U.S. National Parks
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 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.
If you have any questions, chat in, or give us a call at 800-766-2645. We’re available to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.
Your health and safety will continue to be our top priority. Travel involves certain inherent risks related to the chance of being exposed to and/or contracting COVID-19. We want you to travel confidently, which is why we’re taking steps to make EF Ultimate Break the safest way to see the world. You can see all the steps we’re taking here.
In addition to the safety precautions arranged for your tour, we want to stress your role in both your own and other travelers’ safety. As such we are requiring all travelers certify to comply with the requirements laid out in our COVID Safe Traveler Agreement . Requirements such as, but not limited to:
- Receiving a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test from a sample taken within 72 hours of departure to Utah OR be fully vaccinated by the time of departure.
- Agreeing to take all reasonable efforts to minimize their exposure to COVID-19 within the two weeks prior to the tour’s departure. If made aware that they have been in close contact (as defined as within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period) with a person diagnosed within COVID-19 within 14 days of the tour’s departure date, they will notify EF Ultimate Break immediately
- Following all local regulations, restrictions and advisories related to COVID-19 for the tour. Travelers also agree to follow all rules, requests and requirements from their Tour Director or EF Ultimate Break staff for the health and well-being of themself, their fellow travelers, and any suppliers.
Your COVID Safe Traveler Agreement will be released in your online account 14 days prior to departure and must be completed 72 hours prior to your tour’s departure to Utah.
While on the road, you will be required to follow all COVID safety regulations and requirements which currently include:
- Facemasks must be worn while in public in all indoor and outdoor settings except when eating, while alone or in a private home; the use of masks is mandatory on all forms of transportation, including your tour bus.
- Restaurant capacity may be limited, and many restaurants will require that groups are seated at separate tables, even in a private space.
- Expect a modified breakfast service in hotels (grab & go, boxed, staff served buffet, etc.).
- Daily accommodation housekeeping services are suspended unless requested.
In addition, we ask that while on tour you limit interactions to those within the group and refrain from meeting up with anyone outside the group.
Should any traveler be diagnosed with COVID-19 while on the Tour, the person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to isolate and the remainder of the tour group will be required to quarantine on-tour AND test for COVID-19, in accordance with local guidelines.
2021 Quarantine Coverage
If a traveler is either diagnosed with COVID-19 or required to quarantine on account of COVID-19 while on tour in 2021, EF will provide or arrange for the following, consistent with local requirements, at no additional expense to the traveler throughout the duration of any on-tour quarantine period:
- Lodging and meals
- EF representatives available to support the traveler and coordinate with local authorities on their behalf where necessary
- Assistance connecting with local health care providers*
- Translation services
- Communication between the traveler and the traveler’s family back home
- EF-arranged flights home, based on existing itinerary, once the traveler is cleared to return
*Travelers are responsible for their own medical costs; we highly encourage travelers to confirm their current health insurance includes coverage while traveling domestically or internationally or purchase trip protection that includes medical coverage through EF or another provider.
Travel Documents & Tour Preparation
- Identification: A valid I.D. (driver's license) or passport is required for this trip in order to board your inbound and outbound flights
- Insurance: All travelers should bring their insurance cards with them
- Talk with your doctor: Although there are no health entry requirements for travelers visiting Utah, Arizona and Nevada it is highly recommended that you talk with your doctor about your travel plans. If you are taking any medications, be certain to bring enough to last throughout your trip.
- 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.
- Cellular Data & WiFi: Cellular data may be intermittent while in the national parks and/or on some of the drives. Free Wi-Fi may be available in your accommodations, but it may vary by strength according to your accommodations on tour.
- 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.
- Complete you pre-tour checklist: this can be found in your account.
Health & Safety
Staying Healthy while Traveling
Fact: Travel is exhilarating. And FOMO is real. We understand why you don’t want to miss a second of the action, but there’s a difference between maximizing your time and spreading yourself too thin. Here are some tips to stay healthy and happy on tour:
- Sleep: Flying across the country, changing time zones, and being active and on the move can take a toll on your body. Make sure you get the rest your body needs.
- Stay hydrated: During this trip, you’ll traverse through deserts, canyons, arches and more! With so much to see and do, it’s important to drink plenty of water each day; Don’t forget to pack that reusable water bottle and hydrate
- Take time for yourself: Group travel is an amazing experience. That said, it’s okay to take time for yourself to relax and reflect on your experience. Try one of these mindfulness apps while you're on the road:
- Insight Timer: 80,000 free daily meditations to help with sleep, anxiety, and stress
- What’s Up: What’s Up can help you manage feelings of anxiety, depression, or stress with interactive games, forums, and a thought tracking diary.
- Talkspace: Talkspace gives you 24/7 access to real, licensed therapists. You can talk, text, or video chat with them right from your phone.
With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. From your first flight all the way through to your farewell dinner 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411
Money & Tipping
We recommend budgeting $60-$80 per day for meals, gratuities, shopping, and free time activities. For this trip, that means roughly $600-$800 but you know your spending habits best. If you’re looking to #treatyourself to the max, you may want to budget a little more.
Since you'll be traveling throughout the U.S., you are not required to exchange money before you depart. We recommend you bring more than one form of payment while traveling; Credit/Debit cards are widely accepted across the U.S., and ATMs are also available in most areas for cash withdrawals.
Make sure to talk with your bank and credit card companies to let them know where and when you are traveling to avoid any fraudulent charges or getting locked out of your account.
