Know Before You Go: Hawaii Big Island Adventure | EF Ultimate Break
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Hawaii: Big Island Adventure

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 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.

If you have any questions, chat in, or give us a call at 800-766-2645. We’re available to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.

Covid-19

Your health and safety will continue to be our top priority. Travel involves certain inherent risks related to the chance of being exposed to and/or contracting COVID-19. We want you to travel confidently, which is why we’re taking steps to make EF Ultimate Break the safest way to see the world. You can see all the steps we’re taking here.

Pre- tour
In addition to the safety precautions arranged for your tour, we want to stress your role in both your own and other travelers’ safety. As such we are requiring all travelers certify to comply with the requirements laid out in our COVID Safe Traveler Agreement . Requirements such as, but not limited to:

  • Receiving a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test from a sample taken within 72 hours of departure to Hawaii OR be fully vaccinated by the time of departure.
  • Agreeing to take all reasonable efforts to minimize their exposure to COVID-19 within the two weeks prior to the tour’s departure. If made aware that they have been in close contact (as defined as within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period) with a person diagnosed within COVID-19 within 14 days of the tour’s departure date, they will notify EF Ultimate Break immediately.
  • Following all local regulations, restrictions and advisories related to COVID-19 for the tour. Travelers also agree to follow all rules, requests and requirements from their Tour Director or EF Ultimate Break staff for the health and well-being of themself, their fellow travelers, and any suppliers.

Your COVID Safe Traveler Agreement will be released in your online account 14 days prior to departure and must be completed 72 hours prior to your tour’s departure to Hawaii.

Entering Hawaii: All travelers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test from a sample taken within 72 hours of departure of your trans-Pacific flight taken from a testing facility approved by the State of Hawaii. You can view the list of acceptable testing facilities here. The negative test result must be uploaded onto Safe Travels prior to departure and you must have a printed hard copy in hand when arriving in Hawaii. Please note that proof of vaccination does not eliminate the need to receive a negative PCR test result.

On-tour
While on the road, you will be required to follow all local COVID safety regulations and requirements in Hawaii which currently include:

  • Face masks must be worn while in public if not social distancing more than 6 feet and in all indoor settings except when eating, while alone or in a private home; the use of masks is mandatory on all forms of public transportation, including your tour bus
  • Restaurant capacity is limited, and many restaurants will require that groups are seated at separate tables, even in a private space
  • Expect a modified breakfast service in hotels (grab & go, boxed, staff served buffet, etc.)
  • Daily accommodation housekeeping services are suspended unless requested

In addition, we ask that while on tour you limit interactions to those within the group and refrain from meeting up with anyone outside the group.

Should any traveler be diagnosed with COVID-19 while on the Tour, the person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to isolate and the remainder of the tour group will be required to quarantine on-tour AND test for COVID-19, in accordance with local guidelines.

2021 Quarantine Coverage
If a traveler is either diagnosed with COVID-19 or required to quarantine on account of COVID-19 while on tour in 2021, EF will provide or arrange for the following, consistent with local requirements, at no additional expense to the traveler throughout the duration of any on-tour quarantine period:

  • Lodging and meals
  • EF representatives available to support the traveler and coordinate with local authorities on their behalf where necessary
  • Assistance connecting with local health care providers*
  • Translation services
  • Communication between the traveler and the traveler’s family back home
  • EF-arranged flights home, based on existing itinerary, once the traveler is cleared to return

*Travelers are responsible for their own medical costs; we highly encourage travelers to confirm their current health insurance includes coverage while traveling domestically or internationally or purchase trip protection that includes medical coverage through EF or another provider.

Travel Documents & Tour Preparation

Travel Documents

  • Identification: A valid I.D. (driver's license) or passport is required for this trip in order to board your inbound and outbound flights
  • Insurance: All travelers should bring their insurance cards with them
  • Proof of Negative PCR Test Result: Travelers should be prepared to bring with them a physical copy of their negative COVID-19 PCR test

Tour Preparation

  • Talk with your doctor: Although there are no health entry requirements, it is highly recommended that you talk with your doctor about your travel plans. If you are taking any medications, be certain to bring enough to last throughout your trip.
  • Travelling with allergies? Let your Trip Consultant and Tour Director know of any dietary restrictions/allergies and we will do what we can to accommodate for any included meals.
  • Join the Facebook group: Your trip’s private Facebook group will open roughly 60 days prior to departure and is something you won’t want to miss. It’s how you can meet other travelers and see announcements from your Tour Director. You’ll receive an email inviting you to join. If you’re having trouble joining, give us a call at 800-766-2645.
  • Complete you pre-tour checklist: this can be found in your account.

Health & Safety

Staying Healthy while Traveling
Fact: Travel is exhilarating. And FOMO is real. So, we understand why you don’t want to miss a second of the action. But there’s a difference between maximizing your time and spreading yourself too thin. Here are some tips to stay healthy and happy on tour:

  • Sleep: Flying across the country, changing time zones, and being constantly on the move can take a toll on your body. Make sure you get the rest your body needs. If that means missing a night out for some well-earned rest, or having a little afternoon siesta, so be it. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Stay hydrated: During this trip you’ll be spending a fair amount of time in the great outdoors. With Hawaii’s tropical climate, it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Be Prepared: Roads can be winding. We recommend bringing a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag.
  • Take time for yourself: Group travel is an amazing experience, and there’s nothing quite like exploring a new place with a group of like-minded people. That said, it’s okay to take time for yourself to relax and reflect on your experience. Here are a few mindfulness apps you can take with you on the road:
    • Insight Timer: Meditation apps are very in right now. This one is especially amazing because there are 80,000 free daily meditations to help with sleep, anxiety, and stress.
    • What’s Up: If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed, What’s Up can help you manage these feelings with interactive games, forums, and a thought tracking diary.
    • Talkspace: No need to make appointments or commute to a therapist’s office. Talkspace gives you 24/7 access to real, licensed therapists. You can talk, text, or video chat with them right from your phone.

