Travel with Confidence
Flexible Payment Terms
There is still much uncertainty regarding coronavirus and its impact on travel. While some countries are opening their borders and in-country services are beginning to resume, the situation around the world remains fluid. To accommodate this uncertainty, Steppes Travel is offering flexible payment terms to all its clients looking to make new bookings. A one-size-fits-all approach is just not practical and so your travel consultant will negotiate with our partners on the ground, to give you the most flexible rates and payment terms possible. This will mean reduced deposit amounts, a cooling-off period during which time your deposit is 100% refundable and a final payment date much later than normal. We will work closely with our friends and partners on the ground, to ensure your financial exposure is kept to a minimum.
We are working closely with our partners around the world to ensure that you can have the most enjoyable and fulfilled travels possible. When you book with Steppes, you have our assurance that protocols will be in place when you travel, with an enhanced focus on hygiene and physical distancing, across the following:
- Visiting public places
It is important that we help you prepare for your trip. We will let you know what measures you need to take when flying. We will let you know what to expect when you arrive in-country. We will let you know what protocols exist in the country you are visiting with regards to physical distancing and the wearing of masks and gloves. If there is anything you are unsure of then please just ask.
We do not claim to have all the answers but at all times will work with you to provide the information you need. Our objective is to provide you with the information you need to make an individual risk assessment on whether you feel comfortable to travel.
If you would like to see more detail on the framework for the individual risk assessments we are completing in each country, then please read our PDF below. We have referred to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s overarching guidelines to help us come up with measures that will keep you and our partners on the ground, safe during this challenging period.
Expert-Led Group Tour Health & Safety
For full information on our protocols and guidance for keeping our group travellers safe please visit this page here.
PCR Testing Advice
If you are planning an overseas trip right now, then you will require some form of PCR testing before and/or after travel. There are hundreds of providers offering Fit to Fly and Test to Release test kits and certificates and so it is difficult to know who to turn to for this essential service. CHB Medical works with a fully UKAS accredited laboratory which is government approved for Covid testing in general.
In our dealings with CHB we have find them to be efficient, courteous and professional and we are particularly keen to draw your attention to their service offering a home visit by a UKAS accredited healthcare professionals to undertake testing (ideal for family groups).
If using their postal service, for peace of mind we suggest you consider their express direct courier service, especially if your trip falls over a weekend or national holiday. For more details click on this link https://www.chbmedical.co.uk/pcr/pcr-test-kits/ and deal with CHB Medica directly. If you use the code ‘Steppes10’ you will receive a 10% discount off their standard rate of £99 per test.
FCO travel advice
The FCO’s non-essential travel advice is exactly that: advice. It is not a legal instrument but a convenient line in the sand behind which some insurers retreat to cancel cover. We have a very good relationship with our insurers and with their agreement, do send clients to countries and regions where there is negative travel advice. If you’re willing to travel, there are always insurance companies willing to offer the cover abdicated by their more risk-averse rivals. Do speak to us for advice.
Travel Insurance during COVID-19
Steppes Traveller is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd, who are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and who now offer a brand new travel insurance policy that includes cover for cancellation or curtailment of a trip due to contracting coronavirus or through being quarantined or refused permission to travel due to infection or suspected infection.
Campbell Irvine are delighted to announce the launch of our new CI Direct policy which includes Medical Expenses and Cancellation cover for Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Medical emergency treatment overseas and medical repatriation due to an insured client being diagnosed with Covid-19.
- Cancellation cover to reimburse your clients for any irrecoverable payments and charges made for travel and accommodation if they have to cancel their trip due to a doctor diagnosing either them, a close relative or their insured travelling companion with Covid-19 and as a result being advised not to travel.
- Cancellation due to either the client or their insured travelling companion’s direct exposure to a close relative being diagnosed with Covid-19 resulting in an order via the NHS Test and Trace programme for your client to be medically quarantined and not being able to travel.
- Cancellation or Curtailment cover due to denied boarding of public transport if displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
There are some additional terms and conditions applicable to the new cover which are:
There is no cover provided if due a second wave there is another ‘lockdown’, either locally, countrywide or in the destination country resulting in your client being unable to travel either from their home or to the booked destination. Likewise, if the FCO subsequently advise against travel to the destination there would be no cancellation cover under a travel insurance policy for such an event.
The Airport Experience
It is likely that the airports, for the moment, will be different to what we have previously experienced. There may be longer queues due to social distancing, temperature checks and face coverings required, smaller or no hand luggage allowances and fewer shops open to grab last-minute essentials to name a few. With this in mind please do allow for more time at the airport before your flight.
Below are some helpful videos and links from our main airports. Please do speak to your travel expert if you have specific questions and they will be able to help you.
COVID-19 has made travel more complex but has certainly not put the brakes on it altogether. Your travel faithful travel expert John, shares his airport experience and tips after having returned from a week in Italy.
(Travelled August 2020)
The Airline Experience
At the moment, we recommend wearing your face covering at all times on the flight and sanitising your hands regularly. Read below and click through to see what the main airlines are doing to keep you safe and your journey as stress-free as possible.
|British Airways||They ask that you use their self-service kiosks or check-in online and drop off your bags at their Bag Drop area, self-scan your boarding pass before boarding where possible (although there will be staff on hand to help if you can’t). There will be a dedicated check-in for Executive Club Members and Premium Cabin travellers.||More information|
|EasyJet||They ask that you wear face coverings at all times; unfortunately, the Bistro and Boutique service will not be available for now. Ground and cabin crew will not handle your documents during boarding, so you will be asked to sign in on your app or present and scan your own documents.||More information|
|Emirates||They are limiting cabin bags to a laptop bag, handbag, briefcase or baby items only, all other luggage will have to be stored in the hold. Emirates will be boarding the aircraft in smaller groups from the last row to the first.||More information|
|Singapore Airlines||They have provided lots of information on how they will be keeping you safe on board as well as what you can do and what to expect when flying with them, including their SIA Care Kit and designated seating zones.||More information|
|Virgin Atlantic||They will be limiting the number of customers who are able to be in their check-in zones so you will need to allow plenty of time; they have added queue markers to help you keep your distance. Health screening measures will be used to ensure that everyone is symptom-free. Virgin Atlantic ask you to scan your own boarding pass and hold up your passport for inspection to minimise contact and boarding will be limited to small groups, starting from the back of the aircraft.||More information|
Get advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus at Travel Aware.