Who is behind Cuckoo?
Cuckoo started off as a group of really good friends who came up with the idea one day to build a company together where we could live out our dreams. We've always been united by our love for traveling to unknown places where we meet new and interesting people while exploring new cultures and ways of life. Each of us strives for the freedom to adapt our working lives to our need for flexibility and freedom. We'd like to share this freedom with you.
What does Cuckoo offer?
We offer you the possibility to combine your work and travel in a relaxing and productive way. We provide you with comfortable accomodations, a fast internet connection, quiet work spaces and the feeling of being right at home from day one. With Cuckoo, you’ll meet like-minded people from all over the world, immerse yourself in local communities and learn new things each and every day. We want your experience to be the experience of a lifetime, one where you’ll make new connections and friends for life.
What kind of people does Cuckoo appeal to?
Our programs are designed for people who are tired of seeing the same old routines play out in the office every day. The world has a lot more to offer than the classic 9 to 5 job. If you want to experiences new people and places, where you'll come into contact with other working professionals who also made the decision to take control of the way they live and work, then you'll feel right at home with us.
How do I apply for a remote program?
The application is quick and easy. Just fill out the interest form with a desired destination in mind and we’ll set up personal meeting with you via video call. This conversation serves to help us get acquainted and answer more specific questions you might have about the program. If you’re already set to travel with us, we’ll send you a booking confirmation with all the necessary details to get you on your way.
What requirements do I have to meet?
The only requirement is that you’re able to work remotely, i.e. digitally via laptop and telephone. It’s irrelevant to us whether you work freelance, are an entrepreneur yourself or are employed by a company. We look forward to meeting people from all walks of life with different skill sets and stories to share.
How long are the different itineraries?
Each of our programs run for at least a month. If you decide you want to stay longer than a month your costs will be reduced accordingly, with the discount reflected in the booking price. Our aim is to ensure that you really feel like you’ve arrived in your host city and have been able to make lasting and meaningful connections. We feel that one month is an ideal minimum to allow you to really soak up your new surroundings
When can I start with an itinerary?
We set time frames throughout the year to ensure reliable planning for our programs. But you’ll ultimately be the one to decide for yourself when you want to start and how long you want to stay. The longer you book, the cheaper it gets. Your discount will reflected in the price on the booking page.
Can I combine different itineraries?
Yes, combining itineraries is possible. However, you still have to book each trip individually and organize transportation between the two cities yourself. We’re in the process of working on a multi-city program that allows you to package together different itineraries which we expect to be ready to launch in 2019.
What services are included in the price?
Our services vary slightly from destination to destination but the basics we offer are sleeping accomodations, access to a local coworking space and customizable recreational/learning itineraries. Additionally, the cost of each one of our programs always includes the VAT (Taxes); There are no additional hidden fees.
What services are NOT included in the price?
Travel to and from each of the locations is not reflected in the price, as well as any costs incurred during the recreational segment of our programming (i.e. eating out or souvenirs). We are, however, available at any time to answer any of your questions at no additional cost, if you’re looking for tips on what to do and where to go. In addition, many of our partners offer additional services on-site, and who grant discounts to our members. Before booking your trip it’s a good idea to briefly look over some of these additional services listed on the services page of each itinerary.
How are the accommodations equipped?
All accommodations have private rooms where you can stay overnight and retreat if necessary. In addition, there are cosy common rooms to relax, work and get together. Clean and modern bathrooms are a matter of course, as is a fast and secure Internet connection. We select accommodation as centrally located as possible, which is within walking distance of the coworking space and the public transport system.
Do I have a choice of accommodations?
You can stay in one room either alone or with a second individual, e.g. your partner. If you book a room with a second person, you save 20% on your booking price.
How large are the groups you travel with?
We try to keep group sizes as small as possible in order to ensure you’ll have as much face time as possible with other group members and trainers. Our groups never exceed more than 35 individuals. We like to think of this in the terms of less is more. We don’t want anyone participating in our programs to feel like a number and not a name.
Is it possible to book a trip as a couple or generally as a group of two?
For sure! As long as you’re still open to making new acquaintances and connecting to other professionals on the journey we encourage couples to book. You’ll even get a 20% discount on trip.
What steps does Cuckoo take to ensure safety and security?
Your security is a top priority and we pay very close attention to the situation on the ground if anything were to develop that might endanger participants in our programs. When we deem it necessary, we provide additional security services (e.g. in Kampala, Uganda) that are included in the package. We’d like to point out that under no circumstances can we guarantee 100% security!
We therefore strongly recommend that you take out an international health insurance policy and familiarise yourself with the local conditions of your host community before arriving at your destination. You should also take a minute to carefully read any available travel information provided to you by the foreign ministry of your native country.
How does the payment work?
After you’ve confirmed your booking, we’lll send you an invoice for a deposit of 30% of the total amount. Once you’ve transferred your payment, your place in the program is guaranteed. Alternatively, you can also transfer the total amount directly, which gives you a 3% discount on your payment. If you initially only pay the deposit, you’ll have to pay the outstanding amount 10 days before the start of the your trip. Otherwise we’ll cancel your booking and withhold the deposit.
How can I cancel my trip?
You can cancel your booking free of charge up to 60 days before the start of your journey and receive a full refund, including your deposit. After the 60 day window a free cancellation and a refund of the deposit is no longer possible. If you’ve already transferred the total amount directly, you’ll also receive a full refund if you cancel up to 60 days before the start of the trip. If you miss the 60 day window your cancellation fee amounts to the 30% deposit. Cancellation or reimbursement is generally no longer possible once you’ve begun your trip.
