COVID Health & Safety
Do I need to have the COVID-19 vaccine to attend a tour?
Due to heightened COVID restrictions around the world, all tour participants on 2022 tours need to have received all required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine 14-days before starting their trip. We are not currently requiring proof of vaccine for 2023 tours.
What health and safety precautions are being taken on the tours?
Our tours have always been limited to small groups of 12 women. We often privately book accommodation, transportation, and activities which means you and your new group of BFFs will have lots of personal space.
Because of our small group size, we book the majority of rooms in boutique hotels or exclusively book villas which means fewer guests. Not only does this give you more quality time to spend with your group, but you will come in contact with fewer people.
All accommodation and transportation are held to the highest standard of cleaning and will be sanitized according to CDC guidelines. Hand sanitizer will also be provided for all guests.
What happens if my tour is postponed?
Safety and comfort are the #1 priorities for our guests. We will be assessing global safety leading up to any future tour date. If we have to postpone a tour for any reason, you will be given the opportunity to book a future tour.
We’ll provide you with a travel credit worth the price paid for your tour — excluding airfare and insurance — to put towards a future tour. Your credit never expires.
Your tour credit never expires and you can book any future TBA Escapes tour to the same destination based on the total tour price you originally paid (regardless of tour prices increasing) for up to one year. After one year, you will be responsible for paying the difference in the current rates.
You can also use your credit towards any future tour regardless of destination, based on availability. If the price of the destination is higher than what you’ve paid, you will be responsible for the difference. If lower, the remainder will remain a credit on your account.
Refunds on Postponed Tours:
We do not offer refunds for postponed tours.
What happens if I book a tour but I don’t feel safe to travel closer to the date?
All of our tours are non-refundable and non-transferable. However, if we feel that there is a significant concern for the well-being and safety of our guests, we will postpone our tour dates. If you personally don’t feel comfortable traveling, but your tour isn’t canceled or postponed, you will need to submit a claim to your travel insurance. However, most insurance policies do not cover cancellations based on fear of travel.
How can travel insurance help if I’m concerned with traveling because of COVID-19?
We require travel insurance for all bookings to protect you should you need to cancel for illness or a family emergency. However, most insurance policies do not cover cancellations based on fear of travel.
Fear of travel is never a covered reason for any type of coverage. In no instances can you get reimbursed for canceling your trip because you’re worried about how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact your travels.
Although trip cancellation benefits aren’t applicable to COVID-related events, we recommend World Nomads Insurance because they’re one of the few companies that provide emergency medical coverage in the case you contract COVID before or during your travels.
CAN I GET A REFUND IF I AM UNWELL BEFORE MY TRIP AND UNABLE TO TRAVEL?
All tour payments are non-refundable and non-transferable. As a result, TBA Escapes requires that you purchase travel insurance for coverage, as set forth above and in the TBA Escapes Terms & Conditions.
No tour credits, date changes or refunds will be provided in the event you decide to cancel your tour/booking, do not arrive to your scheduled tour on the anticipated start date, or in the event you arrive late to any tour.
Similarly, no refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, meals, activities, or trek arrangements for any reason whatsoever. Tours are quoted as a package; refunds and credits are not given for unused services.
WILL I BE REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK WHILE ON TOUR?
TBA Escapes supports the use of masks as one way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. TBA Escapes follows the mask-wearing guidance and requirements of local governments and individual businesses.
Where masks are not required, we respect all tour participants’ choices surrounding whether or not they choose to wear a mask, unless otherwise required by this policy.
If a tour participant tests negative, but exhibits any other cold symptoms, TBA Escapes may require, within their sole discretion, that the tour participant wear a mask for the next five (5) days while on the tour.
TBA Escapes does not currently require tour participants to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all tour participants and TBA Escapes personnel get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline or upon returning to your home country. It is your responsibility to check travel and entry requirements carefully in order to ensure that you comply with any additional testing.
All tour participants are required to bring at least (1) COVID-19 rapid antigen test with them on their respective tour, which they may thereafter be required to use if they exhibit any symptoms while on the tour, or as otherwise set forth below.
WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE ON A TRIP SHOWS SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
If a tour participant feels unwell during their trip, a TBA Escapes representative may, within their sole discretion, require that the tour participant take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test, by using the test that the tour participant was required to bring with them on the tour.
