COVID-19: Updates & Policies
In July 2021, we slowly re-started our group trips. First in Greece, followed by Spain in August, then almost all of our destinations through September and beyond. With very few exceptions, all trips are now proceeding as planned and we're back to the fun and adventures that all of us missed so much. While the pandemic isn't over, we've worked with our partners in all destinations to ensure that we're able to offer our travelers the fun and safe experience that they've come to expect from Detours. We can't wait to welcome you back onto your next trip with us!
A New Normal?
From a private villa in the Costa Rican jungle, to a century-old manor house in the winelands of South Africa, to a small boutique hotel on the quiet island of Milos in Greece, we've always put an emphasis on small properties in unique locations while avoiding crowded big-box resorts. Even in tourist hot spots like Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and Mykonos, we've always prioritized smaller boutique properties with plenty of character. We continue working with all of our local providers to offer enhanced cleaning, alternative dining options, and more spacious transportation with less crowding. We're committed to providing an experience for our travelers that's as safe as possible. Local regulations regarding mask-wearing, distancing, and entry rules can vary quite significantly, so if you're curious about the current situation in one of our destination, just ask!
Travelers with upcoming bookings have been receiving regular update emails regarding the changing world of travel as it relates to their trip. Those booked onto a trip that has been cancelled have been contacted directly and have been provided a full credit, minus unrecoveable costs, to use on any Detours trip in the future with no expiry date or date/destination restrictions. Travelers with existing bookings who would like to cancel or re-schedule their future trip are being handled on a case-by-case situation to ensure we provide as much flexibility as possible and should contact us to discuss available options.
We're here for you
We'd love to chat with you about your travel plans and help to answer your questions about traveling in the coming months and years. From Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Pacific time, just click the live-chat button here on our site (we promise we aren't bots), or call us at 1-800-680-8066, or email us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting Back to Travel: A Safe Restart
Updated: March 8th, 2022
The rollercoaster that is the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down enough for travel to resume in many destinations around the world. In the past few months we've finally begun our new Egypt and Portugal & Morocco itineraries, as well as re-started some of our favorites including Greece, Peru, Spain, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Croatia. Thailand & Cambodia have recently re-opened to tourism as well, so we're excited to get back there this month too! It's been so good to reconnect with everyone, and we thank you for your patience and understanding through the worst of the pandemic.
As we set our sights on 2022 and beyond, we've got plenty to look forward to. Many trips are already sold out in several of our destinations, proving that you're all just as excited to get back out there as we are! This year also marks our 10th birthday and we can't help but want to celebrate it with you! As part of the celebration, we've launched a few special-edition "birthday trips", starting with two back-to-back groups on a private 156-foot sailboat in the Caribbean in February, followed by five back-to-back groups at a private 600-year-old, 20-bedroom castle perfectly located in the rolling hills of Tuscany - that's happening in August/September. The third and final "10th birthday trip" will be announced on March 16th.
As we get excited about travel and all the adventures and social connections that come with it, it's important to remember that the pandemic is not over yet, and there can be plenty of questions. We're here to help. Here are some of the most common FAQ's at the moment:
- Do I need to be vaccinated to join a trip?
- Yes. All travelers on Detours trips need to be fully vaccinated to join a group trip. Specific destinations may require travelers to be vaccinated with certain approved vaccines. Reach out to us if you've got questions about this.
- Will the group be required to physically distance or wear masks during the trip?
- Given the nature of group travel, it is not feasible to ensure distance can be maintained at all times during a trip and will therefore not be required, with the exception of crowded places or those places in which local regulations require. You will be required to have a mask on-hand during the trip for situations where masks are advised and/or required which may include public transport, crowded situations, or places where masks are enforced.
- Can you help with arranging the Covid tests that are required to return home?
- Absolutely. We arrange this for all of our groups, often arranging for someone to come to our group hotel to do the pre-departure test. Nice and easy. Oh, and after hundreds of these tests that have been required at the beginning and end of our trips, zero of those tests have come back positive. This means nobody has been denied entry to any of their destinations, and nobody has been stuck unable to return home.
- How do the recent travel rules affect my travel?
- The majority of our travelers are American, where the pre-return testing rule has recently changed from a 3-day window, to a 1-day window. As antigen test results are usually delivered within minutes, this does not negatively affect our American travelers returning home. Your Detours trip leader will ensure you get your test within the correct window. If you're traveling from a different country and are concerned about new travel rules, please get in touch with us to discuss.
- What happens if I need to cancel last-minute?
- While you're welcome to cancel your trip at least 60 days prior to your departure with no cancellation fees and no change fees, we understand that sometimes something pops up last-minute. As we use your payments to secure services (accommodation, domestic flights, local guides, etc) within your destination, we are bound by their cancellation terms, which can vary significantly, and that's why cancellations made within 60 days of a trip are handled on a case-by-case basis as we negotiate with our local partners. We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance as an additional layer of protection against potential losses.
- What trips are operating?
- Almost all of them! Our travelers over the past months have expressed experiencing a sigh of relief once they arrive to their destination to start a trip. There are more things to think about before a trip these days but, once the group trip begins, all the pre-trip worries melt away and leave just the fun and adventure that we've always enjoyed so much. In the coming couple of months we're especially excited about our Spring departures to South Africa, Egypt, Thailand/Cambodia and Portugal/Morocco too. Check out our trip calendar for more upcoming trips.
- What insurance should I get?
- All travelers on Detours trips require travel insurance which covers, at a minimum, emergency medical treatment, repatriation, and personal liability for the duration of the trip. Coverage for Covid-related issues is not required, but is strongly advised, and is available from many (but not all) providers. We suggest speaking with your insurance provider to ensure you understand your coverage.
- What if someone in the group becomes sick during the trip?
- Our number one priority is the health and safety of our travelers as well as the local communities we visit. As a result, if any of our group members or the trip leader experience symptoms of Covid-19 during the trip, they will be required to visit a doctor to assess the symptoms and receive a clearance to continue the trip. If Covid-19 is confirmed, the traveler will be required to follow those rules of the destination which may include quarantine and testing.
- What has been done to improve safety in the destination country?
- From accommodation to transport providers to local guides, the tourism industry overall has gone to great lengths to improve the cleanliness and safety of their products and services. While the specifics vary, our partners have committed to rigorous sanitization procedures and follow the safety requirements set out by local authorities. Many destinations have implements their own local cleanliness certification programs which set a standard based on their cleaning and air purification practices. For more information about a specific destination please contact us.
- Is room sharing still available?
- Yes. Many of our solo travelers choose to share a room with another solo traveler through the trip and this option will continue to be offered. Bedding is provided in two separate twin beds. For solo travelers wishing to travel in their own private room, a private-room upgrade is available on all trips for a reasonable cost.
- Where can I find out more information about the current situation in a particular country?
- There are several sources that we use to inform our decisions about traveling in a particular country during this pandemic. We provide regular updates to our travelers on upcoming trips as part of their 60-day trip update and 30-day trip update, but we also suggest the following sites with regularly updated information:
- Europe: Re-Open EU
- World: IATA's Interactive Map
We really appreciate your continued patience as we navigate the changing world of travel, and we can't wait to get back out there with you! If you have any questions related to traveling with us, please reach out at email@example.com or give us a call at 1-800-680-8066.