I'm still registered for the Best of Italy trip, September, 2021. RS seems to really be pushing trips, even though Italy is still Level III.
They have put into place precautions (masking, social distancing (although it's hard to imagine how this can be maintained,
given my experiences on former RS trips. They are NOT requiring inoculations, to which I strongly object.
I'd like to hear from others on this trip (mine starts Sept. 19) as to their thoughts.
At this point, I'd just like to pull out and get my money back. But I did not buy insurance as insurance companies
typically are not refunding trips scheduled after the outbreak of covid (our first trip was cancelled and we scheduled this one a year later, but it was
after the pandemic began). I really can't lose all my deposit and would hate to forfeit the $500 ($250 each) as a penalty.
Sure, if RS cancels it, there will be no problem. If not, we're extremely worried about travel right now.
Please offer your own thoughts. Thanks, D.C.
I'm not on your trip, but have a trip scheduled to France the end of Sept and a RS tour to SW France for early October. I did the sign up when they were having a "special offer" guaranteeing your money back if you cancelled 90 days or more out, so I'm waiting until then to assess. On another travel forum a regular who lives in California, works in healthcare but is from Florence, IT and generally has good information posted this yesterday:
"The vaccination plan of the Italian government (Superior Institute of Health, an institution within the National Health Service) forecasts that the entire Italian population will be vaccinated within the end of the 4th quarter 2021. However at the current rate it doesn’t appear that will be achieved before May 2022, so hopefully things will speed up in the upcoming months."
He did not cite his source except for what is given.
Can you change to another program without penalty at this time? IF you have concerns you might consider that. I agree, that it's hard to tell what the situation will be by late summer. With Italy locking down to prevent movement over Easter it's concerning as well as their slow roll-out of the vaccines.
I don't buy insurance this far out either. I don't need the coverage for pre-existing conditions and the premium for coverage is usually more than the $250 deposit so I haven't felt it was worth it. I DO purchase travel insurance from an outside company before I travel as I'm mostly concerned about med-evac if something should happen.
For myself, I'm not buying airfare until July when I make the final commitment regarding go or stay.
Dear D.C., I've emailed you a more in depth explanation for your options regarding this enrollment. That will be coming from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reply to my email. Warmly, Adrienne.
Road Scholar DOES require proof of COVID vaccinations.
I just returned from a RS trip to Iceland, and they did not ask me to prove vaccination status. However, in order to get into most any country, Italy included, you DO have to provide vaccination confirmation and a negative test. RS requested we mask-up on the bus and most people did. We kind of created our own little travel bubble so I felt as safe as one can be under the circumstances. As for insurance, I always buy it because I like the comfort of the cancel-for-any-reason option. However, you can often transfer your deposit to a future trip with more generous terms than if you cancel outright.