Know Before You Go: New Year's in Australia: Highlights of Australia | EF Ultimate Break
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New Year's in Australia: Highlights of Australia

Know Before You Go

It's almost time to go abroad! Take a couple minutes to read up on the ins and outs of your trip before you leave. When it comes travel tricks of the trade, we're quite the experts. And with this guide, so are you.

COVID-19

To view the most up to date entry requirements for this tour, please visit here: https://www.efultimatebreak.com/entry-requirements?tour-code=HANB

Travel Documents & Tour Preparation

Travel Documents:

  • Passport: In order to enter Australia, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six months after the date of re-entry.

  • Visa: A Visa is required for all U.S. Travelers going to or traveling through Australia. It is your responsibility to apply for this visa and obtain all necessary travel documents before you board your flight from the United States. EF Ultimate Break will not complete this process for you, but we’ve provided additional information below regarding this application process:

    • Australia: U.S. and Canadian passport holders must purchase an individual visa from the Australian government’s Electronic Travel Authority website eta.immi.gov.au prior to departure.

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.

Tour Preparation:

  • 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.
  • Get the EF Ultimate Break app (for tours departing June 15, 2022 or later): Your trip's group will be able to connect on the app before you meet IRL. Don't miss out! Meet other travelers, get updates from your Tour Director, see flights and accommodations, and more. If you're having trouble, give us a call at 617-619-1411.
  • Join the Facebook group (for tours departing before June 15, 2022): Your trip's private Facebook group will open roughly 30 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 617-619-1411.
  • Complete you pre-tour checklist: this can be found in your account.

Health & Safety

Vaccinations and Health Precautions
Consult your primary care physician or local travel clinic at least 60 days prior to departure for the most up-to-date recommendations or requirements by the CDC (Center for Disease Control). While you're in the South Pacific, keep these additional tips in mind to stay healthy:

  • Travelers prone to seasickness may want to take special precautions for the boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Take particular care of sun exposure and drink plenty of liquids. If you choose to go swimming, be careful of powerful surf. Make sure to obey signs and lifeguards’ orders, and always swim between the marked flags.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered

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

Money & Tipping

We at EF will help facilitate any testing requirements while on tour, however it is the travelers responsibility to pay for these tests and it is our recommendation that you budget roughly 150 USD total. Please note that non-boosted travelers may be required to do additional testing to enter places such as restaurants, and/or major attractions.

Remember that you know your spending habits best and not everyone’s spending habits are the same. These recommendations are based on a traveler who says yes to any and all activities while on tour

The local currency in Australia is the Australian dollar. Read on for more must-knows about money and tipping on your trip!

  • When exchanging money before 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.
  • Australia is expensive. Prepare for higher rates of food, taxis, drinks, and more.
  • 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 Australia, but if you feel inclined it’s ok to leave 10%. or a few dollars.
  • We recommend tipping your Tour Director $40 - $60 at the end of the trip. For local guides, you should tip $1-$2 at the end of each experience.

Note: Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Packing

Your airline ticket includes one checked bag (recommended 27" x 21" x 14”), but note that years of customer feedback tells us the lighter you pack, the better. Aim for one piece of luggage no more than 30lbs, plus a smaller backpack or purse for carry-on. Pro tip: You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage without assistance. See more packing tips below:

  • A light jacket or rain-wear, or a warmer jacket for winter
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers for long days of sightseeing
  • Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen
  • 1-2 pairs pants, shorts, or skirt
  • 2-3 shirts / t-shirts
  • 1 dressier outfit for Farewell Dinner or a night out
  • Underwear and socks
  • Toiletries, medicine
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Phone or camera
  • Passport, Visa
  • Debit / Credit cards and cash
  • Adapter / Converter – type “I” plug; three flat pins set on an angle. Or, a staff favorite is the universal adapter

Note: The Australian sun is very hot. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Bug repellent is also useful.

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.

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.

