COVID-19 TRAVEL INFORMATION
(Updated Oct 2022)
TRAVEL AND IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS
Several countries have imposed travel and immigration restrictions due to COVID-19. This is a dynamic situation and it is the responsibility of the customer to check all relevant travel advisories to and from the countries they are visiting and transiting through. Always check travel restrictions for each part of your trip; this includes layovers for connecting flights, as well as entry requirements for your return back to the US. Please note that the information provided in this addendum is based on the time of print/publication and a country’s requirements can change at any time. It is the responsibility of the traveler to check all updates and obtain all necessary documents and tests prior to departure, as well as entry back into the US. Ritz Tours is not responsible if you are denied entrance for any reason in any country, even if you hold a valid passport and entry visa. Non U.S Passport holders - please check with your local embassy or consulate for detailed visa and travel document/entry requirements. If you need clarification on whether you may enter Thailand, contact the closest Thai Embassy or consulate, as well as your airline prior to travel.
All travelers to Thailand departing on or after October 01, 2022 must ensure they are eligible to enter Thailand and produce all required entry documentation for this vacation. Requirements and restrictions may depend on different factors including but not limited to: your country of residence, passport nationality, transit points, as well as previous travel history. Full proof of Covid-19 vaccination or recovery is no longer required for our Thailand tours. The new protocol will take effect for all Thailand packages departing on or after October 14, 2022 and are subject to change at any time.
PRE-ARRIVAL MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS
All travelers must have the following documents for entering Thailand:
1. Certificate of Covid-19 Vaccination or Recovery and negative tests are no longer required for Thailand Starting October 14, 2022. The requirements are subject to change at any time.
2. Insurance Policy: All travelers are highly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance when traveling to Thailand. The policy should include in-patient hospitalization and cover the whole period of stay in Thailand.
ON-ARRIVAL REQUIREMENTS DURING YOUR STAY IN THAILAND
1. Entry screening upon arrival: Travelers may undergo entry screening including a body temperature check and presenting the required documents to the Immigration/Health Control officer to carry out the checks.
2. Safety Protocols: While in Thailand, all travelers are advised to strictly follow the health and safety standards. Travelers who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms should get tested. If testing positive, they must get the appropriate medical treatment.
BEFORE TRAVELING BACK TO THE UNITED STATES
- Effective Sunday June 12, 2022 - Travelers are no longer required to present a negative viral COVID-19 test result for the flight to the United States. Please see CDC’s FAQ for answers to questions about the requirements for all air passengers arriving in the United States. *Important note: If you are unable to board your scheduled return flight to the U.S. for any reason, you will be responsible for any expenses you may incur (ie. flight expenses, hotel accommodation, transportation, meals, sundry expenses and more). Please note, Ritz Tours cannot be held responsible if you cannot return as scheduled and will not be responsible for any related expenses.
“As of 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022, CDC will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight. For more information, see Rescission: Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for all Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving into the United States from Any Foreign Country.” – CDC
We’d like to remind all guests to check their local state travel guidelines regarding travel restrictions when arriving from international destinations or other US States, as this may vary state by state.
US State Department
CDC Travel Resources
Royal Thai Embassy
US Embassy & Consulate in Thailand
THAILAND EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO THAILAND
(Updated November 2021)
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
As you prepare to embark on your upcoming Ritz Tours journey, please log on to your account and click on your trip confirmation ID to review the most up to date trip details including hotel information, flight schedules, and ticket number(s). Please make sure you have all travel documents*, passports, and necessary visas ready before you depart for your trip.
*Additional travel documents, PCR tests, proof of full vaccination and other items may be required due to Covid-19. It is the responsibility of the traveler to check relevant travel advisories, requirements and/or restrictions for each part of the trip; this includes airline specific policies, layovers for all connecting flights, entry requirements to Thailand and entry requirements for your return back to the US; travelers must obtain all required documents, tests and vaccinations prior to departure. Ritz Tours is not responsible if you are denied entrance for any reason in any country, even if you hold a valid passport and entry visa.
