The health and well-being of our travelers, our guides and the communities we visit is always our top priority. For more than 30 years, we've worked tirelessly to exceed the health and safety expectations for every trip we run. That continues today, as we adjust our programming and policies in response to COVID-19.
We have resumed most domestic departures at this time. If you’re booked on a trip we need to cancel, we’ll typically be in touch around 45 days before your scheduled departure date.
Anyone who'd like to cancel or postpone their trip because of health concerns around COVID-19 can do so with no financial penalty. Some exceptions apply to cruise programs, as those are run by partner operators. If you have any questions, contact our travel specialists—they'd love to help. And if you have future travel plans, please continue to review the travel advisories or warnings from the U.S. State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.
We’re examining every aspect of every trip, to ensure that we meet or exceed appropriate guidelines, requirements and recommendations of the U.S. State Department, CDC, WHO, and local governments. Any changes to trip itineraries or activities will be communicated to travelers as soon as we make those decisions.
Read on for details about specific changes we're making to every trip.
Health & Safety Protocols
All travelers and guides will participate in pre-trip health assessments as well as ongoing health assessments while traveling. If a person needs to cancel their trip due to illness or potential exposure prior to departure, they can do so without financial penalty.
For lodge-based trips, we will closely assess all accommodations for appropriate sanitation. When camping, tents are assigned for the duration of each trip and cleaned between every departure.
Dining and food preparation
Guide-prepared meals will follow food-handling guidelines and be served by the guides, rather than self-serve or family style. When dining out, we will ensure adherence to local requirements, and accommodate travelers' seating preferences and level of personal comfort to the best of our ability.
Sanitized vehicles and equipment
In our vehicles, high-touch surfaces are sanitized frequently during the trip, and the entire vehicle gets thoroughly cleaned between groups. Gear and equipment intended to be used by one person for the duration of the trip will be issued on an individual basis. Everything gets cleaned and sanitized after each trip, or is regularly cleaned throughout, depending on its use. Guests should also bring their own personal hand sanitizer and use it regularly while on the trip.
If REI is notified that a member of a trip tested positive for COVID-19, we will follow CDC guidelines and contact all participants. We will not share the identity of the individual.
Small group sizes
REI has always exclusively offered small group travel. Because of the pandemic, we are reducing group sizes even further to comply with local guidelines. Small groups also create more space in vehicles, and let us spread out more during meals and activities.
Appropriate spacing during activities
Whether on the water, on the trail, on bikes or on foot, guests must maintain adequate spacing during activities whenever possible, even while wearing face coverings. The bright side: more space between people makes it easier to bask in the beauty of the surroundings.
More spacious vehicles
Small group sizes ensure more space between travelers during vehicle transfers. If needed, we'll also use larger vehicles (or more of them). Face coverings will be required for guests and guides during any provided transportation.
Protecting Local Communities
We'll closely assess the risk to every community we visit, and avoid traveling to the most vulnerable communities until it is appropriate to do so.
Yes. For the safety of our guests, our employees, and the communities we visit, CDC-recommended face coverings are required throughout each trip. When physical distancing is possible, there may be exceptions made during strenuous activities or when there’s a high likelihood of the masks getting wet. While being worn, all face coverings must fully cover the nose and mouth. Make sure to try out your face covering before the trip to test it for comfort and fit. You'll want one you can wear comfortably during physical activities and for extended periods of time. Face coverings made of mesh or other loosely knit fabric are not permitted.
We will conduct pre-trip health assessments for all travelers, but are not requiring COVID-19 tests at this time. We encourage anyone who is feeling unwell prior to departure to consult a medical professional and to avoid traveling. We will provide a full refund of any costs paid to REI if someone is unable to travel due to illness. The decision to travel during these times is a personal one, and should a traveler wish to cancel or transfer their trip, we will waive any applicable fees.
The health and well-being of travelers, guides and the communities we visit are our top priorities when making these decisions. As travel destinations continue to adjust travel restrictions, quarantine orders and the availability of essential services, travel can be affected with little notice. If you receive a cancellation notification from our team, it means that current conditions and/or the latest health & safety guidance is preventing us from running your trip as scheduled.
If we make the decision to cancel your trip, we’ll notify you around 45 days before your departure and make arrangements to transfer your reservation to a later date or issue a refund.
Yes, guests have the option to transfer their current reservation (without penalty) to a future date of the same trip or to choose a new trip entirely.
While we don’t issue credit towards future travel, we will gladly refund all trip costs to guests who can’t find an alternative departure date that works for them.
Our current policy allows all guests to transfer or cancel their reservations without penalty. If we decide to change this policy, we’ll notify all travelers and provide a generous grace period before any changes go into effect.
Currently, we will refund all costs paid to REI if we cancel your trip, even if you haven’t purchased travel insurance. Make sure to review any travel insurance policy you are considering to understand what other expenses it will cover. You should also contact your travel insurance provider and/or airline directly with any questions you have.
Our local guides and trip partners have strong relationships throughout their communities, enabling them to take quick action when needed. We are confident our guides will provide the best support possible under the circumstances, guided by the specific requirements and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, as well as local regulations. We recommend purchasing travel insurance, which could help cover expenses incurred by travel delays or trip interruptions. Review your insurance policy’s details for more specific information.
Solo travelers can reserve a guaranteed single room by paying the “single supplement” fee. Otherwise, we’ll pair them up with a roommate of the same gender. Not every trip has a single supplement option, but those that do will mention it in the Practical Details section of the trip page. Visit our Solo Travel page for more details.
While we will have some on hand for the group, each traveler should bring their own supply of hand sanitizer.
Yes—almost all of our trips can be booked as private departures, and for groups of four or more the cost per person is the same as our regular trips! Visit our private departures page for more details.