2021 COVID-19 Safety Adaptations
Many of us have spent 2020 on our mats in kitchens and living rooms connecting virtually with the communities that help us breathe through this uncertain year. I’m sure that, like me, plenty of you have also been cursing the dust-bunnies on your floor during savasana and daydream-ily visualizing Kenyan savannas, French vistas and other wanderlust imaginings.
Intelligently planning a 2021 escape requires the understanding that COVID-19 is now a part of our everyday lives. Whether we’re out running an errand or planning an adventure, our daily choices are all about mitigating risk. Our updated procedures, in concert with our international teams and country specific requirements, are actions designed to enhance safety and sanitation across our map. Our expectations that travelers’ maintain updated health and hygiene standards is implicit in each departure.
The team at The Travel Yogi is here to answer questions. Our policies will shift and change in accordance with international governments and best practices so that you can focus on the sheer enjoyment of adventuring. We are following recommendations set out by the WHO, the CDC, the ATTA and the world renowned Cleveland Clinic and the World Travel & Tourism Council, as well as foreign governments and health equivalents that set protocols for their country’s safety. Your decision to travel will be a personal one and our procedures are designed to assure you of the steps we are taking to promote healthy and safe adventures.
1. Small Groups Have Always Been Our Jam
No change here. The Travel Yogi has always preferred intimate groups to the million-mat approach. While the locations in which we adventure can host/handle big groups, the unique experiences we create to sink into the culture and nature of a destination cannot. We’ve believed in the power of small group connections from the beginning and now that small size plays easily into appropriate distancing.
2. Flexible 2021 Booking Policy
We all want to get out there in 2021… we’re dreaming, planning and crossing our fingers. But, since there are still some unknowns, we’re augmenting our booking policy for 2021. Here’s the good stuff:
- Deposits remain non-refundable except in the event of border closures due to COVID-19. If you place a deposit for a trip in 2021 and it needs to be delayed due to a border closure prior to the final payment date, we will offer you a full refund of your deposit or the option to move your deposit to any other trip in 2021 or 2022.
- Once past the final payment deadline, if a trip needs to be delayed due to a COVID-19 border closure, the trip and all of your funds will be moved to an alternative date.
Every booking should be accompanied with anticipation, laughter and excitement. These no-loss COVID policies for 2021 should bring the travel-happy back.
3. Yoga Mat Policy
Where we supply the yoga mats our local teams will be disinfecting the mats prior to each departure. We are also moving to a private-mat policy in these locations. Names will be stickered to the mat you use on day one to assure that it is your mat throughout the week. Sanitizer will be available in most locations and bathroom facilities always near-by for pre/post class hand washing. In certain locations we’ve even recycled our old mats and replaced them with new mats for 2021.
All mats provided by The Travel Yogi are Manduka PRO series mats. These have been our mats of choice for years for their cleanliness and ease of disinfecting. Manduka states that this series is their “cleanest mat ever” with a moisture resistant-surface that won’t absorb sweat and bacteria and a ‘closed-cell material’ that won’t harbor germs.
4. Open Air & Out In Nature
Our days have always been out-and-adventuring and our yoga spaces are now accommodating as much fresh air circulation as the location allows (ie we don’t want to freeze you all out in Iceland!). Our immersions into nature are much as before as our small group sizes and off-the-beaten-path wanderings already fall in line with new safety protocols. Cultural immersions will follow local guidelines for sanitation and mask-wearing. Social distancing will be practiced with any indoor cultural activity.
5. Mindful Health & Sanitation
Much of the sanitation process in rooms, kitchens and restaurants will happen prior to your arrival, but rest assured, it is all being done. Kitchen staff for catered meals and at partner restaurants will be wearing masks in accordance with local government requirements and all travelers will be required to wear masks in indoor settings when distancing is not possible. We ask that all travelers bring two to three masks depending on the length of the adventure and their own hand sanitizer. Sanitizer will be available in most locations but travelers will need their own supply for flying to and from a trip as well as when exploring on their own.
All travelers are required to report any adverse health symptoms immediately. Our teachers, guides and managers are there to help with any needed medical attention and quarantine. Travelers are required to contact The Travel Yogi with any adverse symptoms 10 days prior to departure. Anyone arriving with a temperature greater than or equal to 100*F will not be able to join the group and anyone experiencing symptoms during a trip will be quarantined and will need a doctor’s approval before rejoining the group. Travelers agree to maintaining and follow our enhanced sanitation standards for the overall health and wellbeing of all.
6. Private Transports
As always, when out on the road as a group our vehicles are private for our groups. This means the only people you’ll be exposed to when going from point A to B is the group you’ve been with all week, the driver and the guide. In all cases where possible, the driver and guide will be the same on each excursion and everyone on board will be required to wear a mask. Vehicles will be slightly larger to accommodate distancing and, where possible, windows will be open. When the trip includes a flight on a commercial airline we will follow and communicate the guidelines of the airline.
7. The Choice Is Yours…
We have always said that our adventures are your adventures; do exactly as much or as little as you’d like! If you prefer to skip a yoga class and have an extra cuppa or maybe a cervesa as the sunsets, please do. Travelers are welcome, this year more than ever, to choose-your-own-adventure each day. Our itineraries are built to deliver unforgettable memories, but you’ll only enjoy doing things you want to do. When you want to kick back and relax your own way, you’re welcome to do so.
8. Roommates & Private Rooms
If you are traveling solo (welcome!) and would like a roommate we will do our best to match you, in locations where matching is allowed, and we will ensure that that is your roommate for the entire journey. If a roommate cannot be found, we will accommodate you in your own room at half the difference between the double and single occupancy rate of that trip. For example, if double occupancy is $2995 per person and single occupancy is $3695 per person, you would only be responsible for $350 (3695-2995/2) should a roommate not be found. We’re doing all we can to make the supplement manageable while still offering all the benefits of having your own room.
Of course single occupancy rooms are always available, but at a limited capacity. If a single room isn’t showing available on your desired departure please contact The Travel Yogi and we’ll do all we can to open an additional single room for you.
9. Friends & Family Only (Private Departures)
If you’re ready to head out on one of our adventures with your own friends and/or family, we can do that! We’ll hook you up with the same handcrafted and curated itinerary as our group departures as well as our vetted and amazing yoga instructors and off you go on a private yoga adventure. Easy peasy. Minimum group size is generally 8 people, depending on the adventure you choose. Contact The Travel Yogi with any questions; we’re here and happy to make this extra level of travel safety a reality.
You will know when you’re ready to head out on the road again and, until that day, we’re here to supply all of the very needed something-to-look-forward-to. Our mind/body connection necessity has never been more important and we trust and believe in the strong resurgence of not only travel, but the type of wellness travel that keeps your feet grounded and enables your heart to soar. We’re here and ready when you are…
Wishing you and yours health and adventure wherever you find it,
Jen & The Travel Yogi team