Traveling Safely During COVID-19

Updated March 22, 2022

 

At GEEO, our goal is to provide educators and their guests the opportunity to see new places and experience exciting and unique adventures but to do so in a safe and responsible manner. Because COVID-19 remains a concern, we all need to be cautious and flexible. Since the summer of 2021, GEEO has been able to send nearly 300 people abroad with only about 1% of travelers reporting a COVID infection during or after their trip. We will continue to proceed carefully and adjust our plans as required to keep our travelers as safe as possible. The information below details how we intend to move forward with our programming while this pandemic is still a factor.

All GEEO participants are required to:

  1. Be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before departing and have written proof of vaccination.
  2. Comply with in-country safety requirements including testing, contact tracing, and masking.
  3. Follow your tour leader’s safety guidance once you join the GEEO group.

We also recommend that GEEO participants:

  1. Get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, if recommended by their primary healthcare professional. On 11/29/21, the CDC strengthened its recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are 18 years and older. We encourage you to talk to your doctor and schedule your booster shot as soon as possible, as boosters have been shown to increase protection against the Omicron variant. The GEEO team strongly agrees with leading health officials’ advice to get a booster shot so we can keep ourselves and our international friends as safe as possible.
  2. Wear a high-quality mask while in public in the weeks leading up to your trip and while traveling. Your GEEO group is your “bubble” while traveling abroad, so diligently masking before and during travel is very important. You can all keep one another safe by getting vaccinated and boosted and by wearing an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask in public settings. It’s a good idea to have at least one clean mask per day of travel. Our team enjoys ordering from Bonafide Masks. If you prefer an American-made mask, see Project N95.
  3. Stay informed about the pandemic through science-based sources such as Your Local Epidemiologist, Our World in Data, and the CDC.
  4. But also take breaks from the news and worrying about the pandemic to do something that fulfills you. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health!

We will determine which trips are possible to run using these parameters:

  1. Is it safe for our vaccinated travelers to travel to the location? This mostly comes down to the abundance of COVID-19 variants, the intensity of spread, health system capacity issues, and the vaccination rate in that location. Our team monitors updates from the CDC, receives up-to-date information from our international partners on the ground, and notifies our travelers of COVID-related requirements as their departure dates approach.
  2. Do our vaccinated travelers place locals in danger through the possibility of COVID-19 spread? While it’s impossible to completely eliminate risk, according to the CDC, getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself from severe disease and slow the spread of COVID-19. By requiring vaccination, travel insurance, and compliance with local safety guidelines, we minimize the possibility of our travelers burdening local healthcare systems.
  3. Are there entry or quarantine restrictions that would make it difficult or impossible to travel to the location for leisure travel? We keep track of all entry and exit requirements for each program and help our participants navigate travel in this “new normal.” Scroll down to find the relevant embassy websites with entry information for our current programs.
  4. Do we have at least six travelers who are vaccinated and committed to travel on this program? Let’s go, then!

Current Program Status

Please visit our trip status page. We have labeled each trip green, yellow, or red. The green trips are all expected to run, barring any new developments. The yellow trips have an issue that makes us less confident, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we think they will need to be canceled. The red trips are most likely going to be canceled.

Testing in the US and Abroad

  • Before traveling: You may be required to present a negative COVID-19 test to travel abroad. Scroll down to find the relevant US Embassy websites with entry information for our current programs. GEEO will also send you trip-specific requirements in the weeks leading up to your departure.
  • During travel: Please note that all airline passengers to the United States must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within one calendar day of travel. Our guides arrange for our travelers to get tested locally at their own expense. You may also bring your own monitored, FDA-approved at-home test, such as these tests from eMed, if you would like to have a backup option for the rare chance that tests become unavailable in your destination during your trip. If you are flying home via a country other than the US, please check their testing rules to make sure you are taking the right test to stay in compliance.
  • After travel: The CDC recommends that all travelers get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after travel. If you test positive upon your return home and are willing to inform GEEO, we kindly request that you tell us so that we can anonymously share that someone in the group tested positive. This contact tracing will help our travelers further reduce the spread of the virus upon their return home.

Postponing Your Trip

It is OK if you change your mind about traveling between the time of booking and 61 days before departure. You can cancel your booking, and your deposit will be put on file for future use. Cancelations 60 days or closer to departure will follow our regular cancelation policy. If we charge the final payment for a program but then need to suspend that program due to changing circumstances, those funds will not be refunded. Instead, those funds would be held as a travel credit and can be used towards future travel within the following 24 months.

New G Adventures Health and Safety Procedures

Our tour operator partner G Adventures has implemented new health and safety procedures that aim to keep you safe from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave, without taking away from having the time of your life. The policy will evolve as time goes on and as we continue to monitor local public health recommendations, but what won’t change is our commitment to keeping you safe as you explore our big, beautiful world.

The new policies are built around five pillars:

Smaller is better
Our groups have always been small (on average 12 travelers) to encourage connections, access places overlooked by larger groups, and give travelers plenty of personal space — even before physical distancing. We will continue to foster connections with newly created measures to keep everyone safe.

Our Tour Leaders
Our tour leaders are responsible for our travelers having the time of their lives, which includes keeping them safe and happy. With local knowledge, 24/7 support from our field staff around the globe, and new health and safety training, our tour leaders will continue to do everything they can to ensure that our travelers enjoy their adventure in whatever way makes them most comfortable.

