Information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

For all the destinations we operate in we constantly monitor and follow the advice of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who provide recommendations and advice to British travellers about travel to a certain destination.
Health and safety is our top priority so we will NEVER operate a trip in an area where there is clear and present risk to our team members, whether that is due to a health outbreak, political instability, natural disasters or anything else.

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. For more information please visit gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

The UK's Chief Medical Officer advises that the risk to individuals in the UK is high. The most important thing you can do to protect against Coronavirus (and other germs), is to stay at home, practise social distancing and promote good hand and respiratory hygiene including:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then discard the tissue and wash hands with soap and warm water.
  • Hand sanitizing gel is also recommended for use after handwashing.

We advise you to stay up to date with the following official resources:

These resources are updated regularly and we encourage you to visit these websites for the latest information. If you have any questions please contact us on info@different-travel.com.

I'm booked on a trip with you, what is happening?

If the FCO advises against all but essential travel to the destination, or we believe operating the trip will be detrimental to your health, safety and welfare we will contact you, (or your group representative, if booked on a charity, school or corporate trip) as quickly as possible to provide you with full information. This situation is evolving rapidly but we are committed to keeping all our teams fully informed during this difficult time. Please continue to be patient.

For those individuals currently scheduled to travel between May and August 2020 to destinations where FCO advice currently states that all but essential travel should be avoided, postponement of your trip and the offer of alternative departure dates has been discussed with you, and/or your group representative.

Should the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice change to advise against travel to any other destinations, which results in us being unable to operate your trip as planned, we will contact you accordingly and advise what alternative arrangements will be available. Our preferred option will be to postpone your trip. If this is not suitable for you, you may:

  • Transfer your booking to an alternative 2020 departure
  • Transfer your booking to an alternative 2021 departure
  • Receive a refund of your trip costs
While we appreciate that postponement of your trip could cause disappointment, your safety and wellbeing is our top priority.

I'm not convinced we'll be able to travel overseas in September/October/November 2020. What should I do?

We are advising participants not to cancel their place until absolutely the last minute (unless there is something that would lead to their cancellation regardless of COVID-19, such as an unrelated new illness, injury, pregnancy etc.) as this gives you far more options and financial protection.

  • If travel restrictions are still in place or there is any risk of travelling then the trip will be postponed. We will NEVER operate a trip in an area where there is clear and present risk to our team members, whether that is due to a health outbreak, political instability, natural disasters or anything else.
  • If you choose to cancel your trip with us while it is still scheduled to go ahead as planned, or before we have postponed, cancelled or rearranged your trip, our standard cancellation policy applies and you will lose all money paid for your trip. You can read about this in our Terms and Conditions here. You may attempt to claim money paid for your trip from your travel insurance company but many companies now exclude cancellation claims directly related to COVID-19 or if you've had a change of heart.
  • If you wait until closer to the time of departure (approx. 8-12 weeks beforehand) the pandemic situation may have significantly improved, travel restrictions may have been lifted worldwide, and the virus may no longer be a threat. As nobody can accurately predict when this will happen, it is better to wait until you have all the information before making a snap decision.
  • If you cannot (or do not want to) change to the postponed dates you will receive a refund so by waiting a while before cancelling you have more chance of receiving a refund.

Am I still covered by travel insurance?

Please contact your travel insurance company for information about your policy. In general, if you arranged your travel insurance policy before the COVID-19 outbreak you may be covered for cancellation or curtailment by you, and/or medical expenses if you contracted COVID-19 either before, or during the trip. However some insurance companies may have amended their policies to exclude claims directly related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you arranged travel insurance cover since the outbreak your insurance company may not cover any curtailment or cancellation by you, and/or medical expenses if it is related to COVID-19. Please note that any changes to policies may only refer to COVID-19 related issues, not cover for injury, unrelated illnesses, baggage loss or other aspects included in your insurance policy. Please discuss your queries directly with your own travel insurance company to find out what your situation is based on the level of cover you purchased.

I want to join one of your trips (or add on an extension package). Will I lose my money if COVID-19 affects the trip?

No. If travel restrictions are still in place by the time of your intended trip or there is any risk of travelling then the trip will be postponed. We will NEVER operate a trip in an area where there is clear and present risk to our team members, whether that is due to a health outbreak, political instability, natural disasters or anything else.

If you cancel your place while it is still scheduled to go ahead as planned, or before we have postponed, cancelled or rearranged your trip, our standard cancellation policy applies and you will lose all money paid for your trip. You can read about this in our Terms and Conditions here. You may attempt to claim money paid for your trip from your travel insurance company but many companies now exclude cancellation claims directly related to COVID-19 or if you've had a change of heart.

We are hoping for worldwide improvements

We are very much hoping that things will improve soon as the impact an extended travel ban will have on the rural communities that relies on tourism for income is significant. We would also like to take this opportunity to send our thanks and appreciation to all our partners and individual team members who have shown great understanding and patience while we deal with the various travel implications of COVID-19.

Trip specific information

Please refer to the following Foreign and Commonwealth Office information about the destinations we are operating trips to in 2020:
Cambodia FCO travel advice
China^ FCO travel advice
India FCO travel advice
Indonesia FCO travel advice
Italy FCO travel advice
Kenya FCO travel advice
Laos FCO travel advice
Madagascar FCO travel advice
Morocco FCO travel advice
Nepal FCO travel advice
Peru FCO travel advice
Romania FCO travel advice
Rwanda FCO travel advice
Tanzania FCO travel advice
Thailand FCO travel advice
Uganda FCO travel advice
Zambia FCO travel advice

^For our upcoming trips to the Great Wall of China, if the Foreign Office does not lift the current travel advice by the time the trek is due to commence we anticipate rescheduling the departures.