Frequently asked questions
As the world’s borders begin to reopen, we have put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients. Of course, our expert Travel Specialists are always on hand to discuss any queries you may have in detail.
Last update: 18 March 2022
Planning and booking your next holiday
If I have an existing booking, can I still make changes to my booking?
For new bookings from 01 January 2022, book for travel through to 31 December 2022, and you may change or cancel up to 30 days prior to departure in the event of a COVID-19-related reason* outlined here. If you choose to change or postpone, you may rebook your travel through to 31 December 2022. Additionally, if you choose to cancel due to any Covid-19 related reasons* outlined here you will receive a full refund.
Can I cancel and get a refund if the government moves my booked destination to the red list?
As of 10 March 2022, there are no countries or territories on the UK government’s red list. For new bookings from 01 January 2022, book with A&K for travel through to 31 December 2022 and you can change your travel plans or postpone up to 30 days before your travel date. We will not charge you should you choose to change to a new destination or move your travel dates, and you can rebook to travel any time before 31 December 2022. You may also cancel due to any Covid-19 related reason and will receive a full refund. You can see our Covid-19 related reasons in full here.
If a country moves onto the red list while we are away – who is responsible to get us home?
If the FCDO advises immediate return of UK citizens, A&K will provide support to get you home as expediently as possible. However, if the destination you have travelled to moves onto the red list whilst you are travelling there and the FCDO does not advise immediate repatriation you may continue your trip as planned. You will however be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel on return to the UK and adhere to the relevant guidelines that apply to red list countries. All quarantine expenses and/or costs incurred to return home early in the event the FCDO does not advise all citizens to return home shall be at the traveller’s own expense.
I want to book a holiday, but I am worried about losing my money if the country I am visiting prevents anyone from entering?
Our Book with Confidence policy will not only allow you to make changes, fee free, up until 30 days prior to travel but if the government in your country of residence restricts all but essential travel, or, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel, we will refund or rebook your holiday. This will also apply if the destination you are travelling to has entry restrictions in place such as closed borders or extended quarantine requirements, or flights are cancelled without alternative routes available, or if there is a requirement from the UK government for you to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel (at your own expense) upon your return to the UK.
Are there entry requirements to the country I want to travel to?
Entry requirements remain for many countries. We have listed some of the countries you are currently able to visit here. We advise checking the most up-to-date information about entry requirements and restrictions for the country you would like to travel at the FCDO website here. For more information see our PCR testing page here.
Can I get travel insurance to cover COVID-19?
It is very important to have comprehensive travel insurance when booking your next holiday, and we require all those travelling with us to have an appropriate policy. We can put you in contact with our preferred insurance partner, Campbell Irvine, who offer cover for many COVID-19 situations. See our insurance page here for more information.
What if I or a close family member gets COVID-19 or have been told to self-isolate before I am due to go on my holiday?
If you contract COVID-19 and are unable to travel on your holiday, this will be treated as any illness stopping you from travelling. You should refer to your travel insurance provider to make sure that this situation would be covered.
Can I cancel and get a refund if I decide I do not want to travel for any other reason?
If your reason is unrelated to a change in FCDO advice or new travel restrictions impacting your holiday, you can still cancel. However, you will be subject to our usual booking conditions, including any cancellation charges. Depending on your reason, cancellation fees may be covered by your insurance policy.
Travelling to your destination
How can I travel safely during COVID-19?
Travelling safely will mean following measures to reduce the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. Follow the rules at airports, train stations and other transport hubs, wear a face covering to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, maintain social distance from others and ensure that you frequently and effectively wash your hands. To ensure that you are minimising your risk as much as possible it is advised to check in online before arriving at the airport to spend less time queuing around others, to use contactless payment for any purchases where possible and to adhere to all local guidance.
What will it be like at the airport and on my flight?
Airlines and airports have introduced strict measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 such as one-way systems, social distancing signposts, mandatory mask wearing and hygiene stations. There are different protocols in countries around the world, however you should expect that there will be some level of enhanced security and checking in place on arrival. To get the most up-to-date information on what to expect at your particular destination please speak with your travel specialist before travel and check the FCDO foreign travel advice.
Experience in destination
How are you safeguarding health on your holidays?
Our measures to safeguard your health and wellbeing have been accredited by the World Travel & Tourism Council, meaning that we meet or exceed the travel industry’s latest global health & safety protocols. Check our health and hygiene policy here for the full details of what we are doing to keep you safe on your travels with us.
What restrictions are there in the destination I want to travel to?
Restrictions will differ throughout countries, and even regions, and are likely to change over time but will likely include some rules on social distancing, mask wearing and enhanced health and hygiene protocols. Some sights may be closed, have limited opening times or reduced capacity. Check the FCDO foreign travel advice page before you travel or speak with your travel specialist for specific information about your destination.
