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YOUR COVID TRAVEL QUESTIONS ANSWERED

As the world continues to open up and we can travel again, Insight Vacations understands that you may have a lot of questions. We have compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions we have received to help you feel informed and confident when booking your tour and traveling with Insight Vacations. We are continually updating this page so that you have the most relevant information.

VACCINES, TESTING AND QUARANTINE

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Will I need to have had the COVID-19 vaccination to be allowed to travel with Insight Vacations?

The wellbeing of our guests is our top priority. As part of this commitment, all guests travelling with Insight Vacations through December 31, 2022 are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, which may include a booster shot to keep the vaccination status current and valid, depending on the travel destination.   

Children not eligible for vaccination and/or booster at the time of travel must provide a verifiable and negative Covid-19 test result, taken within 72 hours prior to the start of the tour (taking time zones into consideration) for all tours departing until December 31, 2022. 

For guests travelling with Insight Vacations from 1 January 2023, Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters are highly recommended, but no longer required. 

Please note that regardless of time of travel guests will need to comply with specific vaccine and/or booster requirements imposed by airlines and/or authorities in the destination visited, as well as requirements for accessing restaurants and venues, which may be more restrictive than above.

It is guests’ responsibility to ensure that they comply at all times with these requirements. No refunds will be given if guests are unable to undertake some or all of their vacation due to their failure to comply with these requirements. 

This policy is subject to change at any time, without notice. 

How will Insight Vacations be assisting with any mandatory testing required pre, during and post travel?

Any testing that is required pre travel will be the responsibility of the guest to organise, as these requirements will be in accordance with airline policies, and the entry requirements of the destination you are travelling to. During your tour, your Well-Being Director* and Travel Director will facilitate any mandatory testing, including PCR tests required for the return home, and this will be done with as little impact as possible to your experience. This testing will be at the expense of the guest. Any testing required post travel will again be the responsibility of the guest to organise.

Will you require that children be tested on your tours?

For children not eligible for vaccination and/or booster at the time of travel, a verifiable negative test result for COVID-19 (electronic or paper showing date and time of test) taken within 72 hours prior to the start of the trip departure, must be provided if travelling through December 31, 2022.

 

Children travelling after January 1, 2023 will need to comply with specific testing requirements imposed by airlines and/or authorities in the destination visited, as well as requirements for accessing restaurants and venues.

I have already received my vaccination, will I still need to comply with testing?

Depending on the airline you travel with, you may be required to show proof of vaccination and/or testing, and similarly the destination you are travelling to may have specific requirements with regards to the vaccine and/or testing.

How do I know what the country I am travelling to requires for my upcoming tour?

You can check what travel restrictions and requirements are in place at the destination you are travelling to by visiting our Travel Requirements page.

Will there be any intermittent testing on longer or multi-country tours?

Your Wellbeing Director* or Travel Director will facilitate any testing requirements while you are on tour. Restrictions are easing in many parts of the world and many countries do not require testing for fully vaccinated travellers. Rest assured, your Travel Director or Wellbeing Director* will clearly communicate what is required and what you need to do while you are on tour.

What happens if I test positive before flying home, or upon re-entering my home country?

If you test positive for Covid-19 prior to flying home, you will need to quarantine in that country for the required number of days as stipulated by the local government. In this situation, your Travel Director or Well-Being Director* and our support team behind the scenes will defer to the advice of the local authorities, but please be assured we will be able to assist with making necessary arrangements for your accommodations, keep in touch with you and support you until you are able to return home. Any costs incurred for having to quarantine will be your and/or your insurance provider's responsibility, which is why we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance before your tour begins.  If you test positive upon re-entering your home country once your trip is complete, you will need to follow the guidelines as stipulated by your local government.  

What happens if I test positive on my trip?

If you test positive while travelling with us, you will not be able to continue to travel with the group but will need to isolate in that country for the required number of days as stipulated by the local government and/or until such time that you obtain a negative Covid test result. Your Travel Director or Well-Being Director* and our support team behind the scenes will assist you with making the necessary arrangements for your accommodations, keep in touch with you and support you until you are able to return home or rejoin the group, once cleared as fit-to-travel by a health care professional. We highly recommend you obtain travel insurance to cover situations such as these. Please be sure you are covered for the complete dates of your tour and validate that you have the appropriate level of coverage for:
  • Trip Interruption - to cover the cost of your trip, including air Trip Delay
  • Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation; and
  • Medical Expenses from illness (covering individual or pandemic event)

What extra steps do I need to take prior to travelling, and how much more will it cost me?