Does Cuckoo also organize arrival and departure and are these transfers included in the price?
The arrival and departure to and from your destination of choice is not reflected in your payment to Cuckoo. You’ll have to independently book your travel to and from the location to avoid any potential complications that may arise from staff managed travel bookings. We would like to offer this service in the future and are currently researching methods through which we could additionally manage travel bookings for participants of our programs.
What if I need to pause or leave my trip in the middle?
If you have to cancel a trip unscheduled, we won’t be able to refund you any of the costs of your journey. We therefore strongly recommend that you take out an international health insurance policy and, if possible, a travel cancellation insurance policy that covers the costs incurred by your travel under any and all circumstances.
What happens with the money Cuckoo makes?
We are a Social Business. We all firmly believe that we can improve the world entrepreneurially and want to spread the idea of social entrepreneurship. That's why we founded Cuckoo. Nobody is getting rich at Cuckoo. From the moment you book your trip, take a portion of the proceeds and donate it to different [community projects]() in your host region.
We seek positive ways to connect you to your host community and give you windows to other worlds beyond easy come easy go tourism. It’s one of our core concepts and we’re doing it right from the get go even if it means Cuckoo has to go into the red. Our mission is not only to focus on your personal and professional development but to create a more welcoming atmosphere that will provide you opportunities to integrate yourself into your host community on another level.
And what else happens with the company's profits?
As a cooperative, we are committed to the shared interests of our members. We therefore distribute a part of the profits from operating activities to our members. This is done in two ways: Members who have used a service with us receive a refund, i.e. a discount, on their expenses. Additionally we’d would like to distribute a dividend, i.e. a profit share, to our members in the medium term. The remaining profits are used for investments in the expansion of our business operations.
Why is Cuckoo a cooperative?
We at Cuckoo believe in the power of cooperative entrepreneurship and in integrating the knowledge and experience of many different players. Our goal is to create a network of like-minded people so that they can work independently and flexibly, now and forever. The valuation of our network isn’t measured in dollars and cents but in the people who actively participate in it. That’s why it makes sense to us to share the wealth. It’s crucial for our organization to be sustainable and shielded from the intervention of for profit-driven investors. This isn’t a new idea. It’s what a cooperative is.
How can I become a member of Cuckoo?
Membership in the cooperative is open to individuals as well as companies and organizations. With your purchase of at least one share, valued at 500 €, you’ll receive a membership that allows you to vote on issues related to the direction of our organization at our annual gathering in Berlin. For legal reasons, unfortunately, only German citizens can become members at present. By the end of the year, people from abroad can also buy shares. We will keep you up to date with our newsletter.
What are the benefits of membership?
A membership includes financial and immaterial advantages. Financially, you’ll benefit from our profit share program. You’ll receive this in the form of a refund as well as subsequent discounts on the services you’ve booked. In the medium term, we also plan to pay a dividend. This is a profit sharing for all members, whether they use our services or not.
Each member will have equal voting rights, regardless of the amount of your capital contribution. When you vote at our annual gathering you’ll be voting on matters related to issues such as the appropriation of profits, the election of our supervisory board or changes to the articles of association. You’ll become part of a large community and co-owner of our company, which sets us apart from all our competitors.
What is an Investor Membership?
Do you like the idea of Cuckoo and would like to become an investor? At the same time you already know that you will not use the services of our cooperative? In this case, the investor membership is an attractive way to put a portion of your savings into our account. Unlike the basic membership, you will receive a minimum interest of 2% p.a. on your deposit in addition to the dividend payment. The interest rate can be adjusted upwards by the Management Board if necessary, for example if the key interest rate in the euro zone rises or if the business situation of Cuckoo makes such a step possible. Interest is paid annually after the General Meeting in June.
As an investing member, you waive your right to vote at the General Meeting in return. However, the interests of the investing members may be represented by a member of the Supervisory Board elected to this body by the General Meeting from among the investing members. As an investing member, the cooperative reimbursement, i.e. the discount on services you have used, is not available to you.
How can I cancel my membership?
You can cancel your membership by giving five years' notice. At the end of that 5 year period you’ll then be refunded your capital contribution. You can also sell individual shares and receive the corresponding amount paid in full, but this doesn’t end your membership in the cooperative. If you wish to avoid the notice period, you can transfer your shares to another member or recruit a new member to take over your shares and pay you accordingly. This allows you to cancel your membership on short notice.
What happens to my money if the company has to declare bankruptcy?
As with any other company, in the event of insolvency, an independent insolvency administrator would try to save as much of the company's assets as possible, including your investment. In the best case scenario, the end of insolvency proceedings is not the end of the company, but and opportunity to focus on areas for development. In the event that this happens, your deposit will most likely lose value temporarily, but will not be completely lost.
Even in case of liquidation and closure of the company, it is possible to receive a part of the deposit from the remaining assets of the company. In the worst case scenario, you may experience a total loss of your deposit.
Is my liability limited?
Even in the worst case scenario, if the company is insolvent and you lose your deposit, your liability is strictly limited to this deposit. There is no obligation for you to make additional contributions to make up for the losses of the company. Your private assets are completely safe. This is similar to buying a stocks from a corporation.
Do I incur running costs as a result of my membership?
There are no running costs levied on you as a member.