north iceland hvitserkur view from beach at sunset astk

Our COVID Money-Back Assurance

We know that in these uncertain times, financially committing to a school trip can feel daunting. But we also know you are still hopeful to give your students a once in a life time school trip, especially in the aftermath of one of the most challenging periods we have seen.

Therefore, any new booking comes with our COVID money-back assurance which gives you all the benefits of booking your school trip now, with minimal financial risk.

New update: Travelling to Iceland

As a result of the government travel update, Iceland is on the UK Government’s list of ‘green’ countries. As you know, our long standing partnership with Icelandic tourist boards and suppliers in Iceland means that we are often able to offer exclusive rates and the best deals for school groups traveling to Iceland. We are pleased to announce that for all new bookings (from 11th May onwards) we will be including the cost of testing as part of your school trip to Iceland, as long as schools meet the following requirements;

  • All passengers have been vaccinated in line with government guidelines. Any missed vaccines which result in the need for extra testing will need to be covered by the traveller.
  • Schools have paid their deposit after the 11th May, for a school trip in 2022.
  • Due to the constantly evolving situation, all operational details on the actual process of getting tested will be discussed between you and your dedicated Travel Specialist and will be dependent on the process in place at the time of travel.

All other aspects of the COVID Money-Back Assurance still apply. Costs of testing are included for school group bookings only, not for Teacher Inspection Visits. 

Why book your school trip now?

  • You’ll have the widest choice of flights and accommodation to secure your ideal itinerary at the best price
  • The pastoral benefits of getting students excited for their upcoming trip

What is our COVID Money-Back Assurance?

  • For any group that books a new school trip from October 1st 2020 and chooses to cancel, you will receive a refund. You may have to forfeit your flights deposit depending when you cancel, see below
  • Like our trips, your deposit schedule is fully tailor-made to your needs
  • As always, you will have a dedicated travel specialist who will be available to guide you through the planning process and be on hand to answer any questions

What are the refund details? How much are we entitled to?

We have worked with our suppliers to be able to offer you as much flexibility as possible. This means that if you have to, or decide to cancel, we will be able to offer you a refund. The only exception to this flexibility is with flights. But don’t be alarmed, we are still able to offer you increased flexibility when securing your flights. There are two avenues we can take depending on the stage you are at in your booking.

  1. If you have paid your deposit with us and decide to cancel before we have booked your flights for you, you will receive 100% of the money you have paid us.
  2. If you have not used Discover the World Education to book your flights then these will be subject to airline restrictions. From us, you will receive a 100% refund anytime between 85 and 70 days prior to departure.
  3. If you have booked a school trip with us and decide to cancel after we have booked your flights, you have multiple options depending on your situation;
    • If the FCDO advises “all but essential travel” leading to your flight being cancelled you will receive a full refund
    • If you have booked with Icelandair, British Airways or Jet2, you will only be charged a small cancellation fee (£25pp for Icelandair, £40pp for BA and £30pp for Jet2) if you are cancelling for a reason that falls under our COVID assurance scheme (listed below) and within 85 and 70 days prior to your departure date
    • If you have booked with a low budget airline, we may have to offer less flexibility as we have to commit to the full cost of the flight at the time of booking, which is non-refundable to us. Therefore if you have selected this option, you may not get a refund on the cost of your flights, but will still receive money back for other aspects of your trip if you cancel within 85 and 70 days prior to your departure date

What reasons for cancelling flights will be protected in our COVID Assurance scheme?

  • FCDO advising against all but essential travel to your destination
  • Department for Education ban on overseas trips
  • A quarantine upon arrival in your trip destination
  • Quarantine is in place in your home country for those arriving from your trip destination
  • National or regional lockdown restrictions which prevent your group from travelling
  • If social distancing regulations would make group travel infeasible

COVID Assurance and our Booking Conditions

• Standard booking conditions apply to any individual passengers that drop out. Our COVID assurance covers groups only.
• Our standard booking conditions apply to all other areas of your booking, not outlined in our COVID assurance.

