Covid-19 Policy


How does HOT decide to proceed or reschedule their tours?

Our decision would be based on a combination of several sources.  After the pandemic hit in February / March 2020, we had rescheduled all of our 2020 tours, then subsequently 2021 tours.  Safety of our participants are of our utmost importance.

Will I get a refund if my tour is rescheduled?

The refund of the $500 deposit would depend on the tour confirmation status.  

  • If the tour is unconfirmed, then your $500 deposit would be fully refundable.
  • If the tour is confirmed, then your $500 deposit would be non-refundable, however it may be transferable to a future tour.  The transferable amount may be $500, or less depending on time / deposits with local agencies, airlines or vendors, and their refund policies, which is often beyond our control. 

If my tour is rescheduled, will I be able to hold my space?

If we end up needing to reschedule the tour to 2023 or 2024, you could either stay with the same tour (if the new tour dates work for you), or you could transfer your deposit to another tour.

If my tour is rescheduled, what will happen to my travel insurance that I had purchased?

Please call your travel insurance provider to see if they can move your policy to a future tour date (usually within 1 or 2 years).  Cancellations due to “fear of travel” is not covered.  Cancellations due to actual covid-19 illness, or inability to travel due to cancellations by airlines, tour operators, etc. would most likely be covered – as there’s always some “fine print” somewhere.  

Does HOT require Covid-19 vaccination in order to join the tour?

YES, a proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required for several reasons.

  • We need to minimize the complexity of traveling on a tour with some being vaccinated, and some being unvaccinated.
  • We need to protect everybody in our group, including minimizing the chances of getting sick with Covid-19 during the tour.
  • Almost all countries require proof of vaccination in order to enter with minimal restrictions (e.g. mandatory quarantines for 10 to 14 days, or even prohibition from entry for those who are unvaccinated). 
  • Several of our tours has more than 1 country, which may have different Covid-19 entry restrictions/regulations, including quarantine for those who are unvaccinated.
  • Some restaurants, museums, destinations, et al may require proof of vaccination before allowing entry.
  • There are often times where social distancing of 6 feet apart is almost impossible especially when traveling in 9 passenger vans.

Does HOT require use of masks on tours?

YES, participants are expected to wear masks in accordance to local regulations, as well as inside vehicles at all times.

  • Tour leaders will have final say in whether or not masks are mandatory, or optional.
  • If participants continue to refuse to wear masks, especially inside vehicles, they may be asked to leave the tour without any refund.

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