Coronavirus FAQ & Resources
Which countries are currently open for travel?
The International Air Transport Association is providing an interactive map of current restrictions by country, and we have also found an easy-to-view list of currently open countries that can be filtered by nationality. As these sites are compiled by non-government entities, make sure to always consult official government restrictions before planning your trip. Further information about restrictions can be found on the US State Department’s website.
Will travel insurance cover my trip if I cancel due to COVID-19?
In our experience, fear of travel and/or travel advisories are generally not covered reasons for trip cancellation by any major travel insurance provider. Our preferred travel protection provider is Travelex, and you can find their COVID-19 coverage information on the Travelex website. Another option, as noted by travel expert Wendy Perrin, is insurance that specifically lists pandemics as a covered cancellation reason. (Please note that the coverage Wendy mentions on her site has some significant limitations, and ExpeditionTrips has not personally vetted the policy.) For maximum coverage on your chosen policy, we suggest considering a 'Cancel For Any Reason' add-on that may reimburse for a portion of your covered trip cost if you cancel your trip for any reason (including COVID-19).
Further resources for travel insurance questions:
The Traveler’s Guide to Travel Insurance for Coronavirus
Travel Insurance & Coronavirus
Is it safe to fly?
According to health information published by the CDC, the cabin air environment is not conducive to the spread of most infectious diseases, as any recirculated air—which is mixed with outside air—is filtered 20-30 times per hour. Air is generally recirculated within defined zones, and newer planes are equipped with HEPA air filters. Many airlines are implementing additional health and safety protocols by limiting capacity, blocking certain seats, etc.; please visit your airline’s website for up-to-date information.
Should I book flights for my trip now, or wait?
Most airlines are now offering flexible rebooking/rescheduling policies. There is currently not much risk to booking flights, especially if you would accept a future travel credit (rather than a refund) if you reschedule your trip. As policies are subject to change, make sure to visit the airline’s website for the most up-to-date information prior to booking your flights. It is possible that availability could become limited as more people start to travel—especially since the number of flights operating could be reduced across many routes—so we suggest booking sooner rather than later if you are flying a route with limited daily flights or a smaller aircraft/limited seating in your preferred cabin class. However, since airlines are finalizing their schedules approximately 30 days prior to departure, please be aware that schedule changes are more likely to occur in the current travel climate than they were previously. We suggest adding buffer time in layover cities, and we do not recommend booking split tickets (separate tickets with more than one airline).
Cranky Concierge, a flight service provider, offers a helpful “Refund Hunter” service. For a nominal fee, they will work with the airline on your behalf to ascertain all available options if you must cancel your flights. Visit the Cranky Concierge website for more details.
What is the CDC’s guidance regarding travel aboard a small ship?
The CDC’s no sail order, outlined on April 15, applies only to ships that are under the jurisdiction of the United States and carry 250 or more individuals. Most of the ships we work with are smaller than this, and the smaller group size—paired with a wilderness-focused itinerary and updated safety protocols onboard—reduces guests’ chances of exposure.
Will I have to wear a mask on my trip? How will social distancing be handled?
Health and safety protocols are being implemented across the travel industry, yet they vary by operator. Please reach out to your Expedition Advisor for any available information specific to your trip and ship.
If I’m required to provide test results upon arrival at my destination, where can I get tested?
We recommend talking with your physician first, as they should be aware of the resources in your area. Otherwise, since access to COVID-19 testing varies widely across the United States, this interactive map can help you locate a testing site.
Additional Information and Resources:
Condé Nast Traveler: Coronavirus and Travel: Everything You Need to Know
The Points Guy: Coronavirus Updates
U.S. Passport Operations: Passport Operations in Response to COVID-19