WAI Policy regarding Wellness on Tour
May 1, 2023

WAI is thrilled to be traveling! The pandemic and lockdowns forced significant changes in the world of travel, and WAI has made significant adaptations. We are grateful, however, that our guide teams were able to stay with us, and we continue to reestablish relationships with partners around the world as we re-connect our travel schedule to far flung corners of this amazing planet!

Tradeoffs and risks
Life is about tradeoffs, dealing with risk, and making good choices. Like many things in life, travel comes with risk. Over the past few years, the most conspicuous risk travelers have managed is COVID-19. We believe the benefits of travel far outweigh any current known risks of getting sick on tour. To join us for a Walking Adventure, we believe you must feel this way as well.  

Illness while traveling is as old as travel itself
Any WAI guide will tell you that the introduction of a virus or bug into the Adventure group is frustrating because we know it can adversely affect the infected traveler’s experience, and sometimes others in the group as well. Any WAI guide will also tell you that dealing with illness on tour was not an uncommon experience even prior to March of 2020.

Wellness on Tour
Our approach to wellness on tour has traditionally been to encourage travelers to:

  • Focus on health before the tour so you start healthy.
  • Pace yourself while on tour; travel is inherently stimulating and can produce adrenalin boosts that mask energy drain. Guard your energy reserves and consider the length of the trip and whether to opt out of some activities and/or walks.
  • Be self-aware. If you feel yourself tiring or feel a bug coming on, take precautions to block it (e.g. extra rest, extra doses of vitamin C, etc).
  • If you feel a bug coming on or if you take ill, distance yourself from others when possible.
  • If you feel ill, isolate yourself towards the back of the bus and away from others.

The only advice we now add to this previous list is to wear a mask if you are ill or feel an illness coming on. We suggest a medical grade mask such as the KN95 or N95 mask.

COVID-19 now endemic
In May 2022, WAI followed the lead of many countries, local jurisdictions, and nationwide businesses in dropping all internally mandated mitigation procedures. Wearing masks, so far as WAI is concerned, is optional.

To test or not to test?
Because symptoms of current variants of COVID-19 are not overly threatening and are similar in type and severity to the common cold, WAI guides do not attempt to identify or differentiate between bugs. If a traveler has symptoms, we will encourage the traveler to follow the above listed WAI traditional protocols, including the added protocol of wearing a mask. We will not ask travelers to test.

In fact, if a traveler feels the need to test themselves, and reveals a positive COVID-19 test result to a WAI guide, the guide will then be obligated to comply with local regulations, which could involve isolation/quarantine and terminating your tour.

Compliance with Local Regulations
Compliance of WAI travelers to requirements made by local authorities of the countries and jurisdictions through which we travel is a given. If a country, for example, still requires proof of vaccination, travelers need to comply. If COVID-19 testing is a condition of travel, compliance is required.

For the time being, WAI will post a paragraph on each tour webpage under the BEFORE YOU BOOK section detailing “Wellness Policies for This Tour”. This information will detail what is known at the time of publication about COVID-19 policies at the destination and whether compliance action is required by the traveler.

Please feel free to reach out with questions ([email protected]).

Our WAI guide teams routinely manage health concerns while on tour. We strive to keep you and your fellow travelers as safe and healthy as possible, while simultaneously immersing you in the history, culture, and scenery of your chosen destination. 

We love planning experiential travel for you!

Team WAI

WAI has operated tours for over 30 years, and we are well practiced in adapting nimbly to evolving circumstances. Although small, our team, both in the field and in the office, is world-class. Every tour relies on 24/7 support from our home office. Local WAI partners are reliable, responsive and effective. Our ongoing commitment is to respond consistently to all unforeseen events with professionalism, compassion, and competence. Thank you for being part of the Adventure!