Highlights of Europe
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 these 24 days ULTIMATE.
To view the most up to date entry requirements for this tour, please visit here: https://www.efultimatebreak.com/entry-requirements?tour-code=CB3B
Travel Documents & Tour Preparation
- Passport: In order to enter Europe, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six months after the date of re-entry.
If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
- Travel Insurance: While Travel Insurance is not required to enter Europe, we strongly encourage all travelers to obtain coverage before departure. Check out cost-effective Travel Protection, designed to meet the needs of EF travelers here.
- 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.
- Get an international data plan: We recommend getting an international data plan so you can stay connected while on the road. While free Wi-Fi may be available, it won’t be everywhere nor as strong as we are used to. Please talk with your phone provider for your best options.
- 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.
- Call your bank: Let your bank and credit card company know of your travel plans so you can withdraw cash and use your debit/credit cards abroad. Otherwise, you risk your account being blocked.
- Complete you pre-tour checklist: this can be found in your account.
Health & Safety
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 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, 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
Make the Most of Your Month
Almost a full month in Europe is exciting and life-changing, but to make the most of this trip 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 from Rome to Barcelona 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.
Money & Tipping
Cash and most well-known credit/debit cards are widely accepted in Europe, and ATMs are everywhere. Budget $80- $100 per day for meals, shopping, and free time activities. Tipping is not customary in Europe, but many locals leave 1-2 Euro for exceptional service. For your Tour Director, we recommend tipping $100-$150 at the end of the trip if you feel inclined.
- Spain: Euro (€)
- France: Euro (€)
- England: Pound Sterling (£)
- Netherlands: Euro (€)
- Switzerland: Swiss Franc (CHf)
- Italy: Euro (€)
Note: Let your bank and credit card companies know your travel plans ahead of time to avoid potential complications while abroad.
Consult your airline’s website for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but note that your airline ticket does include one checked bag. At EF Ultimate Break, we recommend limiting your luggage to one backpack or purse, and one checked bag or larger carry on; In different cities you may need to carry your suitcase where buses and elevators cannot, and remember that you’ll have the opportunity to do laundry throughout the trip. See more packing tips below:
- A light jacket
- Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing days
- Comfortable sandals for beach days
- 1-2 pairs pants, shorts, or skirt
- 3-4 shirts / t-shirts / sweaters
- 1 niceroutfit for Farewell Dinner or a night out
- Underwear and socks
- A hat or gloves for Swiss Alps excursion
- Toiletries, medicine
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat
- Reusable water bottle
- Phone or camera
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
- A power adapter – a staff favorite is the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)
Note: You’re required to cover your knees and shoulders in sacred places like St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome
Arrival Information & Transportation
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.
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 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:
- 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.
- 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 communicate on Facebook, WhatsApp, or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is another reason you should join your Facebook group.
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.
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. Wi-Fi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars; but it isn’t always as strong as Wi-Fi in the US. For your cell phone and any other electronics you bring abroad, you will also need a converter/adapter.
Getting from A to B
Transfers between cities are via plane, train, and automobile, and they can take anywhere between 2-8 hours. As you journey from country to country with stops in-between, you’ll cover over 5,000km of the most beautiful air, land, and sea in Europe. You’ll also receive a public transportation pass in most major cities where necessary. Transportation in cities that offer no pass may require more walking. Prepare to walk between 4-8 miles per day, especially when sightseeing.
Note: Try bringing a novel that’s based in somewhere you’re visiting for long transfer days. We recommend The Book Thief, Galicia, or Fatelessness.
Living 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!
Food, Drink & Free Time
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!
- London: Afternoon tea, sticky toffee pudding, bangers & mash
Amsterdam: Herring, stroopwafel, bitterballen, and poffertjes
- Paris: Baguette (no-brainer), steak frites, crepes, and a café au lait
- 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
- Barcelona: Paella, patatas bravas, and pa amb tomaquet
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.
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.