Last updated: 22 February, 2023
International travel is back!
For just under a year now, countries all over the world have opened up their borders wide to once again welcome travelers. With very few restrictions left, it does seem like international travel is back!
In Europe, most countries have waived pre-departure Covid test requirements for vaccinated travelers (including our trip destinations Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland), so all you need is a passport and a flight! Over in Africa, both Botswana and South Africa have done away with testing requirements as well. Thailand and Vietnam are also now completely opened.
It feels like 2019 all over again!
Here at World Vegan Travel feel like it’s time to once again dream of exotic and exciting faraway destinations and start thinking of your future travel plans!
Of course, if 2020 taught us anything is that nothing is ever for certain! But life does go on and we must plow ahead, and the travel industry in every country is not only once again ready to welcome travelers again, but they also really need visitors!
WORLD VEGAN TRAVEL’S COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS
A lot of thought has gone into making sure that our trips will be as safe as possible for our travelers, leaders, crew, and suppliers. At every step in the journey, we have consulted with suppliers/hotels on how to travel safely in this new normal. New minimum standards have been implemented with an emphasis on increased hygiene and sanitation. Some of our precautions, both usual and new, include, but are not limited to:
- Privatizing hotels or large sections of them;
- Privatizing our meals, whether by taking over the entire restaurant/dining venue or cordoning off a large section just for our group;
- Privatizing the great majority of our activities by booking private tours;
- All transportation is in private coach/boat/plane (with an exception on our Botswana/Cape Town trips — see below);
- Our hotels and coach will be cleaned and sanitized daily, with hand sanitizer and masks readily available;
- Periodical temperature-taking of travelers, guides and tour leaders
- Reviews of the policies of our suppliers (i.e. transportation, hotels, restaurants, etc.) in regards to COVID-19
REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN A TRIP
For the time being, World Vegan Travel will continue to require that all our travelers be fully vaccinated.
While countries are making it easier to travel by waiving pre-departure negative Covid tests for entry or even the need for a proof-of-vaccination, many still have some lingering restrictions or another. It’s definitely not uniformed across the board.
As such, for the time being, and while admittedly getting better by the month, we feel it is still not feasible to travel hassle-free if not vaccinated.
We also feel that everyone who chooses to travel with us has a duty of care to themselves and the people around them. This includes not only your fellow travelers but also our local suppliers (guides, hotel and restaurant staff, bus driver, etc.) and the local population as well. As much as possible, we want to refrain from taxing the health care system of the countries we visit as much as possible.
In order to book and attend a trip with World Vegan Travel, travelers will need to provide:
- Proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
All documentation will be checked at the welcome meeting (if we have not checked it before) and if adequate documentation as stated above cannot be produced, then the traveler will be unable to join the trip and will not be entitled to any refund.
FAQ about change in WVT vaccine requirements
Why did you change your vaccine requirements to travel with you?
- As time went it became more obvious to us that many countries were introducing vaccine requirements to enter the country and / or to dine in restaurants and visit museums and other activities we often do when we are on holiday. We were also seeing that countries were changing these policies at short notice, which would not allow our unvaccinated travelers to get vaccinated quickly enough to travel on the trip. This would be disappointing for travelers. Requests for refunds or vouchers (according to our booking conditions) will not be offered.
- We have many travelers, local suppliers and guides who are a little older and even if they are vaccinated, they are still at higher risk from serious illness.
- Some of the countries we travel to have much lower access to the vaccine and poorer healthcare. We believe that if we travel to these countries we must do all we can to make sure we minimize risk of illnesses to these populations. Even if an unvaccinated traveler does not infect someone else, they might take away valuable resources from the local population should they need hospitalisation.
While this policy will be reviewed regularly over time, we do not anticipate this policy changing anytime soon. We believe that in order to be able to travel with any assurances, vaccines will be required for the foreseeable future.
Travel insurance is a requirement on all World Vegan Travel trips, and for the foreseeable future, we will need to make sure you have adequate Covid coverage. You can find companies that provide this coverage in this article. We advise you to ask the following questions about COVID19 when researching to make sure that the policy will cover you for the biggest expenses you might need to face. We recommend calling and speaking to an advisor and telling them you are traveling on a group trip at a value of (cost of the trip).
Here is a list of some travel insurance companies that offer COVID19 insurance. We do not endorse or recommend any of them and advise you to consider the following questions when shopping for insurance.
1. If I test positive before leaving my home country and I am unable to catch my flight and meet my group, what will my coverage be?
2. If I am unable to fly back home due to testing positive what will my coverage be? Hotels, rebooking flights, meals for the 14 days while isolating, etc
3. How will I be covered should I be unable to travel due to border closures or travel advisories either to the country I am traveling to OR from my home country to the destination country?
