What You Need to Know When Hosting a Retreat

What You Need to Know When Hosting a Retreat

Hosting a retreat is all fun and games, until you realize all of the things that could go wrong! Add in international travel to the mix and there are a lot of factors to consider to ensure everyone is safe and you’re legally covered.

Luckily, we've got you covered with our Retreat Kit that includes all of the contracts you need to ensure you're legally protected for your retreat, whether it's online, local or abroad. We've got terms to cover wellness, fitness and corporate retreats so you can focus on planning the fun activities knowing that the legal is taken care of.

Remember to also check with your local jurisdiction to see if you need to be a registered travel agent in order to collect money for travel and accommodation. If so, there are amazing third-party companies to partner with that can act as the agent, ensuring you're in compliance with the law and your retreat goes off without a hitch!

We've answered the most common questions from retreat hosts to explain what you need to know from the legal perspective when planning a retreat. 

Why do I need a Retreat Contract?
Whether you’re hosting a wellness retreat, fitness/yoga certification retreat, or simply organizing group travel, it’s imperative you protect yourself from liability aka being sued! There is especially a greater risk of damages when you’re traveling overseas and when you’re offering services that have to do with fitness, health, wellness and movement. Having a waiver can limit that liability, along with other terms, such as travel and medical insurance requirements. As a business owner, you also want to make sure you get paid! A proper contract ensures that you have clear payment terms, refund policies and cancellation policies should things come up. Contracts are all about protecting you against a worst-case scenario. It’s also a great way to communicate all of the fun stuff happening on the retreat and other organizational items, like what to pack and when to arrive at the airport. If you’re not allowed to act as a travel agent, you also want to make that clear in the contract and outline what retreat participants are paying you for and what they aren’t, for example travel and accommodation. It’s also important to account for legal responsibility while guests are on excursions, or using third-party services providers, and limit your own liability wherever possible through contract terms. Get ahead by outlining all of your policies, what your retreat includes and does not include and ensure you’ve got legal protection in place so there’s one less thing to worry about when planning your getaway!

What are some of the risks of NOT having a contract in place?
If you don’t have a contract, many things can go wrong and you have no evidence of the agreement between you and the participants. You’ll want to ensure that you don’t get into trouble for acting as a travel agent if you’re not certified. A contract makes the relationship clear of what you do and don’t offer as the host of the retreat. Also, there are plenty of unforeseen circumstances that a contract can cover you for, such as travel advisories, itinerary changes, political or government disruptions and even weather! If you don’t have contracts in place, you may be held legally responsible for injuries and damages caused to participants while on the retreat and even while on their own excursions. Also, it’s important to have contracts in place for any staff you’re bringing along to help facilitate the retreat, setting out rules, payment, requirements, etc. Contracts are an essential step in order to establish professionalism and protect you and your participants!

AWE Contracts offers contracts and Kits tailored for Retreats and fitness offerings, such as the Retreat Kit and Retreat ContractYoga Teacher Training Contract and our Fitness Kit.

To find out which contract or kit is for you, feel free to reach out to:

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