Holy Moly! What a world we are living in at the moment. A lot has changed since our last newsletter. We can't thank you enough for your kind messages of support and understanding over the past few months. Thank you also to everyone who has sent through questions which have helped us form the information in this newsletter.
We understand that there are many concerns you may have about travelling to the USA in January so we have been working our tails off to prepare some proposed alternatives for you to consider. At this stage we would just like to gauge your preferences. We have created an online survey for you to complete after you have read the following information.
OPTION 1: You wish to stick with the January 2021 tour as presented.
This is the most risky option. There are many things that are unknown and that are out of our control regarding travel in January 2021. Risks include not being covered by travel insurance for COVID-19 related medical or cancellation (before and during the travel). Social distancing isn't achievable while travelling so the risk of catching COVID-19 is high. It is unlikely that we will have a vaccine by January 2021. Financial penalties will apply if the tour is cancelled (for any reason) and your travel insurance is unlikely to cover your financial loss. See our Travel Gang Terms and Conditions. There is likely to be disruption to the tour activities that were planned, including closures of sightseeing locations and activities such as Broadway shows, JTF and Disneyland. If you choose to travel at this time, a risk mitigation plan will be available for you to read.
OPTION 2: Transfer to the JTF Europe Tour in April/ May 2021
You can download the Aussie All-Stars London, Birmingham and Paris itinerary by clicking the button below.
This tour includes similar performing arts opportunities for the students, including West End Shows, meeting West End performers, Performance Workshops, participation in the Junior Theatre Festival Europe (Birmingham) and visiting Disneyland Paris. The cost for this trip is less than your USA tour, estimate $6,998 per person (twin share). It also provides a few extra months for you to fundraise for your costs with final payment due 25th January 2021. We hope that there will be less disruptions due to COVID-19 in May 2021. It is more likely that a vaccine might be available by this time. It is our understanding that some medical treatment is available to Australians when traveling to England under the reciprocal medical agreement between our two countries (this does not apply while in France). This is a tour that we highly recommend for those concerned about travel to the USA.
OPTION 3: Postpone to the 2022 Aussie All-Stars
This would be a direct transfer to the January 2022 tour. The dates will be similar but will be confirmed at a later time. While we intend to offer the same tour itinerary, there may be some alterations to activities. The cost of the tour will also likely increase due to regular annual increases as well as any changes that come into affect following the COVID-19 economic impact. It is more likely that a COVID-19 vaccine might be available. This option is not ideal for students who will be over 18 in January 2022 as they will not be able to participate in the JTF performance.
In order to register your preferences, please complete the online form by clicking the button below. Travel Gang are surveying your preferences at this time and will then contact you with more information before a final tour confirmation is issued.
All international travel carries a degree of health and financial risk. These risks increase during pandemics and other significant acts of god. The above options provided by Travel Gang allow some flexibility for people who are concerned about the impacts of COVID-19 on travel to the USA in January 2021. While we understand the current situation might make you not want to travel at all, cancellation from the tour at this stage would be voluntary and no refunds offered, as per our Travel Gang Terms and Conditions which were made abundantly clear and agreed to by all tour participants when registering for the tour. We advise that you re-read these terms and conditions on our website or on your customer portal. We are hopeful that the COVID-19 impacts will be temporary so that we can get back to providing world-class opportunities for students.
Each traveller needs to complete their own application for a travel visa (ESTA) to the USA.
It is REALLY important that you triple check you have entered the correct passport details and spelling of your name.
Step 1. Go to this website to complete your ESTA application- https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
Step 2. Click 'New Application'... if you already have an ESTA from the last 12 months, you can still use your current one but need to update the details
Step 3. Click 'Individual Application'
Step 4. Click 'Confirm and Continue'
Step 5. Acknowledge you have read the two sections by clicking 'yes' at the bottom of each
Step 6. Click 'Next'
Step 7. Complete the online form. Triple check you have everything correct. Incorrect information can prevent you from travelling with the group with no refund available.
Use the address of our Hotel in New York as your USA address
228 W 47th Street, New York, NY 10036, United States
Step 8. Keep a record of the 'Application Number' that you are provided with.
Step 9. Check back on the same website in two days to confirm that it has been accepted. Click 'check existing application'
Step 10. Provide us with a copy of your approved ESTA application number through the Travel Gang Portal
When you get your ESTA approved, we need you to provide us with a copy of it by completing the form on your Travel Gang portal page.
Ladies and Gentlemen....drum roll please!!!!!
We are thrilled to announce that we will be presenting the
All flights are now booked as per your INT or DOM preference selections. We are unable to make flight changes anymore. Delta/Virgin Airlines Flights. We have had to split the group over two aircraft because our group is so large. We will ensure that families are together. There will always be a tour guide with each group.
Please note that these flights are subject to change by the airline.
Hilton Universal City, Hollywood - IN NEGOTIATION
The Grand Legacy at the Park, Anaheim - IN NEGOTIATION
Hotel Edison, New York - CONFIRMED
Waverly Renaissance, Atlanta - APPLICATION SUBMITTED THROUGH JTF
All of these hotels are in THE BEST locations which will reduce our transit times.
All room allocations have now been completed.
Each passenger is permitted ONE checkin bag and ONE carry-on bag with the following dimensions;
Please go to your Travel Gang portal and complete the T-Shirt Order form. It has been a long time since we collected your T-Shirt size so please go on and provide updated information.
Our itinerary has not changed since last newsletter. To see the most current itinerary please click the link below. Please keep in mind the itinerary is subject to change.
Information for flight upgrades has been posted in our Facebook group. Please see the post in the group if you would like to upgrade your flights. Accommodation upgrades will be advised as soon as we can confirm all prices.
NEXT PAYMENT DUE: OCTOBER 1
The next payment amount per person is $ XXXX .00 AUD
You should have received an email with a link to your online payment portal. Please login to your portal prior to the 1st October to make your 3rd deposit/s. Please make your payment as the full amount and do not break up your payment into smaller installments. We are not able to track smaller installment payments.
We are putting a temporary hold on tour bookings made by us on your behalf. This means that we are not committing your money to any other bookings until further notice. As a result, you can also hold off on making payments to us. The payments that were due to us in April, July and September are now on hold. At this stage, we expect we will need full payment by 1 October. This date may change depending on the demands from our vendors so we reserve the right to make adjustments if necessary.
This time frame allows us to defer decisions about the tour to a time where we can make a better assessment of the risks of travel.
We encourage you to set the money aside so that it remains allocated for your tour. We will continue to remind you to do this so that when the time comes you can then make the payment to us.
This will be used for communication before and while on tour.