Safe Travels | Fair Voyage

COVID-19 – Destinations Where You Can Travel Now

Safe Travels

Our #1 priority—always

The safety of our travelers has always been our top priority. In fact, our frustrations about partially shockingly poor safety standards at Mount Kilimanjaro, resulting in unnecessarily life-threatening and, in extreme cases, lethal situations for the lives of travelers and locals alike, is part of our founding story and why we exist—to make a difference for your safety!

As Travelife Partner, safe operating procedures are part of our responsible sourcing and operating criteria for our destinations all around the world, and we ensure those together with our local partners. 

During the pandemic, as part of our COVID-19 response, we have also benefited from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels training, and our partners around the world have often taken a leading role in developing safe COVID-19 operating standards and protocols for the entire local tourism industry.

Safe Travels Stamp

The Safe Travels Stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the world’s first global safety and hygiene stamp for travel & tourism, designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks. We at Fair Voyage partner with Travelife for our responsible sourcing, and Travelife in turn has partnered with WTTC to authorise the use of the Safe Travels stamp for Travelife members who have achieved the Travelife Certified or Travelife Partner award.

This stamp has been specially designed to acknowledge governments and businesses around the world which have adopted a standardised level of health and hygiene. The aim of this standard is to ensure consumers can experience “Safe Travels” and promote the safety of the industry workers in the face of the Covid-19 and future crises, as well as to help local and international travel businesses Build Back Better.

The Safe Travels Stamp requires Travelife Certified and Travelife Partner companies to first complete the COVID Resilient training and achieve full compliance to the Safe Travels Checklist. It covers 4 key pillars of safety and hygiene:

  1. Operational and Staff Preparedness,
  2. Ensuring a Safe Experience,
  3. Rebuilding Trust and Confidence, and
  4. Implementing Enabling Policies.

Fair Voyage has obtained the Travelife Safe Travels Stamp in March 2021, as part of our COVID-19 response actions and foundational commitment to safe travels.

Our COVID-19 Response

Ever since the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have been taking immediate and continuous actions to ensure the safety of our travelers, support locals, and help rebuild a more sustainable travel ecosystem aligned with our vision for a more sustainable and peaceful world. See our COVID-19 response page where we’ve summarized our actions for you.

During your trip with Fair Voyage, all travelers have access to a local emergency contact number for 24/7 trip assistance. It is also essential that you and anyone included in your booking are covered by travel insurance. For travel insurance questions specific to your destination and trip, ask your personal travel advisor or email support@fairvoyage.com.

24/7 Trip Assistance

All Fair Voyage travelers have access to a local emergency contact number for 24/7 trip assistance. You receive the number as part of your booking confirmation by email and can always check the number for booked trips in your personal online dashboard. Call your local emergency number any time during your trip to receive immediate assistance.

Do I Still Need Travel Insurance?

YES. It is essential that you and anyone included in your booking are covered by insurance before setting out on holiday. Your insurance must cover personal accidents, medical expenses, loss of effects, repatriation costs, and all other expenses that might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay, or inconvenience. If you are undertaking a hazardous activity or travel to less accessible areas, your insurance must also cover this particular activity and emergency evacuations for your particular destination(s).

Furthermore, your insurance must cover the risks of travel cancellations, delays, or quarantines, including all additional or nonrefundable expenses arising from such events. It is advisable that you take out travel cancellation insurance as soon as we have confirmed your booking or you make any payments for your trip (including flights or other payments that you may not be making to us) to cover your nonrefundable costs in case of cancellation or changes to your trip.

IMPORTANT: Verify that your insurance policy also covers known risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note that insurance included with credit cards is normally NOT sufficient for trips booked with Fair Voyage, due to customary caps on insured amounts, exception of potentially hazardous activities, and other limitations of such insurance coverages. Check the terms carefully.

For your safety, all travelers booked via Fair Voyage must provide a copy of your insurance policy and emergency contact details.

What Travel Insurance Do You Recommend?

The best insurance for your trip depends on your country of residence, your destination, and any high risk activities included in your trip (such as high altitude trekking or scuba diving). Furthermore, travel insurance terms and offers have been and continue to change frequently since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is important that you check insurance terms carefully for your particular circumstances and at your time of booking.

