What Your 2020 Trip Will Look Like

The rivers and canyons have been waiting for us, and we’re almost ready to go and join them. Here at Holiday, we’ve been following local, state, and federal guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our entire team, and now that things are beginning to reopen, we’re cautiously excited to begin our 2020 season!

We understand that this has been an unprecedented challenge for everyone, and our thoughts are with each of you who have been personally impacted by this global crisis. We know that there’s still a long road ahead as we all figure out how to live our best lives while also being safe, but we feel strongly that wilderness, rivers, and open spaces are an important part of healing, recovery, and living joyfully.

In addition to our usual stringent health and safety protocols, we’ve developed new procedures to take every possible step to keep our guides and guests safe and healthy on all of our trips. Please review the following new requirements and procedures closely; we hope they will help you feel comfortable and confident in choosing to join a trip with Holiday this summer.

The most important part of all of these protocols, however, is you. Keeping each other safe means putting the health of our community and river family first. We’re counting on you, our guests and dear friends, to be conscientious, considerate, and cautious. Like mom always says, “make good choices!” Self-monitoring and open, honest disclosure of any health issues is imperative. Please help us in this important work of keeping everyone safe while still enjoying the thing we love the most: the river.

Be well, and be safe. We can’t wait to see you out there.

Link to the Covid – FAQs

Amended Cancellation Policy for COVID 19

 

 

New Physical Health Requirements

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We will be contacting guests prior to the start of each trip to discuss any conditions that would place an individual in a high-risk category. Three to four days before a trip, guests will also be required to fill out a questionnaire about symptoms and contact with sick individuals. Anyone who is currently experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or has recently been in contact with someone with symptoms will not be allowed on the trip. We will conduct additional screening upon guests’ arrival at our warehouses, including taking everyone’s temperatures. Our morning routine on the river will also include a daily temperature check for all participants.

High Risk Individuals: Who Should Consider Not Going on a River Trip in 2020

 

It is the recommendation of the National Park Service that people at higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19 should consider not going on backcountry trips. High risk individuals include, but are not limited to, people with the following conditions:

  • Over 65 years of age
  • Chronic lung disease or moderate-to-severe asthma 
  • Severely obese 
  • Diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or undergoing dialysis 
  • Liver disease 
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Other immunocompromised individuals (HIV, undergoing cancer treatment, or other underlying medical conditions) 

If you or anyone in your party falls into these high risk demographics and you still wish to participate,  contact our office and check in with your reservationist.

Smaller Group Sizes

 

The backcountry areas we operate in have put limits on group sizes since the 1970s in an effort to minimize the human impact on these wild places. This season we will be taking that ethic to the next level. In an effort to encourage as much social distancing as possible on our trips, we have amended our group sizes this season from a typical maximum of 25 people to 16 people. There will be the possibility of increasing to 20 people as the summer progresses.

We have also increased our guide-to-guest ratio from a maximum of 1 guide per 5 guests, to a new maximum of 1 guide per 4 guests, allowing for more space to physically distance on the rafts.

Face Coverings

 

Plan to pack your own mask, Buff, bandana, or other face covering for those moments when physical distancing isn’t possible. Although it’s unlikely that we’ll all be wearing masks all the time, there will be times when they are required.

 

PLEASE NOTE: All guests, guides, and drivers will be required to wear face coverings while riding in the vans to and from the put-in and take-out points. Bring your own or we will provide you with one.

Strict Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures

 

Like all businesses operating in these challenging times, we will be implementing additional sanitizing measures at our base of operations, in our vans, and on the river. Our meeting places at our warehouses will be cleaned before and after each trip arrives and departs. Bathrooms and high-touch surfaces will receive extra attention. Vans will be fully disinfected after each trip. Our guide staff will also be using gloves and masks and will practice physical distancing according to current CDC and local health department guidance.

On the river, we’ll be sanitizing tents, chairs, water coolers, paco pads, helmets, paddles, and anything else that might be touched by multiple people.

Physical Distancing in Rafts and Vehicles

 

We’ll be making full use of our fleet of vans and rafts, adding extra vans and rafts to each trip in order to create more space for us all to spread out. Everyone must wear face coverings while traveling in the vans. Groups traveling together will ride together in vans and on rafts. On the river, the open air should make it possible for us to breath freely and comfortably, but guests may choose to wear face coverings while on the boats or in camp as well.

Hand Washing and Sanitizing

 

If you’ve been on a trip with us before, you know we’re sticklers about hand washing—we’re about to get even stricter. Hand sanitizer and hand washing systems will be available throughout the day. Washing hands thoroughly will be the first thing that we all do before unloading the boats at camp, and the last thing we do in the morning before pushing off. Hand sanitizer will be available on the boats all day, although we also recommend bringing your own small container of sanitizer to keep in your day bag.

Outdoor Food Service

 

Maintaining a safe, clean kitchen on the river is nothing new to us. Our guides are certified food handlers, and we are frequently inspected to ensure that we’re maintaining the highest possible level of safe food service. In addition to our already existing protocols, guides will wear face masks during all meal preparation and service. We’ll also be implementing new serving procedures during all meals to minimize the amount of contact that guests have with serving utensils and other kitchen items. You can be sure that our outdoor kitchen will meet or exceed the requirements currently demanded of restaurants operating around the country.

On-River Medical Response

 

All of our guides are trained in first aid and CPR in a wilderness context. In addition to practicing our normal level of caution, we have also developed specific protocols to respond to any guests who develop Covid-19 symptoms while on the river, including strategies to quarantine anyone who is ill. All of our staff and guides are trained to respond to a variety of emergencies while on the river, and they will address any issues related to this new challenge with the same clear thinking and problem-solving skills that they’ve honed over years of running trips in the backcountry.

New Must-Haves to Include when Packing

 

In addition to our existing packing checklist, bringing the following items will help us all keep each other happy and healthy:

  • Personal face covering or mask
  • Personal hand sanitizer
  • Personal sanitizing wipes
  • Favorite snacks
  • Large (32 to 48 oz) insulated water bottle

The Great Outdoors: Better Than Ever

 

A river or biking trip offers abundant sunshine, open space, and fresh air. Not only do these contribute to an environment for safe recreation, they could also be the best possible antidote to the stress of these challenging times. With plenty of UV light as disinfectant and the canyon breeze to disperse harmful droplets, we hope you’ll feel good about joining us for a trip into the wilderness, and trust that, along with Mother Nature’s natural healing power, we’ll do everything in OUR power to keep us all safe and healthy.