COVID-19 Travel FAQs
Helpful Resources to Help You Travel During COVID-19
Our trips have never been ‘one size fits all’ but have always been tailored to each group. We have been working with each of our groups on a case by case basis to ensure that we provide solutions that are right for each group. Your group organizer will communicate with you as to whether your trip is being rescheduled for a later date or is being cancelled altogether.
The health and safety of our travelers is our number one priority. EDT will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and follow guidelines established by the CDC and other public agencies in order to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. In the event that a group is unable to travel as scheduled, EDT will work closely with the organizer to determine the appropriate course of action. Our goal is always for students to have a safe, memorable and educational experience. Therefore, our first course of action will be to look into rescheduling the program. We will handle each group on a case by case basis, as each group and each situation is unique, and the manner in which we will respond will depend on actual circumstances nearer the time of travel.
The exact amount of refunds varies and is determined by a number of factors. Group travel programs require a significant amount of upfront planning and financial investment. Payments & deposits are made to hotels, airlines, bus companies, and other vendors in advance of travel. Each of these payments are governed by their own cancellation & refund policies. Our team is advocating on your behalf to recoup as many recoverable costs as possible and we are not applying our standard cancellation policy to trips impacted by COVID-19.
The amount not returned as part of our refunds helps to cover some of the non-recoverable costs associated with each trip. We have been actively preparing this year’s trips for 6-15 months, which includes itinerary planning, scheduling, customer engagement, accounting, and prepaying of vendors (activities, events, hotels, meals, transportation, etc). Our experienced travel team works with teachers & directors to create customized itineraries for each group. Many of you have likely spoken with our staff who assist you making payments as well as handle all of the logistics of each trip. The timing of the spread of the coronavirus coincided with the start of the student travel season. This means that, in addition to having made most vendor payments, we had invested in these internal costs with the expectation of a great tour season. These internal and external costs far exceed the money we will collect this year. Click here to see an infographic which will give you a behind the scenes look at the trip planning process.
We are committed to processing refunds as soon as possible and as quickly as possible. Refunds of this magnitude are not common in the group or student travel industries. Prior to processing refunds we must recover money from vendors for payments we have made on your behalf. Many vendors are temporarily closed or working with a reduced workforce.
The actual processing of individual refunds is detail oriented and time intensive. Many of our trips involve PTA, school, scholarship, or fundraiser payments and we must ensure that refunds are accurate. Our new virtual work environment further complicates this task.
We don’t expect to be able to begin the process of refunds in full or in part at least until shelter in place restrictions have been lifted in destinations. Actual timeline will depend on vendor reimbursements.
“Group Travel” is very different from “Individual Travel”. While hotels, airlines, and attractions may offer full refunds or vouchers to individual travelers, this is typically not the case with group purchases. Group travel typically involves reduced pricing and special accommodations. Along with these differences in pricing there are differences in terms & conditions and refund policies. We have been advocating on your behalf with all of our vendors to receive refunds and many vendors have altered their terms & conditions in light of the pandemic. However, the refund process takes 2-6 weeks under normal circumstances. Currently vendor refunds are taking 8-12 weeks or longer due to the volume of refund requests, the stay-at-home orders that have forced many of them to work from home. Additionally, many vendors remain closed at this time.
If you are traveling on a Performing Arts trip and are unable to travel on rescheduled dates please communicate this to your director/trip organizer.
If you are an individual on a California History or East Coast Educational program you will need to notify Educational Discovery Tours directly of your intention to cancel from rescheduled trips. Emails can be sent to email@example.com. Please include the name of the group and traveler(s).
Great! EDT encouraged all travelers to purchase travel insurance when they registered for their trip. If you were traveling on a Performing Arts or East Coast Educational Program your insurance was purchased through a third party. Please contact the travel insurance company for details on how to file a claim.
If you purchased insurance upon registration for a California History Program which was scheduled to take place between March and July 2020 please contact EDT at 1-800-544-4723 to process your claim.
Educational Discovery Tours
Helpful Resources to Help You Plan
How can we help you? Below is a list of our frequently asked questions about Educational Discovery Tours. If you still have questions please feel free to give us a call at 1.800.544.4723 or send us a message.
We encourage parents to travel as chaperones! Please check with the trip organizer to ensure there is space for you on the trip!
If you are attending a trip where a hotel stay is required, your price will be higher than your child’s in order to accommodate you in a double occupancy hotel room. Also, admission fees for adults are typically higher than student admission fees.
No. In order for us to charge your card we need verbal or written authorization. You also have the option of making payments online through our website. This is for your protection.
No. Written receipts for full payment are provided only upon request.
A pre-trip packet will be sent to the trip organizer approximately three weeks prior to travel. This packet will include itineraries for each traveler with detailed information about flights and hotel accommodations, if applicable.
Airline tickets (if applicable) will be sent to the trip organizer prior to the departure date. The tickets will be distributed upon check-in at the airport.
EDT does offer trip cancellation insurance on some of our programs. The EDT cancellation insurance is an optional program you can purchase at the time of registration. Once purchased, if you decide to cancel at any time prior to the departure date, you will receive a full refund, minus the cost of the cancellation insurance. Please refer to your registration form for more details. In any case, EDT requires notification in writing if you wish to cancel.
EDT charges a $4 per invoice fee up to a maximum of $16 per person. To stop invoicing fees, you may pay in full at any time.
No. We cannot register any traveler without a completed registration form.
Yes. We must receive a completed registration form for each traveler.
After the deposit due date has passed, we will continue to register travelers on a space available basis. EDT will charge a “late-add” fee of 10% of the trip cost for travelers registering inside sixty days prior to departure.
EDT does not charge a late payment fee.
Final payment for the trip is typically due sixty days prior to your departure date.
Visa, Mastercard or Discover Card.
EDT provides each traveler with a trip itinerary containing the hotel name, phone number and check-in/check-out times. You may contact your child when the group is expected to be at the hotel. In the event of an emergency, you may call our toll free emergency number: (800) 601-4723.
EDT discourages non-registered travelers from meeting the group due to inherent liability concerns and because non-registered travelers can detract from the experience as a whole for all travelers who have purchased the tour package. If you wish to attend the trip, we encourage you to register along with your student. If you choose to plan your own travel in conjunction with the group, you will not be allowed to participate in any of the group’s designated tours, meals, hotel accommodations, admissions or transportation portions of the trip.
Other than the flight times and hotel check-in/check-out times, EDT does not provide a timed itinerary. The EDT trip leader will be responsible for time management.
During a trip, times can often vary due to flight delays, traffic and even admission lines. We do not provide a timed itinerary in order to allow the group to focus on the trip and not the schedule.
An EDT trip leader will inform you of group meeting places and times. If you do get separated from the rest of the group, you can call the EDT toll free emergency number and we will assist you in locating the group.