New Year’s in Dublin: Dublin & London Escape
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 617-619-1411. 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 617-619-1411 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
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:
- 1 rain jacket
- Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing days
- Waterproof shoes
- 1-2 pairs jeans / trousers / shorts
- 2-3 shirts / t-shirts / sweaters
- 1 nicer outfit for Farewell Dinner or a night out
- Underwear and socks
- Toiletries, medicine
- 1 reusable water bottle
- Phone or camera
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
- Type “G” power adapter. A staff favorite is also the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)
Note: Ireland is an oceanic climate, which means the country gets ample rainfall, but it can change in a matter of seconds. Bring plenty of layers and a good rain jacket.
Check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. 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
When you exit customs and baggage claim you will funnel into the main arrivals area of Heathrow airport. Notice which terminal you are arriving in to. Below, you will find where your driver is located depending on your arrival terminal. Please follow these directions carefully.
- Terminal 2: If you arrive in Terminal 2, walk over to Terminal 3. The Tristar desk is in Terminal 3 (T3). You will find your driver there by stating your first and last name.
- Terminal 3: Walk directly to the Tristar desk in front of you. Please note, the Tristar symbol is not as big as the other signs. It will be right next to the Virgin Atlantic desk. You will find your driver there by stating your first and last name.
- Terminal 4: You will be met by a chauffer with your first and last name on a Tristar sign. You do not need to walk anywhere.
- Terminal 5: You will be met by a chauffeur with your first and last name on a Tristar sign. You do not need to walk anywhere.
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 also 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” 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
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
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 or pounds for exceptional service. For your Tour Director, we recommend tipping $32-$48 at the end of the trip if you feel inclined.
- Ireland: Euro (€)
- England: Pound Sterling (£)
Note: Let your bank and credit card companies know your travel plans ahead of time to avoid potential complications while abroad.
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 617-619-1411, or connect with your Tour Director.
Getting from A to B
Transfers between cities are via internal flight and it takes approximately between 1-2 hours. You’ll also receive a public transportation pass in both cities. However, we’ve packed a lot into your tour, so prepare to walk between 4-8 miles per day anyway , especially when sightseeing.
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 Angela’s Ashes, Brooklyn, or something adrenaline-filled like The Bourne Series!
Optimize Your Free Time
Not sure how to fill your free time? Lucky for you, we offer “optional excursions” for just that! 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. However, to avoid increased prices for these activities on tour, you should purchase these optionals before your trip begins. Prices for these optional excursions will increase on tour, so please check your online account for available add ons.
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!
- Water is an added cost at restaurants, and you have to choose between still or sparkling
- 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
- The locals in Ireland are known for being friendly. Spark up conversation in the pubs and you may even find a new friend.
- We said it before and we’ll say it again: The weather changes in an instant. Expect the unexpected.
- It’s tempting to take pictures at every corner or of every pint you purchase, but remember that life in Ireland is all about living in the moment. Enjoy it!
- When at the pubs with a group, it’s common for each person to take turns “buying a round” for the rest of the group. Try it out with your new friends!
Wine and Dine
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
- Eton Mess: This is a classic British treat of crushed merengue, cream, and strawberries
- Beef Wellington: A filet steak wrapped in puff pastry and cooked.
- 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
- Irish Stew: Ireland’s most famous dish of meat, potatoes, onions, and more
- The Full Irish: Or, Irish breakfast, usually consists of soda bread, bacon, eggs, fried sausages, mushrooms or tomatoes. Locals get their fuel for the day with this massive feast
- Salmon: Smoked or Irish, Salmon is a treat in Ireland and always fresh! Especially from April – June
- Soda Bread: Every Irish family has their own soda bread recipe, but it’s always good with butter, alongside Irish stew, or on its own
- Coddle: A slow cooked combination of sausage, bacon, onions, and potatoes
- Guinness & Guinness Cake: Why not pair a fresh pint o’ Guinness with a cake made from the dark stout? You’re on vacation, after all.
- Boxty: Essentially a mashed and grated potato in dumpling-form. Try it at Dublin’s Temple Bar!
- Black and white pudding: No, not like a Snack Pack. It’s pudding made from blood and fat mixed with barley, pork meat, oatmeal, and suet in one sausage. Trust us, try it.
Health and Safety
- With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in 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. 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.