When booking a trip with Fair Voyage, check with your personal travel advisor for any recommendations specific for your destination or experience. However, note that travel agencies (including Fair Voyage) are not licensed to give you insurance advice, so it's best you also ask a duly licensed insurance broker in your country of residence to get personal insurance advice.

In general, however, we can recommend the following:

  • For travelers from Switzerland: We recommend you to check Europäische Reiseversicherung and Allianz, both of which offer policies that also cover risks related to COVID-19.
  • For travelers from the USA: We recommend you to check World Nomads as they updated their policies to cover some risks related to COVID-19 for US travelers.
  • For travelers globally: Check if World Nomads also covers COVID-19 risk for your country of citizenship or residence. COVID-19 aside, their insurance usually offers comprehensive coverage at good prices.

Request a quote now – it only takes 3 minutes:

When paying for a trip with Fair Voyage, you invest significant funds into booking responsible and extraordinary travel experiences. The safety of your payment and money that you’ve deposited with us ahead of your trip is an essential part of safe travels.

We use safe PCI compliant payment gateways and insure all travel funds with Swiss Travel Security (STS), which means that your money paid to us is STS guaranteed to be safe according to highest international standards. 

Our Safe Payment Solutions = Your Data Protection

Fair Voyage offers you a safe fully PCI compliant gateway for online payments. We are able to do so because we have integrated Adyen into our system, the same trusted global payment solution provider also used by brands such as Uber, LinkedIn, and Spotify.

When you enter your credit card or other online payment details, you do so exclusively in a secure environment when logged into your Fair Voyage account. Fair Voyage never "sees" or stores any credit card or payment information in our system, as these are passed on directly to Adyen for verification and processing.

Of course, you also have the option to pay us directly via bank transfer into our Swiss bank account. When making transfers from accounts in currencies different to your trip price currency, if you'd like to get your best FX rate, we recommend you to use Wise.com who also offer a safe international payment solution.

Our STS Travel Funds Insurance = Your Money Guarantee

Fair Voyage is insured with the Swiss Travel Security guarantee scheme for traveler deposits, and you can verify our official listing here. This means that when you book a trip with us, all your funds that you pay to us ahead of your trip (including any initial Deposit, Balance, Adjustment, and Full Payments) are 100% guaranteed to be protected against bankruptcy and no-shows.

In the unfortunate event that we—no matter whether Fair Voyage AG as travel agency headquartered in Switzerland or any of our operating partners and suppliers who are locally delivering our services to you—would not deliver your trip to you, you receive your full payments back & more, hassle-free!

You might also like to know that so far, we have not yet had such an event.

Be careful if you consider booking directly with a local company as no such insurance scheme exists yet in many of our destinations countries, and even previously sound bonding schemes in high income countries may no longer offer safe protection due to a high number of bankruptcies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also be careful if you consider booking with a local company via a platform that does not explicitly offer safe travel funds insurance, and not that a safe payment guarantee usually refers to your card payment transaction and does not automatically mean your monies are safe once paid.

Having safe travel funds insurance is a mandatory regulatory requirements for all travel agencies based in Switzerland.

Specifically for Kilimanjaro climbs, which continues to be our most popular travel experience, safety is of utmost and, at times, life-saving importance. In addition to highest safety standards for our climbs, we have also contributed significantly to raising awareness for travelers and the entire Kilimanjaro industry through a wealth of content creation, such as our articles on altitude sickness and other safety-related topics, our interview with the founder of Kilimanjaro Search & Rescue, or our founder’s book Kilimanjaro Uncovered.

