Planning a trip? Here’s what to know about the coronavirus

ViaHero
Updated April 29, 2020

As you consider travel, please read this update about coronavirus. We're committed to providing our community of travelers with up-to-date information on the coronavirus developments, and sharing information on how to travel safely as well as support local communities.

Dreaming of a future trip but unsure how to start planning? Jumpstart your next adventure by working with a local to build a bucket list. They'll provide personalized recs for when travel is safe again—and ideas of how to enjoy their culture at home. It's a good way to support locals and keep your wanderlust alive. Learn more

What is the coronavirus? 

Since December, countries around the world have experienced cases of the coronavirus (officially called COVID-19). Coronavirus is a respiratory disease. Most people (about 80%) have mild symptoms, but it can be fatal for anyone elderly or with underlying health conditions. 

What does the coronavirus mean for my upcoming trip? 

The CDC has up-to-date information about coronavirus. They provide risk assessments on travel in different countries around the world. You can also get updates from the World Health Organization.

You can minimize the spread of the virus and prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. We believe the most altruistic thing you can do right now is to avoid travel, especially by air, bus, or train.

If you’ve already started planning your trip with ViaHero, we have a flexible cancellation policy. Since day one, we’ve always maintained that if you need to cancel your trip for any reason, we will issue you full credit. We know—from personal experience!—that life moves fast and plans can shift.

When will it be safe to travel again? Can I book travel for the future?

It’s important to note that the coronavirus pandemic (like any outbreak) is a constantly changing situation. 

At ViaHero, we are committed to:

  1. Providing travelers with up-to-date, factual information and resources so that they are well-informed and safe
  2. Keeping travelers informed about opportunities to support locals, both now and in the future

While we don't know when it will be safe to travel, we do know that the tourism industry is resilient, and someday, travel will be safe again. Hopefully, that day is soon. 

Although you can't travel now, you can keep dreaming about your perfect trip. Jumpstart the process by working with a local to build a bucket list! You'll get personalized recs for when travel is safe again. Plus, locals will include ideas for how to enjoy their culture at home. Learn more

Looking for the latest news on travel? Sign up for our newsletter to get travel content complete with the updates you need to know.

Until then, you can stay informed with up-to-date knowledge and on-the-ground advice from the locals who we work with around the world. You can always sign up for our email campaigns to stay in the know (the link is in our footer), and if you have a question about a specific destination, remember that you can always message one of our local trip planners from their profile page (it’s free). 

If you decide you want to plan a trip for the future, remember that we have a flexible cancellation policy.

How can I keep myself safe during my trip?

Many countries around the world have closed their borders to non-essential travel. If you have to travel, please be safe. Take the following precautions: 

  • Monitor the news for any information about border closures or travel restrictions. 
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance (but check if they will cover coronavirus)
  • Wash your hands and do not touch your face
  • Wipe down public areas (like airplanes, buses, or trains) with sanitizing wipes

What if I need to cancel my trip? 

Our policies are designed to build trust and respect. We understand that travel plans may change—especially at the moment—which is why you can cancel your ViaHero trip at any time. This has always been our policy. 

When you cancel, you will be issued a full credit for the cost of your ViaHero purchase. You can use this credit in the future, at any time, to any of our destinations

To request a cancelation, please email support@viahero.com.

How can I support locals during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A huge part of our mission is centered around supporting local economies. Not only is travel a vibrant part of life, but it’s also critically important for many of our destinations. We're doing everything that we can, now, to ensure that we're able to rebuild tourism in the communities we operate in once it's safe to travel again. 

We're in touch with our locals around the world and are looking for opportunities to continue to support them. One way you can support our local trip planners in Cuba, Italy, and Japan is by reaching out about your future travel. They can help you build a bucket list for their hometown—full of local recs for activities you can do once travel is safe, and things you can do now, at home. Learn more

COVID-19 is also a reminder to support our own local economy, and practice kindness in acts like tipping generously for our local hospitality industry, buying an online album from a local musician, dreaming about travel by reading stories from your favorite independent travel bloggers, and more.

For more information about coronavirus, check out these sources: 

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