Travel Advice – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

UPDATE 31 MARCH 11:00

We sent the following communication via email to all our customers on 30 March 2020:

For those that have received a number of emails from us in the past few days, apologies for yet another.  We are writing to everyone today to keep you up to date with the evolving situation, to address some common questions and to communicate how it may impact you in the future.

·        What is happening currently? 

o   As you will know, all travel across all destinations Tots serves is suspended; for the UK, FCO advice extends currently as far as mid-April, however this will no doubt be extended in due course. 

·        What are the implications of this?

o   Now all the families that had been stuck abroad are home (which is wonderful news) the main implication is uncertainty.  We know that families due to travel in the near term will almost certainly not be able to and even those with bookings for later in the year will be unsure.  There is more information below about how we are dealing with this for you. 

·        What are we doing about it?

o   Getting in touch: Like everyone else, our team is working from home and doing their best to answer everyone; we are asking you to use only one channel of communication (email) simply because some people were using 3 different channels to get in touch and this was causing delay and confusion.

o   Payments: We have delayed all balance payments until further notice: this is to protect you and to allow those of you with departures later in the year to make a more informed decision about your balance payment nearer the time of departure; we will be in touch around 4 weeks before your departure date with further advice relevant to the situation at the time so otherwise, there is no need to get in touch now.

o   Flexibility: We have negotiated with all our suppliers a far higher degree of flexibility than we would normally see and this – in line with the majority of the travel industry – is allowing us to offer everyone the chance to move dates in to the future.  We are not expecting you to specify when right now as there is no clarity – but the chance to get to the place you booked and paid for is still there if travel is not possible for your original dates.  You don’t need to do anything now – we will be in touch at the relevant point.

o   Insurance: We appreciate that for many families finances are an immediate concern and that you would want to reclaim your travel expenses as quickly as possible from your travel insurance provider rather than postponing your travel plans. We are advising people who would prefer not to defer their departure to refer to their insurance as FCO advice not to travel evolves (which is the trigger for most policies); we still feel this is the most certain choice at the moment for those that have a qualifying policy and are urging everyone to check theirs now.  Again, you don’t need to do anything right now – we will be in touch nearer your date of departure with instructions about how to get a confirmation letter from us to show your insurer.

o   Refunds: As departures approach, we are asking customers to consider the above options because we are not able to make refunds outside of the terms agreed at the point of booking. To be clear we are not choosing not to refund  – we are simply not able to because in the most part, the payments you make are made to the suppliers (property owners or agents) or the obligation to pay suppliers still remains.   

·        Thank you

o   Many people have kindly asked after us and the team here and shown a huge degree of compassion and support – THANK YOU – this goes such a long way.  We are doing our best to keep hope alive and to also support all our wonderful suppliers abroad who face the same levels of uncertainty we all do.  You can help us do this by deferring your booking rather than cancelling when the time comes to make that decision.

o   We are also temporarily much reduced in number here – government support in furloughing the team has been fantastic – and we have made a commitment to have everyone back as soon as possible. 

o   For those left and dealing with this all day by day, it has been difficult and sometimes dispiriting.  So as a short-term fix we will be taking a breather and giving everyone here a break for a week or so in order to spend some of this isolated time with our families and to come back fully refreshed after Easter.  Thank you in advance for understanding if there is therefore a short delay in replying to emails during this time. 

Wendy and I founded Tots to Travel 15 years ago, and never could we have foreseen this.  I hope this honest summary of the situation is useful, and we will continue to do all we can to mitigate the impact on you and our community.  

Thank you again for your forbearance and support as we feel our way through this crisis together.

Last updated: 24 March 17:40

Contacting Us:

Please be aware that we are currently dealing with enquiries by email only. This means that we’re able to prioritise queries by order of departure date and provide help and assistance to those with most urgent enquiries.  

We are, as you would expect, exceptionally busy and doing our best to answer all questions that customers have with depleted resource. Please note we are no longer replying to customers who contact us via multiple social media channels as this slows the response time down for all customers quite considerably.  

We would also advise that contact is made by the lead booking person so that we are able to match your enquiry to a booking more efficiently. 

17th April – 31st May 2020

This afternoon we emailed customers who are due to travel between 17th April and 31st May 2020. If your travel dates are due to fall in this period please check your inbox for our email for more information on the options open to you at this stage.

For customers due to go to Aphrodite Hills, Domes of Elounda, Pilot Beach, La Manga, Marthinhal Quinta and Martinhal Beach, Pine Cliffs, Vale d’Oliveiras and Zafiro Palace with a booking between 17th April – 31st May 2020 please expect an email in the next few days as we endeavour to establish clarity on latest policies being issued by these resorts.