4. How will I be covered if my flight is canceled by the airline and I am unable to meet the group on time?
5. Is the ‘fear of travel’ covered?
6. Will I be covered for medical expenses incurred due to COVID19 and will medical evacuation be covered?
7. Will I be covered if I need to be tested for COVID19 due to displaying symptoms?
World Vegan Travel follows all government and local authority requirements around the use of masks. This depends on your location, mode of transport, and other factors. Travelers are required to travel with their own masks and to wear one when required. We recommend that all travelers, leaders, and crew wear masks:
- To help reduce the spread of COVID-19
- As a normal part of interacting with other people
- Masks are mandatory for travellers, leaders, crew and suppliers in any situation or destination when it is required by local government advice. In many countries, this includes (but is not limited to):
- Public and private transport
- Crowds or places where physical distancing is difficult
- Indoors (particularly in places with poor ventilation)
Since our trips are highly catered and made of activities that need a lot of planning and organization, all payments (the initial sign-up fee, 50% deposit, and final payment) are non-refundable. This is because we must forward payments for accommodation, transportation, suppliers, etc. very early on, in order to privatize our accommodation, activities, transportation, and meals.
Should there be a need to cancel the trip due to a COVID-19 reason, and before the trip’s deadline (see individual trip’s website for the deadline date) then the sign-up fee will be refunded, minus any small processing fees, if applicable. Please note that the refund of your sign-up fee will only apply if World Vegan Travel cancels the trip.
Our policy to run a trip or not comes down to several factors. We take into account the government foreign travel advisories and guidelines of reputable authorities, such as the WHO. Furthermore, we place a lot of emphasis on the local situation, and may choose to not run a trip should the local authorities in the country we are visiting places restrictions which may prevent a trip from happening or will make travel too challenging.
Examples of possible reasons WVT might cancel a trip include (but are not limited to):
- border closings/lock-downs;
- flight limitations;
- mandatory quarantine on arrival and/or upon return to home country;
- substantial spike in local cases that renders the area unsafe;
- local restrictions imposed on our activities, restaurants, hotels, etc., that makes it unfeasible for us to run the trip in accordance with our high standards of quality
If the trip needs to be canceled once we have started to accept the post-signup fee payments (50% deposit and final remaining balance), we will either move you to the replacement trip or should that not be convenient to you, WVT will turn your payments into a voucher that can be used on future trips (terms will be noted upon delivery of the vouchers).
If the trip DOES go ahead (ie none of the above cancellation reasons apply) and you are unable to attend the trip for any personal reasons, even related to COVID-19 (ie your own country changes its travel/quarantine policy, you contract the virus, etc), there is, unfortunately, no refund.
Should you still need to cancel for any reason once you have signed up, our usual conditions apply: we will offer your spot to the first person(s) on the waiting list. If we are able to fill your spot, we will refund all payments made, minus processing fees. Having said that, do note that there is no guarantee we will be able to fill up your spot. For this reason, again, it is a good idea to get solid trip insurance when you first sign up but be aware that insurance companies have only certain situations that will allow a claim to be paid out to their travelers.
PROCEDURE IF YOU OR ANOTHER TRAVELER CONTRACTS COVID-19
In the unfortunate event that you or someone else on the trip has symptoms of COVID-19 while traveling with us, we will assist you to access the appropriate diagnostic test and, if necessary, medical care as soon as possible. We will follow the local guidelines in regards to whether a COVID-19 test is required, whether there is a need to self-isolate or quarantine, and whether there is a risk to other travelers in the group.
Should COVID-19 be confirmed, our full health and safety protocols will be enacted, including informing local health authorities, informing the group of the potential exposure, and sanitation protocols such as deep cleaning and disinfecting of accommodation and transport.
Please note that while we will assist to ensure that you get all the help and support you need, any expenses for testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you and your travel insurer, so please ensure you have access to funds while traveling in case of this or other emergencies.
Should you need to leave the trip, or if the trip gets canceled, due to a case of COVID-19 in the group, we will try — but in no way is this guaranteed — to offer you a voucher for whatever we are able to get back from the unused portion of the trip. However this is completely dependent on our suppliers and partners, and you should view any voucher as a bonus and not the rule.
This is a dynamic operating environment and requirements continue to evolve globally. WVT will closely monitor relevant changes and make updates as required.
COME TRAVEL WITH US!
We hope you’ll entertain the idea of returning to travel, and feel safe doing so. Here at World Vegan Travel, we are committed to running trips if — and ONLY IF — we can do so safely and according to local laws, regulations, and policies. If borders reopen, airlines provide service and your own Government allows travel, then we feel it should be ok to go out and once again experience the different cultures, food, traditions, and sights that the world has to offer.
Get some travel ideas here