COVID-19 RESOURCES

Travel During COVID-19 FAQs

In the last few years, the world has certainly changed, and we know that comes with a host of new questions about travel—from what proof of vaccination or testing is required, to what happens if someone were to contract COVID-19, to what we are doing to make our trips as safe as possible. Below you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Traveling with experts is more important today than ever. Our team in the Berkeley office is here to help you prepare and answer any additional questions you have before the trip, and as always, our team of expert leaders and guides are truly the best in the business, adept at navigating any potential challenges on the ground. We look forward to welcoming you on our adventures in 2022 and beyond!

TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS (TESTING & VACCINATIONS)

  • For all trips departing before April 1, 2023, Wilderness Travel requires all travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We adhere to the CDC’s definition of “fully vaccinated,” which includes two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or at least one dose of Johnson & Johnson. We took this step to prioritize the health and safety of our guests and our travelers and our team abroad.
  • After April 1, 2023, Wilderness Travel recommends, but no longer requires, travelers to be fully vaccinated. Instead, we will be following local government requirements for entry. To view current country-specific vaccination and testing requirements for your trip, we recommend this link.
  • Note: Some countries we visit do require vaccination and/or booster shots to enter their borders. Travelers are responsible for knowing the entry requirements for the countries they will be visiting and transiting through during their adventure.
  • Wilderness Travel strongly encourages all travelers to receive a booster to maximize your protection against COVID-19. However, we do not require guests to have booster shots to participate in our trips.
  • A majority of the countries that we visit around the world have now dropped the requirement of producing a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter. However, a handful still have this requirement in place.
  • Some still require you to complete a health declaration form or passenger locator form, so please be prepared to submit any personal information that might be needed.
  • Here are some additional sites to visit for timely and specific information on entry requirements for different countries:
  • We also encourage you to check with your airline for any additional testing requirements.
  • Note: Travelers are responsible for knowing the entry requirements for the countries they will be visiting and transiting through during their adventure.
  • To help ensure that all travelers are healthy prior to joining a group trip, we ask that you take an at-home antigen or lab-based PCR test before you depart. Wilderness Travel will not be asking to check test results but encourage you to take this step in the best interest of yourself, your fellow travelers, and the local community.
  • Please keep in mind that the country you are traveling to may have their own testing requirements in place. Here are some sites to visit for timely and specific information on entry requirements for different countries:
  • Note: Travelers are responsible for knowing the entry requirements for the countries they will be visiting and transiting through during their adventure.
  • As of June 12, 2022, the United States is no longer requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test to return to the United States. For more information on this requirement, click here.

IF YOU OR ANOTHER TRIP MEMBER CONTRACTS COVID-19

  • If you were forced to cancel the trip due to illness (COVID-19), Wilderness Travel’s normal cancellation and transfer fee schedule would apply.
  • We strongly urge all of our travelers to purchase travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage. If you or a family member were to contract COVID-19 prior to or on the trip and your doctor says you cannot travel, this is typically considered a covered reason by most insurance companies for trip cancellation or interruption, and you would be eligible to file a claim to receive reimbursement for the prepaid and non-refundable insured trip. Our group plan with Travelex covers COVID-19 related illnesses. If you book with a different travel insurance company, make sure that they include COVID-19 coverage. For any insurance related question, please contact the insurance company directly.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 during the trip, we would first help arrange for a second test to confirm that it was not a false positive.
  • With a confirmed positive test, you would be required to self-isolate until you meet the local and CDC criteria for discontinuing quarantine. Your Trip Leader or our local staff would be on hand to assist you.
  • Outside of local guidelines, per Wilderness Travel’s own Safety Protocols you would not be eligible to rejoin the trip until a minimum of 5 full days from symptoms first appearing and having no symptoms.
  • Please note that the traveler would be responsible for any additional hotel nights, meals, transfers that might be needed to rejoin the group, etc. These extra services would need to be paid in-country, directly by the traveler.
  • We strongly urge all of our travelers to purchase travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage. If you were to contract COVID-19 while on the trip, this is typically considered a covered reason for trip interruption, and you would be eligible to file a claim to receive reimbursement for the missed trip days, medical expenses, and other expenses related to any quarantine ordered by a doctor or local government
  • You would need to contact your travel insurance company to initiate the claim. You would also need to have a local doctor provide a letter confirming the diagnosis (COVID-19), and that you are unable to continue with your trip.
  • Please note: these protocols are subject to change by Wilderness Travel as our understanding of best practices evolves
  • We would remove the individual from all group activities until a second test can be administered for confirmation.
  • If the second test confirms the individual is positive, we would ask the individual to isolate and leave the trip.
  • WT rules for COVID-impacted individuals who would like to rejoin the trip:
    • The traveler with COVID-19 is eligible to rejoin the trip after a full 5 days from symptoms first appearing IF they have no symptoms. They would be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles once they rejoin the trip.
    • The travel partner (if sharing a room) is eligible to rejoin the trip with a negative test and no symptoms. However, they would be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles.
    • If there are stricter isolation requirements in the region being visited, travelers will be required to follow these local government regulations.
  • Your Trip Leader/local partners will be on hand to help arrange for testing, assist with translation, and help identify an accommodation to quarantine in. They will also be available to assist with accessing appropriate medical care, if needed. Please note that they may not be able to physically stay with quarantined trip members through the isolation period, but will be on hand via phone and/or WhatsApp to help.
  • Please note that you are responsible for the costs of testing, any medical treatments, and all room and board, flight changes, and other arrangements related to quarantining.
  • We strongly urge all of our travelers to purchase travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, which can be purchased up to 24 hours prior to your departure. If you were to contract COVID-19 while on the trip, this is typically considered a covered reason for trip interruption, and you would be eligible to file a claim to receive reimbursement for the missed trip days, medical expenses, and other expenses related to any quarantine ordered by a doctor or local government.
  • You will need to contact your travel insurance company to initiate the claim. Most insurance companies will also require you to have a doctor provide a letter confirming the diagnosis (COVID-19), and that you are unable to continue with your trip.
  • Please note: these protocols are subject to change by Wilderness Travel as our understanding of best practices evolves
  • If members of the group are exposed to COVID-19, our Trip Leaders will arrange for all group members who are exposed to be tested. We will follow local regulations and guidance on whether there is a need to self-isolate.
  • We will also conduct sanitation protocols such as deep cleaning and disinfecting of the van and accommodation.
  • Please note that you would be responsible for the costs of testing and any costs related to quarantining, if required.
  • If you are unable to continue traveling with us due to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on your trip, we first ask that you file a claim with your travel insurance provider for the missed days of the trip. We strongly urge all of our travelers to purchase travel insurance. If you were to contract COVID-19 while on the trip, this is typically considered a covered reason for trip interruption, and you would be eligible to file a claim to receive reimbursement for the missed trip days, medical expenses, and other expenses related to any quarantine ordered by a doctor or local government.

