Safety and Experience | EF Ultimate Break
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Your safety is our top priority

Since our founding over 55 years ago, our number one priority has always been, and continues to be, the health and safety of our travelers. One reason so many people travel with EF is our decades of experience in keeping our customers’ safety a priority when world events occur—including the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2009 H1-N1 outbreak, to environmental events such as the volcanic ash in Iceland that shut down air travel to Europe in 2010. For decades we have navigated our groups through all types of issues that have arisen, helping our travelers experience the world as safely as possible. Given our worldwide network of local offices in nearly every destination we travel to, we have the ability to make real-time, on the ground adjustments as necessary.

Current COVID-19 Situation

(Updated March 26, 2020)

We are closely monitoring the outbreak of the COVID-19‚ 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.

As of Thursday, March 26th, we are rebooking all travelers with departures through May 31, 2020 and have been in touch with impacted travelers. We are prioritizing customers scheduled to depart between now and May 31st. We appreciate your patience while call, email, and chat volume are high and will respond to you as quickly as possible.

For 2020 travelers with departures after May 31st, we have adjusted our rebooking and cancellation policies through May 31, 2020:

  • Any 2020 traveler can rebook to another date and/or duration at no penalty
  • Cancellation fees for all travelers have been frozen as of February 28, 2020 through May 31, 2020 for customers more than 14 days before departure

Departures through May 31, 2020

Travelers whose tours have been postponed through May 31, 2020 have two options:

  • Rebook to any 2020 or 2021 date or tour. See here for all of our tours.
  • Get 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. Read more about vouchers here.

Travelers scheduled to travel before May 31, 2020 can email us at ub.customer.com@ef.com to tell us which option they would like.

FAQS

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

Earlier this winter, 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. As additional warnings and travel restrictions have been put into place, we are rebooking all travelers scheduled to depart through May 31st. We have been 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 the travel dates of your current tour or work with EF to select a new tour. Furthermore, we are allowing flexible rebooking for customers traveling in 2020 up to 14 days before departure (from the standard policy of 99 days before departure).

In addition, we have frozen cancellation fees for all customers between February 28, 2020 and May 31, 2020 up to 14 days before departure.

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 May 31, 2020. Travelers can rebook their 2020 tour up to 14 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 14 days before departure will not increase between February 28, 2020 and May 31, 2020.

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

Through May 31, 2020 we are allowing any 2020 traveler to change their date and/or destination up to 14 days before departure. Contact us at 1-800-766-2645 or via email at ub.customer.com@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 May 31?

We are currently rebooking travelers during through May 31, 2020. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are prepared to make adjustments. If 2020 travelers have concerns, they can rebook to another tour or date any time before 14 days before departure through May 31, 2020. 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.

What does Travel Protection cover?

We encourage travelers to purchase Travel Protection as it helps protect your investment in a variety of circumstances before and while on your trip. Our Travel Protection includes insurance benefits underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and covers situations such as needing to cancel your trip due to a covered hospitalization or covered job loss. Please review the full coverage terms and conditions here [link to policy]. Please know that the events related to COVID-19 are not in general a covered reason for cancellation under this policy. Other benefits, however, may apply based on your specific circumstances. EF Ultimate break has also extended our flexible rebooking benefit included in the Travel Protection to enable all 2020 customers who purchase this plan to rebook to a different date and/or destination without re-booking costs up to 14 days before departure.