Thank you for booking! We are blown away by the support from all of you throughout this pandemic. It validates the trust and values AFS was built on over 35 years. As countries reopen, so will we. Travel is a shared experience. Together we press on and travel boldly. Below are new guidelines. We all must adapt and embrace any challenges with confidence for the freedom and privilege to travel.
We’ve faced many challenges over decades and the health of our travelers always comes first. As the world slowly opens, we are dedicated to creating responsible adventures! All our trips are different, so specific plans in each region may be circumstantial. We work closely with our local suppliers and vetted partners to know the best practice in each country. That being said, we present a blanket procedure below to be followed on ALL AFS trips. Our local guides will brief you on arrival with the support of our Trip Leaders to ensure we follow local safety protocols. They are fully committed to aiding your well-being.
We will re-discover the world through more slow, easy and mindful travel. Our groups will be smaller. All clients must take the AFS pledge that they are Covid free and will follow all safety protocols. Booking travel now is complex because rules always change. Tour companies can’t become “health and safety experts” when policies are inconsistent. Even experts are in the dark at times with the changing patchwork of government laws, but we are committed to doing our best. This is a learning process for all of us and as we go, we will strive to make each step as safe and seamless as possible for you.
As in life itself, travel comes with some inherent risk the minute we step out our door. Travel isn’t dangerous. Being irresponsible is. For your protection we want you to be proactive in following new health guidelines. They involve teamwork and personal responsibility, but they do not preclude you from having fun and enjoying your trip! Things constantly change and it’s a huge challenge for airlines, airports, hotels, cruises and tour companies. We will do our best to keep you up to date with any adjustments. Please understand we reserve the right to amend any tour activities, if needed. To present responsible travel, we at AFS do our part: Our vetted suppliers uphold the highest standards under CDC guidelines.
Safety measures on a trip; frequent handwashing, (bring personal sanitizer), exercise social distancing and wear a mask when applicable. Insurance provides trip cancellation, but not from fear, trip interruption, added medical protection. Call them to understand coverage. We are not responsible for any additional cost to you due to quarantine or illness
Helpful CV Resources– Below are helpful links to facts and stats for you to reference as you gear up for all your travel domestically and abroad.
- Facts about coronavirus-symptoms/transmission/precaution/treatment
- CDC entire situation summary
- US State Department Travel Advisories (Often old news)
Our Pledge to You – Our global suppliers uphold the highest standards under new CDC guidelines. We at AFS assure you we will continue to offer you quality trips to countries where you will feel protected – countries that are going to extraordinary lengths now to provide a safe visit. Each destination is far less crowded than ever before and that means better personal attention. We can trust our astute suppliers when each country is clear to visit. We’re taking great precautions and encourage you to remain positive. We will strive to make each step as safe and seamless as possible for you!
- We ensure that heightened sanitation methods have been adopted in every place we visit and that all hotel properties and vehicles have passed cleanliness protocols.
- Our guides and drivers must test negative and pass stringent safety measures.
- Most of our groups will be limited to half the size of normal in the past.
- We are choosing destinations with wide-open spaces for physical distancing. You will be spaced at meals to socialize safely.
- Some private tours for groups of friends only can be arranged.
- We’ll monitor your trip closely and provide a 24/7 emergency number if your trip is disrupted.
- All clients must take the AFS pledge that they are COVID-free and will follow all the safety protocols. Most AFSers have gotten vaccinations now.
Your Pledge to AFS – We ask you to assume personal responsibility to protect your health and the well-being of your fellow travelers, guides and locals.
- Read and print all updated Trip Tips on AFS website
- Consider travel insurance with trip interruption
- Stay healthy with vitamin D and zinc. Confirm within 14 days of departure but you have no symptoms of Covid nor being in close contact with anyone diagnosed with it.
- You agree to assume any risk of participating in trip activities, comply with applicable government, airline and health authorities.
- Exercise social distancing and local guides directions whenever possible.
- Sanitize your hands and phone throughout.
- Read our terms here – https://www.afstravelers.com/terms-and-conditions/
Rapid COVID-19 PCR Tests – Rules are changing daily! At this time, we must rely on each airlines policy. Read Covid rules at the top of airline website up to a week before departure. Every airline and country differ. 2 weeks prior we will send you final AFS departure letter with instructions specific to your trip.
At present, a Rapid (RT) PCR test is needed for international flights and to enter most countries and needed to return to USA. We hope this will be eliminated by the time your trip goes. RT-PCR is best some airlines are accepting other tests now. No mailing kits. All tests are free or covered by insurance. To get fast with no wait, make appointment at private lab for a fee. They are now thousands of labs around US. Also, more testing sites opening daily with easy drive through. Call your healthcare provider or Urgent Care near you. Or Google “free no cost Covid testing near me”. Most state and federal programs provide this. Or Google airport to see if Test is available there (JFK $75). Rural areas are more challenging. You may need to drive to an appointment in a nearby city. At present it’s free at Walgreens and CVS. They will bill your insurance company of $119. (Best trick – if you say you may have been “exposed to a Covid person” or if you feel “symptoms” like fatigue or say CDC recommended, it must be free.)
Outbound – Most airlines require negative PCR test within 96 to 72 hours prior to departure of your first flight. This new rule makes travel more challenging, but we must follow to protect ourselves and those on the flight. Read specific airline rules on website, also any rules on connections in transit. Those vaccinated still need to show a test, but may change. Get RT-PCR test with guaranteed results within 24 to 48 hours. They email result to you. Print out to bring at check in. Also screenshot copy on cell phone. Test must read “PCR”. (We’ve had nobody test positive yet, if so, call us 770-432-8225. Many tests are inaccurate and a re-test shows negative.) Don’t forget to bring your vaccine card if you have one!
Homebound – Airline may require negative PCR test to board departure flight. Each carrier differs. We hope this is eliminated by your trip date. If test is necessary within 72 hours of departure, we can help arrange test for group in each country. Details later by email. As of May 10 new mail in-home kits the CDC announced you can now bring to do there for return into USA. The CDC only certifies kits from eMeds- 6pack $150, however, outbound some airlines may not accept this for departure.