COVID 19 UPDATES FOR TOURS TRANSFERRING FROM 2020 – 2021
Below we have endeavoured to answer some frequently asked questions in relation to your retreats and tours that were booked for 2020 prior to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The Vibrant Women team is closely monitoring the global COVID-19 situation, following local and international travel advisories and adjusting upcoming tours to suit. It’s a complex situation which is evolving on a daily basis, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We’re working through all upcoming tours on a case-by-case basis. We are updating and adding to this page on a regular basis as we receive more information.
Can I receive a refund on deposits paid for 2020 tours that have now been postponed to 2021 or 2022?
Please watch the video below which explains why we are unable to offer refunds for tours booked for 2020 which have been postponed to 2021. At this stage our third party providers are only offering postponement, (and in some cases not even this). Please contact us if you have further questions relating to this.
What if I can’t travel on the new dates provided for my tour?
Please watch the video above first and then contact email@example.com if you have more questions.
What about monies I have paid for these tours in addition to my non-refundable, non-trasferrable deposit?
Any monies paid in addition to your deposit are refundable and subject to our cancellation policy.
“Up until 90 days before the start of the tour a $750 non-refundable, non transferable deposit will be retained. For between 90 days and 60 days, 50% will be forfeited in addition to the non-refundable, non transferable deposit. For less than 60 days or for no shows the entire amount will be retained as we would have already had to pay for accommodation, transport, flights and activities, and this money will not be returned to us. Once the tour has commenced no monies will be returned to you. This is why travel insurance is compulsory.”
Does Vibrant Women receive a comission from other service providers when booking my tour?
Vibrant Women is not a travel agent, we are a tour operator, and as such we do not receive any commissions on any services we book. We create tailor made, small group travel experiences for women. Also due to the size of our groups, we do not receive any discounts on accommodation, transport or flights. We would require almost double the size of our groups to benefit from large group discounts.
When will we be able to travel again?
We take travel advice from the Australian Government, https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/ we use their advice level to inform our decisions. Many countries we visit already have a Level 2 or 3 warning risk which has nothing to do with COVID 19, but relates to other issues the government might be concerned about.
What does ‘advice level’ mean?
The government assigns each destination an official advice level of 1, 2, 3 or 4. These levels reflect the risk for average Australian travellers to this country. For each level, they provide advice to help Australians avoid or reduce the risks.
A higher advice level means higher risk. The levels are:
- Level 1 – Exercise normal safety precautions
- Level 2 – Exercise a high degree of caution
- Level 3 – Reconsider your need to travel
- Level 4 – Do not travel
Unless the travel advice is at level 4 – Do not travel our tours proceed.
What is going to happen with my already purchased travel insurance or future travel insurance policies in relation to COVID 19.
The travel insurer we use Travel with Jane has said they are working with their underwriters to make some new inclusions around COVID 19 but really I think that is going to be very tricky to cover in the future. They said they will have more details soon. Of course all travel insurance providers will be looking at this. There are also different levels of travel insurance, some people take the most basic and some the most comprehensive, some people have pre-existing illness which may now complicate things, but really this is a discussion you can have with your travel insurance provider as they would know best or can keep you informed. Of course you would still require travel insurance for other eventuations unrelated to Covid 19.
As you had already booked your tour some time ago before the Corona cut off so as to speak you may eligible for some compensation as per your exiting policy. I have put the travel advice from our travel insurance provider below, of course each travel insurance provider has their own policies:
Coronavirus Travel Alert – Travel with Jane
The Coronavirus outbreak has continued to develop and we want to ensure you understand how it effects your travel insurance.
If you are buying a new policy today, you will not be covered for any events related to Coronavirus.
If you bought your policy before 12:00am AEST on 20th January 2020, you may be covered as per the benefits of your specific PDS. We only cover cancellations if the destinations you are travelling to have been assigned a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory warning by the Australian Government in their website https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/. We do not cover cancellation for change or mind or fear.
If you bought your policy after 12:00am AEST on 20th January 2020 and before 4:00pm AEST on 31st January 2020, you may be covered for claims directly related to travel delays as a result of quarantines at major airports directly related to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Please be aware our policies only cover connecting flights where the stopover was originally scheduled on your itinerary for more than 6 hours.
