March has been a trying month for all of us. With the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and contradictory updates popping in every other day it has been hard to decide our next course of action.
Finally, after much research and analysis of the data available online, we made the call to suspend all our treks happening on/between 28th of March and 25th of April this year.
We have shared our reasons behind this move in the article below.
With our upcoming treks cancelled, we have been receiving queries from our community on whether one should plan their treks from May onwards.
To be honest, we don’t know what the situation is going to be like in May.
The good news is people have proactively begun taking steps to contain the spread. But the bad news is the number of people infected by the virus has been steadily rising across the country, as we had feared.
Since we can’t predict what the coming months are going to be like, it wouldn’t be right to ask our trekkers to begin making their bookings for the summer (treks from May and June onwards).
While our cancellation policies refund the entire trek fee, the refund will still be made as vouchers. This is money blocked in a form that can only be used when you go on your next trek.
So, should you begin planning your summer treks now?
The answer is yes, you should start planning them. But we don’t want you booking them at their full price.
What does this mean?
We have relaxed our booking policy for the time being. According to this policy, you can plan and book your summer treks with a nominal amount and pay the balance amount 20 days before the start date of the trek.
This way, in case cancellations take place, our trekkers won’t have large sums of their money blocked as trek vouchers.
We also went a step ahead and have made these vouchers transferable, i.e. in case you are unable to make use of the voucher in the next two years, you can transfer it to a friend of yours.
While we usually don’t allow this, we have decided to make an exception this time around.
Can’t we just wait and watch and make our bookings once the situation settles down?
Yes, you can do this as well.
We ourselves could have done this: asked our trekkers to wait and make their bookings depending on the situation.
Yet we decided to go ahead and relax our booking policy for two reasons.
1. It feels a little bleak now.
With non-essential travel cut out, gyms and public spaces shutting down, companies offering work from home options and in person interactions brought down to a minimum, it feels like life is coming to a standstill.
We need something to look forward to now more than anything.
As is evident above, we are not going to be gaining much financially from this move. But psychologically, it does the trick for us. It keeps our hopes up and gives us something to work towards.
And we are hoping it does the same for our community as well.
For instance, with gyms shutting down and working from home, fitness levels are likely to take a hit for many of us. Booking a trek for the summer would push one to prepare for it which in turn would serve as a boost of motivation to start working out (even if it is from home :) ).
2. At Bikat Adventures, we run time-based discounts to encourage our community to book their treks well in advance so that they have adequate time for preparation.
These discounts go down as we draw closer to the departure date of the trek.
In keeping up with not letting our lives come to halt, we have decided to leave the discounts running. This booking policy allows you to avail these discounts without having your finances blocked. (This is particularly useful for some of our mountaineering expeditions which require preparations well in advance).
Okay, this sounds good. What do you suggest I do now?
If planned and used right, you can make the most of the temporary relaxation in our booking policies ;)
If you are someone who has never trekked before and are hesitant about embarking on your very first trek, you can block your spot on a trek now at a nominal cost, ponder over it before paying the entire trek fee.
In case, you choose not to go on the trek, you can still cancel and transfer the refund voucher to a friend who does.
For our trekkers who have finished your first trek and are looking to step up your game this 2020, please head to our Bikat Rating Scale.
This will guide you on which treks would be a suitable challenge next and you can reserve your spot in those batches accordingly.
If you are a seasoned trekker who has completed a trek rated 5 on the Bikat Rating Scale, it is time we stepped you up from trekking to mountaineering this year. Our mountaineering expeditions, contrary to trekking, require longer preparation and top notch fitness levels since they involve considerable technical climbing.
This period is perfect to begin your preparation! Click here for a list of our mountaineering expeditions.
And lastly, if you are someone who hasn’t done a trek rated 5 or 6 on our Bikat Rating Scale but aspiring towards a mountaineering expedition, this relaxed booking policy should be perfect for you.
You can reserve your spot in different grades of treks as we have guided in our Rating Scale at minimal costs and make the payment in full 20 days prior to the departure date of the trek.
We just have one small request.
While this relaxation in our booking policy is only available until the 23rd of March, please note that you can reserve your spots in any of our treks/expeditions running this year.
Further, say we decide to run our treks in May but you would like to cancel your booked trek because you feel the Covid-19 situation isn’t conducive, we will offer you a full refund in the form of a transferrable voucher.
We only have one request. Please do not misuse the relaxation in our booking policies to reserve your spot in treks you don’t fully intend on taking up.
During bleak times like these, we believe it falls upon each of us as individuals to make sacrifices, take the responsibility to contain the spread and induce some hope and cheer in the people around us in whichever way we can.
From our end,
Suspending our upcoming treks is our step forward in containing the spread.
And we hope this temporary tweak in our booking policies brings some cheer to you.
Take care, Stay Safe and Stay Kind!
For more information on our booking policy, please click here.