Join Good People on a Proper Adventure

COVID-19: The Reopening
July 3, 2020

Svalbard sign northern Longyearbyen

So, where next?!

We could all do with some proper adventures in wild places to shake off those cobwebs.

Now that travel restrictions are easing – albeit to a limited number of countries initially – we couldn’t be more excited to get you back out on your adventures again and for our local hosts to welcome you back to their amazing destinations and communities.

On top of all our 2021 adventures on offer, we now have our confirmed schedule of last minute adventures across the UK and Europe for the remainder of the summer and early autumn based on the border arrangements as they are.

As we’ve seen though, things can chop and change quickly, so let us reassure you.

In the unfortunate event your trip is cancelled, you will be contacted immediately and be able to select one of the following options online via your booking: ​

FREE DATE CHANGES

We’ve added extra 2021 dates to choose from, or you can request a new date that works for you.

CONVERT IT TO CREDIT

Save it for later. This, along with all payments on our platform, is 100% financially protected.

UNLOCK 5% OFF FOR LIFE

If you change your dates or take credit you’ll unlock a 5% lifetime discount and help support our Foundation in the process.

GET A REFUND

As reported by The Guardian and Which?, we’re processing refunds within 14 days. No quibbles.

We know you’ll be eager to get out into the wilds again as soon as possible and will undoubtedly have questions about what a Much Better Adventure will look like in the post-lockdown world. As ever, your safety, as well as the safety of our local hosts, their guides and partners, is our absolute top priority. 

See below for all the FAQs on exactly how, where and when we’ll be running trips again, to help you get planning your next escape.



FAQs

 

YOUR TRIP STATUS

What's the status of my trip?

You can find the very latest advice and communication relating to your trip on your booking.

Unless you have been specifically told your trip has been postponed, it is scheduled to depart as planned.

We and our local hosts rely on the travel advice from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to continue to inform our approach with consistency.

If FCO advice against travel is in place 31 days before your trip is due to take place your local host will unfortunately have no choice but to postpone your trip. At this point we will be in touch to confirm this and the options available to you.

We are monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely with your trip in mind. We would encourage all travellers to check the travel restrictions in place for your destination, as some have specific restrictions depending on your place of origin or recent travels. The International Air Travel Association has a useful country by country guide.

Other useful resources include the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), World Health Organisation (WHO).

Where can I find the status of my trip?

You can view the status of your particular trip via your booking. Your trip has 3 status’:

  1. Scheduled to depart (subject to meeting the minimum group size and no travel restrictions are in place)
  2. Guaranteed to depart (the minimum group size has been reached and no travel restrictions are in place)
  3. Postponed (the trip is not able to take place at this time)

We will automatically alert you when your trip has reached the minimum group size and is guaranteed to depart or if it unfortunately has to be postponed.  If your trip is scheduled to depart but is still more than 45 days before departure and you have not had confirmation either way, hold tight and we’ll confirm with you asap.

CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES TO TRAVEL ADVICE OR BORDER REGULATIONS

What happens if my trip is cancelled?

In the unfortunate event your trip is cancelled, you will be contacted immediately and be able to select one of the following options via your booking: ​

  1. Pick a new date: Fortunately, your local host now has their 2021 dates loaded so you have a great range to select from.
  2. Request a new date: If none of the dates loaded work for you, let your local host know your ideal future dates and we’ll do our best to set it up for you.
  3. Convert your booking to a gift card: If you know you can’t travel this year or for the foreseeable future, you can convert your booking into a gift card to give to a friend, family member or loved one.
  4. Convert your booking to account credit: If you know you’re going to book this trip or another adventure again in the future, we can convert your booking to account credit. This, along with all payments on MBA, is 100% financially protected. If you select one of these four options you’ll unlock a 5% lifetime discount on the site. It will also enable us to continue to put 5% of revenue from your booking into our Foundation, which we’re using to support our local hosts all over the world through the Coronavirus pandemic; as you might expect many of them don’t have the safety net we’re lucky to enjoy here in the UK.

If you do really require a refund, fortunately we also have two options for you.

Select the callback option on your booking and one of our friendly customer support team will get in touch with to discuss the options you have:

1. Partial Refund & Partial Account Credit:

a) 50% refund & 50% account credit

b) 75% refund & 25% account credit

Selecting one of these options will also unlock the 5% lifetime discount for you and we’ll continue to support our Foundation.

2. Full Refund:

Processed within the next 14 days with the funds entering your account within the next 10 days after it is processed.

I no longer want to travel, what are my options?

 We have introduced new flexible booking policies designed to give you more control of your booking. If you no longer want to travel, most trips now offer free postponements (put your booking on hold), free date changes and free cancellation up to 31 days before departure – the deposit paid will simply be held as credit to be used on a different trip instead. Simple.

Your exact options will depend on the status of your trip, your booking terms and conditions and how much notice you give your local host. Please head to the “Change my booking” section on your booking to view your specific options. If you’re unsure what options you have please contact our customer support team who will happily assist you.