If the tour participant does not have a COVID-19 rapid antigen test, as required, TBA Escapes may, but is not obligated to provide one, at the tour participant’s sole cost and expense. If TBA Escapes does not have a COVID-19 rapid antigen test available for the tour participant’s use, TBA Escapes, within their sole discretion, may require the tour participant to leave the tour until such time as the tour participant is able to provide a negative COVID-19 test result.
If a tour participant tests positive for COVID-19, at any time, the tour participant will not be permitted to participate in the remainder of the tour, and TBA Escapes will require that the tour participant leave the tour. The tour participant shall be required to isolate (to the extent possible) and wear a mask immediately after discovery of the positive test and until such time as the tour participant can be safely removed from the tour.
TBA Escapes tours are non-refundable, in all instances, and this is why travel insurance is required for all TBA Escapes tours, as set forth above. After obtaining a positive COVID-19 test result, we strongly urge you to contact your travel insurance company to ensure compliance with any other testing or other requirements they may have for the filing of a claim.
To the extent possible, the TBA Escapes local representatives will assist the affected tour participant in making alternative arrangements.
However, the cost associated with the alternative arrangements, including but not limited to medical care, additional testing costs, transportation, lodging and meals, shall be the sole responsibility of the tour participant.
Depending on the destination, please note that the tour participant may be required to isolate for a period of time, at their sole cost and expense.
Before You Book
Payments & Refunds
All tour payments are non-refundable and non-transferable. We require travel insurance to ensure you are protected in the event of a medical or family emergency. If you need to cancel for a covered reason, you can file a claim with your travel insurance.
Can I Switch Switch Tours After I've Booked?
Once you have put a deposit down on a specific tour date, we are unable to change you to a different date unless your tour is postponed or canceled.
How far in advance should I book?
We carefully curate all of our tours, and because they are unique, completely custom, and bespoke experiences, we can’t guarantee future tour dates—so we recommend booking as soon as possible in order to secure your spot.
Is there a minimum group size?
We run tours based on a minimum occupancy of 12 females. We keep our group sizes low so you have the freedom to move around and get involved with your surroundings, as well as more one-on-one personal attention from our local guides and experts.
Can I just do part of the tour?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to do sections of our tours. However, some of our longers tours have optional add-ons at the end of the tour, and in this case, you don’t have to do the optional add-on.
Is my deposit refundable?
Because we confirm our tours in advance, and only offer 12 spots on the tours, we do require an upfront deposit to secure your spot, and it is non-refundable upon payment.
Do you offer payment plans?
Each of our tours has different costs and therefore offers a unique payment plan. If you are unable to pay the full amount upfront, we offer a 3 payment plan consisting of a deposit and two equal payments prior to the tour. This is subject to change depending on the tour cost and date of booking, but the information will be provided to you prior to booking.
Do you include international airfare?
The cost of airfare is not included in the tour price. You are responsible for your own transportation to and from start and end destinations of the tour.
Do you cater to dietary requirements?
We are able to accommodate requests for vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free diets as well as food allergies. Please keep in mind that we are dining at restaurants most of the time. We cater to dietary requirements to our best ability and always communicate and confirm in advance, but we don’t always have control over what food is being supplied or is available. We ask the tour participants to please also be mindful of your own dietary requirements when ordering at restaurants and to carry snacks (if needed) to avoid disappointment. There may be times that we are traveling in remote areas and such dietary requirements cannot be met.
Are there single occupancy rooms?
All our tours are based on double occupancy rooms in separate beds unless otherwise stated.
Can you help arrange my travel visa?
Unfortunately, this is something we don’t organize. Tour participants are required to organize their own travel visas. Embassy websites in your home country will always have information about requirements, visa costs and will provide the required forms. If you are uncomfortable with the visa process, you can visit a travel agent who can arrange these for you at a cost. We are happy to provide a confirmation of tour and hotel bookings as well as a trip itinerary should you require them for your visa application.
What will I need for customs?
You would need your passport and you will need to present them with your arriving plane ticket. Please be sure that your passport name matches your airline ticket name or you may be denied boarding. If you require a visa, you will need that to show customs as well. Your passport’s expiration date must be at least six months after your return from your trip; if it is not, you should renew your passport. As always, check your country’s travel requirements when visiting a new country.
Do I need travel and medical insurance?
