Covid-19 and future travel

If you’ve already got a trip booked with Rayburn Tours, then you’re in the right place. If you haven’t booked with us yet, but have questions in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and our response, then take a look at our Covid Guarantee which offers extra flexible cancellation policies.

“I have a trip booked with you and I have some questions”

 

We understand that it’s an uncertain time for you. And as a party leader, you’ll have questions from yourself, the school and parents that you need answers to.

If you’re due to travel in the next few months then one of our Tour Co-ordinators will no doubt have been in touch by now, but if they haven’t, then don’t worry, they’ll be in touch really soon.

We’ve been working with hundreds of clients whose trips have been affected and we’ve compiled a list of FAQs which will hopefully answer any queries you have.

Due to the way in which some of our suppliers work, we may not be able to offer a COVID guarantee on all our destinations. Please enquire for details.

 

FAQs

 

  • If there is another COVID outbreak, will we get a refund?
    If another COVID outbreak results in the FCDO advising against “all but essential travel” to your destination and your departure is imminent (one to two weeks prior to departure) then we would work with you to either postpone your trip to another suitable date or, if you didn’t wish to postpone, we would cancel your tour and issue you with a full refund.
  • What happens if the government advice changes and we have to isolate for 14 days on return from the trip?
    When the FCDO imposes a UK based quarantine for passengers returning from a certain country it has been standard practice, so far, that the general travel advice from the FCDO for the country in question is also changed to “against all but essential travel”. If the travel advice changes to “all but essential travel” and your departure is imminent (one to two weeks prior to departure) then we would work with you to either postpone your trip to another suitable date or, if you didn’t wish to postpone, we would cancel your tour and issue you with a full refund. In the unlikely event that UK quarantine is in place for a country that is not classed as “against all but essential travel” by the FCDO” we would work with you to postpone your trip.
  • How will social distancing work on the coach / plane? How will social distancing affect excursions?
    Social distancing measures are constantly changing and evolving as they react to the changing pandemic conditions. Because of this it is difficult to know exactly what social distancing measures will be in place at a future date. However, please be assured that all local COVID regulations in place at the time of your departure will be followed by all our tours. If, for whatever reason, we are unable to run the trip whilst adhering to local COVID regulations and your departure is imminent (one to two weeks prior to departure) then we would work with you to either postpone your trip to another suitable date or, if you didn’t wish to postpone, we would cancel your tour and issue you with a full refund.
  • What if there is a national lockdown in the UK which prevents our group from travelling?
    If there was a full national lockdown, then it is likely that this would go hand in hand with the FCDO advising a blanket “all but essential travel” directive to all countries. In this scenario, if your departure is imminent (one to two weeks prior to departure) then we would work with you to either postpone your trip to another suitable date or, if you didn’t wish to postpone, we would cancel your tour and issue you with a full refund. In the very unlikely event of a national lockdown and the FCDO still advising that travel is safe then we would work with you to postpone the tour to a later date.

  • What if the Department for Education advice states no overnight trips but the FCDO advice states it’s fine to travel?
    Like most tour operators, we follow FCDO guidance. If the FCDO travel advice to your destination is “against all but essential travel” and your departure is imminent (one to two weeks prior to departure) then we would cancel your trip. We would then work with you to postpone your trip to a suitable date or, if you didn’t wish to postpone, we would issue you with a full refund.

    In the situation where the DfE advice is not to travel but the FCDO say it is OK to travel, then we would not be in a position to cancel your tour because DfE advice against travel would not be enough to force refunds from our suppliers.

    This situation has happened to a number of our groups since the start of the pandemic and we have worked with each group individually to assess their options. Most groups in this situation have worked with us to postpone their tour, others have had insurance in place to cover the cancellation charges and some have simply asked us to cancel the tour and try and recover as much money as possible from our suppliers to be refunded to them.

 


Postponing Tours

Since March 2020 we have postponed over 250 tours due to COVID. Just like all our tours, each postponement is bespoke, and we will work with each group individually to find the best
possible options.

We are happy to discuss postponing a tour at any point and we will always do all we can to keep any additional costs to a minimum. Here are a few key considerations to think about when postponing a tour with us:

  • Coach Tour Postponements
    Coach tours make postponing a trip quite easy. As long as we agree to continue using the same suppliers for a coach tour postponement, the cost of postponing the coach tour is usually quite small, often zero, and in some cases we’re able to actually reduce the cost due to, for instance, changing from high to low season.

    Even if there’s a slight increase, for instance, because you change dates from low to high season or the exchange rate has changed, we’ll always do everything we can to keep any increase as low as possible and we’ll always run through multiple options with you – so you’re still in control.

    A coach tour provides the best form of flexibility as well as providing a more controlled environment with less social interaction with people outside your group.

  • Flight Tour Postponements
    Flight tours can be slightly less easy to postpone than our coach tours and are more likely to include some extra costs.

    The main reason for this is that airlines will only cancel and therefore refund flights under certain conditions. Where those conditions are not in place, postponing the tour will often involve additional flight costs for moving the flight to a new date.

    Scheduled airlines do offer the best terms when it comes to changing flights. The flights can often be purchased using smaller deposits and scheduled airlines tend to allow cancellations or changes to dates of travel more readily and more in advance of travel than low-cost airlines. Because of this, we would recommend booking with a scheduled airline if you are looking for maximum flexibility. Please speak to your consultant for more information.

    Please be assured that if you did want us to postpone your flight tour, we’ll always do everything we can to keep any increase as low as possible and we’ll always run through multiple options with you – so you’re still in control.

 


Still have questions?

We’re here to help, so please get in touch with our team and we’ll answer your questions as quickly as possible. If it takes us a few days to get back to you then please bear with us, but rest assured that we will be in touch as soon as we can.

Useful articles…

What did we do when Covid hit?

Future of school travel