If you bought your policy prior to 27 June 2019 and you have the Travel with Jane AMT, Lite or Luxe product – there is an general pandemic/epidemic exclusion and no cover is available for anything related to corona virus. This includes cancellation and medical cover.
If you bought your policy before 12:00am AEST on 20th January 2020, and your have the new Travel with Jane Saver, Basic, Comprehensive or Domestic cover (ie you purchased the policy after 27 June 2019 and your policy number starts with AG) you may be covered as per the benefits of your specific PDS. We only cover cancellations if the destinations you are travelling to have been assigned a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory warning by the Australian Government in their website https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/. We do not cover cancellation for change or mind or fear.
If you bought your policy after 4:00pm AEST on 31st January 2020, you will not be covered for claims related to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It would be expected the policy was entered into with awareness of the virus and its developments.
If you are looking to buy travel insurance now – your policy will not cover you for the coronavirus (medical or cancellation) – this is due to the fact that as of 20 January, the virus outbreak was widely publicised, and health and travel authorities had advised that travellers take all necessary precautions. Customers purchasing travel insurance post 20 January do so in the knowledge that travel may be impacted by Coronavirus.
Please read Travel with Janes detailed guide here:
They have also also written this travel guide:
Of course for future travels you will need to discuss with your travel insurance provider what you will be covered for in terms of COVID 19 and decide then what the risks may be.
Why wasn’t a pandemic mentioned in your cancellation policy?
Pandemics, (although when writing this 8 years ago I thought I was being very ridiculous!) are covered on our “Retreat Risks, Cancellations and Insurance Terms and Conditions” page. It is a requirement when booking for a tour or retreat, on the booking form you must tick that you have read the, “Terms and Conditions” with a link to this page HERE, that states “Vibrant Women and Tammie Day, shall not be responsible for any injuries, losses or damages in connection with accommodations, other facilities at the accommodation, ground transportation, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, political issues, terrorism, Acts of God, delays, pandemics, changes or cancellation of travel due to weather conditions, accidents or health related problems during a retreat or tour and while in-transit to (e.g., an accident on the way to a tour), during, and after a tour, unless such injuries, losses or damages are due to the negligence or wilful misconduct of Vibrant Women or Tammie Day.” Plus a whole lot of other stuff I’m sure you didn’t read 🙁 I know we just don’t, but we might in the future! Regardless we always try to do refunds where we can or find another solution 🙂
Will I need to have a COVID 19 test before traveling?
Each arrival country will have its own requirements for entry. Details of this will be listed on the tour webpage and in the trip notes for you when we have them.
Will I need to have a COVID 19 vaccine?
Vaccines are a personal choice and of course you can have a lot of vaccines when travelling. Some people have all and some have none. I think we will have to wait on that one to see if even a vaccine can be created and distributed effectively and then you will know how long that vaccine has been in production for and its safety level in terms of side effects etc. And whether you wish to have that vaccine or not. If people have vaccines or do not affect our tours proceeding as we see it as a personal choice.
What will happen if I need medical assistance related to COVID 19 whilst overseas?
This is something you need to discuss with your travel insurance provider and which travel insurance providers are currently trying to figure out. Until we know we can travel again and under what circumstances ie vaccinated or not then we may not know exactly what will be covered.
What will happen if we are unable to travel in 2021?
Please watch the video above where I do talk about this and of course we can only speculate at this time. However if tours do not proceed in 2021 some of our providers who we have already paid monies to, may no longer be in business in 2022. We may be able to further postpone tours, we will have to see at the time. Credit notes at this time are also not that useful as you will not be wanting to swap to another overseas tour in 2021, this would be the same problem and as we don’t have any idea what will be available in 2022 we cannot make suggestions in regards to this. We will have to stay in touch in regards to this and update as more information and options become available.
We are doing our best to provide, honest, transparent and helpful information to our guests.
Please contact us if you have a question this factsheet has not answered.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit:
Australian Federation of Travel Agents
World Health Organisation (WHO)