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COVID-19 Travel Questions

The world of travel can be a little bit confusing right now, so we imagine that you want to understand how things work before booking your tour. We are here to help you feel informed and confident by giving you relevant, up-to-date information. Below find our most frequently asked questions from guests. We will keep updating this page with fresh  information.

If you are traveling with Costsaver soon, the latest COVID-19 travel regulations, quarantine policies and border statuses can be found here.

How does testing, vaccinations and quarantine work

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Do I need the COVID-19 vaccination to travel with Costsaver?

All guests travelling with Costsaver 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 Costsaver 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.

How much time will be taken out of my holiday for required Covid testing?

We are working on arranging for testing to take place at the required time, and with minimal inconvenience if testing is still required. We will be facilitating testing as quickly as possible and you will be given full information on when and where testing will take place by your Travel Director once on tour. It is also important to note that any testing will be at the expense of the guest.

How will Costsaver assist with mandatory testing required pre, during and post travel?

As all airline policies and destinations have different entry requirements, the guest is responsible for organising any mandatory pre-travel testing.  During your Costsaver tour, your Travel Director will organise any required testing to impact your tour experience as little as possible. All testing on tour is at the expense of the guest. Any post-travel testing is again the responsibility of the guest.

How can I prove I have been vaccinated?

You will be asked to show an authentic COVID-19 vaccination certificate (electronic or paper showing date and time of the vaccination(s)), which is current and valid in the travel destination, with the final or booster dose given at least 15 days before the start of your tour, to your Travel Director upon arrival and before joining the tour. We recommend taking a picture of any paper vaccination certificates in case of loss of the original. Certain destinations may also require you to fill out additional forms online; for more information visit CostsaverTour.com/sherpa and select the destination you are visiting.

If someone in my group tests positive for Covid-19, who pays for the quarantine in a hotel and the associated additional expenses like food, etc?

If you or a guest tests positive during a trip, your Travel Director will follow a specially-designed protocol as follows:
- First, they will notify the local health department of the country you are in (together with our Operations and Guest Support teams) to initiate contact tracing for the locations your tour has visited.
- Then, they will work to establish who in the tour group may have been exposed (close contact), check them for symptoms and initiate further testing. 
- Guests who are identified as being (potentially) positive will be separated from the group and referred for additional medical services. The local health department may require quarantine. Our Guest Support Team would stay in touch with these guests at all times until they are able to resume travel or return home. 
- Those who are cleared as fit-to-travel by a health care professional may rejoin the group. 
- Fully vaccinated people without symptoms and those who have recently recovered (without new symptoms) do not need to be tested in most destinations (some countries may have different requirements)

Costsaver highly recommends you obtain travel insurance to cover situations such as quarantine. Unexpected events can happen when you travel, like an accident or illness during your trip (such as Covid-19), which can bring additional personal risks and costs. We offer several insurance plans, or you can choose to buy travel insurance form another provider. If you choose the latter, please be sure you are covered for the complete dates of your tour and please validate that you have the appropriate level of coverage in the currency for your country of origin, in the following categories: Trip Interruption (to cover the cost of your trip, including air); Trip Delay; Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation; Medical Expenses from Illness (covering individual or pandemic event); etc.

I am vaccinated, do I still need to comply with testing?

It depends on the airline you travel with. You may need to present proof of vaccination and/or testing. Likewise, the destination you are travelling to might have specific rules or requirements regarding the vaccine and/or testing.

Is there a specific brand of vaccine I need to take in order to be considered vaccinated by Costsaver, or in a specific destination?

We do not mandate any particular brand of vaccine or order to travel with Costsaver. However, it is important to check the entry requirements of the destination you are visiting, to ensure that the brand of vaccine or booster you do have is valid in that destination.

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

In terms of travelling with Costsaver, 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. 

Will there be any mid-tour testing on longer or multi-country trips?

Your 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  will clearly communicate what is required and what you need to do while you are on tour.

How can I prove that I have tested negative?

