Let’s journey forward, where safety comes first

WorldStrides has built a 50-year-old reputation for industry-leading commitment to health and safety. Our experienced team is leading the way now in innovating and evolving to make sure your next travel experience is safe, and full of all the fun we are missing right now. We’re committed to your health, safety, and WorldClass Flexibility—for you, for your group, and for these unprecedented times. The following COVID-19 safety protocols are reviewed regularly in conjunction with our Medical Director are adjusted as needed. Current protocols apply to 2021 programs and will be evaluated for extension to 2022 programs and beyond, with our commitment to keep them in place for as long as they are helpful in mitigating the risk of contracting COVID-19 while participating on a WorldStrides program.

A team approach to our new normal

WorldStrides’ Back to Travel Task Force leverages decades of experience across our company to assess the safety of the destinations we travel, stay abreast of openings/closings, understand new protocols and regulations from our partners, and create trainings and detailed safety plans to manage the risk associated with COVID-19. The Back to Travel group, led by Chief Academic, Health and Safety Officer Terri Morgoglione, is also informed by the CDC and WHO guidelines, as well as the guidance of the team at The George Washington Department of Emergency Medicine who staff our Doctors on Call program. We are also closely monitoring the evolving standards of the education community and the travel industry, and will continue to update our plans as new information on COVID-19 comes to light.

WorldStrides’ promise to you

WorldStrides will be there for your group every step of the way, from pre-tour, on-tour, and post-tour to ensure the safest experience possible for all travelers.

  • Pre-Tour: We encourage all travelers to limit contact with non-household individuals and exposure to public places for 14 days prior to departure. If a student is symptomatic or tests positive within 14 days of travel, they should not travel with the group and should immediately contact their Program Leader or WorldStrides Customer Service.
  • On-Tour: If a student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 while participating on a program, we will help them get tested and safely separate them from the rest of the group while awaiting the results. If the test result is positive, we will be there every step of the way, from helping to secure the necessary care to arranging medically-required isolation.
  • Post-Trip Assistance: In addition to advising all participants to monitor their health for 14 days after returning home and let their Program Leader know if they become ill, WorldStrides will work with the Program Leader or appropriate parties to carry out contact tracing and notifications as needed.

Whether preparing for travel or on tour, WorldStrides strongly encourages all families to wear a mask, wash their hands frequently, and practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Meet WorldStrides Medical Director Dr. Neal Sikka

WorldStrides has been proudly partnering with the George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine for more than a decade. Since the start of the pandemic, the WorldStrides Health & Safety team has worked closely with Dr. Neal Sikka and his team for continued guidance on a quickly changing landscape. Dr. Sikka serves as WorldStrides Medical Director, and he and his team provide our Doctors on Call program which supports our travelers around the world.

Watch now! Head of Health and Safety Robin Reliford catches up with Dr. Sikka in April to discuss best practices for staying healthy during COVID-19, vaccines, and more!

Adaptations for safety

WorldStrides will continue to rely on our deep network of safety resources, including our exclusive Doctors on Call program, 24/7 On Call center, and age-appropriate adult supervision to adapt in this changing environment. Our protocols detailed below will continue to evolve, and likely differ slightly from group to group, and city to city, because  we are committed to getting it right.

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Hygiene

Participants will be provided two disposable face masks per day. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the program, including on buses and at hotels. WorldStrides will also provide contactless thermometers for temperature checks to be performed twice daily by a designated adult. Students will be asked a series of questions daily to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

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Adjusted itineraries

We're in-the-know with all the museums, performance venues,  sports arenas, companies and other sites we visit. We will adjust your schedule to maximize your experiences each day to account for new rules for capacity management, social distancing, masks, and more.

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Safety briefing

All WorldStrides staff participate in a mandatory COVID-19 training program developed by our Health & Safety Team in consultation with our Medical Director Dr. Neal Sikka. Our staff will assist your group with pre-departure safety briefings for the family as well as twice daily safety briefing with your group's adult chaperones.

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Meals

Group meals will be prepared by professionals who adhere to proper food safety and handling protocols, including mask wearing and frequent hand washing. We work closely with each meal vendor to determine the appropriate meal type and group seating configuration, secure outdoor dining where possible, and limit contact with other patrons. Individually packaged food items, grab and go, and plated and served meals will replace traditional self-serve buffet options.

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On the motorcoach

Our motorcoach partners have implemented enhanced cleaning and safety protocols. Buses will be disinfected using a variety of techniques, including electrostatic and anti-microbial sprayers, foggers, and steamers. All high-touch surfaces will be wiped down multiple times a day. Air filtration system improvements promote frequent exchange of cabin air, replacing it with fresh air from the outside. Students will be assigned a designated seat on the bus each day, and we have established bus loading and unloading procedures that limit exposure to other students.

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At the hotel

We work only with hotel partners who are committed to the highest standards in cleanliness. In addition to their already rigorous cleaning protocols, they are now using enhanced cleaning products and increasing the frequency of cleaning in public spaces. Housekeeping spends extra time disinfecting surfaces in guest rooms, focusing on high contact areas. The check-in process has also been modified to limit interaction between students and other guests. Changes have been made to hotel arrival and departure procedures, use of lobby and elevators, and breakfast and other hotel-based activities to promote social distancing. Additionally, we have developed flexible options to support the rooming preferences of individual travelers. For example, if you program pricing is based on quad occupancy, we will offer discounted room upgrades for students who prefer double occupancy.