In terms of travelling with Insight Vacations, we highly recommend you purchase travel insurance ahead of your tour that covers you for unexpected events including accident and illness (such as Covid-19). In terms of testing requirements many countries have relaxed their COVID protocols and testing requirements but the situation is constantly evolving. The cost will depend on the country you are travelling to and their specific testing requirements as well as the testing requirements of your home country for your return.

BOOKINGS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

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If I book my tour and I then need to change my booking, will my money be safe?

Absolutely. Thanks to our risk-free and flexible booking conditions, you are free to change your travel plans up to 60 days before your trip is due to depart. You can choose new dates and/or a new destination without penalty on the land portion of your trip. Insight Vacations is also a proud member of The Travel Corporation, who remains a stable and solvent company despite the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic.

Are the travel corporation (TTC) and Insight Vacations financially sound?

Insight Vacations is a proud member of TTC, a family owned and operated business who, in their 102nd year of business, remain stable and solvent despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic. TTC's incredible legacy, financial strength and integrity mean you can have peace of mind knowing your money is safe. You can read TTC Chief Executive Brett's Tollman's letter of reassurance to all guests here.

If I book for 2023 or 2024 and am unable to travel, can I get a refund?

You can change your trip and/or departure date up to 60 days before your trip is due to depart without incurring change fees (for most trips). See our Terms and Conditions HERE.

What happens if I purchase a tour but restrictions are introduced in a country on my travel dates, or my tour is cancelled due to lockdown?

Thanks to our flexible booking terms, you can secure your dream trip with a fully-refundable deposit (for 30 days after booking), while also having the flexibility to change your plans up to 60 days before departure without incurring change fees^ (for most trips). If you you are not ready to rebook an alternate trip, you will be issued a Future Travel Credit which can be redeemed with Insight Vacations or another TTC brand (Trafalgar, Luxury Gold, Brendan Vacations, Costsaver, Uniworld, U by Uniworld or Contiki) on any destination or trip. To give you maximum flexibility, you can also choose to transfer your Future Travel Credit to a friend or family member.

Will we be refunded for missed inclusions?

Please be assured that we are a responsible and conscientious tour operator with a reputation for providing incredible value to our guests. While some inclusions may be subject to change or closures, wherever possible we will find alternative solutions to ensure your experience is still a remarkable one.

WELL-BEING ON YOUR TOUR

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What is the role of the Well-Being Director*?

In response to the COVID-19 challenge our Travel Directors on many tours will have the support of a Wellbeing Director* to ensure necessary protocols are followed, to arrange and facilitate required testing and to support our guests with answers to any questions you may have.

Will you be sharing my contact information with anyone else, such as local health authorities?

To comply with local health authorities we may be required to collect and share personal information for contact tracing purposes, for example at hotels, restaurants or areas of gathering. This information can then be used by local health departments to alert you if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.

How will Insight Vacations take care of my health and well-being?

When you travel with us, you can rest assured your health and wellbeing are our top priority. As well as implementing a new 3-step hygiene and wellbeing protocol that has been endorsed by the World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC), each of our tours of 21 guests or more will also have the support of a Wellbeing Director*, who will ensure that all protocols are adhered to, will facilitate testing and will provide support and guidance to our guests.

How are the coaches cleaned and maintained to ensure they are germ-free?

We continue to follow government guidelines regarding our coaches. Groups travelling together will be seated together, and face coverings will be required where mandated, otherwise it is the choice of our guests if they wish to wear face coverings when travelling on the coach. Additionally, all surfaces will be disinfected multiple times per day, and due to our high performing air filters the air within the coach will be completely filtered and changed every 2-3 minutes (faster than most hospital operating theatres), to prevent impurities from spreading.

Will travel requirements be subject to different guidelines if I am travelling in a private group?

Whatever style of group travel you choose (a classic tour or small group tour or private custom group), all tour groups will be required to comply with local travel requirements, which your Travel Director will clearly explain to you once you are on tour.

Will I need to wear a mask the entire time on the tour?

You will need to wear a mask whenever your Travel Director or Wellbeing Director* advises it is mandatory to do so, and as you wish to do so for your own peace of mind and assurance. Please note that airlines and other establishments may not accept washable cloth masks but only medical masks. All tour groups will be required to comply with local travel requirements, which your Travel Director will clearly explain to you.

Will I be provided with PPE?

