Call us now 01722 718444

July 2020 - Discover Adventure

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Written by  Jessica Pitman 21 July 2020

Coronavirus (Covid 19) Update: 21st July 2020

 We've temporarily suspended all of our trips to ensure the safety of our customers, staff and partners worldwide.

All trips until 31st July 2020 have been suspended and we continue to monitor the situation closely to assess if this needs extending.

We are working our way through contacting affected customers in date order so please bear with us and wait for us to contact you so that we can prioritise those most imminently affected.

We have always aimed to be open and transparent in our decisions and this is no different during the pandemic. However, this remains an ever-changing landscape, in which we are dealing with some of the most complex issues and greatest uncertainties our industry has ever faced. This also means there is no precedent from which to get valuable evidence as to what will lie ahead.

We continue to push for further government advice, which will help us get more answers on the status of our challenges for the rest of 2020. However, this is a slow process and the government is highly unlikely to give guidance too far ahead of time, so we, like everyone else, have to stay patient. 

If you would like to know more about the procedures and measures we are implementing on our trips to ensure your safety and the safety of our crew, please head to our Safe Adventures page.

 

Please read this page, and our Safe Adventures page,  in full as we have endeavoured to answer all of your questions and concerns as clearly and honestly as possible, and if you have further questions, please contact the office. 

 

Official information and sources

If you would like to understand more about the latest Government Travel Advice explicitly linked to the COVID-19 situation, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

For general travel advice and country-specific advice, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice 

The World Health Organisation publishes a daily situation report and have a whole section of their website dedicated to Covid-19. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 

 

FCO Travel Advice

On the 17th March, British Nationals were advised against all but essential travel overseas. This was initially for a 30 day period but was subsequently updated to be indefinite. This doesn't mean forever and indeed could be lifted at any time without notice. We have close links with the Travel Advice team at the FCO so will be amongst the first to know when a change in advice is expected.

We’re keen to avoid cancelling trips unless it is absolutely necessary and will make these decisions based on the FCO travel advice for your destination country, or if the trip becomes operationally unviable due to any safety or logistical concerns. But please be assured, the safety of our customers will ALWAYS come first. If we have any doubts whatsoever about our trips and the associated risk, they will be cancelled. You will be informed if this impacts you.

 

FAQS RELATING TO COVID-19

IS MY TRIP GOING AHEAD?

If you haven’t heard from us, and your trip is due to depart before 1st September 2020, then it means your trip is going ahead.  Please check your junk email folder before contacting us to check if you've received any communications from us.  Please do not assume that your trip is cancelled!

 

YES!  At present, we are planning to run all of our autumn/winter challenges as normal.  Of course, we will follow government advice and travel restrictions but we are confident that we will be able to run our trips as planned.

 

If you choose to cancel your place on a trip that is due to run as normal, then our normal T&Cs will apply.  Your registration fee is non-refundable and any trip costs that have been paid will be refunded in accordance with our normal T&Cs. You can read our Ts&Cs in full here.

 

We understand that you might be worried about taking on an adventure later this year, and you may not have been able to train or fundraise as much as you would have liked.  If you want to postpone your adventure until later on this year, or to 2021, then please request this in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If your trip is due to depart before 1st September, then we are happy to facilitate this transfer free of charge.  For departures after this date, the normal transfer fee will apply.  Your new trip must depart within 12 months of the original trip date. The fees for this change are as follows;

  • Overseas Trek or Cycle: £50
  • European Cycle: £40
  • UK Weekend Trek: £40

All of our 2021 trip prices can be found on our website and you will be liable to pay the price of the trip that you move to.  If your new trip is lower than the amount that you have already paid, then we will issue you with a Refund Credit Note for the remainder

 

With anything to do with fundraising, your first port of call should be your charity.  They will be able to offer you tips and advice – you may need to be a bit more creative but as Captain Tom has demonstrated, where there’s a will, there’s a way!  You also have the option of moving to either the part or full payment options to reduce your target or cover all your trip costs yourself respectively.  Contact us to find out how to do this.

 

We are constantly monitoring advice from the UK government and authorities.  This advice is changing day by day, and so we do not want to make any decisions too early.  We appreciate that this isn’t always ideal but we will keep you in the loop and be open with you so that you know the likelihood of your challenge going ahead.   As mentioned above, we aim to run ALL trips from September 1st onwards and usually make a final decision around 6 weeks prior to departure, however, this can vary if the travel advice is deemed likely to change nearer to the date of departure.

 

If you have not been advised that your trip is cancelled, then please do pay your balance as normal, by the due date on your invoice.  If your balance is not cleared by your due date, then your place on the trip may be cancelled and you could lose the money you've already paid.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I PAY MY BALANCE AND THEN THE TRIP IS CANCELLED?

If DA cancels or suspend your trip, or if we cannot deliver a significant part of it as a result of Covid-19, then you can choose from the following 3 options:

  • Transfer to another departure of the same trip up until the end of 2021.
  • Transfer to any other Open trip we’re offering of a similar value until the end of 2021.
  • If you do not wish to transfer your booking or the same trip is not available during that time, we will provide you with a Refund Credit Note for your trip payment which is valid until 31st December 2020.  You can use this credit note towards any other trip with us at any time in the future but the trip must be booked by 31st December At that point, if nothing has been booked, you will receive a cash refund.

 

YES. Discover Adventure Ltd is fully bonded, with the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (ATOL) managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - The CAA is the statutory corporation which oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom, as detailed below. 

In addition, DA is a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)  both of which are UK travel trade associations for tour operators and travel agents, giving you excellent consumer protection.

