Know Before You Go
For an epic trip with zero stress and infinite holy s#!t moments, get familiar with the information below. Seeing the world should be fun, not stressful, which is why we’ve written this guide for you and are available 24/7 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.
Complete Your Checklist
Before heading to the airport, complete the tasks below and check them off in your Online Account Checklist. If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-766-2645. We’re available 24/7 to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.
- Verify your passport: Your passport must be valid for 6 months after the tour return date. No visa is required for this trip if you are a U.S. Citizen.
- Join the Facebook group: Join your private Facebook group as soon as it opens! It’s how you can meet other travelers and see announcements from your Tour Director. Call us at 800-766-2645 if you’re having trouble joining.
- Request a roommate:: Double check with us and your Tour Director that they have your rooming status on file. We will assign a roommate for you if you do not submit a specific request.
- Personalize your trip: Travel Insurance is not available for purchase on tour, and the price of Optional Excursions increases after departure. We suggest logging in to your Online Account now to add these items.
- Consult your Physician: Vaccines and other health precautions may be required for this trip, so make sure to consult your Primary Care Physician or local travel clinic at least 60 days prior to departure in case you need to schedule an appointment.
Pack Like a Pro
Your airline ticket includes one checked bag (typically 27" x 21" x 14") but double check the luggage size requirements on your airline’s website. We recommend traveling with one small backpack or purse, and a smaller carry-on suitcase (22” x 14” x 9”) or bag. Remember to pack as light as possible - you will have the opportunity to do laundry throughout the trip! See more packing tips below:
- 1 lightweight jacket, rain jacket, and/or sweater
- Shawl or layer to cover shoulders/knees when entering religious sites
- Comfortable walking shoes or sandals to keep cool during city sightseeing
- 1-2 pairs pants, long skirts, long dresses
- 3-4 shirts / t-shirts / sweaters
- 1-2 nicer outfits for the Welcome Dinner, Farewell Dinner
- Bathing suit
- Sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen
- Underwear and socks
- Toiletries, medicine
- Hand sanitizer
- 1 reusable water bottle
- Phone or camera
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
- Universal travel adapter such as the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)
Note: Pack as light as possible (we recommend 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on backpack, but plan accordingly and save space in your bag if you want to bring back souvenirs!
When preparing for your international flight to London, check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. With this information, you can check in to your flight 24 hours prior to departure. If you prefer to check in at the airport, plan to arrive 2.5 – 3 hours before departure.
- If your flight is cancelled or delayed: Don’t worry! We design the first day of tour as an arrival day in case of flight delays or cancellations. Work with the airline to get rebooked on the next available flight, then let your Tour Director know your new arrival time
- If you slept in and missed your flight: You should still talk to the airline and see if they can get you on the next available option. Tears may help in this case…
Note: All flight information is online (e-ticket) via your account and the airline’s website. You will not receive a physical paper ticket from us.
Arriving in London
Once you land in London, you will be met by your chauffer driver (fancy, right?) who will take you to your first accommodation. Here are steps on how to find your driver depending on the terminal you arrive in.
- Terminal 1: Your meeting point will be the Café Nero located in the terminal, your driver will be holding an EF Ultimate Break sign
- Terminal 2: Your meeting point will be the Café Nero located in the terminal, your driver will be holding an EF Ultimate Break sign
- Terminal 3: Your meeting point will be the Café Nero located in the terminal, your driver will be holding an EF Ultimate Break sign
- Terminal 4: Your meeting point will be at the WH Smith located in the terminal, your driver will be holding an EF Ultimate Break sign
- Terminal 5: Your meeting point will be at the WH Smith located in the terminal, your driver will be holding an EF Ultimate Break sign
What to do if your flight is delayed:
If your flight is delayed but you remain on your original flight itinerary- your driver will be aware of the delay automatically and will wait for your new arrival time. There is no need to update anyone. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, causing you to miss a connection or get re-protected on a new flight itinerary, please follow these steps:
1. Contact your Tour Director and let them know your new flight number, airline you are flying, and arrival time. They will update your chauffeur for you
2. If you cannot get in contact with your Tour Director, call EFUB so we can update your Tour Director for you. Please have your new flight information handy!
