Updated February 4, 2021
The travel world – indeed the entire world – has been turned upside down with the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand this has greatly impacted you, as it has greatly impacted us and our ability to run tours.
However, we believe with our safety precautions below, including a mandatory COVID test or vaccination for travelers on all 2021 tours, we will be able to safely operate tours this year. Following are our procedures for keeping you safe.
Mandatory COVID Test or Vaccination
For our scheduled group tours, we will require one of the following for all participants:
- A negative COVID PCR test done within 72 hours of the tour start. If you cannot obtain a test locally, we will provide information on how to do mail-based tests that are quite reasonable at $119.
- Proof of vaccination, including the required second or booster shot.
- Proof of recent (within 90 days) COVID infection and recovery.
This policy will not be required but will be encouraged for private tours.
Health of Participants
- We will encourage our travelers to be extra careful in the two weeks prior to the tour and during travel to the tour location.
- We will require all tour participants to certify prior to the tour that they do not have any symptoms of the coronavirus and have not been in contact with anyone they know is infected.
- We will have a thermometer on site to take the temperature of tour participants. (The CDC considers a person to have a fever at 100.4 degrees.)
- We will train our staff to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and be prepared to screen tour participants.
Most of our tour participants fly to their destination and we are not in control of that aspect of travel. However, airlines and airports are taking extraordinary steps to keep passengers safe, including not selling tickets for middle seats, new electrostatic sanitation after each flight, mask requirements, and passenger screenings. Studies have suggested the the risk of contracting COVID on flights is actually fairly low. We highly suggest you book tickets on airlines that limit capacity on flights.
Tour Safety Precautions
- Our small-group tours are safer than larger bus tours or cruises.
- We will provide an introductory briefing on the first day of your tour about precautions we should all take.
- We will have face masks, hand sanitizer, a first aid kit, and a thermometer available on the tour.
- We will move as many activities (introductions, morning meetings, etc) outside as possible.
- We will sanitize our van daily.
- We will eliminate handshakes, hugs, and glass sharing.
- We will ask all participants to have a face mask available and will require you to use it in specific situations such as when we are in vehicles.
Hotels and Restaurants
Hotels and restaurants, too, are taking extraordinary measures to keep patrons safe beyond just extra cleanings. For hotels this includes special rules for elevator capacity, removing handheld items such as pens, leaving rooms empty for 24 hours before someone checks in, and virtual checkins. For restaurants this includes reduced capacity, encouraging outdoor dining, and face masks for employees.
- We will communicate with our hotels and restaurants to ensure they are following updated recommendations for maintaining safety.
- We will eat as many meals as possible outside by doing more upscale picnics, outdoor dining, or take-out in local parks.
- If we do eat indoors we will eat in smaller groups.
- We have reduced our single supplements to encourage single travelers to book single rooms.
- Where possible, we will reduce van rides requiring everyone to be inside at once.
- Where possible, we will use larger vehicles or more vehicles so each person can have their own row.
- We will run shuttles more often with fewer people in each run.
- We will require masks while in vans and will sanitize vehicles daily.
Higher Risk Travelers
If you are at higher risk or just have a low risk tolerance, you are welcome to implement even stricter measures on tours. You can choose to drive yourself to a domestic tour, including from hotel to hotel. You can choose to eat with your own travel party at dinner or take meals back to your room. You can choose to skip any group activities we have planned.
We have always been focused on safety, with our guides being trained in first aid and CPR. We are prepared to offer you small-group adventure travel vacations in as safe and responsible a manner as possible. Most importantly, we know you want to travel and we will be there for you when you are ready!