COVID-19 Policies 2021

Walking England


Winter 2021

In our almost 33 years of running trips, 2020 was the first year we had to keep our boots planted firmly at home. Hitting the trail again on familiar routes will be sweet indeed when it happens. In the meantime, we are looking toward our 2021 season with great optimism and also a realistic eye to what might actually be possible.

COVID-19 is still very much with us. With treatments evolving and vaccines being rolled out, we are all learning how to navigate our worlds in new ways that endeavor to help keep us all reasonably safe yet allow us to get out there and explore.

As we look ahead and plan for our 2021 trips, we anticipate the virus may still be part of the landscape. Much like this past year, and really always, the safety and health of our hikers remains our number one priority, as does the health and safety of the communities and areas we travel through.

Most of the world still remains closed to American tourists, but as it begins to open, we will be ready with the safety policies and protocols necessary to get us back on the trail again.

We understand that many of you will not be comfortable traveling internationally until vaccines are readily available and postive cases have declined significantly. Others of you may be concerned about possible trip disruption in the event of reimposed restrictions or quarantine requirements. There is a lot to take into consideration.

We've all converged at Distant Journeys because we love to travel and experience the benefits of walking new landscapes. We'd like to do what we can to help you navigate back to the trail in a way and at a time that feels safest to you.

hiking japan

Book Your 2021 Trip

We all love planning and dreaming about a trip on the horizon. We don't want you to stop planning or dreaming, so as long as COVID-19 continues to complicate travel, we are keeping the following policies in place.

As always, we will continue to monitor the situation and will revise and update these policies and protocols to meet the current situation.

New Reservations

We want everyone to be excited about their travel plans. Anticipation is part of the joy of traveling. With all the uncertainty around travel these days, it's reasonable to decide to put your plans on hold. If you'd like to cancel your guided trip more than 75 days out from your trip start, we can offer these options:

  • Receive a refund of your deposit, less our usual $250 cancellation fee.
  • Transfer your deposit as a credit to a future trip, good through 2023

Final Payments

We will not ask for final payments unless we are reasonably confident your trip will be able to run as scheduled.

Will My Trip Run?

If necessary, we will assess trips 60 days prior to departure. At that time, for guided trips we will either:

  • Cancel the trip
  • Reschedule the departure to a later date in 2021, if possible.
  • Wait until 45 days prior to departure to make a final determination, if there is a significantly positive trend.

For self-guided and private trips, we will contact hikers directly to discuss options.

Cancellation Policy for Guided Trips

Should we find it necessary to cancel a trip due to COVID 19-related travel restrictions, we will be offering the following options:

  • Transfer your deposit to the new departure or another trip in 2021.
  • If you are unable to rebook with us in 2021, transfer your deposit as a credit, plus a 5% discount, to a future guided trip, good through 2023.
  • Receive a full refund of your deposit.

Cancellation Policy for Self-Guided Trips

Should you be unable to take your self-guided trip as planned due to COVID 19-related travel restrictions prohibit:

  • If rebooking your trip in 2021 is not an option, we will transfer any non-refundable payments as a credit* to a future trip, good through 2023.

*Credits will be applied solely to final payments. Our standard Self-Guided Booking Terms and Condtions will apply when rebooking a future trip.

Rebooking with Credits and Discounts

For those of you who have credits and discounts due to 2020 trip cancellations, the following will apply:

  • Credits may be applied to either a guided or self-guided trip.
  • Discounts received as the result of a canceled guided trip may only be applied to guided trips.
  • Once you choose to use your credit as a deposit on a new or rebooked trip, any discounts will be applied, and our standard terms and conditions will go into effect.
  • For cancellations, any refunds due will be issued in the form of credit
  • Should you decide to cancel more than 75 days out from your trip start or should we find it necessary to cancel your trip due to COVID-related travel restrictions, any credits and/or discounts will be reinstated, good through 2023.
lunch in Scotland

Some Things to Expect in 2021

While the coronavirus is still with us, we'll be doing things a little differently on our trips. Like many other active travel companies, we believe our trips lend themselves particularly well to our new normal.

  • The open spaces of our natural world and our small group sizes give us plenty of room to distance on and off the trail.
  • We will be asking hikers to bring your favorite face covering as well as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, respect requests to wear face coverings when physical distancing isn’t possible and follow other safety protocols as directed by guides.
  • Through our longstanding relationships with our hotels, inns, mountain huts, and transportation providers, we are able to work toward assuring our hikers that best practices are followed, and enhanced health and safety guidelines are being met or exceeded.
  • We continue to monitor what's happening in our trip areas. As countries and areas begin to open up, we will do our best to keep our hikers up to date on evolving restrictions and requirements. It may be that travelers will be required to test before departure or on entry to a destination.

As always, you are welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns, and we will endeavor to get back to you as quickly as possible.

For more information and updates, you may visit the World Health Organization , Center for Disease Control , Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center , and the U.S. State Department.