Yes, you are required to have both travel and medical insurance to travel on TBA Escapes tours. A lot of travelers are covered by insurance from their travel credit cards, or insurance policies back home, so if that’s the case, awesome! If you don’t have coverage, we recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance. Our team will send out a detailed email to tour participants with all the relevant information.
Should any vaccinations be required for a tour, we will advise tour attendees as far in advance as possible.
What should I pack for one of your tours?
We always recommend packing as light as possible and prepare to dress in layers. However, the specific recommendations for a tour will vary widely depending on where and when you are traveling. We will send out a detailed packing list to all tour participants prior to any given tour based upon the experience of our ground staff.
What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?
We suggest limiting your packing to (1) suitcase and (1) backpack or carry-on. You’ll also want a day bag or backpack to carry whatever items you want on days out exploring. You are responsible for carrying your bags on and off buses and trains, and up and down hotel staircases, so pack smart and light. Sidenote: Please make sure you are aware of the baggage allowances that apply to your airline ticket(s).
What do you suggest for carry-on luggage?
We advise you pack the following items in your carry-on: any medications in their original, labeled containers; eyeglasses/contacts/lens solution; important papers (including insurance, medical records or allergy information, travel documents, and emergency contact information); camera gear, memory cards, and batteries; and valuables. All your electronics and camera gear should be brought on the plane as carry-on—we never recommend checking valuable items.
How much cash/spending money (local currency) do I need?
We will advise all participants how much spending money is needed and/or recommended, as the amount will vary depending on your destination. Baring in mind that most TBA Escapes tours are all-inclusive tours, spare cash is solely for personal expenditures such as occasional lunches on free time, snacks, souvenirs, and expenses for your personal enjoyment.
What is the best way to carry money?
We recommend having access to money from a variety of sources – cash, a debit card, and a credit card is advisable. You can pull out some cash at the ATM in the airport or make sure to bring a travel credit card (we recommend one with 0% foreign transaction fees). Check out some of The Blonde Abroad’s favorite travel reward credit cards here!
Please remember to advise your bank about using your cards overseas. There may be foreign transaction fees on certain cards. If you are planning on using an ATM, you should verify with your bank that your ATM card and PIN will work overseas and notify them of your travel plans.
Do I need to tip my guide?
Your tour cost does not include gratuities. We will always suggest a recommended minimum tip for your drivers, hosts, and guides along the tour. This amount is listed on the tour exclusions. However, if you feel that a guide or driver has provided you with “above and beyond” service or assistance, you’re more than welcome to offer them an additional tip.
What to Expect on a Tour
How do I get to the start of a tour?
Our team will organize an airport transfer to get you to the specific accommodation the tour starts from.
What time can I check in at my arrival accommodation?
Check-in times vary from accommodation to accommodation. We will be sure to liaise with you regarding the check-in time and accommodate your arrivals to the best of our abilities.
Will there be time to explore the start and end cities of a tour?
All activities on our tours are optional, so we always recommend taking personal time when needed. However, if you would like more time in our start or end cities, we advise that you arrive early or plan to stay after the tour to explore. Additionally, we are more than happy to help with itinerary suggestions if you plan to explore beyond the tour itinerary!
Will I be able to do laundry?
There are usually opportunities to do some laundry along the tour. However, we suggest packing so that it’s not needed. Just be sure to ask your tour host where and when you can do some washing once you’re on the tour.
Will I be able to charge my electronics?
Yes, we advise you to carry pack an appropriate travel adapter and a power bank. For each destination, we will provide information on which electrical plugs and voltage you can expect.
Photography Tour FAQs
What is the most appropriate gear bag to bring?
We suggest one camera bag, preferably a backpack and one bag for clothes/gear, and one small satchel like the size of a personal item allowed on international flights. You are responsible for carrying your bags on and off buses and trains, and up and down hotel staircases, so pack smart and light.
Do I need to get travel and medical insurance?
Yes, you are required to have both travel and medical insurance to travel on TBA Escapes tours. We recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance. Our team will send out a detailed email to tour participants with all the relevant information.
How safe are my belongings whilst on a trip?
While we take all the precautions we can to make sure your belongings are safe, every tour attendee is essentially responsible for their own belongings. Therefore travel insurance is a must! We do recommend getting a luggage bag with a lock and if we could ask tour participants to never leave their personal bag/camera gear unattended and don’t flash large sums of cash when making purchases.