Extra masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves will be available to all guests if you forget to bring your own. Please be sure to bring your own masks to ensure your comfort, and any PPE you may require to feel confident and assured.

Will my tour be cancelled if someone in my tour group gets sick?

If someone gets sick while travelling, we are not expecting the tour to be cancelled, however it will depend on the specific situation as we will need to follow the advice of local government and health authorities. Your Travel Director or Wellbeing Director* will be on hand to facilitate any required distancing or testing and ultimately, we will take care of you and be with you every step of the way until you are on your flight home.

Will you be adjusting the time spent onboard the coach, or in between rest stops?

It is possible that there will be amends to the days' timings and itinerary, taking into account new well-being protocol and distancing, however, rest assured this will not deter from the enjoyment of your tour. In the event that we may have to make amends to any planned activities or site visits, we will always provide an alternative that is as good as, if not better, than the original.

Will I be provided with a listening device for walking tours and how will these be cleaned after each use?

Each guest will be provided with their own personal VOX headset for the duration of their tour. These are fully sanitised between tours and come prepared in a sealed package, so they cannot be tampered with. Each guest will also receive their own, brand new set of ear phones.

YOUR VACATION EXPERIENCE

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Will I need to wear a mask on my flight?

Whether or not you will be required to wear a mask on your flight will depend on the policy of the airline you are flying with. We highly recommend you check the airline's policies before travelling to ensure you are prepared.

How do I know what the country I am travelling to requires for my upcoming trip?

You can check what travel restrictions and requirements are in place at the destination you are traveling to by visiting our Travel Requirements page.

Do you have small-group tours?

Yes, we certainly do. You can choose to travel on one of our small group departures with a maximum of 24 guests, or opt for one of our classic departures where you will travel with up to 40 guests from around the world.

In addition to booking my tour, can I also book my air travel with you?

You certainly can. We have fantastic contacts and rates with many airlines and our friendly team can assist with booking your flights. You can either request to add flights when booking online, or call one of our team to book your tour, letting them know you also require flights.

When should I book my air travel?

As we are a tour operator, we cannot advise on when you should be booking your air travel - this is up to you. If you choose to book your air travel through us please know that we offer competitive airfare rates with flexible rules which allow you to book your airfare now and not pay in full until your tour payment is due. We suggest booking as far in advance as you know your travel dates to lock in the best fares and routes for your vacation. If you are booking your airfare separately, please ensure your tour is a guaranteed departure before purchasing any airfare as Insight Vacations cannot be responsible for any change or cancellation fees for airfare not purchased as part of our package.

How are tours still operating when South African residents are currently banned from entering certain countries?

Please be assured that we are monitoring the situation daily. At this stage your tour is currently operating as normal and has not yet been affected. If this situation changes, our team will reach out to you and inform you accordingly.

Will I still have a good time despite these new protocols being in place?

Of course. The protocols we have put in place are there to protect you, but we can assure you that you will still have the same incredible Insight Vacations travel experience as before. Every single itinerary we run is perfectly planned to ensure that you can travel with total ease, combining the perfect blend of must see sites and authentic local experiences. Every aspect of your tour will have been vetted and approved by our local teams, and our on road team will be on hand with their personalised approach to ensure that you are well looked after.

What happens if any of the sites or inclusions my group is due to visit are affected by closures while I am on tour?

Our operations and guest support teams are on call 24/7 and work behind the scenes to ensure that the impact of any closures or changes on your itinerary will be minimal. Where possible, we will adjust your itinerary to visit alternative sites or inclusions, so you can be assured you will enjoy the same incredible experience and value that we are known for.

If I book my tour and then certain sites or experiences are suddenly required to close, how will you ensure my experience is not impacted?

Because you have chosen to travel with a guided touring company, managing these kinds of scenarios is what our team does best. We can assure you that we will adjust your itinerary while still making sure that you have an unforgettable travel experience, one that still provides you with the incredible value you expect from us. If changes are required, you will be updated of these changes as soon as possible, and your Travel Director will also keep you well informed while on tour.

*Insight Vacations will include a Well-Being Director on tours with more than 20 travelling guests to all operating regions excluding Australia & New Zealand. Custom groups will have the option to include a Well-Being Director for a surcharge. In addition to the Travel Director and Driver Team, the Well-Being Director will be responsible for keeping up to date on the latest health authority and local government guidelines. They will also ensure adherence to well-being protocols on tours and will be a dedicated support to help guide our guests.

ALL THE SIGHTS AND THE INSIGHTS, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, IN COMFORT AND IN STYLE