Please note it is common to wait about 45 minutes – 1 hour for your driver as they may be stuck in traffic. They have all of your flight itineraries and will group 1-6 travelers together if people are arriving together. If you aren’t able to find your driver and have been waiting for more than 45 minutes please call at +44 203 813 3957 (Heathrow has free WiFi), let them know your name and you are an EF Ultimate Break traveler.
Meet Your Tour Director and Fellow Travelers
Your Tour Director will tell you best way to communicate with them during the trip; they will be with your group from start to finish so if there is anything you need, connect with them. Concerned about international cellular data and staying in touch with your group? Check out “Phones and Electronics” further down in this guide.
Use Your Phone, Internet, and Electronics
We recommend you get an international data plan from your cell phone provider. The most common options are the Travel Pass with Verizon, or purchasing a personal hot spot with your carrier. Read on for additional connectivity must-knows:
- Wi-Fi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars, though charges may apply
- Wi-Fi is slower in Europe that it is in the U.S.
- Wi-Fi is not available on the bus
- For your cell phone and any other electronics you bring abroad, you will need a converter/adapter
- We recommend a universal power adapter like the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)
On The Ground
Manage Your Money
Currencies needed on this trip are listed at the end of this section. Read on for more must-knows about money and tipping on your trip!
- When exchanging money for the trip better rates are usually found overseas, but it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
- You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but be wary of fees
- Budget around $80-$100 per day for meals, drinks, souvenirs, and tips or extra activities
- Tipping at restaurants or for taxis is not customary all throughout Europe, but it’s encouraged leave 10% or a few euros for exceptional service at restaurants and for taxis
- We recommend tipping your Tour Director $196 - $441 at the end of the trip. For local guides, you should tip 1-2 Euros at the end of each experiences
- Currencies used on this trip are:
- London: British Pound
- Paris - Berlin: Euro
- Prague: Czech Crown
- Krakow: Zloty
- Budapest: Hungarian Forints
- Ljubljana - Lisbon: Euro
Note: Let your bank and credit card companies know your specific travel plans (including every country you’ll visit and for how long) ahead of time to avoid potential complications or suspicion of fraud while abroad.
Accommodations in Europe
On this trip you’ll experience standard rooming unless you purchased a private room upgrade. Standard rooming is in European hotels or boutique hostels and you’ll room with up to six fellow EF Ultimate Break travelers of the same gender per room. What to expect for standard rooming on this trip:
- 4-5 fellow EF Ultimate Break roommates of the same gender
- Small, boutique hostels
- Shared bathroom with fellow EF Ultimate Break travelers
- Limited WiFi connection
- Limited air conditioning
- If you have any questions about your rooming status or want to request a specific roommate, call us at 800-766-2645, or connect with your Tour Director.
Transfers Between Cities & Sightseeing
On this trip, you’ll take a private bus and the occasional train between cities which can take anywhere between 2-10 hours depending on distance, local traffic, and bathroom or photo-stop breaks. The beauty of travel is that you get to explore a new place, but note that it takes time and energy to see everything worth seeing! Read on for more must-knows:
- Prepare to walk between 5-8 miles per day, especially when sightseeing
- It may be hot and humid in Europe during the summer, so keep your water, hat, and sunscreen close!
Note: It’s a good idea to bring a great book with you for transfer days. Try bringing a novel that’s based in somewhere you’re visiting! We recommend “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, Anything by Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Origin), or The Bourne Series!
Optimize Your Free Time
If you did not purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip began, you can log into your Online Account and do so on tour. You can also talk to your Tour Director on tour and they can help you get enrolled. If you’d like to plan something else during your free time, connect with your Tour Director before doing so; they sometimes arrange extra activities for the group during free time. Prices for these optional excursions will increase on tour, so please check your online account for available add ons.
Note: If you want to visit sites like the Anne Frank House during your free time, make sure to book your ticket in advance. check with your Tour Director before the tour for the best time and date to do so.
Make the Most of Your Month
Almost two months in Europe is exciting and life-changing, but to make the most of these 49 days without burning out, we have a couple reminders:
- Stay Healthy: The pace of travel is fast and we include a lot of activities in your tour; Take advantage of down time to catch up on sleep, drink plenty of water, and take time for you whenever you need it.
