Thinking about taking a trip
Is it a good idea to make travel plans now?
Yes. We’re happy to help you make travel plans for 2021 and beyond with the confidence of knowing you can rearrange your trip up to 30 days before departure if needed. See our flexibility promise for more details.
Where can I go?
See our up-to-date list of destinations you can travel to now, and in the near future. Depending on the destination you wish to visit, our specialists can help you navigate health and safety questions and travel requirements and suggest a realistic departure timeframe to match your situation.
How does Audley determine if a country is safe to visit?
We have a dedicated team who decide when it’s a suitable time to send visitors to each destination. We’ll only declare a country open for travel once we’re satisfied that all entry requirements can be met, and appropriate safety and hygiene measures are in place. We also make certain that travel there will be enjoyable and fulfilling.
Our team bases their decision on a robust set of criteria that we constantly update and revise according to the latest medical advice. That criterion includes data and advice from the US and UK governments as well as the WHO; state and local protocols and restrictions; an analysis of entry requirements; and in-depth conversations with our partners on the ground to ensure that we’re happy with their hygiene and health procedures.
We also continually monitor these same factors to ensure that destinations continue to be safe and will reclose a destination if we deem it unsafe. That might be because of a rise in infections, a change in entry requirements, or onerous restrictions that would make your trip less satisfying.
When should I book flights?
You can, of course, book your own flights at any point. For maximum flexibility, we strongly suggest that you opt for fully refundable fares.
We’re also happy to book your flights for you. Due to the changeable travel landscape right now, we’ve found it’s best to book flights about 60 days before you’re due to depart. At that point, your specialist will call you to go over all the details of your trip, which will include flights and entry requirements.
Booking your trip with Audley
How do I use my Travel Credit to book a trip?
Your travel credit can be applied to the payment of a future trip to any Audley destination within the departure timeframe indicated.
To reserve a trip using your travel credit, an Audley specialist will help you design a custom itinerary (please note that your trip must include a minimum of five nights’ accommodation). When you’re ready to book the trip, your travel credit will be applied toward your trip deposit and final payment.
I have a travel credit how long is it valid for?
You can use your travel credit for departures up until December 31st, 2023.
When is your final balance due?
For 2021 departures, all final balance payment deadlines are due 45 days prior to departure, if you decide to travel.
What happens if I book a trip and something changes, such as if the destination requires quarantine or US travelers aren’t allowed in?
The situation continues to be very fluid right now and circumstances might change at the last minute. If you can’t visit your destination because entry is not allowed, quarantine has been introduced, or we believe your experience will be significantly impaired, we’ll contact you to discuss your options.
That might include postponing or cancelling your trip. If we have to cancel, you’ll receive a travel credit for the amount you’ve paid, minus any costs our suppliers are unable to refund. We’ll work with our suppliers to minimize these costs as much as possible.
I am due to travel in the future, but want to cancel or postpone now?
The current climate means that things can change at any point, so we recommend waiting until closer to your travel date before making any firm decisions. Your specialist will be in touch 60 days before your trip to take you through the options. You don’t need to do anything in the meantime, just be assured that we’ll be in touch at this time, and that your safety and well-being are always our priority.
Due to the unpredictable nature of travel right now, we’ve created a flexibility promise. This allows you to postpone your trip up to 30 days before departure without incurring any change fees. Instead, you’ll receive a travel credit that you can use on a trip before the end of 2023.
If I choose to travel, what happens then?
We can then help you arrange flights (if you’d like), discuss entry and exit requirements, ask you to sign any necessary waivers associated with your destination, and take the final balance payment.
What happens if I choose not to travel, do I still have to pay my final balance?
Your final balance is due 45 days before you depart. If you choose to cancel before that time, we won’t collect your final balance.
What happens if I’m visiting multiple countries on my trip, and some of the countries are closed for travel?
Given the evolving nature of travel right now, we’ll contact you prior to departure to discuss your options. In the current climate, multi-country trips are especially complex, and you and your specialist might decide to alter your trip to visit a single destination. Alternatively, you might choose to postpone your trip or, as a last resort, you can cancel the trip and receive a travel credit.
Preparing for your trip
Once I have booked my trip, what happens next?
Once you have made the decision to travel and paid your final balance, your specialist will call you to go over all the details of your trip. The call will include a comprehensive review of the most up-to-date information on your destination’s status as well as entry requirements and any local rules or restrictions, and any other special circumstances that you need to be aware of.
How do I keep informed about the status of the country I’m planning to visit?
The situation remains fluid and a country’s status can change at any time. Up-to-date information can be found on the State Department’s website, the CDC’s travel advisories, or can be viewed on third-party sites such as Sherpa. Your specialist will get in touch with you 60 days before your departure to discuss your trip — that’s when they’ll make you aware of any changes that may affect you.