Thank you

We thank all our customers for their extraordinary levels of patience and support during this time. We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and understanding extended to our team during this time and really appreciate all the lovely emails we’ve received from you.

Last updated: 18th March 15:00

UPDATE: 18th March

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel restrictions severely impact all accommodation bookings between: 

17th March – 16th April 2020

Customers with a booking that fall into this date bracket have been emailed at 3:05pm today. If your booking falls into this category please check your inbox carefully for this email which contains comprehensive advice on what you need to do next. 

For customers due to go to Aphrodite Hills, Domes of Elounda, Pilot Beach, La Manga, Marthinhal Quinta and Martinhal Beach, Pine Cliffs, Vale d’Oliveiras and Zafiro Palace with a booking between 17th March – 16th April 2020 please expect an email shortly.

Thank you once again for your patience during this exceptionally busy period. 

Important Notice to Customers: 17th March

All customers affected by recent travel restrictions are being contacted directly by our Customer Support Team.

A further email containing important advice will be sent to ALL customers on 18th March 2020.

Please wait to receive this email and read carefully before contacting us directly. 

We will be able to provide a more effective service for you if you have the information you need from us before you call. 

Please be aware that at this time we have a very large number of customers to look after and it’s really important that those that are most urgently affected receive our most urgent attention. This includes:

  • Families currently in a resort location in Spain, Cyprus, France and Portugal
  • Families due to travel to ALL locations during March

For all customers with travel plans to locations in April, May, June 2020 please wait to receive our email with instructions and advice on what to do next.

We really appreciate the enormous level of patience, support and kindness we are receiving from our customers at this time and we’d like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to minimise the stress and anxiety of this situation for you.

Thank you for your patience.

Wendy and the Tots team

Last updated 17th March, 20:19

You may be feeling concerned about how the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak might affect your travel plans.

We’ve put together answers to the most commonly asked questions for anyone with travel planned, or who might be planning to travel, over the coming months.

We are closely monitoring all the very latest advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and relevant official bodies regarding COVID-19. Should the situation change we will update this page and contact any affected customers directly

17th March Update 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. 
Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. 

16th March Update – Cyprus

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Cyprus. We are contacting all guests affected by this and prioritising those most immediately affected.

15th March Update – Spain

Our Actions:
 
Travel restrictions have been extended throughout Spain. We are in contact with all guests affected by this and prioritising those most immediately affected. 
 
If you are due to travel in March we advise you to check your email inbox if you haven’t received a call from us yet. If you are due to travel from April 1 onwards we have sent you an email. Please check all your email folders.

14th March Update – Spain, including the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the following regions that the Spanish Ministry of Health have designated as areas of community transmission of coronavirus: Madrid and La Rioja, and the municipalities of La Bastida and Vitoria (both in the Basque Country) and Miranda de Ebro (in Castilla y León).

In addition, travel to and from Spain is being severely impacted by flight cancellations.

We are contacting all customers who are affected by these restrictions and cancellations.

We are prioritising contact with those most immediately affected but will make contact with all customers today via email or telephone depending on the priority level.

Thank you for your patience.

10th March Update – Italy

The FCO have advised against all but essential travel to Italy, due to an outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and in line with various controls and restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities on 9th March. We are contacting any customers who may be affected by these restrictions.

Common Questions

How will I know if my existing travel plans to a Tots to Travel destination are going to be affected?
We continue to monitor the situation on the behalf of all customers who have a booking with Tots to Travel and will contact you directly if advice from the FCO changes for your destination.

What happens if travel advice changes while I am on a Tots to Travel holiday?
Should advice issued by the FCO change for the destination you are currently holidaying in, we will contact you directly.  Please ensure your contact details are up to date before you travel by logging in to your My Tots account.

What is the Tots to Travel cancellation policy if I choose not to travel because of the Coronavirus outbreak?
If there is no FCO travel restriction to your destination and you choose to cancel, then the standard Tots to Travel cancellation policy applies. If you are considering cancelling your booking, we advise checking your insurance policy before making a decision to do so.

What if I want to move my Tots to Travel booking to a different date?
If there is no FCO travel restrictions to your destination and you wish to make changes to your booking, then the standard Tots to Travel amendment policy applies.

What does my travel insurance cover me for?
This will depend on the terms of your policy. Familiarise yourself with your travel insurance policy and contact your travel insurance provider to gain a clear understanding of how you are covered.

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Contact Us

We’re here to help. If at any point you have any questions or concerns, we will do our best to assist so please do get in touch with our Customer Services team on 0800 014 2770.

 

Tanya Johnson
Tanya Johnson

Tanya Johnson is the Marketing Manager at Tots to Travel, mum of one, big fan of family adventures, the great outdoors, sport and fitness.

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