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Everything you need to know before you go

Need  help answering all the ‘what if’ travel queries from your group?

Read on for all the information and reassurance you need to book your next group trip with confidence.  

When should I start planning my next trip? 

Since the start of the pandemic, many of our groups have had to postpone or cancel a number of their  planned trips resulting in considerable pent up demand for group trips departing from Easter 2022. As destinations reopen to international visitors once again, we've seen particular interest in our premier destinations such as Disneyland Paris.

We understand that, for some, the prospect of organising a trip after all this time, can be a bit daunting. But it needn;t be. We are here to hold your hand throughout the process and have introduced a number of flexible book policies to help kickstart group travel.   

To give groups the confidence to secure a new package for 2022, COGO's COVID-19 Booking Promise allows groups to change their plans up to 6 weeks before departure.   See the COVID-19 Booking Promise question below.  

What is your COVID-19 Booking Promise?

To give leisure groups the confidence they need to book their next trip abroad, COGO's COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise gives you the flexibility to change your plans up to six weeks before departure without having to pay a change fee. What’s more, the Peace of Mind Promise clarifies in what circumstance your group would be eligible for a non-quibble refund.  The COGO Peace of Mind Promise applies to all our ABTA-backed Leisure Group Packages and Performing Arts trips to all destinations.  

Click here to read all about the reassurance and flexibility provided by the COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise.

What if our plans have to change because of COVID-19?

COGO's COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise gives you the flexibility to change your plans up to six weeks before departure without having to pay a change fee. The COGO Peace of Mind Promise applies to all our ABTA-backed Leisure Group Packages and Performing Arts trips to all destinations.  

Click here to read all about the reassurance and flexibility provided by the COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise.

Be reassured that throughout the pandemic we have had to reorganise the travel plans of hundreds of groups, but over this challenging period we have retained the goodwill of our customers which is a testament to our personal approach.  
 
What if something happens, or rules change, while we’re abroad? 

We provide 24/7 support to all our travelling groups and so if you come across a problem, or your plans have to change at short notice, we are here to sort it out for you.  Our multi-lingual  head office team is here to deal with local operators on your behalf and our team in France is also on hand to liaise with local medical services and to advise on local health protocols if required.   

By having our own properties in France, our own coach company, and long-standing relationships with Eurostar and ferry companies, we have the connections to get you home quickly and safely if you need you to curtail your trip due to changing travel restrictions. 

What if rules require we have to quarantine at resort?

If, at the time of your trip, travellers from Britain are required to quarantine on arrival at your chosen destination, we would first attempt to rearrange your trip to a suitable alternative destination or postpone your trip to a later date. If this is not possible or acceptable, your group will be eligible for a full refund. Click here to read all about the reassurance and flexibility provided by the COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise.

Will my trip be COVID-secure?

We have been working closely with our transport providers and overseas suppliers so that your group can book and travel with confidence.  

We have developed additional health and safety protocols for our travel partners, based on national and European public health guidelines. Over the summer, qualified members of our leadership team have been working closely with our travel partners at Disneyland Paris to ensure that all accommodation and activities comply with our enhanced safety and wellbeing protocols for COVID-19. 

Disneyland Paris has put in place enhanced health and safey measures in line with the latest French government recommendations and, because the resort has been hosting leisure guests for some time, you can be confident that these wellbeing measures have tried and tested. Please see the Book & Travel with Confidence pages on the COVID-19 Travel Hub for more details.  

Is COGO financially secure? 

Yes. COGO is part of a diverse and robust business which includes a coach company, hotels and properties in France which have been rented out to local guests to bring in additional income during the pandemic. What's more, hundreds of groups, representing thousands of travellers, have already transferred their bookings and so you can be confident that our company is financially secure.  Finally, don't forget your group has the additional reassurance that all monies paid to COGO are protected by ABTA and ATOL 

What are our rights to a refund? 

All our overnight school trips comply with the Package Travel Regulations. This means that if we have to cancel or significantly alter your trip due to Foreign Office (FCDO) advice, we will either provide a suitable alternative for your group or provide a full refund. We take this commitment very seriously and can report that every group that we had to cancel during the pandemic has either received a full refund or has been happy to postpone their trip to the following year.  

What’s more, to give groups confidence to secure a new 2022 trip our flexible booking promise guarantees a refund for trips cancelled within 28 days of departure because of Foreign Office or national travel restrictions.  See the COVID-19 Promise question above for more information. 

What are the rules for groups travelling to Disneyland® Paris? 

France and Disneyland® Paris are now open to fully vaccinated visitors from the UK and children aged 12-18 years old can visit France if accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult, such as a parent or teacher, but they may be subject to additional tests.  

Currently, there are a number of restrictions for non-vaccinated travellers wishing to visit France and so we have postponed some of our Disneyland® Paris events to allow groups time to get their jabs.   

The situation is constantly evolving and so please read our blog for more details. 

 
I’ve got an upcoming trip – what are my options? 

We are in contact with all group leaders who have an upcoming trip to talk them through the current travel restrictions and how they impact their trip. 

If  prevailing travel rules allow us to provide your trip, but your group is reluctant to travel, then we will work with you to postpone your trip to a later date. There is more information for education groups with upcoming bookings here.   

Will my performing arts group have to audition again to perform at Disneyland® Paris? 

Yes, your group will need to submit an updated audition piece, but don't worry Lucy is here to give you all the hints, tips and support you need to meet the exacting standards of the Disney Performing Arts team.  

What about travel insurance? 

We recommend that each member of your group takes out travel insurance that includes cover for COVID-19 related risk such as cancellation cover for an individual who has to pull out of the trip because they have tested positive or have been 'pinged' by NHS Test and Trace, and also provides cover for emergency medical, travel and accommodation costs incurred by an individual who tests positive on the trip. A number of travel policies offer cover for these risks, but not all do, so please ask your group to check their travel insurance policy exclusions. Our industry body, ABTA for example, has introduced a new travel insurance product which includes COVID-19 cover. 

Performing Arts groups can take out our School Group Trip Insurance which includes COVID-19 cover. But this requires the whole Performing Arts group, including accompanying family members, to opt for the insurance as it is not available to individuals. 

Where can I check the latest rules about travelling abroad? 

As more destinations reopen to international visitors, we expect that group travel will return to something near normal by the Spring.

As an ABTA bonded tour operator, COGO will not operate a trip to a country against FCDO travel advice. If, when your trip is due to depart, the FCDO advises against non-essential travel to your destination, then we will work with you to postpone the trip to a later date or find you a suitable alternative so that your students still have something positive to look forward to. If that proves impossible, we will cancel your trip and your group will be eligible for a full refund.  

Be reassured that if the rules at the time of your trip prevent you from travelling, such as the need to quarantine on arrival, your group will be eligible for a full refund. See the COVID-19 Promise question above for more details.

As your trip approaches, we recommend that you read and understand the Foreign Office advice regarding entry requirements for your destination including what documentation and testing is required in advance of your trip and on return 

Foreign Office travel advice https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice 

English government advice for people entering the UK https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control   

The rules for residents of Scotland and Northern Ireland may be different and groups should consult local guidelines before travelling.