Covid 19: As the pandemic continues, I understand many of you have concerns and questions on how traveling will happen next year. Many things are unknown until it is closer to trip times. I can assure your health and safety is of utmost importance and all precautions will be taken before, during, and after trips. I will be monitoring the situation domestically and globally and make adjustments as needed.
WHAT HAVE I DONE? In the past few months, I have been spending a lot of time revamping Wanderlust Explorations to be prepared for 2021 and preparing for all of the new changes that are still uncertain as the world re-opens. I will be following any safety/health guidelines that are in place at the times of any trips and will communicate as such to the travelers.
I have changed the planning/booking process in order to figure the up front the impact to the travelers so there are no surprises. With each trip, deposits are non-refundable. This means I work to negotiate any non- refundable items to be within that guideline so the un recoverable is minimal to the traveler. Unfortunately, as a small business, like many others, I do not have the capital to cover expenses that occur whether trips happen or not. When I saw the devastating blow to the travel industry and small businesses including my own vendors have taken, I vowed I will continue to support those businesses in order to start helping them move forward too. To help further understand any traveler impact, my terms and conditions have been updated including the group airline policies so you can understand the approach taken once airline tickets are purchased and a contract fulfilled (which is usually 90 days prior to trip date). Also updated is booking changes, payments, and the process for situations like Covid 19.
NEW CHANGES TO THE WEBSITE: On each trip page there are new descriptions, an itinerary, packing/gear, weather, a fitness level, and some new pictures to really show you all that you can expect from the trip. Also new is an FAQ's page, updated terms and conditions, updated registration form/process, and a membership page.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS: Deposits are non-refundable regardless if a trip is cancelled by me due to situations beyond my control (i.e. pandemic) or yourself. Why? Many costs regardless of a pandemic are non- refundable. Insurance does not allow you to recoup the costs from a pandemic. Travel for 2021 also has many stipulations from business owners explaining the same policies since many are also recouping from significant hardships in 2020. I have changed my booking practices to ensure as minimal amount is booked up front with un recoverable costs. However, many items in 2021 are limited in demand like permits and tickets that must be booked to secure the group in advance.
Airline tickets: the percentage of your trip package spent on airlines once the tickets have been fully purchased must follow the contracted guidelines if the airline cancels the trip. Airlines must cancel the flights in order for refunds to be processed. So if a trip is cancelled due to the airlines will not fly I must wait until that is resolved to issue that part of a refund.
Barring any significant changes the trip would be refundable minus deposits if the trip is cancelled by Wanderlust Explorations due to forces beyond my control.
CANCELLATION BY YOU: While we will do everything we can to mitigate risk, there is always a risk associated with travelling that must be accepted. If you cancel for any reason there is a cancellation policy listed on the bottom of each trip page. This outlines the timeline that you can expect any money. Exceptions will be unable to be made. Travel insurance is required for all trips to help protect your invest. Many things are NOT covered due to covid-19 but typically if you fall ill or work takes away the fun there are some guidelines in your travel insurance to protect parts of your trip.
COMMUNICATION: I will continuously monitor the situation. I stay up to speed with all regulations and guidelines. If there are still temporary or permanent closures , itineraries will be adjusted. Any changes will be communicated to you so there is no disruption to trip plans. I communicate via email and the group chat on my mobile app to ensure you always have these communications to reference back to.
DURING THE TRIP: There may still be mask policies, restrictions, sanitizer, temperature checks and more. Please note I will follow all safety requirements and it will be expected of the travelers as well. I do not want to outline the formal plan until I know what 2021 will bring.
At the end of the day I am looking forward to 2021 with high hopes to have amazing experiences. I know that travel is an investment just as much for you as it is for me. I have been on the side in 2020 of personally losing thousands of dollars and I wanted to ensure you had clear guidelines of all of the the travel policies for Wanderlust Explorations prior to booking. Right now trips are refundable if cancelled by me minus deposits due to what I know when booking is already non-refundable from vendors. The timing of refunds depends on airlines and vendors and each trip group will be communicated with to understand timelines. In 2020 it was less than 3 weeks to receive refunds or trip credits. I look forward to some epic travels in 2021.