Pro Tip: Travel from the U.S. to Australia is a lengthy process (30+ hours travel time total), so prepare for your long flight. Download movies ahead of time, bring a book (or three), and get some sleep! When flying, try to occasionally get up to stretch and drink plenty of water.

Arriving in Melbourne
Congratulations! You’ve landed in Melbourne, the coastal capital of Australia’s southeastern state of Victoria! A place filled with modern bars, art, beaches, and more. We can’t wait for you to dive in! Before you arrive, your Tour Director or Trip Consultant will communicate on Facebook or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is another reason you should join your Facebook group!

  • For tours departing June 15, 2022 or later: Your Tour Director will communicate through the EF Ultimate Break app, WhatsApp, or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is an important reason to make sure you have the EF Ultimate Break app!
  • For tours departing before June 15, 2022: 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.

Transportation in the South Pacific
Transfers between cities are via internal flights, and these transfers can take anywhere between 4-8 hours. 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: There are multiple internal flights on this tour. Remember that Australia is a large country, so it takes time to get from place to place. Try to pack light, and bring books, music, and more for travel days!

Living like a Local

Australia is a bucket-list destination for a reason. It’s fast-paced, laid-back, natural, and modern all in one. Here are more expert tips to help you understand the ins and outs of the South Pacific and feel like a true local:

  • Island Prices: Australia is expensive. For example, a McDonald’s value meal in Australia may be $8 AUD, versus a $4 USD in the U.S. Okay here’s another one: $10 AUD for a bag of grapes.
  • Size Matters: Australia is larger than *all *of the European Union countries, so remember that it takes time to get from place to place in a country of this magnitude!
  • Kangaroos and Koalas: You’ll see these animals in the wild or at a national park, but do not expect to see a kangaroo or koala hopping around the city.
  • The Sun: The sun is extremely strong in Australia and New Zealand. Think you’re stronger than the sun? Think again and go re-apply that sunscreen, bring a hat, and stay hydrated.
  • Opposite Weather: Australia’s winter is our summer, and their summer is our winter. From December to March it’s hot and tropical, and from April to November it’s a bit cooler.
  • Slow Internet: Connection isn’t always reliable in the South Pacific, and while WiFi may be available in hotels or restaurants, it may come at a price. Take this opportunity to go off the grid!

Speak the Language
While it may feel awkward at first, attempting the local language or slang goes a long way when navigating a city and interacting with people. Practice these basic phrases to get started:

  • Thongs = flip flops
  • Bum bag = fanny pack
  • Togs/swimmers = bathing suit
  • Capsicums = peppers
  • Ketchup = tomato sauce
  • Chips = fries
  • Lollies = candy
  • Boot = trunk
  • Fortnightly = every 2 week

Food, Drink & Free Time

Get ready for some of the world’s best lamb, steak, and seafood. Oh, and did we mention Australia’s national beverage is beer? We’re not sure what more you could want… but read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you must try while in the South Pacific!

  • The Lot Burger: This traditional Aussie burger comes with a fried egg, pickled beetroot, and a chunk of grilled pineapple
  • Tim Tams: There’s a correct way to eat Tim Tams: Bite off the top left and bottom right corner of the tim tam, then dip your tim tam into a mug of tea, then drink your tea through the tim tam like a chocolate straw.
  • Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls: Both essential staples of the post-bar-hopping diet, these are usually served from food trucks or bakeries and best enjoyed way-too-late at night.
  • Prawns: Try to avoid the ‘shrimp on tha bahbie!’ cry, and instead acknowledge that the thing to eat here is prawn, not shrimp.
  • Vegemite: This dark brown Australian food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you’ll regret not trying it at least once!
  • Kangaroo: Not suited for vegetarians. Kangaroo is actually a common carnivore dish in Australia, you may find it in sausage, taco, or burger form!
  • Forget Foster’s: Instead of a Foster’s, the real beer of choice in South Pacific is Tooheys or Victoria Bitter. Give it a go after a long day at the beach.

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.

Bon voyage!

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