AESU is looking forward to welcoming back our travelers as the world begins to open up again. We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions to help you plan your next big adventure with us. Global protocols are still changing and we will keep you updated with the most pertinent information and suggestions to prioritize your well-being. See “Freedom to Change Your Mind” policy below regarding no fees for changing your AESU trip. AESU has been offering incredible travel experiences since 1977. We welcome you to join any of our family of trips around the world.
Please note: These policies are subject to change at any time.
COVID testing, vaccine and quarantine policies are based on where you are traveling to and from and are still changing. We will keep you updated on any changes concerning your particular trip. Below are current basic policies:
We will ask all travelers to complete a personal travel declaration before joining the trip. AESU will need travelers to provide proof of the following to their tour director upon arrival, and before joining their tour. This may change depending on your destination(s):
– Proof of the full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose given at least 14 days prior to the start of the tour (Most countries have mandatory vaccine requirements and may also include booster shots).
Currently, fully vaccinated means: two-dose vaccinations valid for 270 days after second dose. Booster shot valid for 270 days after booster. If you received second dose more than nine months ago, you must get booster shot. J&J one dose valid for 270 days, then also need an mRNA booster (Germany required booster at all times for J&J).
All travelers must also comply with specific requirements imposed by airlines and/or governments that may differ from the above. These requirements are constantly evolving and we will continue to update this information as it becomes available.
– Some countries also require a negative result PCR test or antigen test: A test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy)
– Vaccination: an authentic COVID-19 vaccination certificate (electronic and original paper) showing date of the vaccination(s) with the final dose given at least 14 days before the start of your trip. We recommend that you take a smart phone picture of any paper vaccination certificates in case of loss of the original.
POSSIBLE TESTING DURING YOUR TOUR
Any pre-travel testing that is required is the responsibility of the traveler. These requirements will be in accordance with airline policies and the entry requirements of the destination you are traveling to.
During the tour, your Tour Director will assist with any mandatory testing and this will be done with as little impact as possible to your travel experience. This testing will be at the expense of the traveler. Any testing required post travel will again be the responsibility of the traveler.
Currently, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test no more than 1 day before you travel by air back into the United States and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html
AESU Tour Directors and local support staff are there to help seek medical attention and facilitate with any testing, if necessary. They will follow local health authority guidelines and any requirements currently in place on a case-by-case basis. Every traveler’s health is a priority. We highly recommend you obtain travel insurance to cover you for unexpected events such as an accident or illness during your tour, including COVID-19).
AESU will assist with arrangements if tests are required to move between countries while on multi-country trips (currently none required if fully vaccinated). Tests are becoming faster and cheaper, so this will be much easier if still required in the future. Health passports may eventually replace these requirements. Your Tour Director will keep you informed of any policies in place.
If you test positive for COVID-19 prior to flying home, you will need to quarantine in that country for the required number of days as stipulated by the local government and follow their protocol. Your Tour Director and AESU’s support staff will assist you in making any necessary arrangements. Any costs incurred for having to quarantine will be your and/or your insurance provider’s responsibility. Purchasing the proper travel insurance prior to departure is very important. Make certain you have the appropriate level of coverage including Tour Interruption; (to cover the cost of your tour, including air); Tour Delay; Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation; Medical Expenses from Illness (covering individual or pandemic event); etc.
HEALTH & WELL-BEING ON TOUR
Extra cleanliness is key with all of our suppliers and we will continue to follow all local government guidelines. All local suppliers including hotels, restaurants, transportation companies, and activity providers are enhancing disinfectant protocols for your added safety. All vehicles undergo rigorous daily cleaning. We will also ensure hand sanitizing is available throughout each trip, on buses and in hotels. All hotels are vetted to ensure they meet or exceed government-mandated standards of cleanliness (thorough sanitizing) and service. All rooms are based on double or single and have en-suite bathrooms.
Most major attractions have reduced visitor numbers to allow for physical distancing. AESU’s advance planning team also attempts to arrange access to many sites when there is less crowding. Tour Directors will facilitate maintaining proper distancing and follow all local guidelines. We’ll do all we can to ensure you have an unforgettable trip.
When checking out the sights on guided tours in major cities, AESU provides wireless, listening equipment so local guides don’t have to crowd you together or shout over others. This will ensure a much better and safer sightseeing experience for everyone.
Rules for wearing masks are continually changing and depend on the location and situation. Your Tour Director will advise whenever it is mandatory to do so, or you may consider wearing one for your own peace of mind and comfort, even when not mandatory. Most airlines are still requiring masks when not consuming food or beverages.
AESU staff is working behind-the-scenes 24/7 to ensure smooth operations. In the unlikely event any last-minute changes are made due to COVID-19 restrictions, your itinerary will be adjusted with equivalent inclusions or sites. Our team will make sure you still have a fantastic time even if a slight change has to be made. Your Tour Director will have all of the latest updates for you during your trip.
All hotels and venues must adhere to the local protocols currently in place. These are constantly changing, but more than likely, any buffets will not be self-service for some time. Most dining will be table service adhering to current regulations regarding social distancing and number of guests allowed at each table.
BOOKING CHANGES, HEALTH & SAFETY WAIVERS
AESU is providing new, more flexible booking policies in order for you to plan your future travel with complete peace of mind for new 2022 bookings.
If your plans change for any reason, no problem. As long as you cancel at least 60 days* before your trip departs, we won’t charge you anything to change it to another AESU trip. You can apply the full amount of your paid land tour costs to another AESU tour, to be used by 12/31/22. *Dubai trips-100 days. (Please note: these policies are subject to change at any time. Vouchers not redeemable as cash. Airfare penalties are separate and governed by the policies of the individual airlines.)
AESU will provide you with a status update for your tour no later than 75 days prior to departure. If at that time, we determine that government regulations or CDC recommendations would prohibit us from safely operating the tour, we will provide you with a full refund of the land cost, less minimal fees for administrative costs including credit card processing, if applicable. In the event that a change in circumstances within 75 days of departure forces us to cancel your trip, we will provide you with a travel voucher for 100% of the land cost that you paid, as per industry standard, which can be used on any future AESU program. Alternatively, you can apply for a cash refund, which will be provided less reasonable expenses incurred by AESU with respect to your booking. Airline penalties are governed by the policies of the individual airlines and you would be responsible for any penalties incurred with respect to the airline ticket. Please note: These policies are subject to change at any time. Travel vouchers cannot be redeemed for cash and have to be used by 12/31/2022. TRAVEL INSURANCE is compulsory for all AESU trips in the event of tour cancellation for any reason.
See AESU’s website for full terms and conditions including personal responsibility waivers concerning Coronavirus/COVID-19.
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. AESU’s suppliers have taken enhanced hygiene protocols for your safety, as well as that of our other guests and team members. We ask that you also take personal responsibility for your well-being and have travel insurance to cover you for any unforeseen circumstances. This begins with packing any personal protective items such as masks and hand sanitizers. Adopt physical distancing and hygiene practices and follow all safety requests from staff while traveling with AESU. In choosing to travel with AESU, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.