Traveling Safely During COVID-19

Updated August 17, 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. While the world is learning to live with COVID-19, the pandemic and period outbreaks remain a concern, and we all need to be cautious and flexible. 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 up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations before departing.
  2. Comply with in-country safety requirements including testing and masking where required.
  3. Follow your tour leader’s safety guidance once you join the GEEO group.

We also recommend that GEEO participants:

  1. Purchase trip cancelation insurance. While all our participants are required to have medical travel insurance, trip cancelation insurance is optional and can be purchased for an additional fee. Spending a bit extra on cancelation insurance is very much worth it if you happen to test positive for COVID before or during your travels! Our preferred travel insurance provider, Volunteer Card, offers trip cancelation insurance for 5% of the amount that you want to cover. For example, if you want to cover $2,000 of your trip expenses with cancelation insurance, that would cost $100. With the uncertainty of travel during a pandemic, we highly recommend taking this extra step!
  2. Take extra caution to prevent illness before and during your trip. This includes avoiding large crowds in the weeks leading up to your trip and/or wearing a high-quality mask while in public. Your GEEO group is your “bubble” while traveling abroad, so being diligent before and during travel is very important. You can all keep one another safe by getting staying up to date on your vaccines and by wearing an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask in public settings where physical distancing is not possible. 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. Test yourself if you develop symptoms before, during, and after traveling. While your symptoms might seem like allergies, it’s important that you’re vigilant for your own health and that of your fellow travelers.
  4. Stay informed about the pandemic through science-based sources such as Your Local Epidemiologist, Our World in Data, and the CDC.
  5. 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. 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.
  3. Do we have at least six travelers who are vaccinated and committed to travel on this program? Let’s go, then!

Testing in the US and Abroad

  • Before traveling: There are still a handful of countries that require a negative COVID-19 test to enter. 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: Americans no longer need to test for COVID in order to travel back to the US. If this rule changes, our guides will arrange for our travelers to get tested locally at their own expense.
  • 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 okay 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/