For trips departing up until at least December 31, 2022, guests are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. You will be asked by your Travel Director to show your COVID-19 vaccination certificate before joining the tour, which is current and valid in the travel destination. 

Children who are not eligible for vaccination and/or booster at the time of travel, will need to show 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 this Costsaver trip departure until further notice.

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 your local government. In this situation, your Travel 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 make 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 does ’fully vaccinated’ actually mean?

Fully vaccinated means that it has been at least 15 days since you have received your second vaccination (in the case of vaccines including Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca) and this may include a booster shot to keep the vaccination status current and valid, depending on your travel destination. If you have received the Johnson&Johnson vaccine, this will be just one shot. In the future, this may also include any booster shots to keep the vaccine current and valid.

What tests do you accept to show that I have tested negative against COVID-19?

The airline you travel with, as well as the entry requirements of each destination will determine the test you are required to take. Please refer to the policies of your specific airline before you travel, and refer to the latest regulations via our Sherpa tool to better understand each country’s latest rules.

If I recently had an antibody test, do I still need to take a PCR test?

Yes. Antibody tests only reveal if you have had the virus in the past, they do not prove if you are currently infected or not. A negative result from a PCR test or your vaccination record will therefore need to be shown to your Travel Director.

Will everyone on my coach be tested?

All guests booked with Costsaver and travelling through December 31, 2022 are required to be fully vaccinated.

 

For all guests travelling after January 1, 2023 vaccinations are not required but highly recommended. Please note that regardless of time of travel guests will need to comply with specific vaccine and/or booster and testing requirements imposed by airlines and/or authorities in the destination visited, as well as requirements for accessing restaurants and venues.

What happens if I test positive on my pre-travel PCR test?

We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance for situations like this. If your pre-travel PCR test is positive, you should self-isolate and delay your travel as symptoms may continue to develop, or wait until you have fully recovered from COVID-19. Unfortunately you cannot join your tour with a positive PCR test and we suggest you call your local health department and health care provider for advice.

What if I forget my vaccine certificate or test result or lose it before checking in for my trip?

Guests travelling with Costsaver through at least December 31, 2022 are required to be fully vaccinated and must be able to show documented proof of vaccination, with the final dose given at least 15 days prior to the start of the tour to your Travel upon arrival. They will not be able to check you in until your vaccination status as been verified. We recommend saving a picture of your vaccination certificate on your smart phone as a backup option. 

Please note that guests will also need to comply with specific requirements imposed by airlines and/or authorities in the destination visited, which may be more restrictive than above.  

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

Will the Travel Director and Driver be vaccinated?

Yes. Our Travel Directors and Drivers will be fully vaccinated when you travel with them.

Will you require that children be tested on your tours?

For children not eligible for vaccination and/or booster at the time of travel, you will need to provide proof of 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 this Costsaver trip departure until further notice.

Is my money safe

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If I book my trip 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. Trafalgar is also a proud member of The Travel Corporation, who remain a stable and solvent company despite the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic, and we are also proud members of ABTA and ATOL.

Are The Travel Corporation (TTC) and Costsaver financially sound?

Costsaver 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 rebook for 2022 or 2023 and am still unable to travel then, 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). If you are unable to select a trip, you will receive a Travel Credit to be used on a future trip.

If I don’t want to travel by 31 Dec 2022, can I roll my Future Travel Credit over to a later date?

If you are unable to travel before 31 December 2022, please call us to discuss your options and we will review your request on a case by case basis.

What happens if I purchase a tour but the region or country I am due to visit still has restrictions, or my trip 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 decide to wait to choose another trip, you will be issued a Future Travel Credit which can be redeemed with Trafalgar or another TTC brand (Insight Vacations, 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 feel confident that we are a responsible and conscientious tour operator. We maintain a strong reputation for offering incredible value to our guests. While some tour inclusions may be subject to change or closures, where possible we will seek alternative solutions to make sure your tour experience is still incredible.

Some travel agents are advertising a money back guarantee. Do you also offer this?

