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    Travel Planning and Advice

    We are open for business and our tours are running.

    We wish to reassure you that Wilderness Scotland is bonded with ABTA and therefore as a client, you have 100% financial security.

     

    100% Financial Security
    We Are Good to Go
    Tours are Running

    We love Scotland and we love welcoming travellers to this part of the world to show you places that you wouldn’t normally see.

    We remain true to our values and want to reopen in a gentle way that respects each of you as individual travellers, while in equal measure respecting the communities that we visit.

    We’re Good to Go is the industry standard that has been created across all 4 nations in the UK to show that we as a business have followed the government and industry guidelines, have an updated risk assessment in place and have the processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

    Click the dropdowns below to reveal details of the measures we’ve put in place to make your trip feel all the more comfortable in the moments when you’re not out there in the wild places of Scotland.

    Wilderness Scotland's Assurance

    We understand that you may be a bit nervous about your trip in the current circumstances. Of course, there will be some changes to our usual way of operating. However, we want to assure you that we are well-prepared and ready to give you a fantastic, rewarding and safe holiday.

    Our office team all live in Scotland, are all living with the current guidance, and are on hand to help you get the most from your trip.

    This page outlines the main changes we are making. During your trip, your guide will ensure that everyone understands the procedures, which are generally simple-to-follow rules which you are most likely living by already. 

    Our updated operating procedures have been guided by advice from the Scottish and UK Governments, as well as guidance from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Wild Scotland (the trade association for activity and nature-based operators in Scotland). We’ve also been involved in action groups at national and local level, ensuring that a full range of measures have been considered and implemented. 

     

    Planning Your Trip with Wilderness Scotland

    Travellers with Existing Bookings Read More

    We are running trips and just as we have been throughout the pandemic, we are open and are taking bookings for 2021 & 2022 dates. We will keep this page updated as government guidance is updated.

    Please be aware that we are working to Government guidelines, as well as with local suppliers, and as such things are subject to change at short notice. Due to the changing nature of the guidelines any trips we run over the course of 2021 may well look different to trips run in the past, however, all inclusions will still be a part of the trip and therefore any changes do not equate to a “significant change” as defined by the package tour regulations.

    In the event of government advice changing so that we are not allowed to run tours; if you are currently booked on a trip we are allowing postponement to a future trip up to 35 days before the trip starts. However, if you have to cancel your place on the trip after this deadline, then it will not be possible to postpone your place and your trip payments will be forfeited.

    In some cases, we may be in touch with you to say the trip cannot be confirmed until closer to travel time. If this is the case then you have the option of staying on the trip until we can confirm if the trip is running, or postponing your trip to a future date.

    As with any travel we strongly recommend that you have trip/travel insurance. This should cover any last-minute trip cancellation as well as any travel undertaken to get to and from the trip.

    Throughout 2021, the UK and Scottish governments have advised that lockdown restrictions could be reinstated if necessary. If this is the case we will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss these changes and your options.

    New Bookings Read More

    If you are interested in a trip with us in 2021 or any date in the future, we would be delighted to have you join us.

    Whether you are looking at a small group trip or a private adventure (perfect for your bubble) our friendly team is available to chat through the options.

    Please note that any new booking will only be accepted on the provision that if the trip is unable to go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions the trip will be suspended. Trip payments will be held indefinitely and can be put towards any Wilderness Scotland or Wilderness Ireland trip in the future.

    Must Read - Traveller Responsibility Read More

    1. The safety of everyone on the trip is our top priority and as such we are encouraging every traveller to take a Covid lateral flow test at least 72 hours before travel and then again mid-week while on the trip. Tests can be ordered free of charge and in advance to your home from this link.
    2. We ask that you bring a least 1 test with you on your trip for the mid-week test but we will also have some available for use.
    3. On any trips that involve ferry crossings to islands, it is recommended that you take a test on the day of travel to the Islands prior to departing.
    4. Our guides will be following the same testing procedure but will in fact be taking two tests before trip departure to confirm negative results before travel. They will also be receiving vaccines in line with eligibility guidelines.
    5. By joining the trip you agree to make us aware if you test positive for Covid at any point before or while you are on the trip.
    6. We request that all travellers bring a minimum of 2 reusable masks so you can wash one each evening and leave the other to dry.
    7. That clients declare to us if they have had Covid or Covid like symptoms.
    8. That client’s self-health check and declare to the guide as soon as possible if they do feel any Covid symptoms. It would be beneficial if you would bring a thermometer to keep track of your temperature.
    9. That you do not travel if you feel unwell or are symptomatic before the trip.
    10. That you agree in good grace to follow all guidelines and procedures set out by your Wilderness Scotland guide and any suppliers we use.

    Current Situation in the UK Read More

    To stay informed, we recommend you visit the UK Government website as well as the Scottish Government site where they are updating the situation regularly.

    We find this webpage which tracks Scottish COVID-19 data daily hugely useful to understand what the incidence of the virus is in the regions in which we live and also run our trips in.

