Caroline Turenne, 17, of Seekonk, Mass., Booked a July hiking trip to Utah with G Adventures, based on the company’s knowledge of the area.
“When we were looking at Airbnb rates, we thought we had better travel with a guide who would know the area, the best things to do and walk us through it,” she said.
Health and safety protocols
Group departures will of course be different this year. As the pandemic continues, operators are downsizing groups to enable social distancing and ensure their guides are at least tested for Covid-19, if they are not vaccinated.
“In a small group, we require that all guests in the group wear masks indoors or outdoors when they are not able to socially distance themselves,” said Stefanie Schmudde, vice president of development. of products and operations at Abercrombie & Kent, where new seven-day itineraries include trips to Western National Parks (from $ 6,195) and a Winter Safari in Yellowstone (from $ 12,495 ). For departures in small groups, coaches are limited to half the capacity, journeys do not exceed 18 people and at meals, each group has its own table.
A handful of operators are demanding that guests be vaccinated, including two small US-based cruise lines, American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines. The tour operator Globus and its subsidiaries Cosmos and Monograms require proof of vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test before departure or proof of recovery from the virus.
With the growing number of Americans vaccinated, some companies are relying on vaccinated travelers. Collette, where the average traveler is 65, plans to resume operations in April with eight domestic trips to places like San Antonio, Texas, Utah National Parks and a music-focused tour of Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans.
Seniors “were at higher risk last year and are now the first this year,” said Jeff Roy, executive vice president of Collette. Although vaccination is not a requirement for travel, he is confident that the majority will be and encourages them to bring their vaccination certificates. Unvaccinated travelers must show a negative Covid-19 test result or proof of recovery from the virus within three months of the visit end date.