My trip is in a destination that still has a travel ban. When will I know if it is going ahead or being postponed?

If your adventure is in a destination which still has a travel ban in place, it will automatically be cancelled at the latest 31 days before departure and you will be automatically notified.

My trip is in a destination that still has a travel ban. Do I have to pay my balance or can I wait and see what happens?

Unless we have informed you that your trip is not going ahead please follow the payment instructions on your booking to pay by the deadline for your booking as normal.

If you wish to cancel or postpone your trip, you can review your options and do that from your booking page. If your balance due date has not already passed at the time you make the change, your balance due date will also be postponed to 60 days before your new departure time.

I can see that a country has opened its borders but you aren’t running all your adventures there yet - why not?

Even once a country has re-opened its borders, it may still take some time for us to get trips up and running again, so we appreciate your patience.

Your safety, as well as the safety of our local hosts, their guides and partners, will always be our top priority. 

You will always be able to view which trips are running by using the ‘Covid-19’ search filter.

Where can I travel right now?

What happens if there is a travel advice while I am away to warn against all but essential travel in my destination?

The official advice from the FCO in this scenario is that if you are able to leave, you should do so.

We will work with your local host to facilitate this as soon as possible and keep you and your emergency contacts informed of the situation.

All expenses for alternative travel, testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you. It is important that you have travel insurance that covers such costs incurred due to Coronavirus.

With respect to your booking, in extraordinary circumstances like these where your trip has to be curtailed, we will treat your booking as if it were cancelled, and work out an offer of credit towards a new trip, or partial refund based on the proportion of the trip that was cancelled. See ‘what happens if my trip is cancelled’. 

You should also contact your travel insurance provider to confirm your options.

What happens if travel advice changes just before I travel, and now warns against all but essential travel to my destination?

If FCO advice changes from travel being permitted to now being against all but essential travel, and you are due to travel within 31 days, your local host will have no choice but to postpone your trip. At this point we will be in touch to confirm this and the options available to you. See ‘what happens if my trip is cancelled’?

What happens if there is a travel advice update while I am away, and I will now have to quarantine on my return from holiday?

If the FCO is not advising against all but essential travel, the trip will complete as normal.

If you wish to curtail your trip and get home in order to arrive before the quarantine comes in to place, this is at your own discretion. Much Better Adventures and your local host will help as best we can. Please note, depending where you are on the trip it may not be possible to change the route or itinerary. All expenses for alternative travel, testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you. It is important that you have travel insurance that covers such costs incurred. In this scenario your host is unlikely to be able to offer any sort of refund for any portion of the trip not used.

What happens if I am denied entry to my destination?

We would encourage all travellers to check the travel restrictions in place for your destination, as some have specific restrictions depending on your place of origin or recent travels. The International Air Travel Association has a useful country by country guide.

Should you not be able to join the trip you have booked due to being denied entry at short notice or even upon arrival to the country, or be required to enter quarantine on arrival, MBA and your local host will assist you in any way we can in making suitable arrangements. All expenses for alternative travel, testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you.  With respect to your booking, in extraordinary circumstances like these that significantly affect your ability to join the trip booked, we will treat your booking as if it were postponed by your local host. See ‘what happens if my trip is cancelled?’.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

What can I expect in terms of safety measures on the trip?

All our local hosts with trips resuming this year have signed up to the Safe Travels protocols set out by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to give you peace of mind while you’re out on your adventure. We’ve also added a new Coronavirus section on every trip page that clearly sets out any changes to the itinerary or inclusions, along with the specific safety measures being introduced on a particular trip. As a minimum on all trips you can expect:

  1. Expert guides: Our local guides are experts in their field: that’s why we’ve worked alongside them for years, and have curated amazing, unique and safe adventures with them. They monitor the local situation in their country and the specific locations where the trip runs very closely and will apply all the appropriate safety measures set out by the WTTC.
  2. Small groups: All of our trips have always been small. The average group size is around 10 people. Don’t forget – you can also request a private group on many of our trips too to travel with friends or family.
  3. Fresh air: Our adventures get you off the beaten track and into the wild, exactly where you want to be after over 100 days in lockdown.
  4. Solo Travellers & Accommodation: We get a lot of solo travellers on our trips – around 60% on average in fact. So if you are a solo traveller sharing a room with someone, your host will try to ensure you stay with the same roommate (or tent mate) for the entire trip to support “social bubbles”. We also have a ‘Solo Private Room / Tent Upgrade” option available on many trips to make it easier to have your own space.
  5. Excellent hygiene standards: All hosts have introduced enhanced sanitation, disinfection, and deep cleaning practices for all equipment, gear and facilities used as part of a trip, including transportation, with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points.
  6. Responsibility from fellow travellers: We ask all travellers to respect local requirements and to bring a face covering – be it buffs or face-masks. In line with the WTTC Safe Travel protocols, every effort will be made to have hand sanitiser available, but we strongly recommend bringing your own. We also ask every traveller to ensure they are fit to travel, and if you are in any doubt – we’ve made things as flexible and simple as possible if you do need to postpone or move your booking.