Currencies used: U.S. dollar
It’s standard to leave 15-20% tip in restaurants, and for taxis. As it is also customary to tip for services provided, we recommend the following for this tour:
- Local Guides: $1-$2
- Bus Driver: $20-$30 given at the end of the trip
- Tour Director: $40-$60 given at the end of the trip
On this trip you’ll be outside, exploring the Mojave Desert and reaching elevations of 9,000 feet above sea level; the weather can change in an instant. Temperatures can reach the 90s by day but can easily dip into the 30s in the evenings.
Your airline ticket does not include a checked bag; We recommend traveling with one small backpack or purse, and a smaller carry-on suitcase (22” x 14” x 9”) or bag, which is included in your ticket. See more packing tips below:
- 1 rain jacket or 1 warmer jacket (layers are key!)
- 1 fleece or warm sweatshirt
- Comfortable walking shoes for days not exploring the national parks
- Comfortable worn-in hiking boots, trail shoes or sneakers with good tread for days in the national parks
- Small backpack or daypack for days spent in the national parks (backpacks that allow bladders of water are ideal)
- Hat and/or sunglasses, sunscreen
- 3-4 pairs long pants
- 3-4 pairs shorts for warmer weather
- 5-10 t-shirts
- 1-2 warmer shirts
- 1-2 nicer outfits for your Welcome &
- Farewell Dinners and time in Las Vegas
- Underwear and socks
- Toiletries, medicine
- Reusable water bottle
- Phone or camera
- I.D. and/or Passport
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
- Chargers for electronics, no adapters needed on this trip
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.
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.
- 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.
Arriving in Salt Lake City
Welcome to Utah! Once you land, grab any luggage you have with you and make your way to the arrivals area. 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.
Note: If you have booked your own flight arrangements or have extended your travels before or after 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.
Getting from A to B
All transfers between cities are via private bus and can take anywhere between 2-6 hours. Bring motion sickness medicine in case you’re prone to getting carsick.
It’s a good idea to download a few movies or shows to watch sans Wi-Fi/ Cellular Data, bring a great book with you to read, or listen to music to pass the time.
While you are on this great American quest out West, you will room with up to 4-5 fellow travelers from your group. Specific accommodation details will be posted in your online account approximately 30 days prior to departure.
Unless you purchased a private room upgrade, standard rooming is 2-6 EF Ultimate Break travelers of the same gender per room. A few other things you can expect with rooming:
- One private bathroom per room that you’ll share with your roommates
- Wi-Fi connection may vary in strength depending on your accommodation
If you have any questions about your rooming status or want to request a specific roommate you can do so in your online account up to 60 days prior to departure, by chatting in, or by giving us a call at 800-766-2645.
National Parks FAQs
Canyonlands National Park
And the award for largest national park in Utah goes to…you guessed it, Canyonlands National Park. Make sure to give some thanks to the Green and Colorado Rivers for forming this magnificent natural phenomenon way before your great-great-great-great-great-grandparents roamed the earth. The park truly has something for everyone—deep canyons, towering cliffs, and hiking opportunities aplenty.
Pro tip: Come to terms with the fact that you won’t see everything in this national park. Focus on the parts you can see, and trust us, they’ll be breathtaking.
Arches National Park
Who here has ever been in the presence of 2,000 natural sandstone arches before? If your hand is up, then you’ve either been to Arches National Park or you weren’t listening to the question. This park takes natural scenery to the new heights, with nearly 120 square miles of sprawling landscape. The best way to experience the beauty is by foot, and there are hikes for all skill levels.
Pro tip: This place is nothing short of astonishing. Take a moment to really soak it all in and grasp the magnitude of Mother Nature’s skills. And please don’t forget to take some photos—your Instagram followers won’t know what hit ‘em.
Zion National Park
Close your eyes and picture an old cowboy movie. Ok now open them. First, that’s a snazzy new hat you’ve got on there. Second, you basically were picturing Zion National Park. This Utah gem should be a staple on any Western national parks itinerary.
Pro tip: You’re likely going to walk out of here covered in the ubiquitous red dirt of the canyon. Pack accordingly.
Bryce Canyon National Park
A visit to Bryce Canyon National Park is a downright hoodoo hoedown. What is a hoodoo, you ask? It’s a naturally occurring rock that looks like a funky chimney, and Bryce Canyon is chock full of hoodoos (and a hoedown is a joyous group dance, the likes of which you are more than welcome to do here).
To get the full Bryce Canyon picture, we recommend a walking along the Rim Trail, then heading into the canyon itself for full rock formation immersion. It’s the only way to truly appreciate the geology of the park.
Pro tip: The elevation of Bryce Canyon is mostly above 8,000 feet. To avoid elevation sickness, just be sure to take it easy as your body acclimates, stay hydrated, and remember that that post-hike beer is going to hit you harder than you think.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon. That famous big hole in the ground in Arizona. America’s most iconic natural landmark. The Grand Canyon will take your breath away. Stand on the South Rim and peer in a mile deep and try and comprehend what you’re looking at, to say nothing of its width, length, or age. Everything about it is immense.
Hike down as far as you’re comfortable going… but remember you’ll be walking uphill to get back out. Much respect to the Pueblo people who called this wonder of the world home for thousands of years.
Pro tip: It’s better together. Like all hikes, sharing the moment, even in out-of-breath silence greatly improves the experience. Your phone or your DSLR can store the photos but only your trailmates can store the memories.
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.