As worldwide travel has resumed in most destinations, we intend to operate different tours throughout 2023 and beyond, as conditions permit. At all times, the well-being of our guests and staff members on tour will continue to be our highest priority.
To that end, we will be taking significant steps to maintain a healthy environment for travel, with protocols for all facets of our tours, as outlined below.
So, when the time is right for you, we look forward to welcoming you on tour, as we have already done for thousands of guests since travel resumed in the summer of 2021. And while we know that some aspects of travel look different now, we also want to ensure that you still will enjoy an engaging and enlightening experience, with opportunities for spontaneous activities and events.
Safety Protocols for Future Small Group Journeys
We are committed to using the resources provided by the U.S. State Department, the CDC, the health authorities of respective countries, as well as our on-site travel partners to determine the safety of visiting a particular destination. If it is deemed unsafe to travel to a specific destination, we will alter the itinerary accordingly. We also will consult with our Tour Directors on site for guidance on conditions where they live and work.
We will establish and adhere to a detailed set of health and safety protocols to ensure your well-being while traveling. The following represents a brief look at what we expect to be in place at the time of your tour. Please note that policies may change, and we recommend checking this page often for updates.
Should you have any questions, we can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at (888) 370-6765, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Since August 1, 2021, we have required that all Odysseys Unlimited guests, Tour Directors and long-distance coach drivers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to the start of their tour. We consider “fully vaccinated“ to be when all required primary doses have been received, as per CDC guidelines. Furthermore, Odysseys Unlimited requires all guests traveling on tours departing through April 30, 2023, to receive a COVID-19 booster shot if their primary vaccination series was completed more than 180 days prior to their tour start date.
For tours departing May 1, 2023 and later, all guests will still be required to have completed a primary COVID-19 vaccination series, but a booster dose will no longer be required. We continue to recommend that all guests stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and receive a booster dose when eligible.
Additional entry requirements related to COVID-19 may be imposed by foreign governments, as well. Odysseys Unlimited will notify guests of any entry requirements for their specific tour at approximately 25 days prior to departure. Please read more about Odysseys Unlimited’s policy pertaining to global entry requirements here.
Prior to Your Tour
We strongly recommend that guests purchase a travel protection plan to protect themselves in the event they fall ill prior to departure and need to cancel, for medical coverage while on tour, and for trip interruption should it be necessary to miss part of the tour because of illness.
Also, we require that all guests read and acknowledge the following three documents related to global travel during the COVID-19 pandemic: COVID-19 Guest Health and Safety Protocols, COVID-19 Liability Waiver and Release, and Travel Protection Acknowledgement. These documents will be provided to you prior to departure.
On April 18, 2022, the United States’ federal mask mandate for public transportation and airline travel was rescinded. While masks are no longer required by federal law on flights within the United States, mask wearing may still be enforced by individual airlines at their discretion. Furthermore, guests traveling to international destinations where mask mandates remain in place will still be required to wear a mask for the duration of their flight. Please check with your airline for more information on the mask policy for your specific routing. Regardless of airline policies or country regulations, Odysseys Unlimited continues to recommend that guests wear masks on all flights in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
While on Tour
While local conditions may vary based on the destination, timing, and nature of the tour, the protocols below will be followed on all Odysseys’ tours (with additional safety protocols implemented where necessary):
The use of face coverings will be required throughout the tour when appropriate and dictated by local regulations. Face coverings may be required on international and domestic flights, in transportation hubs such as airports, and on all forms of public transportation. Based on the epidemiological situation at the time of travel, some destinations may also require face coverings at all indoor sites. We strongly recommend that guests at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to age or underlying medical conditions wear a face covering at all times while in public, regardless of local regulations.
Regulations regarding the use of face coverings onboard coaches and other motor vehicles will vary by destination. Please note that motorcoaches are often considered public transportation, and face coverings may therefore be required on board, even in destinations where other masking requirements have been lifted. As these regulations change frequently and with little notice, your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director will advise as to whether face coverings will be required on the coach.
Wherever face coverings are to be worn, all guests, Tour Directors, and drivers will be required to wear medical grade masks; acceptable masks include flat surgical masks, KF94, KN95, N95, and equivalent. Cloth masks will not be acceptable. In some countries, flat surgical masks may not be accepted on public transportation, including motor coaches, and more highly protective KF94, KN95, and N95 masks will be required. Guests must provide their own masks and are encouraged to bring a supply that can be rotated throughout the tour.
While requirements for masking will vary by destination as noted above, in order to reduce the risk of COVID infection on tour, Odysseys Unlimited does encourage all travelers to wear a medical-grade mask when indoors and onboard motorcoaches.
Airlines may have their own mask regulations and guests should check their airline’s website to determine if masks must be worn on board and, if so, which grade of mask is required for their flight. Please note that airlines may not be able to provide passengers with masks on site and may deny boarding to any passenger without a mask that meets their requirements.
Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the tour
On tours that utilize headsets (“Whispers”), your individual headset will be thoroughly sanitized prior to the tour and sanitizer will be provided to allow for regular cleaning
Guests who develop cold or flu symptoms while on tour will be required to immediately seek professional medical care
Any guest who tests positive for COVID-19 while on tour will be required to isolate and may only re-join the group once a minimum of 5 days have passed and the guest has been able to produce a negative COVID-19 antigen test
Your Tour Director
To ensure proper leadership for the duration of your tour, each tour director will be required to adhere to the following protocols:
Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to the beginning of your tour
Be screened for good health, including mandated self-reporting of any symptoms of illness prior to joining our group
Be fully trained in Odysseys’ health and safety protocols to follow for the duration of the tour
Provide 24-hour availability to all guests on tour, as always
Assess local conditions and be prepared to alter the itinerary if deemed necessary
Motorcoaches and Safari Vehicles
All transportation vehicles will be cleaned and all surfaces sanitized regularly throughout the tour, and drivers will have hand sanitizer available for guests.
Accommodations and Local Restaurants
While specific protocols may vary by destination, we will utilize only those establishments that commit to maintaining a high level of cleanliness and sanitation.
In order to provide a safe travel experience for our guests, we need your help, as well. Hand hygiene, the wearing of face coverings when appropriate, and monitoring your own health symptoms will go a long way toward creating a healthy environment on tour.