Safety and Experience | EF Ultimate Break
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Traveling together, safely

As the world opens and we all get ready to travel again, your health and safety will continue to be our top priority. 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.

We have strong, long-established relationships with some of the largest airline, hotel, and transportation companies, global governmental agencies, and health organizations. These partnerships, along with our leadership roles in major industry organizations, mean that we are actively shaping new worldwide cleanliness and safety standards.

  • In order to provide a safe travel experience, EF is following the protocols and recommendations established by the WTTC. These include health, hygiene and social distancing guidelines.

We want to ensure that travelers are healthy before they take off on tour. We may be asking travelers to complete a pre-tour health check. All travelers should closely self-monitor their health throughout their tour.

All travelers will receive information about local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations expected to be in place during their tour.

Portions of your tour may be adjusted as we continuously work with our local partners such as tourist sites and restaurants to provide as safe an experience as possible. Examples may include avoiding crowded locations at peak times as well as itinerary alterations to follow local guidance and recommendations.

We partner with hotels that practice enhanced cleaning measures such as frequent cleaning of common areas and thoroughly disinfecting guest rooms between customers.

Your private coach will be thoroughly cleaned daily and high touch areas will be wiped down throughout the day. Our bus drivers will be trained in best practices to provide the safest possible environment.

Hand sanitizer will be provided on the bus and, should local regulations require the use of face masks, we ask that travelers come prepared with multiple face masks to wear while on tour. We also highly recommend travelers bring their own personal hand sanitizer and face masks for use throughout the tour.

All our local staff, including your expert Tour Director, will be ready to explain guidelines in the destinations you are traveling to. Your Tour Director and EF Global Emergency Support team are trained how to support travelers should you feel ill during your trip.

If a traveler is either diagnosed with COVID-19 while on tour or required to quarantine on account of COVID-19 while on tour, 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 to 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, for the traveler once 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.

As we innovate and develop our own protocols, we’ll continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and local and federal authorities worldwide. We will incorporate new procedures where appropriate as part of the comprehensive safety measures that are standard on every EF tour.

Exploring iconic US national parks (safely) with EF Ultimate Break

See highlights from our recent national parks trip—new safety guidelines were in place, but it was the same awe and wonder you'd expect. We're ready for 2021 to continue doing what we do best: keeping travelers safe and helping make your dream trips stress-free.

A worldwide presence

EF has the largest worldwide network of support teams and in-country experts to assist you in times of need with EF staff on the ground, 365 days a year, in over 50 countries. Our Safety & Incident Response team is available 24/7 and we have a resource network of industry experts, healthcare professionals, and government personnel who liaise with local embassies, government authorities, and health providers.

Current COVID-19 Situation

(Updated January 22, 2021)

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are in constant communication with our offices around the world. Given the evolving nature of the situation‚ we will continue to follow guidance from the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization and will respond quickly to any new announcements.

At this time, it seems unlikely that the international and domestic travel bans and restrictions, governmental orders and public health advisories will be sufficiently lifted for most destinations in times to run tours operating in the next couple months. Therefore we are encouraging everyone traveling on impacted departures through March 15th to contact us to reschedule their tour to a late date or tour at no penalty or receive a future travel voucher for 100% of their money paid so you can get the full experience of your tour.

For 2021 travelers with departures after March 15th, we have adjusted our rebooking and cancellation policies through February 28, 2021:

  • Any 2021 traveler can rebook to another date and/or duration at no penalty up to 60 days before departure.
  • Cancellation fees for all travelers will not increase between February 28, 2020 and February 28, 2021 up to 30 days before departure.

Travel options

Travelers whose tours have been postponed have two options to retain the full value of their investment.

  • Rebook to any 2021 or 2022 date or tour. See here for all of our tours.
  • Receive a Future Travel Voucher for 100% of the money paid into your current trip; this voucher can be applied to any travel booked prior to 12/31/2021, for departure before 9/30/2023. EF Future Travel Vouchers can also be used with any other EF travel or language product.

Travelers scheduled to travel before March 15th can email us at efubcustomercom@ef.com to tell us which option they would like. If travelers choose not to rebook or receive a Future Travel Voucher they can call us at 1-800-766-2645 to request a refund for monies paid minus cancellation and other non-refundable fees.

We have also continued negotiations with suppliers and made changes to our own business and have been able to increase the amount we can offer as a cash refund if travelers choose not to rebook or receive a Future Travel Voucher. Travelers who have requested a refund from a postponed March 2020 or April 2020 departure will now receive all monies paid less $1,000 and non-refundables such as travel protection. Travelers from a postponed May 2020 departure will now receive all monies paid minus $700 and non-refundables. Within 6-8 weeks eligible travelers will see an adjustment reflected in their refund payment or receive a second refund on their last form of payment on file reflecting any additional refund due. There is no action needed from those travelers and we will update your account automatically. If you are a March, April or May traveler and rebooked or received a Future Travel Voucher and would now like to receive a refund instead, please call us at 1-800-766-2645.

