Frequently Asked Questions


What are the goals of the Journey of Smiles program?

The purpose of the Journey of Smiles program is to give supporters the opportunity to see firsthand how Smile Train is changing the lives of children living with untreated clefts in the developing world. Through meetings with our local partner surgeons and associated medical professionals, current and former patients, as well as Smile Train staff in the field, our goal is for participants to gain a unique perspective of Smile Train's work. It’s our hope that Journey of Smiles participants will return to their communities even more committed to raising awareness and funds for Smile Train’s programs.


What does the price of the Journey of Smiles include?

The price includes ground transportation, in-country flights, meals, and admission to tourist activities during the dates of the journey. The price does not include international flights.


What is a Single Supplement?

The pricing of the journeys are based on double or single occupancy hotel rooms. Solo travelers are charged the additional fee of the full cost of the hotel room. Upon request, we will do our best to match you with a roommate, although this cannot be guaranteed.


Can you accommodate my dietary restriction?

We will do our best to accommodate any dietary restrictions. Please notify us during the registration process.


Is the cost of the journey considered a tax-deductible donation to Smile Train?

No. Your Journey of Smiles payment is made directly to our travel agency partner for the journey and is not tax-deductible.


Will I have time to sightsee and shop during the Journey of Smiles?

While not the focus of the journey, select tourist activities are built into each Journey of Smiles experience. Please review the journey itinerary to learn more about the activities planned for a specific journey. We ask that each participant remain with the group for the duration of the journey.


Can I bring presents to distribute to patients at Smile Train partner hospitals

You are welcome to bring small toys (stuffed animals, coloring books, etc.) to distribute to patients during the program visits. In order to respect cultural norms, please refrain from giving cash gifts to patients or their families.


Can I add an extension to my Journey of Smiles experience?

Sure. Many of our participants choose to add an extension either before or after the formal program. You are welcome to book this independently or to make these arrangements with our travel agency partner.


How will I know what visa to apply for or what vaccines I should receive? How will I connect with my fellow travelers?

At least one month prior to the journey you will receive a briefing book with information about Smile Train’s programs in the country that you are visiting, contact information for local staff and the hotels, information on visa procedures, recommended vaccines, packing lists and more. You will also participate in a group call during which all participants will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and ask any outstanding questions.