Updated February 10, 2021
How is Walking Tree handling travel in these uncertain times?
Looking ahead to summer 2021, we grow progressively more optimistic about the ability to run all programs as scheduled. While there will be adjustments we all have to make to travel as safely as possible, we are confident this summer will be a special one when we are all reminded of the crucial role that connecting to new people and places has in our lives.
Walking Tree will continue to be flexible and we ask for the same from our students and families as we all do our best to navigate this travel season like no other.
Below are new protocols and expectations participants should expect while traveling. We are in regular contact with our staff and partners around the world as we plan for the summer and think of new and creative ways to offer the same genuine experiences while never compromising our communal wellbeing. We will continue following CDC, WHO and local health institutions for best practices in keeping our travelers as safe and healthy as possible.
- At this time we expect all travelers will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of a vaccine within 72-96 hours of travel.
- Wearing face masks in public, when in close proximity to others who are not part of our group, and any time as mandated by local requirement or by Walking Tree.
- Daily temperature and wellness checks.
- Strict adherence to hand washing and personal hygiene.
- Testing while on the program and the possibility of isolation and or quarantine.
- Disinfecting procedures for private lodging and transportation.
- Much to our dismay, homestays may be cancelled this summer. A review is ongoing.
- Behavioral expectations and guidelines that participants will be expected to adhere to.
- Adapting programming to mitigate risk, such as shifting activities and meals outdoors when feasible.
Could my program be cancelled?
Yes, but as the global situation evolves and vaccination campaigns gain momentum we are optimistic that most, if not all of our destinations will be available for travel by summer 2021. Locations such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Peru and Ecuador are already open to visitors and we are closely monitoring all locations where trips are set to travel this summer. If your trip is cancelled due to COVID-19, you may travel on the same program at a later date or receive a refund.
What is your refund policy in light of the pandemic?
If you enrolled after September 15, 2020, the entire program tuition is refundable up until 120 days prior to travel. Between 120 and 60 days of travel, only the $500 deposit is non-refundable. Within 60 days no refund will be possible. If airfare has already been purchased in your name then you will have a corresponding credit with the airline.
What if I or someone in my group gets COVID-19 on the trip?
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 on the trip, we will be subject to the health requirements of the country we are in. Generally speaking, this should mean a quarantine for a pre-determined period of time until a negative test result clears the student to return to the group or travel home. More often than not, this means staying in a hotel room. Walking Tree would provide support in this process while the other travelers in the group would need to be tested and cleared before resuming the program.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Yes, and we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing coverage that includes Trip Cancellation insurance, though it is not required. Walking Tree partners with industry-leader Travel Insured International who offers a policy, including Cancel For Any Reason coverage. You can see more here.
What can I expect as my program approaches?
We will be in close contact with enrolled families as the departure for your program draws near. You can expect a formal pre-departure meeting when we'll gather (remotely) to discuss the program in detail and allow time for questions. Please also feel free to give us a call, we are always happy to hear from families directly!