we wanted to volunteer and spent days researching organizations in countries like Tanzania, Thailand and India – but then my wife came across Hands Up Holidays. Chris listed to what everyone in my family hoped for and produced an incredible 18 day package through India. From volunteering with Project Why and Wildlife SOS, to the custom tours of Delhi, Agra and Varanasi, and our incredible homestay, Chris found something that everyone in my family absolutely loved and will remember for their entire life. I am very grateful for these experiences, many of which we could not have done on our own, and am looking forward to working with Chris on many future projects.
I travelled to Thailand and Laos with my two sons aged 13 and 11 thanks to Hands Up Holidays, and we spent 3 days working at elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai. We could not fault our trip. The organisation, efficiency, guides, hotels, food, activities etc were all top quality and meant we had a superb, memorable experience and a minimum of stress and time wasting. We would absolutely travel again with Hands Up Holidays.
My family and I were lucky enough to work with Chris for our 30 day adventure in SE Asia specifically Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. I must of changed or added to the itinerary a dozen times before finally confirming. He never missed a beat. Our groups age ranged from 35 -72 and somehow everyday was filled with activities, meals and sites that we all were in awe of! Our guides, transfers and planned excursions went off flawlessly... and Chris checked in with us daily. The accomodations he arranged were nothing short of spectacular; even more important the staff went above and beyond to make sure we wanted for nothing. I can speak for my entire family when i say we would not change a thing. From our 3 day river boat cruise on the Mekong (do not miss this) food tours in Saigon, the history of the Cu chi tunnels and of course the markets. The hustle of Bangkok was mesmerizing. Ftont row at the muay thai fights, in depth tours of the temples, and of course street food and markets. To the epicentre of rhe trip ...kissing the elephants. We got to spend time with several different elephant rescue camps. As an elephant lover i dont know how we could of got any closer to these gentle giants. And Cambodia... I still havent found the words for my Cambodian experience, these temples were breathtaking, of course more food and markets but there is something about the people, thier kindness and happiness admidst such a bloody history has changed my life for ever. I cant say enough about this trip and Hands Up Holidays sesational attention to the smallest of details and hospitality. Bottom line the family has voted and we will be using H U H for our 2018 travels. If i was younger i would have to sware that Chris could be santa as he delivered a trip of a life time
I researched many different travel opportunities that would incorporate family, community service and high end travel and they simply did not exist until I found Hands up Holidays. Chris, was extremely efficient and provided an amazing itinerary that my 14-year old daughter and myself enjoyed thoroughly. We visited Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Over a three week span, all the logistics, accommodations, travel and private guides were executed with precision but the most satisfying aspect of the trip was the interesting, heart warming and fulfilling important community service that Chris organized for us. In addition, Chris had many extra wonderful surprises included! Chris checked in with us daily and confirmed our guides were to our satisfaction. I highly recommend using Chris for all kinds of travel.
My wife and I wanted to travel through Chile, Bolivia and Peru and were slightly daunted by the logistics of organising such a varied trip. Chris was incredibly helpful not only mapping out the most exciting and engaging trip, but also using his extensive personal knowledge of the best things to do. Hands Up were reassuringly efficient in organising the trip, monitoring how we were doing during the trip and making adjustments to improve the trip. Chris’s passion and enthusiasm encouraged us to do things we wouldn't have thought to do, which gave us fantastic memories of the trip of a lifetime.
Traveling with Hands Up Holidays was a remarkable experience! During a trip to South Africa in 2009 with Toms Shoes, I had an opportunity to meet Christopher Hill and enjoy an itinerary crafted by the services of Hands Up Holidays. I was able to stay at picturesque locations with the best amenities, savor amazing South African cuisine and experience the beautiful culture, all while providing a helping hand for those in need. What a fantastic experience! Chris is one of these guys that consistently goes above and beyond to make sure that everything is in place. He is not only interested in giving you the experience of a lifetime, but more importantly in making a difference in this big, wide world of ours. Traveling with Hands Up Holidays was an outstanding journey and I cannot wait for the next opportunity! Thank you guys, for everything... Hope to see you again soon.
Chris Hill runs a wonderful company. He planned a fantastic trip for us to Thailand and Bali, where we were able to enjoy both luxury vacation and philanthropy in the course of two weeks. All of the guides were fantastic, and the local orphanage we volunteered at was welcoming and very memorable. The guides were all enthusiastic, entertaining and spoke great English. This was one of the best trips I've taken thanks to Chris. He was accommodating even real time, as we had to change plans and were on the phone with him both before and during the trip. Can't recommend this company enough!