- Talk to your Tour Director: Your Tour Director is with you every step of the way for a reason. If you need anything during tour, you can reach our team 24/7 at 800-766-2645, but remember you can talk to your Tour Director at any point too.
- Rooming: Maybe you’re a night owl and your roommates are early risers. Maybe you find your new BFF on tour. Maybe your roomie is a snorer and you’re a light sleeper. Whatever it is, let your Tour Director know and they can try to rearrange room assignments at the next accommodation.
- Carpe Diem: You’re in EUROPE! Make the most of every day and remember why you chose to travel in the first place. This is an epic experience, so make it yours.
Live Like a Local
As you prepare to spend time in numerous new cities, countries, and cultures, here are some expert tips to help you live like a true European.
- Siestas. Many Europeans take a long midday break and close shops from 12-2pm to spend time with friends and family
- Pickpocketing. It’s unfortunately an issue in major European cities; Keep an eye on your things at all times
- Europeans are night owls. Nighttime is when cities come to life – embrace it!
- Dress the part. Europeans dress to impress. We recommend comfortable clothes and walking shoes, but now's the time to try your new sunhat, fancy shades, and the latest trends.
- Embrace the culture. Unlike the U.S., water isn’t free, customer service is more hands-off, and everything (hotels, meals, appliances) is smaller. Instead of comparing, dive all in!
- Speak the language. Attempting the local language when greeting people, ordering food, or navigating a new city shows respect and goes a long way with locals!
Wine and Dine
You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on your trip, but read on for tips when dining out in Europe, and delicacies you must try in every city.
Practice the local language when ordering - It goes a long way with the locals
Water is an added cost at restaurants, and you have to choose between still or sparkling
Avoid making special requests at restaurants, it’s not as common in Europe
Feel free to seat yourself in restaurants instead of waiting to be seated
Don’t be afraid to flag your waiter or waitress over for help!
Madrid: Churros con chocolate, huevos rotos, and vermút
Barcelona: Paella, patatas bravas, and pa amb tomaquet
Paris: Baguette (no-brainer), steak frites, crepes, and a café au lait
London: Afternoon tea, sticky toffee pudding, bangers & mash
Amsterdam: Herring, stroopwafel, bitterballen, and poffertjes
Berlin: Bread, bread, and more bread. And maybe some schnitzel or currywurst
Prague: Beer! A crowd favorite is Pilsner Urquell, or Staropramen
Munich: Weisswurst, pretzels, and spread some schmalz on your bread
Lucerne: Racelette cheese, any Swiss chocolate, and some zopf (Swiss bread)
Venice: Baccala mantecato (fish-based antipasto), and a glass of prosecco
Florence: Chianti Classico for wine, gelato, and to feel fancy a Florentine Steak
Rome: Cacio e pepe, artichokes, and all the pizza
Athens/Naxos: Horiatiki Salata (Greek Salad), saganaki (fried cheese), and Ouzo
Note: Vegetarian options will likely be available but let your Tour Director know of any dietary restrictions ahead of time so they can plan accordingly.
Health and Safety
With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. But, it’s equally important for you to maintain your health and safety while abroad. From your first flight to Madrid all the way through to your farewell dinner, drink plenty of water, get sleep when you can, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your Tour Director or your Trip Consultant if you need a helping hand. Keep these extra tips in mind so you can #travelsmart:
- Keep your bag/purse in front of you and your phone zipped inside when you’re not using it. Leave your laptop at home, store valuables at the hotel in locked luggage or the safe deposit box. Refrain from carrying large sums of money or wearing valuable jewelry.
- Use the buddy system. Stay in groups and watch out for each other, especially at night—no one gets left behind!
- Before you go out, grab a business card at your hotel so that you always have the address handy for getting back later.
- At the end of a night out, use trusted transportation like a licensed taxi or Uber, and always have cash on hand.
- Be smart about alcohol consumption. Watch your drinks and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. Don’t leave the bar alone with someone you just met.
- Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411
We’re so glad you chose to travel with us and are now part of the EF Ultimate Break family! We'll look for your post-card in the mail, and your #thisisultimate tags on Instagram. Cheers to the Best. Trip. Ever.