Your Health & Safety
Omicron Variant Update (January 6, 2022): We are actively monitoring the Omicron variant’s impact on travel restrictions. Our Travel Specialists are assisting travelers whose trips are effected. As the scientific community learns more about this variant, we will continue to work with our teams in destination to adjust our tours/departures where necessary. The majority of the destinations our tours visit are still open and we will continue to operate, leveraging our stringent safety and security protocols.
How We’re Protecting You
Protecting the health and safety of our travelers has been our highest priority since the beginning. We've enhanced our protocols for every package to meet the new challenges of the pandemic. These are our commitments to you:
- Our team in the U.S. and in each destination keeps close tabs on current conditions, including consulting with all applicable governmental agencies. We won't operate any tour or package unless we're confident that we can keep you safe and healthy and provide a high-quality experience. If we decide that it's best to not operate your trip, or are unable due to travel restrictions, we will work with you to modify your travel plans with no fees or penalties.
- We've lowered deposits and implemented new Carefree Booking policies on most packages that allow you to book with confidence, knowing you can modify your departure date or destination or even cancel if you don't feel comfortable traveling.†
- On our group tours, we have decreased the size of our groups to provide additional spacing.
- We have redesigned many aspects of our itineraries to avoid large gatherings and crowded spaces, and tried to schedule visits to popular sites during off-peak times.
- On our motor coaches, you will have assigned seating on each coach throughout your itinerary.
- All vehicle surfaces are cleaned and sanitized each day.
- All restaurants serve plated meals instead of offering buffets.
- All rooms and cabins are sanitized and deep-cleaned prior to check-in, and housekeeping staff wear masks and gloves.
- Our tour staff wear face masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment and regularly wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer. All porters, drivers, hotel staff, and tour representatives will wear a face mask and gloves when handling your luggage.
- All travelers will be required to wear face masks while touring public places, particularly indoors, and on our motor coaches. While you should bring your own face masks and hand sanitizer, we will have limited quantities of both available.
- On itineraries with tour guide listening systems (headsets), the headset are sterilized and sanitized, and you will use the same one throughout your trip.
- For the safety of you and others, including local populations, and to comply with local regulations, closures, or other unexpected circumstances, we may adjust your itinerary before or during travel. If it is necessary to omit certain sites or experiences, we will do our best to substitute other, similarly rewarding ones.
- If you or any other traveler exhibits symptoms of illness, we will promptly seek a medical evaluation and assess whether any travelers should be isolated from the group.
- In the unlikely event that something happens while you're on tour that might interrupt your trip or put you at risk—we've got your back. Rest assured that we'll get you home as quickly and safely as possible, working with our partners and the authorities and using all of our resources and expertise.
What You Can Do
Together we can stay safe and healthy! To make sure your travel experience is exciting, enjoyable and safe, we need your help.
You'll be responsible for complying with all entry requirements for your destination(s), which now often include one or both of the following:
- Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to departure
- A negative PCR test result, taken within 72 hours prior to the start of the tour
- Wear a face mask in public places wherever possible, including in airports and on airplanes and motor coaches. We strongly recommend you bring your own supply of face masks and hand sanitizer.
- Do your best to minimize your contact with people outside your household for two weeks prior to departure, to minimize your chances of becoming ill.
- If you're not feeling well or are exhibiting symptoms of any illness, please do not travel unless your doctor says that it's okay. (If you have a fever, many airlines, airports, and/or customs officials may prevent your boarding or entry.)
- While on tour, please defer to your tour leader, guide or manager. They are there for your safety and wellbeing, and to ensure the journey goes smoothly for everyone, and know the local customs & regulations.
- Be flexible and open-minded! While most itineraries operate as scheduled, international travel is always a bit unpredictable, especially now. On the off chance that it is necessary to adjust your itinerary, you'll enjoy your trip much more if you roll with the punches.
- To protect against the unexpected, purchase a travel protection plan to protect you and your travel investment, including coverage for emergency medical coverage abroad.
Due to the changing landscape regarding COVID-19, we are still suspending some departures to some destinations. If you are booked on one of these departures, our travel specialists will contact you to help reschedule your trip for a future date, with no fees or penalties assessed by Friendly Planet. If you prefer to cancel, we can issue a refund, minus a $99 future travel credit (and any premiums paid for our travel protection plan).† If we haven't been able to reach you, please contact us.