We wanted to address the elephant in the room: coronavirus (COVID-19).If you’re booked on a Globetrotting ride within the next six months, you need to know ALL your options before making an informed decision regarding your travel plans.
As of now (April 8th), we, our ride partners and our globetrotters are adapting on an hourly basis as the situation unfolds. Travel restrictions have made international travel impossible for most, and the INCREDIBLE selflessness and generosity of our ride partners has enabled us to offer unprecedented flexibility to those affected. We have been able to postpone, reschedule, refund and cancel, depending on the arrangements and needs of our individual clients.
It is an honour to be given so much trust in what is for many a heartbreaking and frightening time. Many of our ride partners are struggling to make ends meet due to cancellations and postponements, but we have faith that by treating ourselves and one another with empathy, respect and trust, we will weather this storm together and emerge stronger than ever. And it’s all thanks to the amazing Globetrotting community we have built up around us, from you, our beautiful globetrotters, to our resilient and big-hearted ride outfitters, to the horses that make all of this possible.
We will keep this article updated in the coming months, and rest assured we’ll also contact you personally should your ride be impacted.
If you have ANY questions or concerns regarding globetrotting, don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’re here for you.
Read these articles – and take a deep breath before making a decision
We believe it’s our job to arm you with as much relevant information as possible.
It’s hard to know where to turn for accurate information when there is SO much coverage available online, so here are a few official websites where you’re guaranteed to find up-to-date facts and advice.
Australian globetrotters, please refer to Smart Traveller
American globetrotters, please refer to Travel.State.Gov
New Zealand globetrotters, please refer to Safetravel
British globetrotters, please refer to Gov.UK
And for general information and updates, the World Health Organisation should be your go-to. As well as their website, they have a LOT of informative videos on their YouTube channel, which we encourage you to visit.
It’s important to know whether your travel insurance will cover you should you be affected by coronavirus. Below is a policy excerpt from Cover-More Travel Insurance, which covers the majority of our globetrotters. This stance is typical of many insurers – but we urge you to contact your chosen travel insurance company and find out their policy.
Customers (excluding Credit and Debit Card Travel Insurance)
- MEDICAL CLAIMS IN CONJUNCTION WITH ASSOCIATED ADDITIONAL EXPENSES IN RELATION TO CORONAVIRUS: It is a condition of our policies that you are not aware of any circumstance which is likely to give rise to a claim. If you incur medical expenses with associated additional expenses as a result of contracting coronavirus, there may be cover up to the benefit limit. Our Claims Team will consider DFAT travel advices in place at the time you purchased your policy and where you chose to travel.
- CANCELLATION AND OTHER RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE POLICY: Cover for this event is excluded under other policy sections such as cancellation. “We will not pay for claims caused by or arising from an Epidemic, Pandemic or outbreak of an infectious disease or any derivative or mutation of such viruses, or the threat or perceived threat of any of these.”
- However, if you have purchased the Cancel-For-Any-Reason option (available on some of our products) and wish to cancel your trip, you can claim the non-refundable portion of the prepaid travel costs according to the terms and conditions of the policy.
N.B. if your travel insurance won’t cover you for claims related to coronavirus, keep scrolling to read about reciprocal health care agreements.
Postponing or cancelling your ride
Should you wish, you can postpone your ride. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the postponement and policy will depend on the ride you have booked on, as we’re working with our ride partners on a case-by-case basis to give everyone the fairest deal possible. Many of our outfitters have been generous enough to extend the period in which you can postpone your ride.
Below are our business-as-usual postponement and cancellation policies for your reference – but please contact us if you are affected, as you may have more flexibility than normal.
You can postpone your horse riding holiday, as long as you do so more than 60 days prior to the departure date. As part of our booking terms and conditions, if you wish to change to an alternative departure date in the 2020 or 2021 season (must be with the same ride partner) you’ll need to notify us more than 60 days prior to your departure date. There will be an amendment fee of 200 per person invoiced in the currency your ride is in, and you will be required to pay the difference if the ride price has increased. You can accurately work out your deadline change date using this calculator.
You can cancel your horse riding holiday, but you’ll forgo all monies paid to date as part of our booking terms and conditions.
If you have booked flights and accommodation
You’ll need to contact your airline and hotels to find out their individual booking cancellation/change policies. If you booked through an agent, your agent will be able to assist you with this. Many airlines and travel partners have changed their policies in light of the outbreak, typically for the benefit of their customers.
Having outlined COVID-19-specific information sources earlier in this article, here is some general health advice.
Our resident Globetrotting doctor, Dr Anna King, recommends the pneumococcal vaccination (free for Australians over 65) to prevent secondary pneumonia (which is a common complication of influenza and coronavirus). She also recommends an up-to-date influenza vaccination (due to be released in Australia in April). Please contact your local GP or travel health advisor for more information specific to your needs.
Also, these [edited and abridged] dot points from Condé Nast Traveler’s article about avoiding germs on a plane should be taken as gospel:
- Get the flu shot. There is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus but it’s not too late to get a flu shot, which can protect you against this year’s serious (and deadly) flu.
- Do your best to keep your distance from people who are visibly sick. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) defines “close” contact as within six feet of someone, and previous research suggests that sitting within two rows of someone with flu-like symptoms [on a plane] puts you at a 3.6% increased risk of getting sick with what they have. At the very least, make sure you’re out of a sneeze’s range.
- Don’t put your faith in a face mask. Typical, paper surgical masks only protect other people against your germs. They don’t offer you protection from everyone else.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. These are the portals into your body for viruses.
- Wash your hands. Scrub with water and any soap for at least 20 seconds to stay safe and clean.
- Pack an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Make sure it has at least 60% alcohol content, an amount that can neutralise germs. If you want to wipe down your tray table or armrest while flying for peace of mind, use a disinfectant with that same threshold of alcohol content.
- Be in the know. As well as the resources and articles we’ve listed above, the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel is here and global cases are being tracked by Johns Hopkins here.
Reciprocal health care agreements
Australia and the UK have reciprocal health care agreements with a number of different countries. If you come from one of these countries and visit Australia or the UK, you are entitled to a certain amount of free or reduced-cost medical treatment. Likewise, if you come from Australia or the UK and visit a reciprocal nation, you are entitled to a certain amount of free or reduced-cost medical treatment.
Other nations may also have health care agreements; consult your embassy website or national health website for relevant information.
Here is a list of the countries Australia has a reciprocal health care agreement with, and details regarding the medical care that residents of those countries are entitled to in Australia.
Here is information for Australians travelling to an RHCA country.
Here is information for residents of the UK visiting the EU, and here is information for those travelling outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
Here is a list of non-EEA countries that have a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK, and here is information for EU citizens visiting the UK.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Stay safe and healthy, globetrotters.