Safety while Traveling
With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. From your first flight all the way through to your farewell dinner, 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411

Money & Tipping

Budgeting
We recommend budgeting $80-$100 per day for meals, gratuities, shopping, and free time activities. For this trip, that means roughly $700-$1000 but you know your spending habits best. If you’re looking to #treatyourself to the max, you may want to budget a little more.

Managing Money
Since you'll be traveling in the U.S., you are not required to exchange money before you depart. We recommend you bring more than one form of payment while traveling; Credit/Debit cards are widely accepted in Hawaii, and ATMs are also available in most areas for cash withdrawals.

Make sure to let your bank and credit card companies know where and when you are traveling to avoid any fraudulent charges or getting locked out of your account.

Currencies used: U.S. dollar

Tipping
When it comes to tipping, it’s standard to leave 15-20% tip in restaurants and for taxis. As it is also customary to tip for services provided, we recommend the following for this tour:

Local Guides: $1-$2

Bus Driver: $18-$27 given at the end of the trip

Tour Director: $36-$54 given at the end of the trip

Packing

With swaying palms, gorgeous beaches, and some of the best snorkeling in the US, you can expect warm temperatures and tropical vibes in Hawaii year-round. Get ready for good weather and a great time on this action-packed trip.

Your airline ticket does not include a checked bag; We recommend traveling with one small backpack or purse, and a smaller carry-on suitcase (22” x 14” x 9”) or bag, which is included in your ticket. See more packing tips below:

Packing list:

  • 1 light wind/rain jacket
  • A smaller backpack to keep your clothes and items in during active days or when you’re at the beach. We also recommend zip-lock bags to keep your phone and valuables dry
  • Comfortable walking/active shoes you are not afraid to get dirty
  • Waterproof shoes or sandals for the beach
  • 2-3 pairs shorts
  • 3-4 shirts / t-shirts
  • 2 nicer evening outfits for Welcome & Farewell Luaus
  • 2-3 bathing suits
  • Beach Towel– we love the Microfiber travel towel
  • Underwear and socks
  • Toiletries, medicine
  • Bug spray – in the tropics, you are guaranteed to encounter more than one bug
  • 1-2 bottles of travel-size sunscreen
  • Sunglasses & hat
  • Reusable water bottle
  • A bag to put your wet and/or dirty items in so that the rest of your clothes don’t get dirty when transferring to different cities
  • Phone or camera, waterproof phone/cases bags encouraged!
  • I.D. (Driver's License) or Passport for identification
  • Chargers for electronics
  • Debit / Credit cards and cash

Arrival Information & Transportation

Flight Preparation
Check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. Using your 6-digit reservation code, you can reserve your seat (this is typically available 30 days to 24 hours before departure) and check in to your flight 24 hours prior to departure. If you prefer to check in at the airport, that’s okay, too. Regardless, plan to arrive 2.5 – 3 hours before departure.

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.

  • 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 sleep in and miss 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.

Arriving in Hawaii
Aloha and welcome to Hawaii! Once you land, grab any luggage you have with you and make your way to the arrivals area. Your Tour Director will communicate on Facebook, WhatsApp, or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is another reason you should join your Facebook group.

Note: If you have booked your own flight arrangements or have extended your travels before the tour dates, you will need to make your own way to the first hotel. Accommodation details will be available in your online account 30 days prior to departure.

Getting from A to B
All transfers between cities are via private bus and can take anywhere between 2-6 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!

Note: It’s a good idea to download a few movies or shows to watch sans Wi-Fi/ Cellular Data, bring a great book with you to read, or listen to music to pass the time.

Accommodations

While you are in Hawaii, accommodations will be standard hotels. Full details will be posted in your online account 30 days prior to departure.

Unless you purchased a private room upgrade, standard rooming is 2-3 EF Ultimate Break travelers of the same gender per room. A few other things you can expect:

  • One private bathroom per room that you’ll share with your roommates
  • Limited Wi-Fi connection

If you have any questions about your rooming status or want to request a specific roommate you can do so in your online account up to 60 days prior to departure, by chatting in, or by giving us a call at 800-766-2645.

Food, Drink & Free Time

Eat Like a Local
Hawaiian cuisine reflects the islands’ diverse history and population, combining influence from Polynesian voyagers, European explorers, American missionaries, and plantation workers from Asia.

  • Taro, pineapple, coconut, macadamia nut, and fish are the islands’ most famous ingredients.
  • Spam, which was brought over by GIs during World War II, also shows up on many menus.
  • Popular dishes include chicken with rice, pulled pork, poi (mashed taro root), and ahi poke (raw ahi tuna).

Optimize Your Free Time
If you don’t purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip begins, you can log in to 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 here for available add-ons.

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.

Bon voyage!

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