Travel, Trip and Trekking Updates 2021

Andy Crisconi Himalayan Trekking Tours, Worldwide Hiking Tours

Namaste Everyone!

As we settle in to the 2021 travel year, we will use the page to keep you up to date on current information related to our 2021 trips and counties we travel to.

We also highly recommend that you periodically visit the CDC and Department of State websites for further information specific to individual countries and Covid-related travel issues:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/
US Department of State: https://www.state.gov/

February 22, 2021

NEPAL: Yes, as of right now today, the Everest Marathon and all of our currently scheduled spring trips are on! Nepal continues to move in the right direction as far a vaccinating for and getting Covid-19 under control. They have recently completed a second round of national vaccinations with another 1 million doses expected within the week. Nepal is receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India. The Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and is producing more than 50 million doses a month and supplying a good part of South Asia.

Nepal still has a 5-day mandatory hotel quarantine in place for all incoming tourists. We still expect this to be lifted before the end of February. I know some of you are a bit anxious about this, but we just need to continue to be patient. This is the last hurdle before a clear path to Nepal opening for 2021.

Please note that Nepal will still require all arriving visitors to show proof of a negative Covid PCR test taken within 72 hours of arriving OR proof of receiving the Covid vaccine if applicable. It will vary depending on the airline, but expect your international air carrier to also require proof of a negative COVID PCR test or vaccine when checking in for your flights to Nepal.

As of January 26, the CDC now requires all international travelers returning to the US to show proof of a negative Covid PCR test before being allowed to board a flight. For now, this is applicable even if you are vaccinated. In response we have contacted and will be working with two medical clinics in Kathmandu who can administer the PCR test and provide results and necessary paperwork within 12 hours. They both take appointments, so we can schedule your appointments for the day(s) you return off the trek, take you to the clinic and have your results back in time before your departing flight.

Currently, you are required to obtain your visa for Nepal in advance of arriving, but this may change. Nepal offers the ability to apply for a visa online. Note: you can only apply online within 15 days of your arrival. Here is the website so you can see what it involves. http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa

It goes without saying that much can happen between now and the start of the spring trekking season, but we are heading in the right direction.

Stay tuned for further updates and information.

Thanks and stay well,
Andy

AVIA Travel and International Flights

After 20-plus years, Sue Lai and Avia Travel have made the decision to retire. We wish Sue only the best and are so grateful that she was able to assist 1000s of our travelers obtain great airfares, routings and top-notch customer service.

Moving forward, our office recommends booking your flights directly with your airline of choice. Many of our travelers have been using Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Cathy Pacific, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines and Emirates. Direct booking allows ease in making your reservation and having just one direct contact in terms of possible schedule changes and financial security. From all the change, cancel and refund transactions since the onset of COVID-19, Singapore Airlines has been the easiest to work with and offering superb customer service in every possible way. Whichever carrier you decide to go with, please make sure to understand their change, cancel and refund policies.

It is always best to purchase your domestic flights and your international flights on one ticket. Most carriers are members of an airline alliance, which should not make this a problem. This way you and your checked luggage are booked and tracked under one reservation code. Again, please make sure your airline ticket dates can be changed and/or ticket refunded with the minimum of penalties.