Summer is approaching and we know that the easing of 'lockdown' in the UK is encouraging many of you to contemplate a holiday. If travelling abroad is not on your radar this summer, then you might be looking at what you can do in the UK. With this in mind we have a few ideas on how to head for the hills and enjoy the great outdoors. What is more staying local will cut your carbon footprint and benefit the environment, while most likely also reducing the impact on your wallet.
We have trips on offer in Scotland and England as Scheduled Departures, and then, of course, you can also consider booking a private trip with Tracks and Trails which is one of the best ways to ensure some summer fun.
If there was ever a winter when cross-country skiing was a perfect ‘fit’ then this is it! No lift queues, no cheek to jowl crush in the cable car, no teeming lunchtime bars and restaurants. Why would you do that when you can head into the wilderness instead, and enjoy perfect 'social distancing'?
We already offer a wide range of cross-country adventures, but now we’re also giving you the chance to get ‘off-track’. By this we mean cross-country skiing away from the prepared trails - a true mountain journey.
"What's the best way to be sure of a holiday this winter?" A question we are hearing more and more often as we fast approach the winter holiday season. No easy answer, to be honest, as it all depends on government decisions made far from the Tracks and Trails office.
What we can suggest is that booking a private trip, bespoke or tailor-made, whatever you wish to call it, is probably one of the best ways to ensure some winter fun. So consider getting together a group of family or friends, or people you met on previous holidays and we will help you come up with a plan. Create your own 'bubble' of travelling companions.
So here is my honest response to those of you who have kindly asked "How are you doing?", "Is the team at T&T OK?", "Are you able to run trips this winter?" Firstly, it means a lot to everyone here at Tracks and Trails that you care enough about the team to send messages of support.
We have always believed that our guests are part of our extended adventure travel family. With so many repeat bookings I meet up with the same people year after year and believe me right now I really am missing you all. Here is my take on working in the travel industry during a pandemic.
"I'm joining you on a cross country ski holiday and wondering how I can get fit for skiing?". Preparing for an adventure holiday is very much part of the excitement and anticipation, but without access to snow how can you possibility get ski fit? Roller skiing is definitely one of the answers.
There are many cross-country skiers learning and training on rollerskis. It’s a great way to improve technique, fitness and balance between winter trips and will add extra enjoyment to your winter holiday. Fern Cates is a former 'Team GB' Cross Country Skier and teaches roller skiing. Here is her short guide...
This November 17th, America will celebrate National Hiking Day. As an activity hiking has come a long way since the days when it was simply considered the preserve of the vagrant, or impoverished who could not afford other forms of transport to get from A to B.
That all changed during the Romantic era of the Victorian years which inspired people such as Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist and philosopher who reflected on how to live simply in nature. From then on hiking or walking became a pastime of the educated and grew in popularity.
One of the greatest challenges in running a travel business during the current pandemic is keeping abreast of the changes in restrictions and guidance that is being given by individual countries. These can cover everything from the size of group, number of people in a minibus, eating in a restaurant, who can share a bedroom, when to wear a mask, when to complete an 'arrival' form before travelling, and many many more.
We have pulled together links to each of the countries we travel to in the hope that it might be useful. These are links to the UK Government website referring to the country you are travelling to, and also the Government website of your destination country. We hope it helps and any feedback is welcome.
During September Tracks and Trails Director, Julia Tregaskis-Allen, took part in the ‘Miles for refugees challenge’ with her 4 month old daughter, Eve. Together they walked 160 miles raising £334 to help the British Red Cross support refugees in the United Kingdom. Julia would like to thank all those who supported her with donations and also those of you who joined her on the walks.
Snowshoeing anyone? For over ten years we have been lucky enough to guide George and Margaret on snowshoe trips across Europe. They have become our pioneers in terms of exploring new routes and areas. Now of mature years they are wonderful ambassadors for snowshoeing and as an example of how to continue to enjoy the mountains no matter what your age. They first joined us in 2009 when they were cross country skiers. However, the skis were soon abandoned and they were converted! The following is George's version of events.
Dear Tracks and Trails Guests
We hope this finds you in good health and that you are coping with these unusual times. Without doubt dealing with and managing the impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, with the travel industry being no exception.
We would like to advise you that our Terms and Conditions have now been updated.
Since mid-2020 we have offered full refunds whether it is we 'the operator', or you the 'client' who cancels. Given the improving situation with regard to Covid-19 we have taken the decision to reinstate our normal cancellations charges should you decide to cancel. These are detailed in Clause 10 of our Terms and Conditions. In line with other travel operators we can no longer be liable for the entirety of risk involved in taking a holiday during the pandemic.
10. Client Cancellation: If you, the client, wish to cancel your booking you must notify Tracks and Trails Ltd in writing, whereupon the following charges will be applied from the date we receive your notice of cancellation:
If you are travelling with us we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance incase you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to or during your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. This is in addition to our normal requirement for insurance covering mountain rescue, trip cancellation, repatriation and medical expenses.
Trip Departures in 2021
Reduced number of trips and departures to allow us to focus on our most popular destinations.
Greater flexibility with regard to payment of your trip balance which is now due six weeks before departure, rather than eight weeks. Six weeks before departure we will update you with regard to your trip status, and discuss any restrictions which may impact on your trip.
Scheduled Departure holidays will be cancelled when the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the UK advises against ‘all but essential travel’.
Your money is legally protected by International Passenger Protection whether as payment for a specific holiday or as a credit note.
If we have to change or cancel your booking you have the following four options:
* If the cost of your new trip/date is different, a refund or balance will be due.
If you need to change or cancel your booking our standard cancellations charges will apply. You should also contact your travel insurance provider to see if your circumstances qualify for a claim on your insurance policy. You can find information about insurance here.
During the past few months we have worked hard to ensure that we are well informed about the current COVID-19 situation, how this affects the travel industry and have adapted the management of our trips in the following ways:
Links to Official Sites
We encourage you to use the links below for further information and the latest updates on the situation. We have also compiled a TRAVEL LINKS ADVICE LIST which relates to each of our destinations, giving both the UK Government advice, and the advice of the country you would be travelling to. We hope you find it helpful, but would state that we cannot be held responsible for the information displayed as the guidance can change with little or no notice.
UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office: FCDO
The Association of British Travel Agents: ABTA
National Health Service in the UK: NHS