Know Before You Go: London to Paris: Stonehenge & Normandy | EF Ultimate Break
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London to Paris: Stonehenge & Normandy

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.

Getting There

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.
  • 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.

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. See more packing tips below:

  • 1 rain jacket or warmer layer
  • Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing days
  • Waterproof shoes (such as rainboots)
  • 1-2 pairs jeans / trousers / shorts
  • 2-3 shirts / t-shirts / sweaters
  • 1-2 nicer outfits for Welcome & Farewell events or a night out
  • Underwear and socks
  • Toiletries, medicine
  • Hand sanitizer
  • 1 reusable water bottle
  • Phone or camera
  • Passport
  • Debit / Credit cards and cash
  • Type “G” and “E” power adapter. A staff favorite is also the universal “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)

Note: The UK is an oceanic and volatile climate, which means it gets ample rainfall, but it can change in a matter of seconds. Bring plenty of layers and a good rain jacket.

International and Domestic Travel (Flights)

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. Ready more about the delay + cancellation process in “Arriving in London” down below.
  • 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.
  • Overnight Flights: Travel from the U.S. to the U.K. can be a lengthy process (sometimes 10+ hours travel time total). Bring a book, watch a movie (or five), and get some sleep!

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!

It’s common to wait 45 minutes – 1 hour for your driver, as they can get stuck in traffic. They have all of your flight information and will group 1-6 travelers together if people arrive around the same time. If you aren’t able to find your driver and have been waiting more than 45 minutes please call +44 203 813 3957 (Heathrow has free WiFi), let them know your name, and that you are an EF Ultimate Break traveler.

Meet Your Tour Director and Fellow Travelers

Your Tour Director will also 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. For your cell phone and any other electronics you bring abroad, you will need a converter/adapter. Read more tips below about using your phone and electronics abroad:

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Note: You should use a “G” or “E” adapter / converter on this tour (three square prongs). A staff favorite is also the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)

On The Ground

Manage Your Money

The local currency in London is the Pound Sterling (£), and in France it’s the Euro (€). Read on for more must-knows about money and tipping on your trip!

  • When exchanging money for this 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 is not customary in Europe, but if you feel inclined it’s ok to leave 10%, or a few pounds for exceptional service.
  • We recommend tipping your Tour Director $48 - $72 at the end of the trip. For local guides, you should tip $1-$2 at the end of each experience.

Note: Let your bank and credit card companies know your travel plans ahead of time to avoid potential complications while abroad.

Accommodations

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:

  • 4-5 fellow EF Ultimate Break roommates of the same gender
  • Small, boutique hotels and hostels
  • One private bathroom per room that you’ll share with your roommates
  • Limited WiFi connection
  • Limited air conditioning – AC is popular in the U.S., but not in Europe!

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.

Transportation & Sightseeing

On this trip, you’ll take a private bus and an overnight ferry between cities which can take anywhere between 2-8 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!

  • Prepare to walk between 4-8 miles per day, especially when sightseeing. We’ve packed a lot into this trip, so be ready for a fast-paced adventure!
  • Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring sunglasses or a hat with you for warm summer days outside.
  • The overnight ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo operates daily, and is a popular choice for all travelers. You’ll have a shared overnight cabin with fellow travelers from your group so you can catch some shut-eye!

Note: For transfer days, bring a novel based where you’re visiting! We recommend Trainspotting, or an adrenaline-pumper like 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.

Live Like a Local

As you prepare to spend time in new cities, countries, and cultures, here are some expert tips to help you live like a true European.

  • Public transportation is very popular in Europe. In London, you’ll have an Oyster Card (their metro pass) for the “Tube”, in Paris you’ll take the Metro! Taking public transportation is a great way to get to know a city
  • Public restrooms in Europe sometimes require a small fee – hold on to your coins!
  • Unlike the U.S., everything (hotels, meals, appliances) is smaller. After all, less is more!
  • Practice the local language when greeting people or ordering food - 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, and don’t be afraid to flag your waiter or waitress over for help
  • When in London, do not stand on the left of an escalator in the London Underground – the left is for walking, the right is for standing
  • Visit one of London’s many free museums or galleries like the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum, or the Sky Garden
  • British and French people are more reserved, so don’t be offended if someone doesn’t strike up conversation right away. Though, you might find more friendly faces in the pubs!
  • Paris is known for its fashion. Now is the time to break out your new duds!
  • Smoking is still very popular, especially in Paris. Don’t be surprised to see large amounts of locals with lit cigarettes!

Food & Drinks

You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on your trip, but read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you just must try.

  • English Breakfast: This traditional morning meal includes eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, and most importantly, TEA.
  • Afternoon Tea: The average Brit drinks 3 cups of tea per day. Try an afternoon tea with light sandwiches or pastries at Covent Garden or Soho
  • Fish and Chips: Chips are actually french fries in this traditional dish with lightly battered fish. It’s common as a takeaway treat, too!
  • Pie and Mash:A classic comfort food of pie served with a pile of mashed potatoes
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding: Moist sponge cake stuffed with raisins or dates, covered in toffee sauce served with ice cream or custard. YUM.
  • Pubs: Try out Covent Garden and Soho, a locally-brewed beer at a traditional English pub, or a glass of champagne at The Ritz or The Savoy
  • Baguettes: Now is your chance to walk around the streets of Paris with a baguette in hand. YOLO.
  • Fromageries and boulangeries: Specialized cheese stores, and bakeries! The combination of delicacies from these two types of stores can only be improved with French wine
  • Chocolate for breakfast: Pain au chocolat, or chocolate croissant, is the perfect breakfast staple in Paris
  • Steak Frites: Grilled steak with various sauces and fries will hit the spot. Guaranteed!
  • Crepes, Macarons, Chocolat, oh my!: Try a street stand crepe as an afternoon snack, a fun-flavored macaron, or any form of chocolate you can find. It’s all delicious!
  • Escargot: A.k.a., snails doused in butter and garlic. When in Paris, right?

Safety Abroad

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:

  • Remember you are subject to the laws of the country where you travel.
  • 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, consult your Tour Director and stick with your group to use trusted transportation back to the hotel
  • 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.

Bon voyage!