Will I have to wear a mask during my holiday?
Rules relating to mask wearing will differ from country to country and could change as time goes on. Individual private spaces such as hotels and sights of interest may well also have their own rules in addition to any national requirements. We strongly advise to wear a mask in any situation where social distancing is not possible, and of course to follow the local guidance at all times. Please refer to the FCDO website for up-to-date information on national restrictions, and your travel specialist for advice relating to particular destinations at the time of booking.
How will my accommodation be managing COVID-19 risk?
Each accommodation will have its own measures in place alongside national rules in order to minimise the risk to their guests and their own protocols to ensure health and hygiene. These could include measures such as contactless check-in, social distancing measures, table service only in restaurants and bars and enhanced cleaning. You can ask your travel specialist about the measures that you can expect at your specific accommodation at the time you travel. We are working closely with all of our accommodation providers to ensure they are operating with robust Covid policies. Check our health and hygiene policy here for the full details of what we are doing to keep you safe on your travels with us.
How are you managing social distancing on your group tours?
Our small-group journeys are well-suited to socially-distanced exploring with a maximum of 18 and an average of just 14 guests making it much easier to maintain cleaning and hygiene procedures and ensure adequate physical distancing. Some of the measures we are putting in place to safeguard our guests include large vehicles with increased space, no-contact check-in/check-outs in many hotels and group dining arranged to allow for plenty of space. Of course, there is also the option of taking one of our tours as a private journey or creating a fully tailor-made holiday allowing you to travel only with members of your household or bubble. See our Safeguarding your health section
What happens if I get ill while on holiday?
One benefit of travelling with A&K is that you are never alone. Our local offices are always on hand to help you, so you should let them know as soon as possible if you start to feel unwell. They can support you in following local guidance for booking a test, self-isolation and navigating local healthcare if needed. You should contact your travel insurance provider for advice if you need treatment.
COVID-19 vaccination requirements for travel
Does A&K require COVID-19 vaccination for travel?
A&K requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination on all Luxury Small Group Journeys for departures from 1 January 2022.
A&K currently requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for Luxury Expedition Cruises, Wings Over the World and Private Jet journeys. For all Tailor-made journeys, guests must comply with all country entry requirements, which may include providing proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
What vaccines are accepted by A&K?
A&K accepts all approved vaccines per the World Health Organisation covid19.trackvaccines.org/agency/who. Guests must also comply with country vaccination requirements for entry.
How does A&K define “fully vaccinated”?
A&K follows guidance from the World Health organisation (WHO) which currently defines those who have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine as fully vaccinated, 14-days after their second vaccine. There are certain exceptions for those who have received a vaccination course which only requires a single dose e.g. Johnson & Johnson. Further information can be found on the WHO website.
At present, booster shots are not required. However, we reserve the right to change this in the future in the event WHO update their guidance – all booked clients will be notified of any changes.
Are children required to be vaccinated on Luxury Expedition Cruises and Small Group Journeys?
Yes, all guests, including children (age 7+), must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination on Luxury Expedition Cruises and from 1 January 2022 on all Luxury Small Group Journeys.
Do I have to present my vaccination certificate to A&K prior to or during my journey?
All guests will be required to show proof of full vaccination at the Welcome Briefing. Guests are advised to carry both an original vaccination certificate and a picture on their phone. Digital passports are accepted for guests from Europe, including the UK.
Will A&K Resident Tour Directors be vaccinated?
Resident Tour Directors will be vaccinated on Luxury Small Group Journeys for departures from 1 January 2022.
What if I am not vaccinated? What are my options?
Our Travel Specialists can work with you to travel on a Tailor-made journey to a destination where vaccinations are not required.
I cannot be vaccinated against Covid-19 for medical reasons; can I still join a group tour?
We will be pleased to welcome any client with a recognised medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination to travel with us on a Tailor-made itinerary. Please note that some countries have vaccination as a requirement to entry, so you may not be able to enter a country without being fully vaccinated. Check the FCDO website for full details. Additional testing requirements may also apply however and therefore please contact your travel specialist directly for further information.
Medical exemptions will not be accepted on Luxury Expedition Cruises, Luxury Small Group Journeys or Wings over the World programmes.
COVID-19 requirements and testing
Please visit our Covid-19 testing page.
Will I need to quarantine when I return home from my holiday?
You do not need to take any COVID-19 tests or quarantine on arrival in England, irrespective of your vaccination status.
If you are returning from a red-list country, no matter what your vaccination status, you are required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days. Full details can be found here.
For the latest information on travelling from another country during COVID-19 including the rules for children see here.
As these rules may change over time the latest information on the government website should be checked at the time of travelling. Please note there may be different rules applying to entry to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so it is prudent to check each of the relevant government’s sites for the latest advice.
Other useful information:
For a comprehensive travel abroad checklist, visit the UK Government site here