What happens if I have to cancel after the full balance is paid?

When it comes to cancelling the majority of your trip, including coaches and hotels, we will be able to offer flexibility, to help you postpone your trip to a less uncertain time, or, if preferred, receive a refund. The only aspect of your trip where we are unable to offer the same degree of flexibility is for flights. The reason for this is that airlines will only cancel (and refund) under certain circumstances. If your reason for cancelling falls outside of their appointed conditions, we will work with you to move your flights to a more suitable time. Your designated Travel Specialist will work hard to ensure that the new postponed trip is just as convenient and well planned for you. A small fee may occur when moving flights.

Please see the below circumstances to find out what degree of flexibility you will be able to receive:

FCDO advising against all but essential travel to your destination

If your departure is imminent, then you would be entitled to a full refund. We would also be able to work with you to rearrange your trip to another time.

Department for Education ban on overseas trips

Traditionally we have seen that The Department for Education release advice with warning, for a fixed term. This means it is likely you would know their advice when you pay your final balance. If, in the unlikely case that their advice changes after you have paid, then we will work with you to postpone your trip to a time outside of the DfE’s fixed term.
Usually advise against overseas trips from the Department for Education goes hand in hand with FCDO advise, therefore if the FCDO advise “against all but essential” you will receive a refund.

A quarantine upon arrival in your trip destination

We continue to monitor our destination’s guidance regarding quarantining on arrival, and will be on hand to advise how quarantining affects your trip. If the quarantine is likely to impact your trip we will work with you to postpone to another time.

Quarantine is in place in your home country for those arriving from your trip destination

The next steps, if this is your reason for cancelling, depends on the way in which FCDO phrase their advice. Typically we have seen that an imposed quarantine upon arrival home is usually paired with advice “against all but essential travel” to this destination. If that is the case then, as above, you will receive a refund or we can postpone your trip if preferred. If, in the unlikely case that there is a quarantine in place but not the “against all but essential” advise, then we will work hard to postpone your trip to a suitable time.

National or regional lockdown restrictions which prevent your group from travelling

Typically, national lockdowns have been paired with FCDO advice “against all but essential travel”. If this is the case, then as above, you would receive a refund or your trip can be postponed if preferred. Although unlikely, if a national lockdown occurs but travel is still deemed safe, then we will work with you to postpone your trip to another time.

If you are under a local lockdown then we will work with you to postpone your trip to a more suitable time.

Safety Assurances

The health and safety of our students has always been a top priority to us. We understand that in the aftermath of the pandemic, teachers, students and parents will need more reassurance that we are able to provide a trip that is safe for everyone.

We are assured member of the School Travel Forum (STF) and holders of the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge. The STF is constantly reviewing and releasing increased health and safety measures, specifically focused on Covid-19. The STF code of practice puts in place a robust framework for school travel safety, with all accommodation, activities and transport providers assessed against best-in-class standards.

During summer 2020, updates to our requirements put a stronger emphasis on prevention of the spread of infection, including specific measures in regard to surveillance, prevention and response to covid-19. Our suppliers are audited to ensure they meet local requirements, have appropriate and reviewed policies, processes and training.

Before you confirm a booking, we will provide detailed health and safety guidance regarding your destination and your tour, and once booked will keep you appropriately updated of any key changes.

Support for teachers...

We have always prided ourselves on support we have given teachers during the planning and launch stages of their trip. During these uncertain times, we will continue to do this, even if it has to be virtually for now. This means we will be able to do video presentations to parents, live webinars for teachers planning school trips during COVID, plus all of the resources that can be found on our School Trip Launch Pad! 

In addition to the above, we will continue to support our teachers, as we have done throughout the pandemic with a range of free resources, webinars and online CPD. From next year, our teacher inspection visits will resume, designed to help teachers to regain confidence and familiarise themselves with highlights of their proposed trip, with the dedicated support of our tour leaders.