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.
To view the most up to date entry requirements for this tour, please visit here: https://www.efultimatebreak.com/entry-requirements?tour-code=OKFB
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
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 nicer outfit for Farewell Dinner or a night out
- Underwear and socks
- Lederhosen / Dirndl for Oktoberfest (more further down)
- Toiletries, medicine
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat
- Reusable water bottle
- Phone or camera
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
- Adapter / Converter – type “C”, “F”, or universal
Note: At Oktoberfest, large backpacks and purses are not allowed in the tents.
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 Munich
Your Tour Director will communicate on Facebook or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is another reason you should join your Facebook group.
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!
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 purchasing an international data plan from your cell phone provider for this trip. The most common options are the Travel Pass with Verizon, or use a personal hot spot with your carrier. See more details about connectivity:
- Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
- For your cell phone and any other electronics you bring abroad, you will also need a converter/adapter
- Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Getting from A to B
All transfers between cities are via private motor coach and can take anywhere between 2-8 hours. You’ll also receive a public transportation pass in each city that offers them. Transportation in cities that offer no pass may require more walking. Prepare to walk between 4-8 miles per day, especially when sightseeing.
Living like a Local
Speak the Language
While it may feel awkward at first, attempting the local language goes a long way when navigating a city and interacting with people. Practice these basic phrases in Italian, German, and Swiss German to get started:
- Hello = Hallo
- Goodbye = Auf Wiedersehen
- Thank You = Danke
- Yes = Ja
- No = Nein
- Where is ___? = Wo ist _?
- Cheers! = Prost!
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (people’s festival) held annually from late September - October. Millions of people flock to this event every year, and for good reason! Locally referred to as the wiesn (fairgrounds, Theresa’s meadows), it’s a staple of Bavarian culture, taking place since 1810. Read on for tips and know-how’s of this Bavarian bash, so you can make the most of your celebration!
- “Wiesn”: If you really want to be a local, call it the wiesn*. Wiesn translates to meadow, and this festival takes place on a giant meadow - the Theresienwiese!
- Be nice to the bartenders: Not only are they extremely fast and efficient, but if you’re at a table you’ll order from a waiter or waitress. Be nice, and know that if you tip, you’ll get even faster service.
- Don’t touch: Follow up to our point above… Please don’t touch the waiters or waitresses. Out of respect, but also know that their jobs and tensions are very high!
- Pace yourself: Beer at Oktoberfest typically comes from Munich’s six breweries: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu München, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten-Franziskaner. They’re all brewed at 6% and a bit stronger than you’d imagine. Don’t be that guy/girl.
- Share the space: The tables in Oktoberfest tents are communal, so don’t be surprised or hesitant when others join you for the fun!
- It’s not cheap: One mass of beer costs approximately $11. If it helps… they’re huge.
- Dress the part: If you don’t wear a lederhosen or dirndl, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Lucky for you, there are plenty of places to buy these abroad! Just avoid sequins, neon, or above-the-knee garb - these are frowned upon by locals.
- Try the food: Bratwurst, pretzels, spaetzle, pie, balance out your beer with some of the delicious local food!
- Prost! When you cheers, or prost, clink your glasses at the bottom, say “PROST!”, and make eye contact!
- Have fun: It’s a once-in-a-life-time experience, after all!
Food, Drink & Free Time
You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on your trip, but read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you just must try.
- With over 3,200 recognized types of bread in the country, German bread is the best thing since sliced bread
- Breakfast in Germany is a savory spread of bread rolls, sausage, and cheese with coffee or tea
- Lunch, or mittagessen, is the main meal of the day, featuring potato salad, sausage, schnitzel, vegetables, fries, cabbage, and potatoes!
- End your day with abendbrot, or “evening bread.” Yes. MORE BREAD. This meal consists of bread, cheese, pickles, sausage, and beer
- For beer, try a refreshing Hefeweizen from Weihenstephan, or Stiegl, the official beer of Salzburg. Prost!
- Restaurants ask you to choose between still or sparkling water, but remember sparkling water is an added cost
- The less special requests you make at a restaurant, the more accurate your dish will be
- It’s normal to seat yourself in a restaurant instead of waiting to be seated
- Wait-staff in Europe are not as attentive as in the US; don’t be afraid to flag someone over for help!
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.