    ABTA, of which we are members and provide our customers with 100% financial security; provide a broad set of Q & A that is useful for all, including inbound travellers from international locations.

    Finally, we recommend reading the WHO situation reports, which are updated daily and provide an ‘in numbers’ view of the virus.

    Travel Advisories and Inbound Health Measures Read More

    If you are travelling from outside the UK then you must review the contents of this section of the Scottish Government guidance before considering travel to Scotland.

    Travel advice for travellers visiting the UK from common locations.

    United States   |   Canada   |   Australia

    We recommend you check your own government advice with regards travel to the UK and Scotland.

     

    Pre-Trip Lateral Flow Tests Read More

    The safety of everyone on the trip is our top priority and as such we are encouraging every traveller to take a Covid lateral flow test at least 72 hours before travel and then again mid-week while on the trip.

    Tests can be ordered free of charge and in advance to your home from the official website below.
    https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

    We ask that you bring a minimum of 2 tests with you on your trip for the mid-week test but we will also have some available for use.

    On any trips that involve ferry crossings to islands, it is recommended that you take a test on the day of travel to the Islands prior to departing.

    Please do bring a test with you to take on arrival if you can. Our guides will be following the same testing procedure but will in fact be taking tests prior to departure to confirm a negative test. They will also be receiving vaccines in line with eligibility guidelines.

    By joining the trip you agree to make us aware if you test positive for Covid at any point before or while you are on the trip.

    Pre-Trip Information Read More

    Please take extra care to read through any pre-trip information you are sent, paying particular attention to the Covid-19 details and requirements, such as pre-trip Covid testing requirements, bringing your own face masks, and being aware of any rules which apply in Scotland which may be different to rules where you live.

    We would like to draw your attention to the third section on this page named “Must Read – Traveller Responsibility” where you will find important details to prepare for you ahead of and during your visit.

    Please also check with your airline/train company about any specific requirements they may have in place for your journey to Scotland.

    We genuinely sweat the details so that you can rest at ease knowing that you’re in safe hands and there’ll be no unwanted surprises. If you’re informed then you’ll be able to raise any questions with us ahead of your trip; which of course we’ll be delighted to help with.

    NHS Scotland - Test and Protect App Read More

    The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other and reduce the spread of coronavirus.

    The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous.

    If you would like to download this app then please do so here.
    https://protect.scot/

    Will it still feel like I am on holiday? Read More

    It will feel a bit different to your last holiday. But spending time in nature is healthy for the body and for the soul.

    The info on this page and that we’ll send to you pre-trip is so that you know what to expect, feel confident.

    Standing on top of a hill or cresting a climb on your bike will feel as amazing as it always has. As you soak in the views and relish the feeling of personal achievement, it will feel like a holiday!

    And one thing is for sure – many of us need a break after the past few months. So come and enjoy the space, freedom, wild landscapes and fresh air which Scotland is famous for.

    Will I need to wear a mask? Read More

    You will need to wear a mask while travelling in our vehicles and in other locations specified by Government regulations (e.g. – shops).

    There may be occasions when you need to put a mask on briefly – for example, if your guide is assisting you with some equipment.

    But you will not need a mask during the day’s activities – so you can hike, cycle or paddle breathing in the fresh Highland air and enjoying unencumbered views.

    Will we be socially distancing while on a trip? Read More

    As of the 9th of August, there are no social distancing regulations indoors or outdoors in Scotland. However, we do feel this is still best practice when it is within reason to do so. Please respect your fellow traveller’s preferences when it comes to this as well. 

    Can I bring my own car instead of travelling in your vehicle? Read More

    Yes.

    Where it is practical to do so, you are welcome to use your own vehicle throughout the trip.

    There will be no reduction in price as we will still be operating our vehicle on the trip. Trips which involve ferry crossings may be more challenging to arrange due to limited capacity on some ferries.

    If you are planning to bring your own vehicle, you must let us know as soon as possible so that we can plan accordingly.

    Will the locals be welcoming? Read More

    We’ve run trips in Scotland for 20 years, so are extremely well-connected in communities across the country.

    While there will always be some who disagree, the overwhelming feeling, and our own experience, is that communities across Scotland are really looking forward to welcoming visitors once again.

    Insurance Read More

    As always it is important that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do.

    It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies do vary.

    The Association of British Insurers has a Q & A that is more relevant for travellers from the UK but raises useful questions to put to your own insurer.

    The On-Trip Experience

    Your Wilderness Guide Read More

    All of our guides will complete training on our new operating procedures before leading a trip. This means that, as well as ensuring the safety of you and your fellow travellers, they will be able to advise you on any relevant procedures so that you can play your part in keeping us all safe while enjoying your holiday.

    Our guides will also be following the same testing procedure that is detailed in the next dropdown and will in fact be taking two tests prior to departure to confirm a negative test. They will also be receiving vaccines in line with eligibility guidelines.