My name is Linzi Levinson, my son is Trace. I discovered Chris and Hands Up Holidays in 2012, (Son was 20 at the time) in my research to go to Thailand for the first time. I wanted to see so many parts of Thailand, and also hoped we might volunteer, but felt overwhelmed. I cheked out many companies, but my search for "companies" was OVER after speaking with Chris! This company is run like nothing I have ever seen. During the planning, Chris and the staff, cared so much about what we wanted to do each and every day. Whether we wanted car travel, plane travel (between cities), whether we liked athletic adventure, or calmer types of activity.....he created the daily itinerary based on us proofing what we did and did not want to do, and changing the exact requests, so our needs were met. Chris and his staff never judged. Drivers were at the exact spot, each and every day of the trip, on time, kind, and even with treats!!! Working at the orphanage was our favorite part, and Chris changed our lives by enlightening us with activities we could have never known existed. In 2014, we called upon Chris and his company when we traveled to Bolivia, and Chile, and Malaysia, and Bali, and yes...THAILAND again (for 14 days)! Chris made himself available, even if the time we needed him was not the most approriate time. His ethics are like noone I have seen in business in the last decade or more. I run my own business, and I am also a Globally Syndicated Radio Host (over 1 million dowloads) (Chris has been asked to speak on the #1 Worldwide Talk Radio station about luxury travel integrated with philanthropy...for individuals, couples, families, and for the Corporate division he also runs whose mission is to incent companies to experience these amazing trips.) It is tough what to rank highest. When traveling on trips planned by Chris and HUH, I had the best time ever had in my life. When dealing with Chris through planning or even having to change things during travel (got ill for few days), it could not have been easier, and he could not have made himself more available. When I think of people who maintain ethics, integrity and honor while running businesses that deal with consumers.....I have yet to meet Chris Hill's match. He is the most amazing, authentic human, and then, I am referring him here as the man you will be lucky enough to meet and do business with. Everyone at Hands Up Holidays has that same itegrity. The fact that his mission is to make sure people travel in ways that bring them peace, happiness, adventure, enlightenment, luxury, comfort and bliss is just such a blessing to us that he is in this world. The absolute most outstanding gift that Chris brings is that while he leads you to options of magnificent pleasure and magical glory....he is all the while evangelizing that there is probably a "giving experience" you would be thrilled to do and that would make your trip unlike any other trip you have ever known. It is the incorporation of the giving that shows you who you are, what you believe in, why you are here...and it creates an adrenaline rush, no other "fun activity" can. It is a game-changer for life. You will be forever changed. My son Trace and I, were absolutely...forever changed. Thank you Chris. Thank you Hands Up Holidays. You will be in our lives always. Linzi xx
In May of 2013 I ventured alone to Bali. As a traveler - this was an amazingly unique experience. I had the best guide, stayed in beautiful places and had plenty of adventures. I really enjoyed teaching the children Math and English. My favorite day teaching was my last, where we practiced yoga and played games. The kids and staff will always have a happy place in my heart. I used Hands Up Holidays again in 2016 to go to Colombia, and unfortunately due to time constraints was unable to volunteer. Chris still planned an amazing trip - full of adventure and beauty with everything running smoothly. I cannot say enough good things about this company and can't wait to plan my next adventure.
My husband and I traveled with Hands Up for our honeymoon to Thailand in 2007. It was the perfect blend of immersing in local culture through our volunteer work, not just seeing but also learning so much about the history behind landmarks and cities, and then enjoying and relaxing at some of the most beautiful and unique hotels in Thailand. Our work with an orphanage in Khao Lak was truly meaningful and special, as we met a community of brave and courageous survivors of the tsunami that destroyed their town and tore apart their families years before. It was a true honor to meet and support them in any way that we could, whether physically, manually, emotionally, or financially. Through Hands Up, and together as a newly married couple, we had so many memorable experiences that touched our lives forever.
My first solo trip outside of the U.S. was in the summer of 2012 to Sabi Sand in South Africa. Although I had been to Africa several times before, I was leery about going alone and I knew I wanted to give something back as well. I am delighted to have discovered Chris and Hands Up Holidays online. I spent 8 days on safari and also volunteered at Dumphries Village Creche--pre-primary school. What a wonderful and fulfilling experience! As others have mentioned, I, too, am a particular and meticulous planner. Chris met my expectations--he outdoes himself when it comes to planning and executing trips for his clients!
New Delhi, New Year 2008, and a life-changing volunteering experience. A last minute change of plan took us to Project Why in the heart of the slums where we were welcomed with warmth and love and spent a few happy days renovating the floor of a school-room on a garbage dump, aided by a gang of enthusiastic young boys. We learnt so much about life in those few days and still have a wonderfully close relationship with the charity. This was followed by Agra, Jaipur and Ranthambore, then to Kathmandu for ten memorable days in Nepal. The arrangements throughout the trip were impeccable. Our guide in Kathmandu did so much to make our time there special, arranging an Everest viewing flight, and taking us to a presentation of a new Himalayan walking route. I've visited many wonderful places, but no holiday has stayed with me in such a special way, and I'm eternally grateful to Hands Up Holidays for introducing me to Project Why.
I must say, that when I was looking at tour companies to organize our trip to Kenya, I was very skeptical that I would be able to find somebody that was as detail oriented as myself. For 25 years I have been doing all the research, planning, organizing, and executing of every trip we have ever taken, and we travel a lot. I wanted to do a few days of volunteering over there, and all I could find were tour companies that were about volunteering the entire time, or ones that did not have volunteering at all. I was so thrilled to find Hands Up Holidays and be able to customize our trip the way we wanted. Everything went off without a hitch, and it was the most magical trip I have ever taken to date. I keep looking at the other trips that they offer, and can't wait to use them again. It was so great to travel and truly be able to enjoy our time away without having to worry about the details, they did all of that for us.