Updated November 4, 2021
Our 2021 Experience
As of the end of October, we and our partner brands (Taste Vacations and Travel Montana) have run 26 tours this year, most of them when the Delta variant was dominant. We know of ZERO cases of COVID infection by our travelers either while on our tours or immediately returning home. We even ran a 142-person wine conference with no COVID community transmission (during the peak of the Delta variant). Our safety policies below are highly effective and our travelers are able to get to and from our tour locations safely.
Mandatory Vaccination or COVID Test
- For 2022 public tours, we will require proof of COVID vaccination. Vaccination reduces your risk of infection, reduces your risk of serious illness, and reduces the risk you will transmit the COVID virus to others if you do become infected.
- For 2022 private tours, we will require proof of vaccination, a negative COVID PCR test result within 72 hours of the tour start, or proof of recent (within 90 days) COVID infection and recovery.
This is for the protection of our travelers, our guides, and those we encounter on our tours.
Even if you are vaccinated, there is a risk of contracting COVID-19. Therefore, we employ the “travel bubble” practice of keeping our group relatively isolated while on tour and asking you to be cautious in the weeks prior to a tour. Requiring vaccinations or negative PCR tests allows us to eat dinner together, travel in the same vans, and even give post-tour goodbye hugs. This system worked in 2021 and we fully expect it to work in 2022.
Most of our tour participants fly to their destination. Airlines and airports are taking steps to keep passengers safe, including new electrostatic sanitation after each flight, mask requirements, and passenger screenings. Studies have suggested the risk of contracting COVID on flights is actually fairly low if you keep your mask on throughout the flight. This has been our experience in 2021.
Tour Safety Precautions
- Our small-group tours are safer than larger bus tours or cruises and outdoor, active travel is by its nature safer since infections are much rarer outdoors.
- We will provide an introductory briefing on the first day of your tour about precautions we should all take.
- We will move as many activities (introductions, morning meetings, etc) outside as possible.
- We ask all participants to have a face mask available. Since our groups are fully vaccinated or tested, it will be up to individuals whether to wear their masks.
Hotels and Restaurants
Regarding COVID-19, spending time indoors is inherently less safe than spending time outdoors. Thus, we encourage you to continue to wear masks when entering restaurants or hotels, regardless of local laws. In addition, we will eat as many meals as possible outside or in sections of restaurants in which we can be separated from other diners. We have also reduced our Single Supplements to encourage solo travelers to book their own rooms.
Since our groups will all be either vaccinated or have a negative PCR test result, traveling in the same van should be safe. However, we will ask you to have masks available and it is up to each individual to decide whether to wear masks in our vans.
Higher Risk Travelers
If you are at higher risk or just have a low risk tolerance, you are welcome to implement even stricter measures on tours. You can choose to drive yourself to a tour, including from hotel to hotel. You can choose to eat with your own travel party at dinner or take meals back to your room. You can choose to skip any group activities we have planned.
We have always been focused on safety, with our guides being trained in first aid and CPR. We are prepared to offer you small-group adventure travel vacations in as safe and responsible a manner as possible. Most importantly, we know you want to travel and we will be there for you when you are ready!