The world of travel has changed dramatically in the last 18 months and understanding what the protocols of travel are currently – and in the future – requires Travel Directors and our partners worldwide to have up to the minute airline by airline and country by country information. From whether you’ll need to wear a face mask on holiday and whether prices will rise and which destinations will initially be the most popular. Travel Directors answer some of your most-asked questions about the return of travel.

Please see the below FAQ for COVID-19.

Will I need to have had a vaccination against COVID-19 to travel on your tours?

From 2022, most airlines and countries will require evidence of COVID-19 vaccination before travel and Travel Directors policy on this reflects that of our partner airlines, countries of destination, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Smart Traveller advice. Therefore, from 01 January 2022 all travellers embarking on one of our tours – both domestic and international – will require proof of vaccination with a digital copy of your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate or a certified paper copy

What COVID-19 vaccines will be required for travel?

We recognise all vaccines that have been approved by the country in which the vaccine has been administered as well as the countries which we visit. This list is subject to change as new vaccines and technology become available.

Is a COVID-19 PCR test required?

The simple and safe answer is yes. At this point in time, it is not a requirement of our tours, nor of travel insurance providers, but most airlines and destinations already require a recent negative COVID test, or even a live test on arrival and before returning to Australia. This should be no more than 72 hours from test collection to airline boarding. As the vaccination is rolled out, it is likely that having proven immunity will replace some of this testing. Together with our partners and ground operators, we are keeping very close to this as it develops and will update our travellers as things change. Our tour leader and ground crew will organise a COVID-19 PCR test before the tour ends and prior to your return to Australia. Individual passengers are responsible for any charges for testing and / or cancellation fees arising from passengers unable to provide the required evidence of vaccination. Some of our tour members may extend travel arrangements after completing a Travel Directors tour and therefore will be required to organise the COVID-19 PCR test within the last country visited before returning to Australia.

Can there be an exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination?

There are some rare circumstances where it is deemed medically unsafe for a person to receive a COVID vaccination, however proof would be required in written form from your medical practitioner.

What is Travel Directors COVID-19 policy for their suppliers, tour leaders and drivers?

We require that all our ground operators, local guides, and drivers must carry proof of confirmed vaccination status. We will exhaust all measures to ensure the wellbeing of our groups worldwide.

Is it a good thing to travel in a group?

Yes fundamentally! Group travel with fellow vaccinated travellers enables people to remain relatively safe within their existing bubbles. It will become one of the safest and most secure ways to explore the world, ensuring a peace of mind that is not always available with individual travel at this stage.

What happens in the unlikely event that a member of the group contracts COVID-19?

Travel Directors have a very experienced ground team in all countries that we operate in, and we would quickly expedite all medical care as soon as possible. As well, it would be a requirement for the group to subsequently undergo PCR tests. Although there are differing local regulations – which also will change – we would help and assist our guests through the protocols and provide the necessary support. Note that all medical expenses such as treatment or isolation requirements will need to be covered by yourself.

Will I be able to get travel insurance for COVID-19 and is it mandatory?

Travel insurance for our international tours has always been mandatory. New insurance policies are being created to include COVID-19 related claims, increasing customer confidence.

Will I have to wear a mask on my tour?

Just like when you’re at home, there will be certain situations in which masks are recommended, advised or required – for example on flights and proceeding through customs and immigration. Prior to departure we will advise the latest local regulations of the countries that we are visiting. Many things are in a state of flux as we head into 2022, so we will continue updating our COVID-19 entry requirements to ensure you have the latest advice and that you can book and travel with confidence.

Will physical distancing be required on tour?

Travel Directors always adhere to the particular government regulations at local establishments and sightseeing attractions, museums etc. Although Travel Directors itineraries have always been designed to avoid crowds and often with our own exclusive opening times. As well, our large buses have usually meant that there is a vacant seat next to our members. Bus drivers are also aware of touch points such as handles and seat tops etc and these are fastidiously sanitized throughout the vehicle.

What if the FCDO changes its advice for the country I’m visiting?

Travel Directors expert team will be working hand in hand with international and local bodies and organisations to ensure we are up to date with the latest advice for all countries and destinations we visit.

Travel looks complicated, how can Travel Directors help us navigate it?

We are fully aware of the challenges posed by the reconnection of the world and ultimately the resurgence of international travel. Directors John Bescoby and Tony Evans – both currently based outside of Australia – have been travelling extensively throughout the last two years meeting and connecting with our vast global network. They know how the rules are continually changing on both an airline and country basis and information and communication – which has always been important – is now vital. Countries like Australia have introduced a logical ‘Australian Travel Declaration’ online which is also backed by an excellent app. Travel Directors will strive to eliminate much of this electronic angst by managing, where possible, our guests’ apps, visas and other paperwork – we will endeavour to simplify the complexity of travel in 2022.

Will tour prices rise after COVID-19?

It is difficult at this stage to predict how trip prices might be affected but some increase is possible. The Coronavirus pandemic and global travel restrictions will likely mean additional capacity constraints. Destinations that are pronounced safe and open to travel will see additional demand, while many countries will also see an increase in domestic tourism from residents. Some accommodations and boats might reduce their capacity to ensure safe distancing, and airline schedules may remain reduced, meaning flight capacity is lower. Then there are the usual uncertainties concerning foreign exchange rates.

Why Travel in 2022?

Travel is unlikely to be as it was before COVID until 2023, meaning that cities and epic sites will be less crowded, the skies will be bluer and quieter and there will be a dearth of tourists. While the tourism industry has suffered greatly, it has forced us all to slow down and appreciate the huge privilege that travel is. Travel is likely to become more conscious – people taking fewer, longer trips rather than lots of short breaks. Travellers will be more appreciative of the places and the people they meet and less impulsive with last-minute trips. Even more importantly, all our colleagues, friends and guides from around the world and Australia and especially our Perth office realise what wonderful jobs they have. We are all elated, excited, motivated and brimming with enthusiasm for the new post-Covid world of travel.

Do you have flexible booking conditions for 2022?

Although things are beginning to fall into line there is still some uncertainty because of changes to policies emanating from a myriad of sources. We completely understand the need for flexibility. If you need to change or even cancel your travel plans, we will endeavour to help and support you with little or no costs. Our team are currently working on updated terms and conditions.

Which government websites on COVID-19 can you recommend?