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washington post

Reinvention of Guided Travel, Traveling Well & Precautions

by Monika Todorova

March 19, 2021

Before the pandemic, Joey Parrott, an inveterate traveler, had plans to visit Norway, India and Italy. But when these borders closed to Americans, his trips were all canceled. After staying at home for five months, the retired banker from Dalton, Ga., was eager to travel again. He and his sister Cathy Barker signed up for a Collette tour to South Dakota.

“It had to be domestic because no other country wants us,” Parrott said. 

His friends questioned his decision to travel before there was a coronavirus vaccine, but Parrott assured them he would be cautious. His travel pod was impressed by Collette’s safety measures — regular temperature checks, stringent sanitizing and social distancing. Their bus held only 15 passengers, with plenty of room to spread out. Everyone was required to wear a mask on the bus, during guided tours, at attractions and at restaurants, unless they were eating.

Collette is one of many tour operators that have reinvented themselves for pandemic travel. After stopping all tours for months, the company has responded to the changed landscape by developing new protocols and offering new services. For those seeking a way to resume travel despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, small group tours offer an alternative to going it alone. Read More.

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