FAQS

What is EF Ultimate Break doing in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak?

Before the U.S. Department of State recommended against travel to mainland China, we proactively rebooked travelers scheduled to travel to China through the end of May. At this time, it seems unlikely that the international and domestic travel bans and restrictions, governmental orders and public health advisories will be sufficiently lifted in times to run tours operating in the next couple months. Therefore we are encouraging everyone with departures through March 15th to contact us to reschedule their tour to a late date or tour at no penalty or receive a future travel voucher for 100% of their money paid so you can get the full experience of your tour. We are in contact with all affected travelers and continue to actively monitor the situation.

For all travelers, while the U.S. State Department has a Travel Advisory Level 4, if your tour departure is within 60 days you may change to another date or tour.

In addition, cancellation fees for all travelers will not increase between February 28, 2020 and February 21, 2021 up until 30 days before departure. We have also continued negotiations with suppliers and made changes to our own business and have been able to increase the amount we can offer as a cash refund if travelers choose not to rebook or receive a Future Travel Voucher. Travelers who have requested a refund from a postponed March 2020 or April 2020 departure will now receive all monies paid less $1,000 and non-refundables such as travel protection. Travelers from a postponed May 2020 departure will now receive all monies paid minus $700 and non-refundables. Within 6-8 weeks eligible travelers will see an adjustment reflected in their refund payment or receive a second refund on their last form of payment on file reflecting any additional refund due. There is no action needed from those travelers and we will update your account automatically. If you are a March, April or May 2020 traveler and rebooked or received a Future Travel Voucher and would now like to receive a refund instead, please call us at 1-800-766-2645.

I am concerned about travelling this year, what should I do?

To support travelers and provide more flexibility, we are amending our rebooking and cancellation policies through February 28th, 2021. Travelers can rebook their 2020 tour up to 30 days before departure. For all travelers, while the U.S. State Department has a Level 4 Travel Advisory, travelers can change their dates or tour without penalty up to 60 days before departure. Cancellation fees for all travelers over 30 days before departure will not increase between February 28, 2020 and February 15th, 2020.

What options do I have if I want to change my tour?

Through March 15th, 2021 we are allowing any 2021 traveler to change their date and/or destination up to 30 days before departure. Contact us at 1-800-766-2645 or via email at efubcustomercom@ef.com with your new tour and date and we will move you over.

Furthermore, any traveler can change their tour date or move to a new tour without penalty if the U.S. State Department has a Level 4 Travel Advisory and their tour departure is within 60 days.

What if I am scheduled to travel after March 15th?

We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and making adjustments accordingly. If 2021 travelers have concerns, they can rebook to another tour or date any time before 60 days before departure. Furthermore, any traveler can change their tour date or move to a new tour without penalty if the U.S. State Department has a Level 4 Travel Advisory and their tour departure is within 60 days.

Why am I receiving a voucher instead of a refund?

We begin planning your tour as soon as you book-to ensure the highest quality service at the lowest price. For example, EF Ultimate Break books large volumes of flights and accommodations months, if not years, in advance. For this reason, EF Ultimate Break has designed its policies to take into consideration the investments we make in your trip long before it departs.

COVID-19 is an unprecedented event that is constantly evolving and affects everyone around the globe. As our mission is to help our customers see the world, we have amended policies to provide flexibility for travelers. Our Future Travel Vouchers offer travelers the full value of what they’ve paid and the ability to rebook with any EF product at no additional cost to them. We understand the future of travel may feel uncertain, but we are confident that when we emerge from this crisis, we will be eager to explore the world again.

I purchased Travel Protection; can I file a claim due to COVID-19?

EF Ultimate Break travelers are offered insurance through a plan provided by Specialty Insurance Solutions and underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. The primary benefits of the policy prior to tour are a refund of your trip price less non-refundable fees if a traveler needs to cancel due to reasons that can include but are not limited to serious injury or illness requiring hospitalization and involuntary employer termination or layoff. On tour the policy provides coverage for incidents such as lost baggage and flight delays as well as coverage of hospital bills, doctors’ fees and medical transportation for illnesses or injury. Based on the circumstances, travelers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 prior to tour may qualify for cancellation coverage. For a full explanation of benefits provided under this policy or to submit a claim click here. We recommend you reach out to Specialty Insurance Solutions directly if you have additional questions regarding your specific circumstances.

EF Ultimate Break has also extended our flexible rebooking benefit included in the Travel Protection to enable all 2021 customers who purchase this plan to rebook to a different date and/or destination without re-booking costs up to 30 days before departure through February 28, 2021.