In the everchanging world that COVID has presented us with, we are making it easy for you to know where you stand with many of your COVID related questions.
If my tour is rescheduled due to COVID what are my options?
When designing tours both domestic or international, Sisterhood Women's Travel engages with many different suppliers each with their own terms and conditions. When rescheduling a tour due to COVID our suppliers are within their rights to offer either a full credit or refund depending on their financial commitments to ‘other’ parties eg. transportation, accommodation, sightseeing etc. Credits and refund options may vary from tour to tour. At the time of your tour re-schedule announcement, you will be contacted with options moving forward. We always do our best to ensure that our traveller's funds are protected as much as possible so that you can continue to look forward to your next adventure.
Why can’t I just get my money back?
If only it was that easy! First and foremost, we are a group tour company, not an independent travel agent. With independent travel, it is often easier to obtain a refund but groups are a whole different story. Group tours are priced on achieving minimum numbers to depart and when these numbers are reached, the tour is then guaranteed to depart. If the tour is subsequently rescheduled due to COVID, and you decide you no longer wish to travel, our group number, therefore pricing may be affected due to a reduction in group size, hence why suppliers will usually only offer a credit to preserve their group number.
Believe us when we say that it’s a lot easier to hand over money than it is to have it returned. The fact that we use many different suppliers, each with their own individual terms and conditions, more often than not it’s not possible to recoup all funds paid out. The Pandemic is nobody’s fault, not you the traveller, not Sisterhood Womens Travel and not our supplier’s. Given the current climate and the uncertainty and ever-changing environment, businesses have to survive so it’s not unreasonable to expect some cancellation/administration fees for tours that do not depart due to COVID. There is actually more work involved to re-schedule arrangements than there is having a tour actually depart.
What if I can’t go on the rescheduled date?
When re-scheduling tours due to COVID we try to give you as much notice as possible to ensure that you can be available. The best way to preserve your funds paid is to move to the re-scheduled date as opposed to cancelling altogether and being charged cancellation fees. Although, you may be hesitant in committing to the new tour date, cancelling off a tour as opposed to re-scheduling can be costly, hence we encourage you to be flexible so that you can continue to look forward to your long-awaited adventure.
Why can’t you just resell my seat?
Many airlines and suppliers do not allow name changes without charging hefty fees so reselling seats on tours can be costly and is a lot more involved behind the scenes than you may think. As much as we would love to find a replacement passenger to enable you to cancel your tour, it’s not that easy to just find someone else. If it was, all of our tours would be full always! We are all about encouraging people to travel rather than to discourage, so please understand we cannot take on this responsibility without charging an appropriate fee should we find a replacement.
How do you determine a cancellation fee?
Each tour is different and a number of factors determine the cancellation fee including the amounts charged by our suppliers for airfares, accommodation, transportation and sightseeing in addition to the fee charged by SWT to cover the cost and time spent on putting the tour together and any subsequent re-schedules or cancellations which are outside the control of SWT. The best way to avoid any cancellation fees and to preserve your funds is to take the re-scheduled tour offer.
I don’t want to travel anymore and just want my money back
Given the effects the pandemic has had on travelling, we understand your hesitancy to travel. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any refund for a change of mind. We recommend you contact your travel insurance company to explore your options prior to officially cancelling. At Sisterhood Women's Travel, we are all about connecting women through the joys of travel and new friendships and we will continue to support and encourage you to look forward to your adventure.
Why do you outsource your tours to other suppliers?
We are a small group tour company who work with established and reputable suppliers from all over the world to bring you amazing experiences to share with friends. You will find that most tour companies engage independent ground operators and this is standard practice within the industry. We wish we had the reach to have our ‘own’ transportation, hotels and tour guides but it’s simply not viable.
If I am booked on 2 tours & I must cancel one as they overlap or are too close to one another, can I transfer my deposit to the one tour?
Yes, if we have rescheduled a tour which clashes with another tour you are currently booked on, depending on the cancellation fees for the tour you wish to cancel we will allow any remaining deposit to be transferred to your preferred tour.
How do I know that in a years’ time this tour won’t be rescheduled again?
We don’t! We remain positive that under the Government’s pandemic recovery we will be open for travel as predicted. Of course, if your tour doesn’t go ahead due to border closures or COVID, we will revert to the relevant COVID policy and provide you with options moving forward.
What’s the point of getting Travel Insurance when it doesn’t cover COVID?
It’s just as important now as it ever was to ensure that you take out Travel Insurance when booking any tour through Sisterhood Women's Travel. Insurance Companies are constantly updating their policies to provide the best coverage possible during these times but it’s important to note that there are many circumstances outside of COVID that may result in a claim that needs to be considered and it is imperative that you read through the insurance company’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure you are comfortable with the level of insurance the company is offering. As travel insurance is compulsory when travelling with Sisterhood Womens Travel, it’s so important to take out insurance at the time you pay your deposit to protect yourself against cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.
What happens to my Insurance if my tour is re-scheduled?
If a tour is postponed and we have issued your insurance, you will need to first advise if you wish to move to the rescheduled date. Then we can extend the dates of your travel insurance. If you have arranged your own insurance, you will need to contact your insurer directly and request to update to your new travel dates. If you are cancelling your tour, please let us know as early as possible so we can forward a refund request to the insurance company. Refunds are on a request basis only and may not be the full value of the policy paid. Insurance refunds take some time to process and are usually refunded in the same manner they were paid. Upon receipt of funds, we’ll advise and arrange your refund.
Do I have to be double vaccinated to travel with you?
As we look forward to getting back to what we do best, to keep our travellers, hostesses and team safe and to ensure we align with current COVID industry requirements, from 1 January 2022 all Sisterhood Travellers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination status to be able to attend/travel on any get-together, event, mini-break, domestic or international tour. If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption and provide us with a medical certificate from a medical practitioner. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. For any changes to this policy, as we operate in an ever-changing environment and requirements continue to evolve globally, we will closely monitor relevant changes and make updates where required.