All trips that are resuming will have a new Coronavirus section that sets out any changes to the itinerary or inclusions, along with the specific safety measures being introduced on that trip.

 

 

Where can I find more information about the specific safety measures in place on my trip?

 All trips that are resuming will have a new Coronavirus section that sets out any changes to the itinerary or inclusions, along with the specific safety measures being introduced on that trip. For an example, have a look at this trip: Introduction to Mountaineering on the Isle of Skye. If you have any further questions your local host is very happy to answer these via your booking.

I’m a solo traveller, will I have to share a room?

Nearly all adventures are based on twin-share accommodation.

Some of our hosts are making arrangements to include solo rooms / tents as standard and if so this information will be available in the Coronavirus section on the trip page, and if you have an existing booking they will contact you to let you know.

For those hosts unable to include this as standard, if you would like your own space, the vast majority of adventures have a ‘Solo Private Room / Tent Upgrade” option available.

You can request this when booking or via your local host on your existing booking. For more information on any changes to the accommodation on your trip please see the Coronavirus section on your trip page.

What happens if I start to show Coronavirus symptoms while on a trip?

If you or any member of your group develops Coronavirus symptoms while on an adventure, your local host will assist you to get medical attention as soon as possible.

It is important that you have travel insurance that covers medical costs incurred due to Coronavirus.

While your local host will assist you to get all the care you require, all expenses for testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you.

FINANCIAL PROTECTION

Is my money safe if I’ve got a trip booked or am about to book one?

Yes. Rest assured, your money is safe in any and all circumstances. There has been and always will be full financial protection on your booking. We understand you might be wondering whether now is the best time to book a holiday.

Happily, UK and European citizens are protected under the Package Travel Regulations, and, as reported by Which? Travel, we are doing right by customers who have had trips affected by Covid-19, unlike many other travel companies.

FLIGHTS AND INSURANCE

What happens if my flights are cancelled but the trip is still going ahead?

First of all you should contact the airline to confirm the options available to you, including alternative flights and/or refunds.

We understand how frustrating this can be so feel free to contact our customer support team and we will help you look at alternative flight options too. We’ll do our best to find a way to get you out on your adventure and if that’s not possible move your booking to a later date or convert it to account credit.

Should I buy travel insurance?

Yes. You should always take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance as soon as you book.

This should cover you for the activities you are undertaking and any care you require as a result of injury, including all expenses for testing, treatment or self-isolation due to Coronavirus.

We like World Nomads because they include cover for 150+ adventure activities and they help hundreds of community development projects, but there are countless other options available. The coverage available to you will depend on your individual circumstances, so do contact the insurer if you have queries.

If your local host does need to cancel your trip due to Coronavirus, as reported by Which? Travel, we are doing right by customers and offering you the option to pick a new date, convert your booking to account credit, or receive a full refund (within 14 days), unlike many other travel companies.

OTHER

When will you start running trips again?

We will start running trips again as soon as it is both safe and fun to do so. We know you’re keen to get back out there! We have a minimum set of criteria, all of which must be met, before a trip can re-start. These are:

1. The UK FCO permits travel to a destination.

2. Country borders are open to MBA’s core adventurers (UK citizens), without any quarantine restrictions on arrival or return.

3. The destination country’s government formally approves and endorses tourism activities operating.

4. Our local host is able to run their adventure whilst fully complying with all local COVID-19 safeguarding measures and the Safe Travels protocols set out by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

5. These safeguarding measures do not detract or alter the trip from the fundamental quality and experience.

Some of our UK adventures are resuming from 4 July onwards. For international adventures that meet our 5 criteria above, we are aiming to resume running most trips from the end of August onwards. You can view the full list here.

Where can I find which trips are running this summer?

To make your life as easy as possible, we have added a new filter to our search results: ‘Covid-19’.

Where can I travel right now?As more countries remove their travel restrictions and our local hosts begin resuming their adventures we’ll add more trips to this collection.

How long will you keep your 14 day Coronavirus flexi-policy in place?

At the start of Lockdown we introduced a new Coronavirus booking policy that allowed you to pick a new date or postpone your booking up to 14 days before your trip was due to start.

Now that trips are resuming we have reverted all bookings onto our super flexible normal terms and conditions.

Fortunately we’ve recently made our normal T&C even more flexible, with the vast majority of trips allowing you to change the date of your trip or to postpone it up to 31 days before departure, or cancel and convert your deposit payment to account credit.

What happens if not enough people book on to my departure date?

All trips have a minimum group size in order to go ahead.

For trips which meet our re-opening criteria (see “when will you start running trips again” above), we will confirm when the minimum group size been reached and aim to guarantee your departure at least 45 days before it is due to start. You will be notified by email when this happened. If the minimum group size is not reached we will have to cancel that departure date and you can either move to an alternative date, or receive a full refund.