Safety & Security
Every step of the way
At ACIS, we take the welfare of each and every participant on our tours very seriously. Just as we work tirelessly to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences to group leaders and students, we are equally committed to ensuring that all of our travelers return home safely. Our safety and support infrastructure has been a cornerstone of our business for more than 40 years.
Touring in a COVID World
Building on our decades-long track record of delivering safe, positive travel experiences
We’re now preparing extra safety measures throughout the on-tour process to ensure our groups are protected when we begin to hit the road again in the months ahead. This new approach to travel is based on the best expert information currently available. As conditions change, we will follow the science and adjust our response accordingly.
Visit ACIS’ Our Response page to see how we’ve added flexibility to our pre-departure policies as well.
We are reviewing all of our tour itineraries to see where we can incorporate a heightened focus on well-being from the beginning. A smaller group experience has always been a hallmark of traveling with ACIS, and that focus will be even sharper in the year ahead. We’re also adjusting our use of different modes of transportation, the types of activities we offer, and the times of day at which we offer them, all with our participants’ safety in mind.
To maximize safety, we’re also reducing unnecessary interactions in the day. For example, room allocations will be completed while en route so that travelers will be able to go directly to their rooms upon arrival at a hotel. We’ve also suspended the practice of combining participants from different groups in hotel rooms, so you can feel more assured when you tuck yourself in for the night.
Enhanced Hygiene Protocol
We will adhere to the use of face masks, hand sanitizer (which we will provide) and physical distancing on all our tours. These moves follow the advice of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control, along with local input from our worldwide offices and partners in every destination to which we travel to ensure we’re up to date and compliant on each destination’s guidelines regarding hygiene.
As a member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), we are also participating in USTOA’s TourCare program. TourCare Guidelines provide direction for tour operators across all touchpoints of a trip – staff, suppliers, and passengers – to ensure that health and sanitization protections are in place for each stakeholder and the communities visited.
Safely Delivered by Expert Tour Managers
ACIS Tour Managers are travel experts and will take you on an unforgettable journey. They’re highly educated and passionate about history, languages and travel. They’re also highly trained on handling any type of situation on tour and will have a major role to play in fulfilling safety promises made to our travelers.
Our veteran tour managers have been closely involved in developing our enhanced safety protocols and our full tour manager team will receive comprehensive training on these new health and safety steps in advance of our next travel season.
Handling Illness on Tour
All ACIS participants are enrolled in an international medical insurance plan that will provide needed care should someone fall ill. In the event participants become sick and/or are quarantined, ACIS will work with local and international authorities to get them home as quickly as possible. If housing is not provided, ACIS will secure accommodations. We will also buy new return airline tickets, if necessary. If a minor is ill or quarantined on tour, ACIS will arrange for flights and a hotel for a parent to be present for the full duration of the quarantine as well.
Our airline partners are sanitizing their cabins before each flight, requiring the use of masks, physical distancing when necessary and using disposable paper products among their precautionary measures.
Spotlight: Lufthansa Airlines
Our hotel partners are using similar tactics: sanitizing rooms before and after each use, limiting guests in their lobby/public spaces and removing common high-touch items from hotel rooms.
Spotlight: Clayton Hotels
Our restaurant partners are limiting their capacities and sanitizing between each guest. Servers practice extra caution and many locations are using paper menus and other creative methods to ensure your safety.
Spotlight: Prezzo Restaurants
ACIS Travelers are in Good Hands 24/7/365
Dedicated, Constantly Connected US Staff
We monitor all safety-related events, making proactive decisions to optimize security.
Network of Overseas Offices
ACIS offices in London, Paris, Madrid and Rome and our affiliate partner offices in other major destination cities ensure that we have on-the-ground support when it is needed.
Duty Officer System
Our 24-hour Duty Officer system operates seven days a week in the U.S. and overseas to deal with any emergency quickly and professionally.
Professionally Trained Tour Managers
Top-quality ACIS Tour Managers work in tandem with group leaders throughout each trip. They discuss security measures during each group’s arrival briefing and have access to ACIS’ 24-hour Duty Officer system.
Informed Group Leaders
Group leaders receive safety-related information and a card with emergency contact numbers prior to departure. During the trip, group leaders establish guidelines for free time activities, keep track of participants’ whereabouts and provide overall adult supervision.
Overseas Health Insurance
All participants are enrolled in an international medical insurance plan coordinated by AXA, our round-the-clock, 365-day travel assistance provider.
Affiliation with AIFS
ACIS is a division of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), an industry leader that has organized quality international educational experiences for over 1 million students in its 50+ year history.
Travel Security Waiver
All travelers are offered a re-routed itinerary at no charge that takes effect in the event that the US State Department issues an official Travel Warning following a terrorist attack against US interests or other threat in a country to be visited on an upcoming trip.
The safety of ACIS participants is our paramount concern. ACIS follows the recommendations of the U.S. State Department regarding overseas travel. We receive daily updates and rely on government guidelines to help us make decisions concerning the safety of our travelers. In addition, we comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding any issues affecting public health.