Page last updated: 14:32. April 7th, 2020.
We know lots of you have questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the status of your adventure. Naturally, a lot has developed since our original letter about the situation. We’ve tried to answer as many of these questions as possible below, and we’ll update this page regularly.
A LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDERS
Dear Much Better Adventurers,
Coronavirus continues to turn our world upside down, with travel bans and border closures springing up worldwide. We’re well aware how unsettling this all must be for you right now, so we just wanted to update you about our response so far and what to expect from us going forward.
On top of the usual benefits of using Much Better Adventures that make booking as simple, flexible and safe as possible, here’s what we’re doing to protect our customers, hosts and their local communities around the world in these extraordinary times.
We’re contacting everyone likely to be affected directly.
We appreciate how unsettling this situation is, so we’re working round the clock with our local hosts to provide you the flexibility and reassurance you need. Here’s how:
We’re providing even more flexibility.
We’ve built a new online system for you to postpone your trip to a later date, should you wish. Doing so will incur no fees, no price changes and will honour any discounts already applied. If you’re happy to keep your booking as it is for now, you don’t have to do anything, and of course if anything changes that affects your booking we’ll be in touch to remind you of your options. Saves you being glued to the news.
We’ll hold your booking for as long as you need.
If you’re not able to commit to a new date just yet, or the dates currently listed don’t work for you, worry not. You can postpone your trip and rearrange it later. We’ll hold your booking for as long as you need. Cancellation terms outlined on your original booking will apply should you wish to do that instead.
We’re rewarding our customers whilst helping our hosts.
When you choose to either change your dates or convert your affected booking to account credit, we’ll contribute 5% to our foundation which will support affected local hosts who have been badly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and who need our support now, more than ever. And as a thank you, you’ll also receive a 5% lifetime discount for any future bookings.
We’re adding extra dates for 2020, 2021 and 2022.
To allow for the wave of inevitable postponements, we’re adding extra future dates to all our affected adventures. We’re also happy to take date requests to try to work around you. You’ll have the option to request dates if you choose to postpone your booking online.
We’ll be keeping you updated.
To keep you up to speed, you can follow our Coronavirus updates on this page and in our usual lines of communication.
We’re here for you.
If you are concerned about your trip and would like to discuss your options, please email our lovely Customer Support team on [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help you.
We’ll still be introducing our new adventures.
We’ll be revealing the new trips we had up our sleeves soon, with some fantastic hosts in exciting new destinations for when you’re ready to explore the world again. Naturally, we’re prioritising getting extra 2021 and 2022 dates live for these.
We have a sale coming soon.
On that front, we also have a sale planned to help you line up your next adventures for less for when this has all blown over. Keep your eyes peeled for that.
We’ll keep providing you with some adventure related relief.
We’ll continue to keep you entertained and inspired for when you feel comfortable lacing up your boots again. Hopefully stories from the great outdoors will provide some much needed escapism while we’re all stuck indoors.
We just want to say thank you.
We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness, patience and loyalty shown by our global community of adventurers. Thank you so much to everyone who has chosen to postpone instead of cancel, for booking 2021 adventures instead and for your messages of support both for us and our local hosts. Honestly, it’s very much appreciated. You’ve got us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
In the meantime, let’s continue to share the love, stay vigilant and look out for each other. The community spirit coming out of all this is incredible to see. Here’s hoping we all get out on our adventures this year!
Alex, Sam and Guy
Founders, Much Better Adventures
Originally posted: 17th March, 2020.
Updated: 7th April, 2020.
What’s the status of my trip?
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 21-28 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).
Can I postpone my trip?
Of course! If your trip has not yet been postponed by your local host because of FCO advice against travel but you are concerned by the situation and want certainty now, you have the option to postpone your booking by:
- Changing the date of your booking
- Postponing your trip indefinitely (ie. Putting it on hold until you are ready to pick a new date)
Both options are available to you via the “Change my booking” section on your booking. Choosing either will incur no fees, no price changes and will honour any discounts already applied. Your balance due date will also be postponed to 60 days before your new departure time, if it hasn’t already passed.
