COVID-19 RESOURCES

Travel During COVID-19 FAQs

As travel reawakens in most parts of the world, we are very excited to welcome you back! 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)

  • 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.
  • Wilderness Travel strongly encourages all travelers to receive a booster to maximize your protection against COVID-19. At this time we require guests to be fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC, which does not require booster shots. We will continue to monitor CDC and WHO guidelines and update our policies as needed.
  • Note: Some countries we visit do require booster shots. Please visit our travel requirements by country webpage to review entry requirements.
  • For vaccinated travelers, 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.
  • Many 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.
  • Please visit our travel requirements by country webpage for current entry requirements. Please note that rules continue to change. While we will do our best to keep this page up to date, we also suggest that you visit the “Resources” links provided under each country on this webpage. We will also provide up-to-date requirements in your Final Documents packet, sent approximately three weeks prior to departure.
  • 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 the requirements can change without notice.
  • To help ensure that all travelers are healthy prior to joining a group trip, we ask that you take a COVID-19 test prior to leaving home. However, we will not be asking to check test results ourselves.
  • Please keep in mind that the country you are traveling to may have their own testing requirements in place. Please visit our travel requirements by country webpage to review specific entry requirements.
  • Testing is now widely available throughout the US. Our recommendations on best practices are: 1) find a testing site where you can make an appointment, 2) book early, and 3) look for sites that offer same day or 24 hour turnaround times if possible (it is worth it to pay for a more expensive testing option with a guaranteed fast turnaround time).
  • Resources to find a testing location near you:
  • Testing is also available at retail pharmacies nationwide (e.g., CVS and Walgreens). But again, we would recommend a guaranteed turnaround time if possible.
  • If you are unable to find a testing site near you, LabCorp has at-home testing kits with a one- to two-day turnaround for results, but please note that is one or two days after the sample is received at the lab.
  • More information can be found on the CDC’s website.
  • 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 will first help arrange for a second test (PCR if available) to confirm that it was not a false positive.
  • With a confirmed positive test, you will be required to self-isolate until you meet the local and CDC criteria for discontinuing quarantine. Most countries will give you the choice of self-isolating at a government-operated facility or in an accommodation of your choosing that will accept you with your positive status. Your Trip Leader or our local staff will be on hand to assist you.
  • You will not be eligible to rejoin the trip until you receive a negative test and have no symptoms after a minimum of 10 full days from symptoms first appearing.
  • 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. Note reimbursement for hotel expenses and meals during quarantine typically have a limit of $200/day (maximum $1000 per person) so may not cover the full cost of these expenditures.
  • You would need to contact your travel insurance company to initiate the claim. You will also need to have a local doctor provide a letter confirming the diagnosis (COVID-19), and that you can’t continue on with your trip.
  • We will remove the individual (and any travel partner sharing a room) from all group activities until a second test (PCR if possible) can be administered for confirmation.
  • If the second test confirms the individual is positive, we will ask the individual (and any travel partner sharing a room, even if the traveling companion is negative themselves) 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, once they receive a negative test and have no symptoms after a full 10 days from symptoms first appearing.
    • The travel partner (if sharing a room) is eligible to rejoin the trip after a full 5 days from last exposure, with a negative test and no symptoms.
    • 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. Note reimbursement for hotel expenses and meals during quarantine typically have a limit of $200 per day (maximum $1,000 per person) so may not cover the full cost of these expenditures.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • We plan to run all of our 2022 Spring, Summer, and Fall departures as planned.
  • With our expertise and precautions in place, in place, we were able to successfully run trips to 40 different countries last year. While travel takes a bit more planning these days, Wilderness Travel will be on hand to help you with details before you leave and during your trip.
  • 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.
  • In the event that Wilderness Travel was forced to cancel a trip due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we will offer a full refund of your trip costs, less any penalties by hotels or local service providers that we are unable to recover.
  • We will use good faith efforts to recover and refund as much money as possible in light of these circumstances, and have had extremely high success rates in getting full refunds or full credits in this circumstance throughout the pandemic.
  • If your group has not reached the minimum size, we will alert you before your final trip balance is due.
  • In the event of low enrollment, Wilderness Travel would do our best to run the trip, in order to not disappoint our guests or our partners. We may be required to offer our guests the options of either contributing a “small group surcharge” in order to run the trip or receiving a full refund and canceling the trip.
  • If it is not possible to operate the trip and we were forced to cancel, Wilderness Travel would provide a 100% refund to all guests.
  • 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.
  • We are closely monitoring travel advice from the US government in addition to speaking directly with our partners in country about the situation on the ground. Our trips are primarily based in the outdoors, which has allowed us to feel comfortable running a number of trips to Level 4 destinations with precautions in place. To minimize the risk to our guests and partners abroad, we are requiring groups to be fully vaccinated and have COVID-19 Safety Protocols in place. We will of course be keeping watch on developments and make changes if necessary.
  • As of January 1, 2022, the State Department has issued a Level 4 advisory on over 80 countries around the world, including places like Canada, the UK, France, Switzerland, Namibia, Tanzania, etc.
  • 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 and we encourage you to visit our COVID-19 Safety Protocols webpage. Some general protocols include:
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement:
    • Wilderness Travel requires that all travelers are fully vaccinated.
  • 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.
  • Vehicles:
    • Throughout the duration of your scheduled Wilderness Travel group departure, no passengers except for your traveling party and your Wilderness Travel team will occupy the vehicle at any time. Note that on some private journeys or cruise based itineraries, you may not have exclusive use of the vehicle for some or all activities.
  • Leaders & Staff:
    • All Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders are required to be fully vaccinated.
  • 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.
    • Dining will be arranged at establishments with outdoor seating whenever possible, weather permitting. We will only offer indoor dining at establishments that are strictly adhering to social distancing and limited capacity guidelines.
    • 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.
  • All Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders are required to be fully vaccinated unless they have a medical condition that prohibits them from being vaccinated. For this subset of leaders, they will be required to have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before they start a trip.
  • Drivers on the trip who are not official Wilderness Travel leaders must either have been vaccinated, or have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before they start a trip. Drivers will be required to wear masks in the vehicle and with the group.

OTHER TRIP CHANGES DUE TO COVID-19

  • We ask that all travelers in 2022 approach their trips with a flexible attitude. Many attractions, restaurants, and hotels were closed for over a year, and some may be reopening with a smaller staff, or perhaps not at all.
  • Our team on the ground has been re-scouting each itinerary to make any required changes as a result of COVID-19. We will do our best to point out any major changes, such as possible hotel changes, changes to transportation, changes to activities, etc. in your Final Documents.
  • Local regulations may change at any time, so we appreciate your understanding and flexibility if not all changes are fully anticipated or articulated in advance of the trip. Our team of Trip Leaders and guides are true experts in their regions, adept at navigating potential challenges on the ground. They will be sure you are taken care of from start to finish.

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.