It’s been over a year since the pandemic put our lives on pause but that light at the end of the tunnel seems visible, at last. The world is starting to open up again, international travel is taking hold, and we couldn’t be any more excited if we tried!
But the question remains: is it safe to book yet? Yes, yes, and yes!
As we plan our next trips and start making up for all that time lost, it’s important we do so safely, and with as little stress as possible. That’s where Flexibility Promise and Contiki’s new protocols become key.
We know you have questions and concerns about post-COVID travel. That’s why we’re here to help. Below you’ll find all of the info you need to help plan your trip and put your worries at ease, and then get yourself ready for that perfect post-COVID escape.
Which trips are running globally?
We aim to keep our website as up-to-date as possible while tracking the global COVID situation in each of our regions. Our website lists all the departures that we plan to operate. Because the pandemic is causing almost weekly or daily changes to government-imposed restrictions, at times we have to make decisions on the operation of trips that are less consistent with our pre-COVID processes.
We intend to operate all dates listed online. However, if we cannot due to government restrictions, know that once you’ve put down your deposit you can change the date of your trip as many times as you like without penalty. That’s the benefit of our Flexibility Promise.
What is the Flexibility Promise?
Life happens, and we know it. Flexibility Promise makes booking a trip easy, secure, and flexible. It means that you can change your travel plans up to 30 days before your trip starts. You can choose new dates and/or a new destination without penalty, and your money is protected with Contiki. Plus, you have 24/7 support for any questions you may have.
How does my deposit work?
You only need a small deposit to secure a spot on your dream trip. Your deposit is always protected, so you can use it on another trip if you change your mind later.
FlexDeposit is a policy you automatically get once you’ve paid a deposit on any Contiki trip 7 days or longer. It means if you need to cancel for any reason, your deposit will remain secure until you’re ready to use it on new trip dates or on a different trip. This ensures your deposit isn’t lost if you can’t travel on your original trip as planned.
FlexDeposit can be used up until your 36th birthday, after which time it can then be used with any other travel brand within The Travel Corporation family of brands. It can also be gifted to a friend within 5 years of the original booking date.
Can I change my trip?
Changed your mind? Got your eyes set on a new destination or date? No worries – there are no fees to move your booking to another Contiki trip that’s more than 30 days in advance. You’ll only ever need to pay the difference in price for the re-booked trip, if applicable.
When do I need to pay for my trip?
Pay however works best for you. Once you pay your FlexDeposit, you can pay for the rest in as many installments as you like, interest-free. Wanna pay monthly? $5 per day? Or in 3 big chunks? It’s completely up to you. Just finish paying at least 45 days before your trip starts.
Can I get my money back if I need to cancel?
You can cancel or change your trip up to 30 days before your trip starts. Any differences in trip costs between your original and new trip will still apply, but there’s no fee for changing it.
If you cancel your trip up to 30 days before it starts, you can get your money back, excluding the deposit amount. Your FlexDeposit will remain attached to your profile and can be used to book a new trip whenever you’re ready, as per our FlexDeposit policy. If you cancel within 30 days of departure you will be liable to Contiki’s cancellation policy, which varies according to the trip that you have booked.
What if the trip is going ahead but I can't travel because of travel restrictions/ travel bans for my country?
If you realize you won’t be able to go on a trip, you have until 30 days prior to departure to change your trip and/or dates if you need to.
Will I get my money back if my trip is cancelled?
If Contiki cancels a trip due to government travel restrictions, a Future Travel Credit (FTC) to the value of funds paid to date, less any third-party costs incurred will be provided. This can be used towards another trip of your choice. All FTCs are valid for 24 months from date of issue.
Will I be able to do all the activities listed on the itinerary? Will the trip experience be the same as pre-COVID?
We’ll do all that we can to ensure you still have an unforgettable trip. As our world slowly returns to normality, it’s possible that certain events, activities, or experiences will no longer be available. We’ll make sure to update and keep you informed on any changes as soon as we hear of them.
Will I still have a good time despite these new protocols being in place?
Of course! The protocols we’ve put in place are there to protect you, but we can assure you that you’ll still have the same incredible Contiki experience. Every single trip we run is perfectly planned to ensure you can travel with total ease, combining the perfect blend of must-see sites and local experiences. Every aspect of your trip will have been vetted and approved by our local teams, and your Trip Manager will be on hand to ensure that you’re taken care of.
