How We’re Adapting Atlas Obscura Trips to COVID-19 - Atlas Obscura

How We’re Adapting Atlas Obscura Trips to COVID-19

Updated: November 30, 2021 

In response to COVID-19, we have worked with the experienced team of travel-safety advisors at Global Rescue to overhaul our trip operations. The result is the following guide, which outlines the ways we have adapted our trip operations to protect the health and safety of our travelers, staff, and the communities we visit. 

We are continually reassessing these guidelines and making adjustments as needed. We encourage any travelers with questions regarding our policies or an upcoming trip to contact us at trips@atlasobscura.com

For information about our revised booking policies, vaccination and testing requirements, among other details, please consult Traveling with Atlas Obscura During the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

What Our Team Is Doing

Staying Informed

Our team of Program Managers and Guest Experience specialists are continually monitoring the latest in news and information about COVID-19, as well as the Delta and Omicron variants, for the destinations that we visit. This includes reviewing local and international requirements and guidelines, health department responses, entry and exit requirements, and other policies or changes that might impact travel or your trip experience. Using this information, as well as the guidance of our partners at Global Rescue, we determine where we can and cannot operate trips. In destinations where we can operate, we are closely reviewing local rules and regulations to ensure that we can continue to participate in our planned activities or similar. Should travel restrictions impact our ability to enter or exit a destination or follow our planned itinerary, we will not hesitate to cancel the trip.

Communicating with Travelers

Keeping our travelers informed is one of our highest priorities, especially amid the uncertainties created by the Pandemic. In addition to sharing any updates about destination rules, regulations, and trip operations, we are also working diligently to keep you informed about health and safety guidelines, such as how to prepare and what to pack. Where appropriate and available, we will also direct you to third-party resources. With travel guidelines rapidly changing in different locales around the world, we encourage everyone to monitor your local guidelines and to reach out to our team directly with any questions.

Adapting Our Trips 

We’re adapting our existing trips and vetting hotels, transportation providers, outfitters, and others we work with in the field based on physical distancing, cleaning, and disinfecting best practices. This may mean moving an activity outside, arranging for larger or multiple vehicles, breaking into smaller groups for a short indoor excursion, and more. Rest assured, we are creating and operating our trips with health and safety as our top priority.

We Have Your Back

If at any point during a trip a traveler does not feel well or notices any sign of illness, our partners at Global Rescue are available to help. Our partnership with Global Rescue allows our guests to access remote assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Global Rescue can advise on necessary steps and precautions and can help arrange in-person local care at vetted medical facilities. Please consult your pre-trip materials for more information. Certain restrictions apply.

What We Ask of Our Travelers

The overall safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in our trips will rely on the conscientious behavior of our travelers. We ask that all travelers join us in committing to responsible travel by actively doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements

For all trips departing October 1, 2021 or later, all guests will be required to be fully vaccinated by the departure date of your trip in order to participate. Accepted vaccines include all that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency. These vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson/Jannsen.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Certain destinations require visitors to be both fully vaccinated AND have proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival. This is true for some destinations even simply for transiting through a country or airport. Please click here to see the destination requirements for your particular trip if you are originating in the United States. If your travel originates from outside the United States, please refer to the appropriate embassy website for travel requirements. You’ll also want to check with your airline for the most up to date requirements at the time of travel. 

Please see Traveling with Atlas Obscura During the COVID-19 Pandemic for more detailed information. 

Coming Prepared

We recommend that all travelers have the following items on hand when traveling:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, plus a photo or copy of this vaccination card 
  • Several face masks that cover your nose and mouth
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • A sense of adventure and flexibility. Traveling amid the changing conditions may not look or feel the same as it did before. That being said, the wonders and curiosities of the world await to inspire us as we begin to reconnect through travel.  

Following On-Trip Protocols

  • Keep at least six feet of physical distance from others
  • Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose in public as required by local guidelines or by local private businesses that we visit
  • Clean hands often 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay in and keep separate from the group if feeling unwell
  • Communicate any questions or concerns to your trip leader(s)

After Travel

Many local guidelines call for self-isolating and monitoring symptoms after travel outside your state or country of residence. Travelers should follow local guidance upon return from the trip. We also ask that travelers inform us should they become ill with COVID-19 symptoms or receive a positive test result within two weeks of your trip’s end date so we can inform other travelers (without disclosing identity) and share resources with recommendations for appropriate action.

What Our On-Trip Staff Is Doing

In addition to following the above guidelines and supporting the on-trip experience of our travelers, our trip leaders are also doing the following: 

Carrying Supplies

We recommend that you bring your own personal supply of masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes, as well as anything else that will make you comfortable while traveling on a trip. Please consult the guidelines for your specific destination and airline(s), as requirements vary widely. Should you lose a mask or leave your hand sanitizer in your hotel room, our leaders travel with an extra supply for the group.

Helping Facilitate Healthy Trips

Our leaders support healthy behaviors by reminding travelers of health and safety best practices and modeling safe behavior throughout the trip. While we cannot prevent Covid-19, we do our best to minimize the risk and to promote the best trip experience possible.

Adapting the On-Trip Experience

In addition to staying informed on best practices to stay healthy during the pandemic and coming prepared to provide support to travelers, our trip leaders are actively adapting the on-the-ground experience to allow for physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and other precautions.