    Pre and On-Trip Lateral Flow Tests Read More

    The safety of everyone on the trip is our top priority and as such we are encouraging every traveller to take a Covid lateral flow test at least 72 hours before travel and then again mid-week while on the trip.

    Tests can be ordered free of charge and in advance to your home from the official website below.
    https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

    We ask that you bring a minimum of 2 tests with you on your trip for the mid-week test but we will also have some available for use.

    On any trips that involve ferry crossings to islands, it is recommended that you take a test on the day of travel to the Islands prior to departing.

    Please do bring a test with you to take on arrival if you can. Our guides will be following the same testing procedure but will in fact be taking tests prior to departure to confirm a negative test. They will also be receiving vaccines in line with eligibility guidelines.

    By joining the trip you agree to make us aware if you test positive for Covid at any point before or while you are on the trip.

    NHS Test and Protect App Read More

    The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other and reduce the spread of coronavirus.

    The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous.

    If you would like to download this app then please do so here.
    https://protect.scot/

    Equipment and Vehicles Read More

    All of our equipment will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before being re-issued for the next trip. On trips, any equipment you are given will be yours throughout the trip rather than it being shared. Of course, our guides will be able to clean and disinfect equipment as required during the trip.

    Whilst in the vehicle, all passengers will be asked to wear face coverings and windows will remain open to provide fresh air circulation.

    Of course, all vehicles will be subject to enhanced cleaning. Hand sanitiser will be available in the vehicles.

    Hotels and Food & Drink Read More

    As you can imagine, each accommodation will have slightly different arrangements in place to ensure it is operating safely. Your guide will explain to you the arrangements at each accommodation before you arrive.

    Each restaurant and cafe will have slightly different arrangements in place to ensure it is operating safely. Your guide will explain to you the arrangements before you enter. 

    We will continue to provide snacks throughout the trip to keep you fuelled! However, these may be individually allocated rather than being from a shared basket.

    First Aid Procedures Read More

    Our guides have been trained in updated first aid best practices designed to keep themselves and you safe from infection in the unlikely event of an accident.

    Staying Healthy While Travelling Read More

    Hygiene advice has not changed since the start of the outbreak, so we reiterate it below as so often the basic messages get lost in all the noise.

    Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap for at least 20 seconds is a key method of avoiding contracting and spreading any germs while travelling and is seen as particularly important to avoid Coronavirus / COVID-19. If handwashing and soap are not available then hand sanitiser is recommended.

    Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose unless your hands are clean.

    Avoid close contact with people that look or feel unwell, their personal items and any surfaces they may have touched. Maintaining a distance of over 1m is recommended by the World Health Organisation.

    If you are on any medication, then pack additional supplies should your return home be postponed.

    We recommend visiting this World Health Organisation page on protective measures you can take to minimise the risk to yourself and others.

    Steps We're Taking to Protect Travellers on Our Tours Read More

    Our client’s health and safety are of the utmost importance to us and with that in mind, you will see below the steps that we are taking to protect you and mitigate the risk of contracting & spreading Coronavirus / COVID-19 while you are travelling on our tours.

    • We request that you wear your face mask while in our vehicles at all times.
    • While vehicles are moving we’ll ensure that the windows are open to increase fresh airflow and circulation.
    • Each vehicle will be thoroughly sanitised at start and end of the trip. 
    • Your vehicle will be provided with hand sanitiser and tissues. 
    • We will dispose of any rubbish bag with tissues at the end of every day. 
    • We use the sanitising spray to wipe down van surfaces daily.

    DO:

    • Notify your guide if you are feeling unwell at the earliest opportunity.
    • Meet and greet your guide and other participants with the namaste gesture.
    • Avoid unnecessary personal contact (hugs, kisses, high-fives etc.) and passing around of objects. 
    • Please make the effort not to touch your face and follow the personal hygiene recommendations.
    • Wash your hands properly and often.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
    • Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are not well.
    • Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have.

    DON’T:

    • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
    • Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles.
    • Do not pass your phone or camera to others.

    Above all, we want to be as respectful of each of our client’s feelings and concerns surrounding Coronavirus / COVID-19 and we would request that if you are travelling with us, that you make your feelings known in an understanding and respectful way to your guide, so that they, in turn, can make any necessary adjustments and relay information as appropriate to the group.

    If You or Someone in Your Group Becomes Unwell Read More

    The symptoms of Coronavirus / COVID-19 are:

    • A dry cough
    • A raised temperature (over 37.3 C)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Loss or change to taste and smell

    Our guides have also been trained on how to handle a situation where they or a member of the group show symptoms of Covid-19. This forms a key part of our updated operating procedures and is in line with Government advice.

    This does not necessarily mean that you have the virus but UK government and UK National Health Service advice is that you call 111 if you suspect you have symptoms. This is applicable for visitors to Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

    It is requested that you do not visit a doctor’s surgery, hospital or pharmacy.

    For more information we recommend you visit the following pages:

     

     

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