As we look expectantly toward adventures in 2021, we know you’ve all got questions. The world is looking a little different these days, and traveling ‘how-to’s have definitely changed right along with everything else. We’re getting lots of questions on what to do and how to do it when it comes to taking off next year and, for answers on the traveler side, things are still changing. Fortunately on the operator side, it’s a bit more firmed up.
Truly enjoyable adventures start with ‘safety first‘ (that’s not new, by the way). In order to make our trips wonderfully memorable moving forward, we’ve implemented additional protocols that will be followed on all trips with The Travel Yogi. We’re following recommendations set out by the WHO, CDC, ATTA, the world renowned Cleveland Clinic and the World Travel & Tourism Council. We’re also keeping tabs to make sure that we’re staying in line with the foreign government health protocols in our destination countries. Updates will shift and change, but we’re staying on top of it all.
If you’re considering traveling with us in 2021 but are feel a bit unsure, here are some of the protocols (old and new) that we’re implementing in the new year along with a couple tips to keep in mind when navigating airline and travel insurance bookings.
Keepin’ It Small
Small groups have always been our jam. We’ve always preferred intimate groups to the million-mat approach, no secret there. The unique experiences that we create cater to the small sizes that make appropriate distancing easier to maintain for everyone’s safety. A tried and true win-win.
New Yoga Mat Policy
On the trips where we supply the yoga mats, we’re making extra sanitization efforts in between departures and moving to a private-mat policy. This means that you claim a mat on day one and it is yours through the entire week. All of our mats are also from the Manduka PRO series, known for being the “cleanest mat ever” with a moisture-resistant surface that doesn’t absorb sweat and bacteria, as well as a “closed-cell material” that doesn’t harbor germs. Gross to read, awesome to know.
Sanitization is a big one and we’re sparing no expense here. Rooms, kitchens, and restaurants will be fully sanitized. The kitchen staff for catered meals will be wearing masks in accordance with local government requirements and all travelers will be required to wear a mask indoors (vaccine pending) – because we all know that sometimes distancing isn’t as easy. The exception to this is, of course, when dining, but we’ve taken extra measures there as well. When weather appropriate, we’ll be outside and have (many times) multiple seating options available and, in frostier locales, there’s ample room indoors to space out. All travelers will be required to bring their own masks and hand sanitizer, though sanitizer will be made available in most locations. Any solo/independent side excursions will also require you to uphold proper sanitization so come prepared!
Our vehicles are for our groups only. This means that the only people you’ll be exposed to when heading from point A to B is the group that you’ve been with all week – including the driver and the guide. We’re also using slightly larger vehicles to allow for extra space and keeping windows open when possible.
Airlines are each tackling in-cabin protocols a bit differently, so it will be paramount that travelers read all correspondence from their individual carrier(s). While masks are currently an in-air must, screening processes, in-cabin amenities and cabin sanitation varies between carriers. Cancellation and rescheduling policies also vary across the board, but they (finally!) are mostly in favor of the traveler, so read up and choose wisely. It’s no surprise that airlines were hit hard in 2020 so you can expect 2021, and possibly beyond, to be a honeymoon period between airlines and travelers. Let the woo-ing begin!
We have alllllllllways been big believers in travelers insurance (no one at The Travel Yogi travels without it), but now it’s on everyone’s mind in a big way…deservedly so. The straight up truth is that traveler’s insurance won’t cover you if borders are closed due to COVID-19 or if a trip is cancelled, but, it truly helps with lots of other unwelcome scenarios.
In our humble opinion, current world climate aside, insuring a big trip is just plain good sense. Life is never predictable (we’ve seen a thing or two!) and in the case of something unexpected, you’ll be grateful for the safety net. As we’ve all learned this year, things can change quickly! You can choose any travel insurance company you’d like, but due to their inclusion of coverage for some COVID related issues, World Nomads is our go-to.
We know that the choice to travel, especially this year, is a personal one. We take your trust seriously and are preparing for 2021 accordingly. Only you know what your comfort level is with traveling right now, but with knowledge, pending vaccines and lots of safety measures taken by all, we’re looking forward to seeing you on the mat down the road (soon)!