Covid-19 FAQs

Below are the most commonly asked questions and answers, but if you have any other questions or concerns then please get in touch. 

General

Q - What steps are you taking prior to my trip to ensure my safety?

Our group tour sizes have always been small, capped at a maximum of 12 people. However, in order to be sure we can run trips even more smoothly given the enhanced safety and hygiene protocols we have now reduced our group sizes to a maximum of 8 people. 

Alternatively, our group tours are able to run privately (subject to pricing)  if you prefer to keep the tour restricted to yourself, your travelling party and your guide and/or driver. 

We have always offered our travellers the opportunity to have their own room, and travellers can still upgrade to a single room if required (single supplement would be payable). Please note though that in some situations (i.e. trains, house boats), we may not be able to guarantee private rooming.

Our operations team is happy to answer any other questions you may have prior to your departure.

Q - Is the destination safe to travel to?

The spread of Coronavirus has meant that many countries have been affected in some way or another. In many cases, it is difficult to give a definitive answer as to whether or not a particular country/region will be safe to travel to. It is best to keep an open mind about the situation; certain types of media can also exaggerate a situation. 

We work closely with our local partners, airlines and government and state-level advisories to determine whether or not a trip will be viable. The good news is that many countries are now introducing strict hygiene and safety requirements which will minimise the risk of potential illness. In the event that there is a significant development that affects your booked tour, we will be in touch to offer advice and alternatives.

Q - I have booked a trip - can I book my international flights?

We do not recommend booking international flights until your tour has reached minimum numbers and we have confirmed that the trip is viable to run.

If you do wish to take advantage of early-bird fares, we recommend booking a refundable/flexible ticket. We do not recommend relying wholly on an airline’s flexible booking policy, as this may change at any time. Our operations team can give you further guidance and advice on which tickets are recommended. 

Q - I have a flexi-deposit, can I move my deposit to another tour if I do not feel comfortable travelling?

If you booked one of our tours with a flexi-deposit (link here), you are welcome to switch to another departure provided. Terms and conditions of this are shown on the flexi-deposit page. Note, that the deposit can only be moved from one tour booking to another departure date once.

Tour viability

Q - How does Travel the Unknown decide if a trip is viable to run?

There are several factors that we take into consideration when deciding if a tour will go ahead as planned. We consult frequently with our local partners, and take into account any foreign travel advice from both the UK and the countries concerned. We also take note of any changes to border formalities, quarantining on both sides, visas and flight accessibility. 

Q - I have booked a trip and Travel the Unknown has not deemed it viable to run. What happens next? 

If you have paid your deposit under our special 'Flexi Deposit Scheme', then your deposit will be refunded to you, or you can choose to move it to a future departure of your trip or any of our other tours.

Otherwise we will need to assess the situation on a case-by-case basis. This is due to the fact that in most circumstances payments made to our local partners and airlines are usually non-refundable. If we are able to obtain a refund for you, we ask for your patience as it may take several weeks/months depending on the local situation. 

Q - My trip has been deemed viable, but I no longer wish to travel as I am at risk/I do not want to undertake 14 days quarantine on my return.

If you choose to cancel for this reason then our normal cancellation terms would apply as per the booking conditions. 

We strongly recommend that clients have the appropriate insurance with cancellation and curtailment cover in place at the time of paying any deposits.

Safety on tour

Q - Will I need to take a temperature test at the airport?

You should expect to have your temperature taken on arrival at many airports around the world,  this is simply a precaution to ensure that you are feeling well. Note, you may also be required to take a swab test.

Q - Will I need to take a COVID-19 test prior to departure?

This depends on the country/countries you are visiting. If you require a test to be taken prior to departure, we will update you as soon as we are aware of this. In most cases, this involves visiting your GP, having a test taken and having documentation prepared by your GP to certify that you are healthy to travel. 

Q - How will local guides take care of our health/safety on tour?

Our local guides are well trained and are equipped to provide immediate assistance on the ground in the event that an emergency arises. 

Many destinations are now enforcing Coronavirus-specific training which our guides must undertake before they are permitted to work again. These courses include understanding the new policies/procedures in place to protect tourists, recognising symptoms, triage and where to refer passengers for further assistance.

Our guides also speak the local language, so they are able to refer you to the appropriate medical facilities/pharmacies/clinics if you do have any worries or concerns. 

Q - Will I be able to take a shared airport transfer?

Most countries are still allowing tourists to take shared transfers when taking group tours, though you may find it will be with a smaller number of people (i.e. just 2 or 3 others). If you prefer to have your own private transfers, we can organise these for you at an additional cost.

Q - Will I need to wear a mask/gloves on my tour? 

Most countries now have regulations in place stating tourists must wear masks and/or gloves in public places. While some places do not have such restrictions yet, these regulations are likely to change at any time so we do suggest you pack some supplies just in case. Our guides will be able to provide more information on the  ground as to where/when you should be wearing these items.

Q - Will the hotels I stay in/vehicles I travel in be cleaned?

Absolutely - most countries around the world are implementing stricter cleaning, disinfection and sanitising procedures. You may see more staff around hotels cleaning more often; particularly in common areas. Likewise, our drivers will be paying particular attention to cleaning the vehicles you travel in during the trip.

Q - Will I need to socially distance myself in restaurants/at tourist attractions?

As the situation is constantly changing, there is no one best rule that covers any country. Our local guides will give a briefing at the start of your tour to advise whether or not certain places will have such rules in effect. Our guides will also be able to steer you towards restaurants with higher hygiene standards, or recommend visiting attractions at certain times to avoid peak foot traffic.

Q - What happens if I start to develop symptoms of Coronavirus?

In the event that you think you might have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, please notify your local guide immediately. Your guide is your first point of contact - they will be able to use their training to give you the best advice for your situation.  We also recommend that you keep your insurance provider’s emergency contact number handy so you can make contact easily if you have any concerns.
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