Best Safety & Hygiene Tips For Travelling in 2023 And Beyond

Here at Expat Explore, the safety and well-being of our travellers and travel crew is our priority.

Travel is back and the tourism and hospitality industry is taking extra precautions regarding how to travel safely. Since our tours first resumed in 2021, Expat Explore has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety protocols on our trips. These additional precautions were introduced to help ensure that our travellers and the Expat Explore team are as safe and protected as possible while on tour.

Preparing For Your Trip

Rules and regulations for international travel, such as vaccination status and pre-departure testing, will vary depending on where you live and where you are travelling to. It is important that you research these regulations for all of the countries to which you are travelling to ensure seamless, stress-free border crossings.

A useful website to help you research these regulations and plan for your trip is Sherpa. You will most likely find a similar information portal offered by your airline on their website.

While testing requirements have been lifted on the majority of Expat Explore’s tours, some destinations may still require a negative Covid-19 test and/or proof of vaccination in order to enter the country. Our team will communicate these requirements with you where necessary leading up to your departure date.  

If you have any questions regarding preparing for your trip please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service team.

What We Require From You as an Expat Explore Traveller

As of 1 March 2023, Expat Explore will no longer require negative PCR or antigen tests to join our tours. We also do not require travellers to be vaccinated or present proof of vaccination against Covid-19 to travel with Expat Explore. However, we do strongly recommend that travellers are vaccinated before travelling. Proof of vaccination often makes entry into foreign countries easier and more streamlined. It also helps with peace of mind for your own health and safety as well as the health and safety of your fellow travellers and our crew. 

Please keep in mind that some countries and airlines will have different requirements and may require proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and/or negative PCR or antigen tests before you travel. While the Expat Explore team will communicate information on regulations that directly affect our tours, it is generally the traveller’s responsibility (and best interest) to stay up to date with travel regulations. 

Self-monitor your health and well-being

The health and safety of our travellers and our travel crew is our priority. We want our travellers to have a fantastic time on tour and to do this, we’d like you to be feeling your best. One of the best ways to make sure you stay healthy while on tour is to monitor your general health and well-being; both in the lead-up to your trip and while you are travelling. This helps keep you, your fellow travellers and the Expat Explore travel crew safe and healthy.

Adequate Travel Insurance

All Expat Explore travellers are required to show proof of adequate travel insurance before embarking on tour. Your policy of insurance is required to cover you and your party against the cost of cancellation by you; the cost of assistance (including repatriation - medical and non-medical) in the event of accident or illness; loss of baggage and money; protection against any Covid-related claims and other expenses.

Please Note: If you cannot provide the Expat Explore team with proof of adequate travel insurance prior to the start of your tour, you will not be permitted to embark on day one.

Health and Safety on Tour

On our coach tours, elevated hygiene and safety procedures will be put into place. Our safe and comfortable coaches are cleaned and sanitised before the start of each tour and daily cleaning is maintained throughout the tour. 

Face Masks and Sanitiser

The wearing of face masks while on board the coach and in public spaces will follow the guidance and laws of the local authorities. At present, most countries in Europe have removed all rules dictating the compulsory wearing of face masks. Travellers who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask, can of course choose to do so.

If you are visiting a country that still requires the wearing of masks, you will be required to bring your own mask and wear it when necessary. We ask that our travellers familiarise themselves with the best way to use, clean and store face masks (especially if they are reusable).

While on tour, we visit many public places and “high touch” areas so we encourage using hand sanitiser and regularly washing your hands. Carrying personal hand sanitiser, sanitising regularly as well as washing your hands regularly while on tour helps with maintaining good health and can offer you peace of mind while travelling.

Room Sharing

As per our terms and conditions (Section A8), single travellers will be accommodated in same-gender twin rooms (two single beds, or a double bed and a bunk bed), paired with another single traveller. Triple rooms will no longer be available, thus, three travellers booking together will be accommodated as follows: two travellers will be roomed in one twin room; the third person will be accommodated in a same-gender twin share room. 

Travellers that would prefer to be in a room by themselves are welcome to upgrade to a single supplement room at an additional cost.

The following information is in accordance with the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office):

In Europe, the majority of COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. There are very few countries that require self-isolation when testing positive. 

It is recommended that masks are worn on public transportation but this is not compulsory. It is always recommended to follow good hygiene protocols. For example, disinfect using hand sanitiser and wash your hands often. 

Expat Explore reserves the right to request that travellers who have tested positive for COVID-19 to wear a mask throughout their tour. Should the symptoms of a passenger be severe, a passenger may be asked to discontinue the tour.

Please visit the FCDO website and search your destination for more information.

Our Travel Crew are Trained and Here to Help

Our travel crew, which includes your tour leaders and drivers, are trained to help with health and hygiene needs while on tour. 

As previously mentioned, during the tour, travellers who are feeling unwell are expected to inform their tour leader who will assist with directing the traveller to a medical practitioner. 

For any of your pre-tour or post-tour queries, our excellent Customer Service team is available to help.

Trusted Partners & Service Providers Meet Increased Standards

We have returned to travel and are ensuring that our trusted partners and service providers meet our updated standards and health and hygiene requirements. In addition to ensuring the comfort and quality of our accommodation and activities for our travellers, our hotels, restaurants, local guides and companies have all been carefully assessed. This is to ensure that they are up to date with the increased hygiene standards and that we are confident that they will consistently follow the necessary regulations in the future.

Along with the measures above, we ask our travellers to take personal responsibility for their own well-being and safety. On top of the usual travel hygiene practices, make sure to keep general hygiene and safety precautions in mind; wash your hands regularly, keep your distance, wear a mask if you wish to do so, and use hand sanitiser.

Our team is regularly reviewing government tourism and travel updates and ensuring our tours run in accordance with the prevailing public health advice, and recommendations by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, the European Centre for Disease Control, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

These guidelines are subject to change as global requirements develop and evolve. The enforcement of certain measures (i.e. mask-wearing) will vary in different regions. We will defer to local health authorities for best practices in their region. Check with your home country’s policies on testing and post-trip self-isolation as well as the latest travel advisories.

Expat Explore has been a member of the European Travel Association for over 10 years. As a member, Expat Explore has access to an extensive network of tour operators, suppliers and industry specialists which allows us to stay up to date with the latest news, alerts and developments in European travel. Additionally, this membership allows Expat Explore to play a role in driving sustainable business development for European tourism.