CHECKING IN AT THE AIRPORT
Be sure to bring your passport and all required travel documents* as you will need to present them when checking in at the airport. Please be advised that not all airlines assign seats in advance. Some airlines assign seats at the airport during check-in. We recommend all travelers arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to the flight departure time. You will receive boarding passes at the airline counter when you check in for your flight.
UPON ARRIVAL IN THAILAND
Please go through Customs and Immigrations on your own. After you pick up your luggage, exit the baggage claim area from exit A - Gate 4 and look for the Ritz Tours representative* holding a Ritz Tous flag or sign. Please wear your Ritz Tours badge (enclosed) for easy identification.
*Depending on your arrival date, you will be met by a hotel representative or the local tour guide.
Airport Transfers upon Arrival
Ritz Tour tour guides/airport assistants will wait for arriving tour members outside the airport baggage claim area for up to 90 minutes* after the landing time of the tour member's flight before departing from the airport with transportation to the hotel. If for any reason a tour member does not meet the Ritz Tours representative within 90 minutes after the landing time of the tour member's flight, the tour member will be responsible for his or her own transportation from the airport to the hotel, along with all associated expenses.
Land Only & Extended Stay Travelers
Land only packages do not include airport transfers. Please arrange your own airport transfer to the hotel as listed in your travel documents. The tour guide will leave information for you at the hotel regarding the time of the meeting the next day. Airport transfers out are not included for those who have chosen to extend their stay at the end of the tour. If you have purchased an airport transfer service from us, please be sure to provide all flight information to Ritz Tours prior to your trip departure date.
● Passports must be valid for 6 months from the return date of your trip
● US Passport holders – No visa is required for your stay up to 30 days
● Non-US Passport holders – please check with your local Thailand consulate for Visa requirements
● It is the responsibility of the traveler to obtain a visa in a timely manner
● For detailed passport and visa requirements, all travelers are advised to check with the related embassy or consulate
Please refer to Covid Addendum document for more information regarding entry and travel requirements for your trip.
● Baggage allowance for international flights varies by airlines and is subject to change at any time. For up-to-date baggage allowance restrictions, please check with the appropriate airline for their latest regulations. Additional baggage charges may apply.
● ● Please keep in mind within Asia the baggage limitation on all flights varies by airline. Generally, the baggage allowance on domestic and within Asia flights is limited to 1-checked-in of 44 lbs. and 1 carry-on with a combined total dimension not exceeding 45 inches. Please check directly with the corresponding airline to confirm baggage allowance policies.
Important Luggage Info & Tips
● Baggage is the sole responsibility of the traveler. We recommend using a TSA approved luggage lock and Ritz Tours luggage tags (enclosed) showing the name and contact information of the owner. Baggage without a lock may be refused for transport
● DO NOT pack medicine, valuables, and other personal necessities in checked luggage. Keep these items in your carry-on bag
● Consider packing a change of clothing, a set of undergarments and toiletries in your carry-on bag to avoid inconvenience caused by delays or lost luggage.
● Power bank chargers over 20,000 mAh are restricted from carry on and check in luggage
● Power bank mAh capacity must be clearly labelled by the manufacturer on the charger
● Please visit www.tsa.gov for USA carry on restrictions
● No porter service will be provided throughout the tour. During the tour please always keep an eye on your personal belongings and valuables. Be aware of your surroundings when going out on your own.
● Important note: Ritz Tours’ representatives cannot enter the luggage claim area. After you collect your luggage please exit the baggage claim area from exit A - Gate 4. Our local Ritz Tours representative will be waiting for you outside with a Ritz Tours flag or sign.