Many agents and companies have different policies. Our policy has always been to offer our guests risk free and flexible booking conditions. With our policy you can change your trip and/or departure date up to 60 days before your trip is due to depart without incurring any fees. If you are unable to select a trip, you will receive a Travel Credit to be used on a future trip.

How will you take care of me

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How will Costsaver take care of my health and wellbeing?

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), our Travel Directors will always ensure that all protocols are adhered to, and who will provide support and guidance to our guests.

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

We adhere to government guidelines regarding our coaches. People travelling together will be seated together as a group. Face coverings, such as masks, will be required where mandated, otherwise guests can choose if they wish to wear face coverings on the coach. All surfaces will be disinfected multiple times per day, and our high performing air filters will completely filter and change the air within the coach every 2-3 minutes (faster than most hospital operating theatres).

Will your tours be operating at full capacity?

Our classic tours will be operating as normal, with our new wellbeing measures in place. 

Please note that the number of guests will always adhere to the local guidelines of the places we travel, and we will continue to adapt to regulation changes from health authorities and local governments.

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

Whatever style of group travel you choose, 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?

Whenever your Travel Director advises it is mandatory to do so you will need to wear a mask. You can also wear a mask as you please for your own peace of mind and assurance. Please note, some airlines and establishments may only accept single-use medical masks. All Costsaver groups will need to comply with local travel guidelines and rules, which your Travel Director will explain to you.

Will I be provided with PPE?

At all times extra masks, gloves and hand sanitiser will be freely available to all Costsaver guests. We suggest that all guests carry their own masks and any other PPE they need to feel confident and assured.

Will my trip get cancelled if someone on my tour 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 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.

Certain attractions will have crowds, how will you minimise contact with other travellers who are not part of our group?

Currently many attractions have reduced visitor numbers to allow for appropriate physical distancing and to avoid overcrowding. Should these measures not be in place, your Travel Director will ensure appropriate distancing is maintained.

In addition, one of the many benefits of travelling with [Brand] is that thanks to our networks around the world, we arrange priority access to many sites, so often you will visit iconic attractions with no one else around.

Will you be changing the period of time spent onboard the coach, or in between rest stops?

Taking into account new wellbeing protocols and distancing, it is possible there will be adjustments to the days’ timings and itinerary. Please have peace of mind that this will not take away from the enjoyment of your Costsaver tour. If we need to make amends to any planned activities or visits, we will always offer an alternative that is as good as, if not better, than the original.

Will I be given a listening device for walking tours and how will these be cleaned?

Each guest will be given their own personal VOX headset for the entire tour. These headsets are fully sanitised between each Costsaver tour and will arrive in a sealed package to ensure cleanliness. Each guest will also be provided with their own brand new set of earphones.

What happens if I am in a foreign country and that country then closes their borders due to an outbreak of COVID-19?

While you are travelling, should a country shut its borders due to an outbreak your Travel Director (with the help of our operations and guest support teams), will help every guest return home safely. If needed, they will organise extra hotel nights for guests who are not able to fly out the same day.

 

If you booked flights with us, we would be your airline contact and manage the process for you. If your flights were booked independently, we can help you book a one-way ticket home. On return you would need to reach out to your insurance company. Any fees incurred need to be paid by the guest while in destination.

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

To ensure the health and wellbeing of all our guests, your Travel Director is required to make sure all protocols are followed. This includes our enhanced screening and hygiene protocols, complying with distancing and other requirements set by government authorities. The Travel Director is also there to support you, answer your questions  and give you peace of mind while travelling.

How do I stay updated with what the country I am travelling to requires for my upcoming trip?

It is easy to check what travel restrictions and requirements are required at the destination you are travelling to by visiting our Travel Restrictions page.

Temporary mask requirement while aboard our US and Canada motorcoaches

Out of an abundance of caution for our guests, our on-road team members, and the communities we visit, we strongly recommend a mask is worn aboard our US and Canada motorcoaches. Our most important responsibility is our “duty of care” to our guests, not to one but to all and if in some way we are able to help protect all guests equally then we should. This action is being taken primarily in response to the highly infectious Omicron variants currently circulating including B.5, because of increased community transmission levels throughout the US and Canada, and based on feedback from our guests, Travel Directors and Well Being Directors.

