Special Covid considerations
Q. Do I need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel with WanderTours?
A. Given the continuously changing nature of the Coronavirus, as of October, 2021, we are now requiring all participants on our tours to be vaccinated. This is to protect not only the other tour participants but also the locals at the destinations to which we are traveling.
Fully vaccinated at this time means it’s been at least two weeks after your first shot of a one-shot vaccine or two weeks after your second shot of a two-shot vaccine. You’ll be asked to send us, via email, a photo or PDF of your vaccine card. You will not be able to join the group at our destination until we have this paperwork.
Q. Will I be required to have a negative Covid-19 test result to travel with WanderTours?
A. At this time, you will not be required to provide a negative Covid-19 test result in order to participate in our tours. The exception to this is if the country to which you are traveling requires a negative test prior to entry. We will provide you with any entry information in advance so you will be prepared but you will not be required to send WanderTours your test results.
Q. Will masks be required during a WanderTour?
A. At this time, masks will be required any place where they are required by the local government (in shops and in restaurants when not seated for a meal, for example), and any time we are unable to socially distance with each other (while traveling in a bus, for example).
Q. What other sorts of safety precautions will be taken during a WanderTours trip?
A. We take Covid-19 seriously and understand that the situation and information changes frequently. We will follow local laws, protocols, and requirements when it comes to precautions at our destinations. As news, information and guidelines change regularly, these will be addressed in the FAQs for each destination and we will update registered participants as new information is released.
We are a boutique tour company that specializes in just a handful of destinations. We run small group tours in order to have less of an impact on the communities we visit and so that we’re able to meet the needs of each participant.
WanderTours are created to dive deep into a culture. All tours include special elements that you won’t find from most other tour companies. Examples include: private musical performances from world-renowned artists in Varanasi, India; hands-on cooking classes in Bhutan; homestays in tribal villages in Vietnam; a private meeting with a Vietnamese war correspondent in Saigon; and dinners with local families at many destinations.
Participants are “introduced” to each other in advance via a special newsletter so that everyone can get to know each other prior to landing at your destination. We have found that this brings a level of comfort and familiarity to the group from Day 1.
We strive to make participants as comfortable with the process and as excited about the destination as we are – from your initial inquiry and registration through the last day of the tour. If you have special needs, we do our best to accommodate your requests.
3. What’s included in a WanderTour?
Depending on the destination, your WanderTours leader will be either Beth or one of our other qualified wonderful guides. On occasion we offer tours, such as a photography trip, that is led by a guide with specialized knowledge in a particular area of interest.
What sets us apart from other tour companies is that not only do our tours include local English-speaking guides who are knowledgeable about that country’s sights, history, religion and culture but we include a WanderTours trip leader who helps bridge the gap between you and the local culture.
5. What’s the WanderTours Giving Program?
All of our international tours include a project or program that we support at the destinations we visit. This includes building water tanks in remote areas of Papua New Guinea, paying for and serving lunch to 200 nuns at a nunnery in Burma, donating money to a home for the elderly in Varanasi, India and donating money to a nunnery in Bhutan.
A small portion of each tour cost is donated to these programs and the amount varies depending upon the program or project. There is no additional cost to tour participants but you can feel good knowing that you are helping support these communities! Here’s our blog post on this topic.
6. How do your tours practice sustainable travel?
Travel inherently is not a sustainable activity but we do our best to not only minimize our impact on the environment but also on the communities we visit.
We encourage all participants to limit the bottled water they purchase and, instead, carry their own water purifier (such as one by SteriPEN). We educate our participants about local communities, endangered tribal groups and instill the importance of respecting the cultures we interact with.
All of our international tours incorporate some aspect of the WanderTours Giving Program in which we donate money to fund a project or program in the country we are visiting. Participants usually have a chance to visit the project or program and see the positive influence of their visit and dollars.
7. Why do your tours focus on just a few destinations?
While we would love to include a wider range of destinations, these locations have been personally selected by Beth and are ones in which she has a strong personal connection.
WanderTour participants are interested in joining a small group so as to have a safe environment in which to travel while meeting like-minded travelers without having to do all the research and logistical work to create a full and meaningful trip for themselves.
The women-only tours attract a wide range of travelers – from twenty-somethings to sixty-somethings (and beyond!). We’ve had mother/daughter duos, small groups of friends and, of course, many solo travelers.
The co-ed tours to Bhutan and Papua New Guinea usually include solo travelers, friends and, on occasion, couples.
Whether you’re single, divorced, widowed or have a partner or spouse who doesn’t like to travel – we welcome you!
WanderTours are open to travelers from around the world. In addition to the U.S., past participants have come from many countries including the U.K., Australia, Canada and Switzerland.
If you have a specific interest at a given destination, we do our best to accommodate this. For example, we might be able to arrange special cooking classes, massages or meetings with experts in your field of interest. Sometimes there is an additional cost for this but you’ll always know in advance.
9. Are WanderTours the same as Wanderlust and Lipstick tours?
WanderTours is simply an extension of the Wanderlust and Lipstick brand. The company grew based on the increasing demand for both women-only and co-ed tours.
The majority of our tours are women-only but we offer at least a couple of tours/year that are co-ed. These are usually to Bhutan and Papau New Guinea.
The tours are conducted similarly, whether it’s a women-only or co-ed trip. They all include culturally-rich experiences with high quality guides.
We provide lots of information to our participants – from your initial inquiry and registration, right on through departure time. You’ll be thrilled with how communicative we are. We want you to feel comfortable, relaxed and confident that you are in good hands!
10. Why a single supplement?
Hotel costs are based on double occupancy.
When we determine per person costs on a tour, we split the cost of the hotel in half and then add in the other costs – food, transportation, activities, entrance fees, guides, etc. Therefore, each person’s tour cost is calculated based on half of that double occupancy rate.
11. Will I receive a refund if I have to cancel my participation in the tour?
Whether or not you receive a partial refund depends on how far in advance of the tour you cancel. Our refund policy is covered in our Booking Terms and Conditions and is also outlined on the Registration form that you’ll receive within 24 hours of booking. Refunds will be sent by check within two weeks of our receiving written notification of your cancellation (email notification is fine). If Beth is traveling when you cancel, it may take longer than two weeks to get your refund check out to you. She’ll mail it as soon as she can upon returning to the U.S.!
ATTA – Adventure Travel Trade Association is a global network of tour operators, tourism boards, hotels and agents who believe in the sustainable development of adventure tourism.
TAP – The aim of Travelers Against Plastic is to educate global travelers about the harmful impact of plastic water bottle usage and to encourage travelers to clean their own drinking water.