Our Safety Standards for Kilimanjaro Climbs

Fair Voyage operates according to the highest safety standards for Kilimanjaro climbs:

  • Experience and training of guides and mountain crew: All our guides have many years of experience and usually guided over one hundred groups and hundreds of climbers to the summit safely. Our mountain crew undergoes regular safety training such as First Aid and CPR, COVID-19 safety procedures, and Wilderness First Responder (WFR).
  • Fair treatment = alignment of interests: Because our mountain crew is provided with fair employment conditions, well trained and love what they do, they only have your best interest in mind—to provide you with an enjoyable and safe experience. Your safety is their priority. Guiding you to the summit is their passion, bringing you back down safely is their mission.
  • Safety equipment: We carry customary safety equipment such as a pulse oximeter, emergency oxygen and a first aid kid on every single climb, as well as a Gamow bag if your climb involves an overnight stay at Crater Camp. We do not consider custom stretchers necessary for your safety because faster wheeled stretchers and porters are readily available on the mountain, but are happy to upgrade your climb with a custom stretcher for your comfort. Most importantly, our guides have the necessary training to use all equipment and interpret your pulse oximeter readings.
  • Daily safety checks and briefings: Our guides perform daily safety checks and record your measures (heart rate, blood oxygen, symptoms of altitude sickness and personal state) on your personal tracking sheet. Beyond the routine safety checks, our guides are constantly looking out for you and watching out for any signs of altitude sickness.
  • Setting the right pace:  Walking slowly is key to ascending safely and minimize the risks of altitude sickness. Athletic and ambitious climbers have the natural tendency to walk too fast. By keeping you to a slow and steady pace, making regular breaks, and reminding you to stay hydrated, our guides not only know but—more importantly—enforce what it takes to minimize your risks of altitude sickness.
  • Continuous safety checks while walking: Furthermore, Kilimanjaro climbers have the tendency to underplay when they are not feeling well because of a tendency to "be strong" and not complain, as well as forgetting in the thin air that descending safely is always more important than reaching the summit. Through observing your behavior, facial expressions and through casual dialogue, our guides are experts in detecting your true state and constantly watching out how well you are adjusting to the thin air. Nevertheless, it is also your responsibility to always be honest with your guide.
  • Safe guide-to-climber ratio: You will always have at least two guides for groups of two climbers or more, and at least one guide for every two climbers. This ensures that there are always enough guides to split the group when necessary, especially to assist climbers with descent when in their best interest, whilst allowing other climbers to proceed with their summit ascend.

How to Avoid the Dangers of Altitude Sickness When Climbing Kilimanjaro

Altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS) is the side effect caused by exposure to high altitudes. As a person reaches higher altitudes, the air contains less oxygen which begins to negatively affect the human body. Symptoms usually develop from around 2,500 meters of altitude.

First signs of altitude sickness include headache, nausea or shortness of breath. More severe symptoms include dry cough, fever, vomiting or retinal haemorrhage. Extreme cases can include fluid build up in the brain characterized by loss of coordination, confusion, inability to walk and even coma. If left untreated, AMS can be lethal.

Please read our article on avoiding the dangers of altitude sickness when climbing Kilimanjaro.

Other Safety Considerations When Climbing Kilimanjaro

In addition to booking with a responsible company and avoiding the pitfalls of altitude sickness, climbing on an optimal route, avoiding the rainy seasons, preparing physically and organizing adequate gear are all important considerations not only for an enjoyable experience, but first and foremost also for your safety. We have therefore prepared a wealth of content for you, covering all that you need to know:

Advice on Staying Safe by Ivan Braun, Founder of Kilimanjaro Search & Rescue (KSAR)

Ivan Braun is the Founder of Kilimanjaro Search & Rescue (KSAR), which has been the leading helicopter evacuation service and high-altitude clinic for Mount Kilimanjaro. As such, Ivan Braun knows more about evacuations, altitude sickness and safety on Mount Kilimanjaro than anyone else.

Our Founder interviewed Ivan for you end 2019, and Ivan shared a ton of important and possibly life-saving advice to help you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Watch the entire interview or read a summary of Ivan’s advice here.

As a conscious traveler, you might have many more questions. Simply click on the search icon at the top of the page, type any keyword into the search box, and find your question under “TRAVEL INFO & FAQS”.

We have already prepared many answers to over 500 of the most frequently asked questions for you, so this is the quickest way to get the info you are looking for.

Cannot find the info you are looking for? Please email support@fairvoyage.com. We’re here for you!