Will we still be able to party on my trip?
The definition of ‘party’ will take on a whole new meaning post-COVID… but Contiki will still be able to show you how to have fun within the guidelines of the city you’re in AND keep you safe. We do all the research here so you don’t have to!
Will I need a COVID vaccine to travel to another country with Contiki?
Vaccines are not mandatory for your Contiki trip, but they may be mandatory in the country you’re travelling to. You’ll need to comply with the requirements of the airline you’re flying with and/or the government of the country you’re visiting.
For us, any Contiki passengers will need to provide proof of one (1) of the following to their Trip Manager before joining the trip:
- Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose given at least 14 days before the trip starts
- Negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours before the trip starts
- Negative rapid antigen test, taken within 72 hours before the trip starts
Do I need to quarantine before joining a trip?
Different protocols are being followed for all countries at this moment. For up-to-date guidelines please check your trip using this tool.
How will Contiki take care of my health and well-being?
When you travel with us, rest assure that your health and well-being will be our top priority. As well as implementing a new 3-step hygiene and well-being protocol that has been endorsed by the World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC), our Trip Managers will always ensure that all protocols are adhered to, and provide support and guidance to you, our travellers.
What happens if someone on my trip is feeling sick?
Your Trip Manager is there to support you and all Contiki’s Trip Managers have now undergone COVID-19 protocol training. They’ll help ensure that a sick person, along with the rest of the group, remain as safe as possible by doing things such as:
- Quickly acting to place distance between the unwell traveller and others
- Seeking medical advice and facilitating testing
- Liaising with local authorities and following their directives
What if someone on my trip gets COVID?
We’ll be following local health authority guidelines in every destination we travel to, so if someone shows symptoms or would like to get tested, the Trip Manager will help facilitate medical care and/or tests. If they test positive, they will be unable to continue with the trip until either cleared medically or can provide a valid negative COVID test (false positives DO happen).
In many places, free testing sites are available and Contiki will follow the advice of the local health authorities to best manage the situation, so every traveller’s health is a priority.
Will I be provided with PPE?
Hand sanitizer will be available to all travellers at all times, along with a limited supply of disposable gloves and masks, however, we advise all travellers to bring their own masks to ensure their comfort, as well as any other PPE they require to feel comfortable and assured.
What if we need a negative COVID test to travel between countries? Would the Trip Manager assist or would we be on our own?
If tests are required to move between countries while on trip (multi-country trips) then we’ll provide assistance in arranging these. Tests are becoming faster and cheaper, so we envision the testing procedures will become even easier as time goes on. Health passports may eventually replace these.
What travel insurance do I need to protect me against COVID related claims?
Travel insurance is so important, especially now. If you choose to purchase Contiki’s Travel Protection plan, you’ll have the flexibility to cancel your trip for ANY reason up to 24 hours before departure. Depending on the plan you select, you’ll be eligible for either a Future Travel Credit (FTC) or a mix of a cash-back insurance benefit with an FTC. Both plans include additional coverage for COVID-19.
If you choose not to purchase travel insurance through us, please be aware that Contiki requires you to obtain suitable travel insurance ahead of joining our trip. We offer several insurance plans, or you can choose to buy travel insurance from another provider.
If you choose the latter, make sure you’re covered for the full duration of your trip and please validate that you have the appropriate level of coverage in the currency for your country of origin, in the following categories:
- Trip interruption (to cover the cost of your trip, including air)
- Trip Delay
- Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation
- Medical Expenses from illness (covering individual or pandemic event, etc.)
What happens if I am in another country and that country then closes their borders due to an outbreak of COVID-19?
If a country closes their borders due to an outbreak while you are travelling with us, your Trip Manager (with the assistance of our Operations and 24/7 Support Teams), will work together to help every traveller return home safely. If required, they will arrange extra hotel nights for travellers who are unable to fly out the same day.
If your flights were booked with us, we would be your contact for the airline and manage this process for you. If your flights were booked independently from us, we can assist you by booking a one-way ticket to return home. Once you return, you’ll need to reach out to your insurance company. Any fees incurred will need to be paid by the traveller while in destination.
What if I need a COVID test for my return home - will Contiki help?
You will have your Trip Manager with you for the duration of the trip, and if a COVID test is required prior to your return flight home your Trip Manager will be able to assist and support with all respective protocols.