Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update
Updated: August 5, 2020
We have been informed by many of our European operators that many tours slated in August, and beyond WILL run as planned. If a tour is officially canceled due to lack of participants or other circumstance, we will inform you right away. If you have not heard from us, you can assume that your tour is scheduled to take place.
However, we understand the difficulty that this presents as most borders remain closed to US travelers but opened to those from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. We know that you will be evaluating your plans, gathering information, and weighing all options. Please be assured that now as always, we are committed to working with each of you, no matter your country of origin.
Due to the high volume of calls, it is advised that you contact us through our Contact Form or by email with any questions or concerns you may have.
We are working diligently on your behalf and will answer you as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.
Dear fellow travelers,
As we watch and listen to the news throughout the world, here in the US, it is hard not to become discouraged. On the one hand, we celebrate. The European Union opened its internal borders and is now allowing international travel from many non-EU countries. However, travelers from the U.S. are unfortunately still prohibited from entering most European countries. There are some exceptions, so it is important to stay informed.
The different national and international policies on reemerging and easing lockdowns remain fluid and we watch this surge in new cases here at home with trepidation. This confusion and uncertainty will end up defining this time. We call it the Corona Coaster.
We all agree that travel has become complicated. But we also agree that it has never been so longed for. Everyone is anxious to return to normal. In the short term at least, it will be a new normal. The travel industry, including airports, airlines, and tour operators are implementing and following strict COVID-19 protocols including rigorous cleaning and disinfecting.
It is not business as usual but here at Tripsite, there are things that will never change. As a company, we believe with all our hearts that we will once again plan travels without anxiety but with the excitement and joyful anticipation that we once took for granted. We continue working remotely at the immediate tasks at hand, sorting through each operator's policies and protocols, but we are also all looking ahead, working on updates, new tours, new destinations, and even a new website. We are anxious to get back to what we love to do. Sharing the world with you.
Regarding your upcoming tours and travels, we are in constant contact with our international operators. As they interpret their own country's official policies and maneuver an ever-changing landscape, we must comply with the decisions that are made by them.
Please understand that we cannot interpret government-issued travel restrictions or airline policies. We encourage you to visit the following sites for up to date and reliable information.
We understand that the decision to travel or not to travel during this difficult time is complicated and multi-faceted.
For those whose tours are canceled, we are advocating on your behalf for flexible rebooking policies and asking that you please consider postponing your tour and working with us regarding rebooking for the future. This will support our providers as we all weather the storm together.
Many of you have already rebooked and we are grateful for that. For those of you whose tours are canceled or will be canceled in the near future and decide not to rebook, we understand.
For those of you with future confirmed travel plans that have not been impacted, we understand the anxiety you are facing as you decide what to do. Should you travel or cancel or should you wait to see if the tour is officially canceled? If a tour is officially canceled, and you decide not to rebook, refunds are issued. However, please understand that if a tour is NOT canceled on behalf of our partner, and again, many tours are now scheduled to take place, the time-sensitive terms and conditions will apply. We advise that you gather and access all the information you can in your decision making process including country policy, airline policy, specific tour operator policy, advice from your medical team, and your own circumstances.
For those of you trying to decide if you should book new travel in 2020, we advise the following:
1. Be sure to understand the terms and conditions for the tour that you choose. Many tours have flexible rebooking policies in effect in the event it becomes necessary to postpone your travels. However, cancellation on your part will incur penalties.
- Europe has opened its borders within the European Union itself so tours in August and onward are scheduled to take place. However, that does not necessarily mean that non-EU travelers can easily get to the tour without quarantine restrictions imposed upon screening after entry, or ability to secure flights conducive to their travels, or to not have quarantine upon return to their own country.
2. If because of the aforementioned, you subsequently need to cancel a confirmed tour, it will constitute a cancellation on your part and will fall under the normal cancellation policy for your tour. Please feel free to contact us for the cancellation policy that applies to your reservation.
3. Speak with airline reps to determine their terms and conditions and rebooking policies.
4. Research travel insurance options thoroughly and understand any fine print in regards to pandemic situations and cancel for any reason clauses.
All the major airlines have now issued official policies regarding cancellations and changes. We are told that the smaller, national airline policies are not as flexible. For those of you with scheduled flights, contact your airline directly. (Please be patient, but persistent, as the call volumes to airlines and insurance companies are overwhelming.)
For those of you, like us, who are looking at international travel in 2021, we advise all of the above but we also would like to encourage you to be hopeful, even excited. Again, there is so much that presently we do not know, nor can we predict the future, and though travel has become complex, once the mess is untangled, travel in 2021 may be exactly what we all need. Frequently traveled hot spots will be much less crowded and tours that are off the beaten path are being developed and promoted. Here at Tripsite, even now, we are exploring small boat active cruises with sensible and safe Covid protocols in place that are the right size for exclusive chartering for entire families or groups of friends. We have also added self-guided hikes and cycling in destinations that are emerging from the pandemic with good strategies, and by their very nature, are social distancing! We are looking at travel within the US itself as well. We are busy, realistic, but optimistic as well!
If you have purchased travel insurance, it is advised that you refer to the details of your specific policy. If you have obtained a plan with our partner RoamRight, you can speak with an experienced customer service representative at 1-866-891-6614.
If you have purchased a policy through another company, again, contact them directly with your specific questions and concerns. They are the experts.
We want to express our profound gratitude to all who are working sacrificially on the frontlines; health care workers, emergency responders, law enforcement, grocery store employees, delivery truck drivers, custodians...the list goes on and on. Their perseverance and bravery is an inspiration to us all.
Here at home, and in your communities, we are so encouraged to see the goodness that arises in times of difficulty. Every day we read stories of hope and community and are uplifted and inspired. Many of you have reached out to us personally with encouraging words of support and solidarity.
At a time when things seem so chaotic, there are things we can control. Each of us has within our own power the ability to comply 100% with reopening and social distancing guidelines. Our first concern should be for the safety and well being of others. Let's continue to look to our left and to our right. Let's reach out to family, friends, and neighbors and be intentional and creative maintaining community, even as we comply with social distancing!
In closing, we are proud to be part of this amazing community of adventurers and world travelers. Stay safe, stay connected, and stay thankful as we all look forward to future exploration!
A message from our Founder - Hennie Addresses COVID-19.