CANCELLATION POLICIES

  • Your safety is our first priority. Wilderness Travel will cancel a trip if borders are not open to US travelers, if we feel we cannot operate the trip safely up to our standards, or if enrollment has dropped below the minimum needed to run the trip.
  • If Wilderness Travel canceled a trip we would try to do so as early as possible, typically at least two months prior to departure. We will update trip members if we anticipate this might be a possibility.
  • Wilderness Travel prides ourselves on having the most generous cancellation policy in the industry. We offer a 100% refund up until 90 days before departure on most programs (some exceptions apply). If you are concerned about travel, we encourage you to wait until closer to this 90 day point so you can assess what the situation looks like at that time and make a decision then.
  • If you are still feeling hesitant approaching 90 days, we completely understand and encourage you to transfer to a future departure date or simply cancel and wait until you feel comfortable to travel again!
  • If you were to cancel within the penalty period while your trip is set to operate, Wilderness Travel’s normal cancellation and transfer fee schedule would apply.
  • For our small ship cruises, Wilderness Travel acts as a travel agent in facilitating cruise bookings. Cancellation and refund policies for cruises are set by each individual cruise operator. Because of that, these terms and conditions differ from our standard policies for land-based small group adventures which are listed in our regular catalog. The Terms and Conditions for any cruise you book through Wilderness Travel is always included with your confirmation packet. Feel free to ask our office for another copy if needed.

HEALTH & SAFETY DURING YOUR TRIP

  • Our top priority is to make your experience as safe as possible. Wilderness Travel will send out a COVID-19 Safety Protocols document specific to each itinerary. Some general protocols include:
  • Small Group Sizes:
    • We pride ourselves on having some of the smallest group sizes in the industry. We average just ~8 travelers per Small Group Adventure.
  • Enhanced Sanitation Measures:
    • We have worked with local partners, including hotels, to ensure that their cleaning and sanitation measures meet our standards, including thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting rooms between guests and regularly sanitizing public areas.
    • The vehicle and group equipment such as food and beverage containers will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
    • Hand sanitizer will be supplied and easily available at all meals and in the vehicle.
  • Food Service:
    • Wilderness Travel staff has been trained on, and will adhere to, local and international guidelines for safe and sanitary food preparation and serving.
    • Table arrangements and seating may split the group in order to follow local and restaurant policies.
  • When alone with fellow trip members—e.g., in our group vehicle—face masks will be optional (subject to change based on regional infection rates and the discretion of your Trip Leader).
  • You must carry a face mask with you at all times to use in accordance with local regulations (which may include wearing a mask in public settings). Your Trip Leader will let you know what these local regulations and expectations are.
  • You are required to follow the guidance of your Trip Leader while on the trip. Refusal to do so, especially if it endangers your fellow travel companions or our staff, may result in your removal from the trip.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

  • We strongly urge all of our travelers to purchase travel insurance. We have partnered with Travelex to offer a plan which includes coverage for COVID-19. Under this plan, COVID-19 is a covered reason for trip interruption or cancellation and will be treated in the same way as any other illness under the policy. If you were to contract COVID-19 prior to or during the trip, and your doctor verifies that you could not travel, you would typically be eligible to file a claim to receive reimbursement for the prepaid and non-refundable insured trip, any missed trip days, medical expenses, and other expenses related to a quarantine according to policy limits.
  • Please visit Travelex’s COVID-19 FAQ page, which answers some commonly asked questions.
  • For specific questions, you can contact Travelex’s Customer Solutions Center at 1-844-877-1885 or customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com, and refer to the plan number 353A-0320. For more information on state-specific policies, please visit this webpage.