Considering taking a trip this year? Read Ride and Seek’s guide to travelling in 2022, covering insurance, tests, and choosing the right companies!
Travelling in the pandemic has looked different depending on where you’re from and where you’re going. While travelling is an inherently bold act, the need for caution along with boldness has been a difficult balance to strike. Ride and Seek design and run epic bicycle trips all around the world, so our own sense of adventure and boldness is perhaps higher than the average tour operator.
As a company that has operated responsibly throughout the pandemic, we feel it’s partly our role to offer travel advice to anyone considering booking a trip in 2022 — even if that trip isn’t with us!
The whole world is out there and while it’s fine if some people want to wait a little longer before they venture out, we hope this guide can offer practical tips and reassurances to those of you who are already planning your 2022 adventure. If you decide you’d like to head out on one of our Epic Cycling Adventure Tours and you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Everyone Feels Differently About Travel During Covid
Firstly, it’s important to remember that while there may be some absolute value of safety when travelling during covid, we don’t really know what that is. This means that the sense of safety and security is largely a subjective thing, seen through the lens of different countries’ news outlets, different ages, pre-existing health conditions, etc.
In our experience, adventurous travellers are a little more considerate of other cultures and ways of life than those who don’t travel very much. This is simply a by-product of getting out into the world and meeting different kinds of people. Remember that everyone has had a different pandemic experience; this will help you navigate your travels better.
Always Check Travel Companies’ Terms and Conditions
The pandemic didn’t start yesterday, so travel companies don’t have a good excuse for not changing their terms and conditions to accommodate these strange times we’re living in. While not all travel companies have the flexibility to offer incredibly relaxed reschedule and cancellation policies, almost all of them should at least try to make sure that their policies are customer friendly.
Look for lenient cancellation policies and anything else in a tour operator’s messaging that implies they are happy to accommodate last-minute changes due to travel restrictions, positive covid tests, or any other complications that arise. And if you’re in any doubt about the policies, don’t be afraid to ask.
Shop Around for Good Health and Travel Insurance
This advice is good for any travel, regardless of whether we’re in a pandemic. But travel insurance with good healthcare cover is especially important right now. Even if you usually throw caution to the wind, we highly recommend investing in especially comprehensive cover.
As Ride and Seek’s tours often travel through several countries, the insurance cover needs to cover different laws and regulations in different countries’ infrastructure. If you are visiting several countries in one trip, make sure you’re covered for this!
Travel with Companies Who Have Operated Throughout the Pandemic
While it is completely understandable why some specific tour operators haven’t been able to work during the pandemic, there is an undeniable learning curve to running a tourism company during covid. There has been a lot to learn over the last two years and companies who learned on the job are much more likely to have done the practical tests and hard work required to ensure their tours and experiences run without a hitch (or very few hitches, at least).
So, if you’re in any doubt, read a company’s blog and look on their social media to see how they functioned during the pandemic.
COVID-19 Tests Before and During Your Trip
Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll all be swabbing our throats and our noses for a while yet. While PCR tests will likely be a prerequisite for long-haul travel for the foreseeable future, it’s also a good idea to pack several rapid-antigen tests too. While many countries will offer lateral flow tests for free or for an affordable price, there aren’t any guarantees, so if you know where you can get some in your own country, we advise bringing several tests with you, just in case.
Somewhat linked to PCR tests is the additional pre-travel logistics required on the run-up to your trip. While we have always had to sort out the various Visas and travel insurances required to travel, many countries have additional paperwork requirements to ensure things are as safe as possible for both locals and tourists.
By all means, do a little research before your trip, but any good tour company will have done most of the work for you, so don’t be afraid to call or email to ask for advice.
There are so many more things to say about travelling in 2022, but the main point we haven’t covered yet is for you to make sure you have an incredible time! Travel is an absolute joy and a privilege, and all of the additional logistics and worries about traveling during a pandemic may distract some of us as we head out into the world on our next adventure.
So, remind yourself to have a wonderful time, to make all the requisite preparations and to then relax and enjoy your trip. If anything we’ve said in this short guide has inspired you to travel with us, you might like to consider a couple of our upcoming epic and mini-epic cycling trips, such as our Berlin to Budapest Bike Tour in August and our Paris to Saint Petersburg Bike Tour in July.
We hope we’ve offered some helpful advice with this guide, but we also hope we’ve emboldened a few readers to stop dreaming and start actively planning their next adventure! 2022 has so much to offer if you can just reach out and grab it!