Hawaii: Big Island Adventure
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 617-619-1411. We’re available to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.
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
- Proof of Negative PCR Test Result: Travelers should be prepared to bring with them a physical copy of their negative COVID-19 PCR test
Talk with your doctor: Although there are no health entry requirements, 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.
Get the EF Ultimate Break app: Your trip's group will be able to connect on the app before you meet IRL. Don't miss out! Meet other travelers, get updates from your Tour Director, see flights and accommodations, and more. If you're having trouble, give us a call at 617-619-1411.
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. So, 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 constantly on the move can take a toll on your body. Make sure you get the rest your body needs. If that means missing a night out for some well-earned rest, or having a little afternoon siesta, so be it. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Stay hydrated: During this trip you’ll be spending a fair amount of time in the great outdoors. With Hawaii’s tropical climate, it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Be Prepared: Roads can be winding. We recommend bringing a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication, and any prescription medications in your carry-on bag.
- Take time for yourself: Group travel is an amazing experience, and there’s nothing quite like exploring a new place with a group of like-minded people. That said, it’s okay to take time for yourself to relax and reflect on your experience. Here are a few mindfulness apps you can take with you on the road:
- Insight Timer: Meditation apps are very in right now. This one is especially amazing because there are 80,000 free daily meditations to help with sleep, anxiety, and stress.
- What’s Up: If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed, What’s Up can help you manage these feelings with interactive games, forums, and a thought tracking diary.
- Talkspace: No need to make appointments or commute to a therapist’s office. Talkspace gives you 24/7 access to real, licensed therapists. You can talk, text, or video chat with them right from your phone.
Safety while Traveling
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 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
We recommend budgeting $80-$100 per day for meals, gratuities, shopping, and free time activities. For this trip, that means roughly $700-$1000 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 in 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 in Hawaii, and ATMs are also available in most areas for cash withdrawals.
Make sure to let your bank and credit card companies know where and when you are traveling to avoid any fraudulent charges or getting locked out of your account.
Currencies used: U.S. dollar
When it comes to tipping, 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: $18-$27 given at the end of the trip
Tour Director: $36-$54 given at the end of the trip
With swaying palms, gorgeous beaches, and some of the best snorkeling in the US, you can expect warm temperatures and tropical vibes in Hawaii year-round. Get ready for good weather and a great time on this action-packed trip.
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 light wind/rain jacket
- A smaller backpack to keep your clothes and items in during active days or when you’re at the beach. We also recommend zip-lock bags to keep your phone and valuables dry
- Comfortable walking/active shoes you are not afraid to get dirty
- Waterproof shoes or sandals for the beach
- 2-3 pairs shorts
- 3-4 shirts / t-shirts
- 2 nicer evening outfits for Welcome & Farewell Luaus
- 2-3 bathing suits
- Beach Towel– we love the Microfiber travel towel
- Underwear and socks
- Toiletries, medicine
- Bug spray – in the tropics, you are guaranteed to encounter more than one bug
- 1-2 bottles of travel-size sunscreen
- Sunglasses & hat
- Reusable water bottle
- A bag to put your wet and/or dirty items in so that the rest of your clothes don’t get dirty when transferring to different cities
- Phone or camera, waterproof phone/cases bags encouraged!
- I.D. (Driver's License) or Passport for identification
- Chargers for electronics
- Debit / Credit cards and cash
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. Tears may help in this case.
Arriving in Hawaii
Your Tour Director will communicate through the EF Ultimate Break app, WhatsApp, or email about where to meet them at the airport. This is an important reason to make sure you have the EF Ultimate Break app!
Note: 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.
Getting from A to B
All transfers between cities are via private bus and can take anywhere between 2-6 hours depending on distance, local traffic, and bathroom or photo-stop breaks. The beauty of travel is that you get to explore a new place but note that it takes time and energy to see everything worth seeing!
Note: 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 in Hawaii, accommodations will be standard hotels. Full details will be posted in your online account 30 days prior to departure.
Unless you purchased a private room upgrade, standard rooming is 2-3 EF Ultimate Break travelers of the same gender per room. A few other things you can expect:
- One private bathroom per room that you’ll share with your roommates
- Limited Wi-Fi connection
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 617-619-1411.
Food, Drink & Free Time
Eat Like a Local
Hawaiian cuisine reflects the islands’ diverse history and population, combining influence from Polynesian voyagers, European explorers, American missionaries, and plantation workers from Asia.
- Taro, pineapple, coconut, macadamia nut, and fish are the islands’ most famous ingredients.
- Spam, which was brought over by GIs during World War II, also shows up on many menus.
- Popular dishes include chicken with rice, pulled pork, poi (mashed taro root), and ahi poke (raw ahi tuna).
Optimize Your Free Time
If you don’t purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip begins, you can log in to 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 here 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.