 

There are several considerations leading to this decision:

 

While our guests are all fully vaccinated and health outcomes of COVID-19 infections are generally favorable as a result, federal and local isolation and quarantine guidelines still remain. This means guests testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate away from the group, and therefore in some cases end their vacation early.
We travel through national parks and visit communities in rural areas. This makes it particularly difficult for guests testing positive and having to isolate, since hotels, transfer and medical services are limited.
Many of our guests come from counties with spiking rates of highly transmissible COVID-19 variants. Since early May, there has been a more than 10-fold increase of US counties placed in “high transmission” status by the CDC.
The masking requirement follows federal in-door guidelines implemented by counties for airports, public transportation and the National Park Service for national parks.


Aside from the mask requirement aboard the coach, we also strongly encourage you to wear a mask indoors whenever not already required. This especially when you are in close proximity to others.

 

We appreciate your understanding and patience with this temporary measure. Your On-Road Team will do their best to make your trip as comfortable as possible, additional masks are available as needed.

Will I still have a good time

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

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 Costsaver 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 sights or inclusions are affected by closures while I am on tour?

Because you chose to travel with a guided touring company (and the world’s most loved one at that), our team is ready to manage these scenarios. We will change your itinerary while still ensuring that you have an unforgettable travel experience. You will be informed about any changes (if required) as soon as possible, and while on tour your Travel Director will keep you updated.

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

We have protocols in place to protect you, but we can assure you that you will still enjoy the same amazing Costsaver travel experience as before. Every single tour itinerary is expertly planned so you can travel with total ease, mixing must-see sites and authentic local experiences. All aspects of your tour will have been checked and approved by our local teams, and your Travel Director will be there with their personalised approach to look after you.

Will I be required to stay exclusively with the tour group and therefore not be able to plan experiences outside of the itinerary on my own?

How the tour operates will depend on the country or destination you are visiting. We expect most hotels, restaurants, sites, museums etc to be welcoming guests. Our operations teams and guest relations teams will be behind the scenes to change your itinerary as needed to make alternative options for sites, restaurants etc, so you still enjoy the same incredible Costsaver travel experience.

How will the buffet style breakfasts be arranged in light of Covid?

The breakfast set up will vary with each hotel but will always adhere to hygiene protocols and procedures. Some hotels will provide table service while others will provide served buffets. In all of the hotels we visit, you can be assured that hygiene protocols and procedures have been thoroughly vetted by our team to meet our high levels of satisfaction.

Will I need to wear a mask on my flight?

The mask policy depends on the individual airline you are flying with. We highly recommend you review the airline’s policies before flying to make sure you arrive prepared.

What are your solo and group travel options

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How do you accommodate single travellers, and do you have any special savings or offers for single travellers?

Solo travellers have two choices when they travel with Costsaver. Option one is to share a twin room with another traveller, or option two is to pay a single supplement rate if they wish to have their own room. Some departures offer discounted rates for solo travellers or waived single supplements - please visit our solo traveller deals page for more details.

Do you have small-group tours?

No, we do not offer small-group tours. 

When will you start tours again

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Will you be offering definite departures for tours in 2022?

Many of our 2022 dates are already definite departures. As more Costsaver guests continue to book, more dates will become a definite departure.

What extras can I book with you

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

Yes you can and our friendly team can help with booking flights. We have great contacts and rates with many airlines. Either request to add flights when booking online, or call one of our team to book your tour and let them know you also want flights.

When should I book my air travel?

As a tour operator, we cannot give advice on when you should book your air travel. If you decide to book flights with us please know that we offer competitive airfare rates with flexible rules. We allow you to book your airfare now and not pay in full until your tour payment is due. We recommend booking once you know your travel dates to secure the best fares and routes for your holiday. If you are booking airfares separately, make sure your trip is a guaranteed or definite departure before buying airfare tickets as Costsaver cannot be responsible for any change or cancellation fees for airfares not purchased as part of our travel package.