We are strongly recommending that anyone booked onto a trip departing in May or June 2020 considers postponing their trip to later in 2020 or to 2021. Dates later in 2020 are naturally now filling up fast, so our advice is to do this sooner rather than later.
Fortunately, many airlines have introduced new flexible date changing options to accommodate this unique situation, so do check with your airline to see what they can do for you too.
When will I know if my trip has been postponed?
We will contact you immediately. If there is a travel ban, border closure or advice against all but essential travel in your destination and your host has no choice but to postpone the trip, we will contact you via your booking message thread and you’ll receive an email notification explaining your options.
What happens if my local host has to postpone my trip?
We’re well aware how unsettling and disappointing it must be for you to have your trip postponed and have made every effort to provide you with the flexibility and reassurance you need from us.
While your trip has been postponed, your booking is held securely with us for as long as you need and we would encourage you to take one of the following options:
- Change your date
- Turn your booking into account credit
If you change your date:
- No additional fees
- No price changes
- Your money is financially protected
- You’ve still got your adventure in the calendar to look forward to, hooray!
If you convert your booking to account credit:
- 100% of money paid will be turned into credit
- Can be used on any booking made within the next 5 years
- Any discounts you used will be re-instated
- Your money is financially protected.
When you choose either of these options above, we’ll contribute 5% to our foundation which will support affected local hosts who have been badly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and who need our support now, more than ever. And as a thank you, you’ll also receive a 5% lifetime discount for any future bookings.
If you are affected, you can review all your options and manage your booking online. Prefer to speak to a human being about all your options? You can also request a callback online to speak with our friendly customer support team about changing your dates, converting your trip into account credit or gift cards, and reimbursement options.
We suggest you also get in touch with your insurers to confirm if they can help cover any other costs you may have incurred as a result of the changes.
Is my money safe if I’ve got a trip booked, or am about to book one?
Yes. We understand you might be wondering whether now if this is the best time to book a holiday. Happily, UK and European citizens are generally protected under the Package Travel Regulations.
In non-legal speak this basically means that should your trip need to be postponed, you’ll be offered an alternative, including the chance to join another trip on any available date in the future. The supplier also needs to hold insolvency protection to cover refund and repatriation costs in the unlikely event of their financial failure before or during your trip. Good to know.
We act as an agent on behalf of various local partners (aka the suppliers) and are here to assist you in making changes or cancellations.
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 no longer want to travel, can I cancel and get a refund? Or… My work has banned travel, can I cancel and get a refund?
If you have not been told otherwise, your trip is currently hoping to go ahead as planned, and the cancellation policy found on your booking will apply.
You could consider postponing your trip instead (see above). It’s going to be a great adventure still, even if you can’t do it right now.
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.
Should you not be able to get there to join the trip you have booked, the cancellation policy found on your booking will apply, but do also consider postponing your trip and picking a new date (see above).
You should also contact your airline and your insurance company to confirm the compensation options available.
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 get there to join the trip you have booked, view your booking online and click the ‘Make an alteration’ button to review your options. Hopefully you’ll have enough notice to be able to postpone and re-arrange your trip (see above), but we know it may not always work out like that.
You should also contact your insurance company to confirm the compensation options available.
What happens if there is advice update to warn against travel while I am already in a destination?
Official advice from the FCO in this scenario is: 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.
You should also contact your travel insurance provider to confirm your options.
Should I buy travel insurance?
Yes. You should also always take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance as soon as you book. We like World Nomads, but there are countless other options available.
The coverage available to you in the event of coronavirus related problems will depend on the insurer and your individual circumstances, so do contact the insurer if you have queries.
If you need any information from us to help with a claim just get in touch with us.
We’re here to help you.
If you have any further questions about the status of your booking and how Coronavirus may affect this, please contact our customer support team.
Please note, the advice on this article is for guidance only. It may change at any time and may not apply in some circumstances.