Do I need to be vaccinated?
Based on the consensus of the CDC, State Department, and WHO, we strongly encourage everyone who can get vaccinated to do so before travel. Many countries, as well as local and city governments, require proof of vaccination before you can enter. Additionally, many sights, hotels, and restaurants may require proof of vaccination. Requirements will vary by destination and may change at any time — your specialist will share the most up-to-date information with you.
If you can’t get vaccinated and your destination requires you to be vaccinated, your specialist will discuss the options with regards to rearranging your trip.
What if I need to provide evidence of vaccination?
Evidence for proof of vaccination varies by country, but your specialist will keep you informed of the most up-to-date entry requirements with regards to vaccination as well as testing. They’ll also discuss the best format for proving your vaccination status.
What about testing requirements?
The testing requirements will vary depending on where you’re traveling to and from. Your specialist can provide you with further guidance specific to the region you’re visiting. Audley have partnered with a company that provides country entry testing services, more information can be found here.
You will also need to get tested before you return to the US. Your specialist will help you find a facility in the country you’re visiting that can provide the necessary test at the required time in preparation for your return home.
Your specialist will call you 60 days before you’re due to leave to discuss the specific tests that are required for your destination, including any additional requirements that may be in place due to any layovers.
What happens to my booking if I fail a Covid-19 test?
We always recommend having adequate travel protection and it’s more important now than ever before. Please examine your policy to make sure you have coverage in case you test positive for Covid-19 in the days leading up to your trip, because a positive test would prevent you from traveling and, in these circumstances, you would be liable for any costs associated with cancelling or postponing your trip.
A number of travel insurance companies now provide coverage for this eventuality, as well as in the event that you contract Covid-19 when you’re abroad. You can read our travel insurance advice and which company we recommend during the pandemic here. These are only suggestions, however, and you should speak to insurance providers directly about your personal requirements.
What’s it like to travel now?
What's it like to travel now?
Staff members and clients have consistently told us that traveling right now is different, obviously, but deeply enjoyable — in some cases, even better than before the pandemic. Even popular destinations are still largely empty and local people are thrilled to have visitors.
To get a better idea of what travel is like right now, you can read our blog article, which details some of our staff’s recent trips. That said, experiences vary based on where you’re going, so we suggest talking to a specialist to learn more about conditions in a specific country.
What can I expect at airports?
The safety measures in place at airports will vary between countries. In the US, you’ll be required to wear a face mask and will likely have your temperature checked on arrival. Sanitization stations will be available throughout the airport, and many airlines will ask you to check in for your flight online or via their app.
If you’re checking in at the airport, allow more time than usual. It’s also essential to follow the current Covid-19-testing requirements in your destination to ensure you’re able to board your flight. Your specialist will provide you with the latest details prior to your departure.
Layovers or stops in other countries may affect your ability to enter the country you’re visiting, even if you don’t leave the airport. Your specialist will help ensure you meet all the necessary entry requirements, or you can use this useful third-party tool Sherpa.
What kind of precautions can I expect while in country?
We work with our on-the-ground partners, including hotels, guides, and drivers, to ensure you’re met with the highest safety standards. We’ve asked our local partners to confirm they comply with all their government’s requirements for dealing with Covid-19, and where there’s no or limited national guidance, we’re helping our partners to undertake their own risk assessments and set best practices.
The health and safety precautions you may be required to take while traveling will vary depending on your particular destination. Most, if not all, destinations will observe social distancing and require you to wear a face mask in certain settings. Our specialists can advise you on the specific requirements for the destination you’re considering.
What if I get sick on my trip?
As always, your health and safety are our primary concern while you’re traveling. If you fall ill while you’re away, our partners and your dedicated specialist will be on hand to assist with the appropriate support, whether that’s directing you to medical care or helping you return home.
Before traveling, please ensure your travel insurance will cover you for any incurred medical costs should you contract Covid-19 while you’re away. Many insurance providers have updated their policies to cover this eventuality, but each policy will be different.
What if borders close while I’m abroad?
We maintain a close relationship with our local partners in each of our destinations and have ensured they have contingency plans in place to deal with any unforeseen changes. They’re there to help you explore, but also to offer any assistance you need during your trip.
If you’re encountering significant restrictions while you’re away, our partners and your specialist will make any required adjustments to your trip so it can continue as smoothly as possible. We have a dedicated team monitoring the situation in all our destinations to ensure we’re prepared for events that could affect your trip.
We can also assist in your return home should your trip need to be cut short. When the world first tumbled into lockdown, we helped more than 1,600 clients return home from around 50 countries as flights stopped and borders closed, staying in daily contact until we knew people were back home safely.