Thailand's currency is called Thailand Baht (THB). As of November 2021, the exchange rate is $1 U.S dollar to 33.12 THB. We suggest you bring a combination of cash and credit cards for your trip. Most department stores, hotels and restaurants will accept major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. However, it is more convenient to use cash especially if you are planning to shop and eat in smaller shops. Please always keep your currency exchange receipts as you may need to present these when changing THB back to your own currency at the end of your trip.
An important note on tipping - please note gratuities are not included in your tour cost. They are customary and their purpose is to encourage and reward quality service. Our guides greatly appreciate any tips you would like to give them. Our recommended tip amount is $10 USD per person per night.
HEALTH & MEDICAL MATTERS
Medical and vaccination requirements vary between countries and it is important you check with your family doctor or a qualified medical professional for the most up to date travel health information for the region you are visiting. Due to the length of the trip, it is advised you consult your doctor for existing medical/dental conditions before departure. It is advised to pack any prescription medicine in your carry-on hand luggage. Please make sure prescription medicine is fully labelled. It may also be useful to bring aspirin, over-the-counter medicine for the flu, indigestion, motion sickness, etc. In case of illness during the trip, please immediately notify your tour guide for assistance.
Our Itineraries include city tours and these involve a decent amount of walking. Be prepared for many steps, uneven pavement and walking up steep inclines – comfortable walking shoes with grip are strongly recommended.
Thailand’s electrical system operates at 220 volts. The electrical outlets are either for fat round pins or flat angled blades. It is recommended travelers bring their own voltage converter and adapter
The time difference between major cities in North America and Bangkok are as below:
● Los Angeles +14 hours
● New York + 11 hours
Certain meals are included in Thailand as per the itinerary. We regret to inform you that Ritz Tours is unable to confirm any special meal request as it is based on the availability of the providing restaurants, hotels, and airlines. Please contact the airlines directly to place special meal requests for your flights.
Although Ritz Tours’ national guides will be happy to assist you with any shopping requirements, Ritz Tours does not assume responsibility for any items purchased at shops while on tour. You are never required to purchase any items while on tour and thus must be responsible for your own purchases. Any after sales correspondence must be between the passenger and the shop in question.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING
Thailand’s tropical climate is hot & humid, but there are regional and seasonal temperature variations.
Bangkok enjoys three seasons:
Mar – Mid June - Hot (80-95 F)
June – October - Rainy (75-90 F)
Nov – February - Cool (65-90 F)
Chiang Mai is in the far North and is somewhat cooler with winter temperatures ranging between 56 to 83 F. In rare instances, temperatures in the hill can drop as low as 36 F. As in Bangkok, the heaviest rains fall in September. Winter nights in the North can be chilly so it is recommended to pack a sweater if visiting the North. In the south, temperatures on the island of Phuket can warm to 92 F in the hot season but the water temperature never drops below 68F. During monsoon season (May to late Oct) the undertow can be quite strong; look for red warning flags on the beaches.
● It is suggested to bring comfortable, casual clothing and a pair of walking shoes; sunglasses are essential, light hats advisable
● Sleeveless tops, shorts, skirts, and tight clothing are not allowed in temples for both men and women. It is best to wear pants or a loose, long skirt that covers your ankles and a loose fitting top that covers your shoulders, in addition we also suggest bringing a light scarf
● Shoes must be removed upon entering temples but you may leave your socks on – easy slip on shoes are suggested
● If your destination covers Phuket or Koh Samui, choose light clothes for its balmy weather – natural fabrics such as linens and cottons are highly recommended.
● Check www.weather.com for more detailed weather conditions closer to your departure date.
● It is not necessary to bring formal clothing however modest attire is always welcome
THAILAND TRAVEL INFO
For detailed Thailand travel guides & maps please visit: http://www.tourismthailand.org/home
THAILAND EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
Our experienced staff of Thailand specialists take pride in providing you with the very best in service and planning. Thank you for choosing Ritz Tours as your partner in travel. We are confident your trip will be happy and rewarding!