Read more here: https://www.discoveradventure.com/your-financial-protection

At present, we are planning to run all of our autumn/winter challenges as normal.  Of course, we will follow government advice and travel restrictions but we are confident that we will be able to run our trips as planned.

 

We are constantly monitoring advice from the UK government and authorities.  This advice is changing day by day, and so we do not want to make any decisions too early.  We appreciate that this isn’t always ideal but we will keep you in the loop and be open with you so that you know the likelihood of your challenge going ahead.   As mentioned above, we aim to run ALL trips from September 1st onwards and usually make a final decision around 6 weeks prior to departure, however, this can vary if the travel advice is deemed likely to change nearer to the date of departure.

 

HOW CAN I TRAIN WHILE IN LOCKDOWN?

Exercise is really important for both your physical and mental health, particularly in uncertain times such as these.  Having something to focus on, to get the endorphins going, can really help with your stress levels.  Take advantage of the sunny weather and try to get outside and get your steps in every day.  There’s also a multitude of online sessions being offered which are ideal for cross-training and to try something new.  Ever fancied giving yoga a go?  Why not now!  If you’re stuck at home with the kids, get them involved.  Take up a virtual challenge – climb Ben Nevis on your stairs, walk a marathon in your garden – the opportunities are endless!

 

If you are on a trip that is unable to run due to COVID-19, then the same options as above will apply.

 

If you have organised your own flights then you are responsible for your international travel arrangements.  If the trip is postponed then you will need to contact your airline to discuss your options. Your trip is likely to only be postponed due to travel restrictions remaining in place so the airlines should accommodate your requests.

 

We are in constant contact with our charity partners and are providing updates as it is required. We would ask that any participant on a bespoke challenge contact the charity in the first instance, as they will be responsible for contacting their supporters regarding any changes to their challenges.    

If you are unable to contact your charity, continue to look at our updates and the advice from the Foreign Commonwealth Office for British people travelling abroad - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.

 

For more information about health & safety procedures, how we will operate our trips under the new guidance and FAQs about coronavirus procedures, see our Safe Adventures page.

 


Previous Update: 15th May 2020 

The few months have thrown so much of what we previously took for granted up into the air, and we're all still adjusting to that. The many unknowns of the current situation have, and continue to, cause huge uncertainty and we understand this can cause concern and disappointment. We hugely appreciate the support and patience you have shown us at this time, thank you. The COVID-19 impact is extraordinarily difficult for everyone and the travel industry is clearly no exception to this. We're constantly thinking of everyone in our DA Family, our partners worldwide and especially the key workers doing everything they can to keep the UK, and the rest of the world, moving. We're confident that it won't be long before we're helping you to tick off your bucket list again and live out your travel dreams, and we're as excited as you are for that day! 

We continue to monitor all official channels to ensure we're as up to date as possible as well as receiving supplementary information from our partners worldwide so that we can provide you with the best and most accurate information.

Previous Update: 2nd April 2020

The current situation is unlike anything the travel industry has ever seen before, and we are all working hard to get through it as best we can. Ever since our first few adventurers headed out on a cycling trip through Turkey in 1994, this is the first time in the ensuing 26 years that we haven’t been able to have customers adventuring somewhere in the World. Our whole ethos is based around enabling people to get out there and adventure, whilst raising much-needed funds for UK charities to support the amazing and vital work they carry out.

It was, therefore, an extremely tough and heart-breaking decision we had to make to suspend all operations until at least 31st May 2020, but the safety of our customers, our local teams around the world and our own staff have always and will always remain our priority.

We have always been proud of our open, honest and flexible approach, as we feel strongly that in the end that is what counts, and we know from many of your kind comments over the years that this is why you continue to choose to travel with us, for which we are hugely honoured.

The global spread of COVID-19 and the knock-on effects it had on travel (not to mention the more recent restrictions the whole of the UK now find themselves in) could obviously not have been foreseen but did, and continues to, prevent huge numbers of our customers from travelling on their much-anticipated trips and we are genuinely as disappointed as you are about it.

We are also acutely aware that our charity partners are faced with the dire prospect of not generating their anticipated income from now cancelled events and being left unable to deliver the services they have committed to. Wherever possible we strongly encourage you to keep going with your fundraising challenge to support your charities when they need you the most. We totally appreciate it’s going to be much tougher right now but if you can show the relentless energy and determination you all demonstrate trip after trip, we know you’ll find a way through and the rewards at the end will be all the sweeter.

In the meantime please stay safe, look after yourselves and family and we'll see you out there again when we're able

Jonathan Bryan - MD and Founder

 

Previous Update: 17th March 2020

Understandably, the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is raising a lot of questions about travel and the safety of specific places around the world. We get it and want to provide you with as much information as possible and provide support at this challenging and confusing time. It is important to us that you, our DA family, feel reassured and trust that when the time is right, we're here to take you on your next adventure. 

With the barrage of daily rolling news, it is perhaps a little hard to decipher the facts. We are taking our information and advice from official sources (The UK Government and The World Health Organisation), and you can read more of this information further down this page. We are also lucky to have many contacts and links to organisations to help us to help you in these tough times (AITO and ABTA), and they are keeping us up-to-date with information about the travel industry and your rights. 

It's crucial to Discover Adventure, our employees, and for our local teams, as small businesses, that people begin to travel again when it is safe to do so. With this in mind, at such a time we have to cancel any trips due to travel restrictions, we ask you to strongly consider postponing your trips with us rather than cancelling, as we would love to take you on the adventure of the lifetime in the future. We'll be reaching out as soon as things return to normal and once it's safe to live the adventure again. We're in this together.

 


 

If you have any concerns at all, please contact the team in the office, and we can give you our honest view of the situation at present. 01722 718444 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Articles by month