Navigating the New Travel Landscape: Group Travel

What changes are coming to group travel in the future?
By Carrie Fediuk

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The focus of the Michigan Alumni Travel program is first and foremost on the health and safety of its travelers. We know the landscape of the travel program is changing with the current pandemic and want to provide you with the best information available. To that end, we have created a series of blog posts that will help you navigate travel when you are ready to get back out there. 

Today we look at how group travel will be different.

COVID-19 literally stopped the entire travel industry in its tracks. Airports went silent, hotel rooms went vacant, and restaurants were shuttered. It was a situation no one expected in our world.

Now, things are starting to calm down and the United States is beginning to reopen, along with several international destinations. As a result, tour operators are now looking ahead in anticipation of the time when trips will start taking place again on a regular basis.

How safe will it be to travel in a group? Our operators have been developing guidelines to ensure travelers’ health and safety throughout the entire trip. Here is what you can expect to see:

  • Pre-tour: Some operators may ask travelers to complete a wellness form.
  • Group size: Tours may be smaller in size, allowing for more elbow room while still maintaining camaraderie.
  • Tour directors: Those in charge are being trained extensively in hygiene and social distancing as well as how to handle illnesses and emergencies.
  • Face masks: Face masks may be provided, if needed. The tour director, motorcoach driver, and other tour staff will be wearing them as well.
  • Motorcoaches: Extensive cleaning protocols will be implemented throughout your tour. Look for hand sanitizer to be readily available, too.
  • Hotels: Hotel guidelines and protocols will vary widely, but look for additional cleaning protocols in guest rooms, the lobby area, workout rooms, and restaurants.
  • Tour experience: Tour operators are working with their local partners to ensure adequate distancing is followed across all trip experiences (sightseeing, meals, and more).
  • Cruise experience: All travelers will have their temperature taken prior to boarding, and passports will be examined to ensure high-risk countries have not been visited recently. Cleaning protocols have been expanded and state-of-the-art air filtration systems installed.

One area of importance is round-the-clock support. Along with your tour director, you will have 24/7 access to the tour’s operations and guest services teams to assist with any needs. In addition, travel insurance can provide an extra layer of protection.

Michigan Alumni Travel will continue to work with its tour operators to expand and refine this list as travel resumes and new standards are established for all of our trips. Rest assured, you will have a team of individuals traveling with you who will work hard to keep you safe and find you care, if needed.

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