Getting around
Whether on the road or the high seas, our private vehicles and boats will now feature daily assigned seating and undergo daily deep cleaning of all surfaces.  We will replace public transport on our itineraries with private transport when possible.

Sleep soundly
We have always selected our accommodation partners carefully, and now we are working with them to create new procedures to further protect our travelers’ health and safety. Because we travel in small groups, we stay at smaller hotels — which means fewer guests. Not only does this give travelers the opportunity to spend quality time together (with appropriate distancing), but they’ll come in contact with fewer people, too.

Good (and safe) eats
Food is half the reason we travel (let alone leave the house), so we know how crucial it is that our travelers feel safe whenever we stop for a meal. We will continue to only include eating experiences on tour where good hygiene is maintained and physical distancing can now be practiced.

The GEEO staff and board are committed to continuing to help teachers travel and bring the world to their classrooms for many years to come. Global education and compassion for our neighbors around the world are more important than ever, and we’re grateful for your dedication to our mission.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we all navigate this changing world. Feel free to reach out by email or call us at 1-877-600-0105 with any questions.


COVID-19 Information from United States Embassies Abroad: 2022 Program Destinations

Program Name Countries Visited U.S. Embassy COVID-19 Information
Spring 2022
Hiking the Azores 3/12/2022 Portugal https://pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Northern Sicily Italy https://it.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Jordan 4/9/2022 w/ UNC-Duke Jordan https://jo.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Costa Rica 4/16/2022 Costa Rica https://cr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Summer 2022
Jordan 6/24/2022 Jordan https://jo.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Central Europe 6/26/2022 Germany https://de.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Poland https://pl.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Czech Republic https://cz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-71/
Austria https://at.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Hungary https://hu.usembassy.gov/covid-19/
Egypt 6/26/2022 Egypt https://eg.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Galapagos 6/26/2022 Ecuador https://ec.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-ecu-2/
Iceland Iceland https://is.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Tanzania 6/28/2022 Tanzania https://tz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Scotland For Families 6/29/2022 United Kingdom https://uk.usembassy.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-information/
Vietnam/Cambodia Vietnam https://vn.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Cambodia https://kh.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Thailand https://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Heart of the Silk Road 7/2/22 w/ UPenn Uzbekistan https://uz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Kazakhstan https://kz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Kyrgyz Republic https://kg.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Tajikistan https://tj.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Israel Israel https://il.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Peru Peru https://pe.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Portugal 7/8/2022 Portugal https://pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Alaska United States (Alaska) https://covid19.alaska.gov/travelers/
Balkans Hungary https://hu.usembassy.gov/covid-19/
Serbia https://rs.usembassy.gov/serbia-covid-19-information/
Bosnia and Herzegovina https://ba.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Montenegro https://me.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Croatia https://hr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Southern Africa Zimbabwe https://zw.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/
Botswana https://bw.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Namibia https://na.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
South Africa https://za.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/
Budapest to Bulgaria Hungary https://hu.usembassy.gov/covid-19/
Romania https://ro.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Bulgaria https://bg.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Jordan 7/10/2022 Jordan https://jo.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Armenia and Georgia 7/15/2022 Armenia https://am.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Georgia https://ge.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-on-georgia/
Morocco 7/15/2022 w U Michigan Morocco https://ma.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Bangkok to Hanoi Thailand https://th.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Laos https://la.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Vietnam https://vn.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Costa Rica 7/16/2022 Costa Rica https://cr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Ireland w/ UT Austin Ireland https://ie.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Moorish Spain 7/16/2022 w/ UT Austin Spain https://es.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Greece Greece https://gr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Turkey Turkey https://tr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/
Maldives 7/19/2022 w/ UT Austin Maldives https://mv.usmission.gov/covid-19-information/
Baltics 7/24/2022 Lithuania https://lt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Latvia https://lv.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Estonia https://ee.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Finland https://fi.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Galapagos 7/24/2022 Ecuador https://ec.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-ecu-2/
Scotland 7/24/2022 United Kingdom https://uk.usembassy.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-information/
India and Nepal 7/28/2022 w/ UW-Madison India https://in.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Nepal https://np.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Egypt 7/31/2022 w/ Portland State Egypt https://eg.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Winter 2022
W Trek Chile https://cl.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Egypt 12/18/2022 Egypt https://eg.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Turkey 12/18/2022 Turkey https://tr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-2/
Portugal 12/18/2022 Portugal https://pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Iceland 12/19/2022 Iceland https://is.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Peru 12/21/2022 Peru https://pe.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Tanzania 12/21/2022 Tanzania https://tz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Caribbean Colombia Colombia https://co.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Chile and Argentina Chile https://cl.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Argentina https://ar.usembassy.gov/covid-19/
Hiking in Madeira Portugal https://pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Belize and Tikal Belize https://bz.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Guatemala https://gt.usembassy.gov/alert-covid-19-2/
Galapagos Islands 12/25/2022 Ecuador https://ec.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-ecu-2/
Iceland 12/26/2022 Iceland https://is.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Moorish Spain 12/26/2022 Spain https://es.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/
Egypt with LW5S Egypt https://eg.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/covid-19-information/
Peru Family Peru https://pe.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/