Austin Adventures General Covid-19 Mitigation Plan
During this time of COVID-19, we wanted to share a bit about what to expect from Austin Adventures and what we are counting on you and yours to do before, during, and after your travels. As we see the country begin to open up and people getting out and about, it has become clearer each day as to what we can expect and how we can all do our part to stay safe and healthy. We are excited to see the lead and the level of efforts the airlines are putting forth. It’s reassuring as we all know that’s where your trip begins. We are also watching closely and taking our cues from these air carriers. Without further ado, please read on to learn more about what Austin Adventures expects of you this upcoming summer and also what you’ll be seeing on your trip firsthand.
Before Your Trip:
- Please keep track of who you have been in contact with for at least two weeks prior to traveling. Limit unnecessary contact with people outside of your inner circle. And please, DO NOT TRAVEL if you have a fever or do not feel 100% well. This is a tough one as we know this upcoming trip means the world to you, but it’s just not worth it. If at any time in the last 30 days you have felt less than perfect (or have come in contact with someone of whom you question their health) please speak with your doctor. As testing becomes more available, consider getting yourself tested pre-trip. Again, err on the side of caution. This holds the same for everyone in your party.
- As mentioned previously, the airlines are setting the bar for solid preventive measures. Just watching the effort these carriers are putting forth, we are all feeling comfortable and excited to travel again. Most airlines are now requiring that all customers wear a face mask over their nose and mouth during check-in, boarding, in-flight, and when deplaning. We recommend bringing your own mask if you have one; many of us already have them these days! Also, carry your own 3-ounce hand sanitizer and use it consistently throughout your travels to get to your destination (don’t worry about using it up, we will have plenty more upon your arrival). You might also bring along a pack of “on-the-go” disinfecting wipes to clean your travel space while on airplanes and in airports.
- Consider packing carry-on luggage in order to limit its contact with other luggage. Try to avoid letting flight attendants or other passengers touch your luggage if possible. Use disinfecting wipes to clean your luggage after going through security, and pack only clean, freshly washed clothes for your trip.
- Be of light heart, even if it seems challenging to get to your destination. We have come this far in getting through this, just be happy you are on your way!
What You Can Look Forward To:
As with every Austin Adventures trip, you can expect fresh air, delicious food, great guides, and scenic vistas that remind us that it’s all worth it. Activities and itineraries will be typical of all past trips – after all, we’re known for getting you off the beaten path and away from crowds no matter when or where you travel.
What to Expect During Your Trip:
- Upon pick-up, you will be required to sign a COVID Questionnaire (one per family/household). Guides will have this printed out and will provide hand sanitizer, clipboards, and pens.
- Any guest who is feeling symptoms of coronavirus (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea) should let a guide know immediately so that we can transport them to the nearest clinic to be examined.
- Unfortunately, the first thing you will notice is going to be the lack of hugs, high fives, and handshakes you have become so accustomed to on your Austin Adventures vacation. You are all an extension to our family, and it’s just going to seem weird to hold back from those awesome public displays of affection. We will start doing our best to practice the new norm of physical distancing we have all gotten accustomed to immediately upon your pick-ups in your host city. Don’t worry too much on this though; there are plenty of other ways for us to share our joy of being together!
- Guests are advised to pick and stay in the same van & seats throughout the duration of their trip.
- Your guide will have extra face masks that can be given out as needed.
- Buffs will be given out at the welcome meeting. It is not a requirement to wear masks at all times on our trips, but we encourage you to wear them in public places where other people are nearby. We will be following all federal/state/county laws/mandates in regard to wearing face masks while indoors and in large gathering areas, etc. At this time, mask wearing will be a personal choice while riding in the van.
- Personal Mini hand sanitizers will be given out at our welcome meeting – you are encouraged to use these often. In addition, there will be hand sanitizer readily available at all times (at meal time, in van, on the hikes, etc.) that you are welcome to use.
- As always, we encourage you to drink plenty of water. In order to ensure sanitary water bottles, you will receive your own AA water bottle with your name on it and it’s yours to take home afterwards. Your guides will have safe and clean water to refill at every stop.
- You’ll be given a brief overview of the week to come at our welcome meeting, where you’ll be advised of the closures in/around the parks, meals that will be eaten differently (often outside!), new protocols in place for using bathrooms., etc. If you have any questions or concerns, your guide is a great resource that you can use if you need ANYTHING.
Meals prepared by AA Guides:
Your guides will continue to create those amazing lunch spreads and snacks you have all come to love and anticipate, but with a few extra measures in place to help stop the spread of germs.
- A hand washing station with biodegradable soap will be provided at all meals when there is no bathroom present for guests to wash hands.
- Wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer will be available at all meals.
- Guides will wash/sanitize their hands & wear gloves when preparing meals, serving meals, and cleaning up from meals.
- Pre-packed picnic lunches and pre-plated meals will be provided when possible. If you are served a “buffet style” lunch, multiple guides will serve the lunch (with gloves on) to decrease the amount of people who are touching utensils. Physical distancing in the “buffet line” will be maintained.
- All surfaces touched by guests or guides during lunch (tables, chairs, etc.) will be thoroughly sanitized before being put back in the trailer.
- In order to maintain sanitation, we might have to go against our own sustainability policies with the practice of using more single-use products. Just trust we have your safety in mind and are trying to make the best choices we can when it comes to serving you.
Vehicles and Equipment:
- You might expect additional vans or other means of transportation, such as rental vehicles while on tour. We will be evaluating each tour and adjusting the number of vehicles if need be. We are going to ask on trips with more than one vehicle that you stick with the same traveling companions for the week
- The CDC’s “Stop the Spread of Germs” poster will be displayed for guests to see.
- All high touch surfaces in the van (door handles, arm rests, etc.) will be cleaned throughout the day.
- The vans will be deep cleaned each night (high touch surfaces will be disinfected, windows will be cleaned, floors swept, garbages emptied, seats disinfected, etc.
- There will always be hand sanitizer available in the vans.
- Bikes will be assigned to one person during the trip and deep cleaned after each ride.
Partners – Lodges / Hotels / Restaurants / Subcontractors:
- All of our hotels, restaurants and activity partners like rafting companies, have been working around the clock to be ready for our visit. Rooms, equipment, etc. are being deep cleaned between guests and round-the-clock cleaning measures are in place for public areas.
** Disclaimer **
While Austin Adventures and our partners are taking every precaution possible to avoid transmission of COVID-19 and any other transmittable disease or virus, it’s just not possible or practical to make the claim that you can’t get sick while traveling. That said, you know us and we will do everything in our power to make your personal safety our #1 priority – always have and always will!