Tour planning

How EF is keeping you safe and supported

At EF, we can’t wait until our travelers are back on the road again. As an educational travel company, we know the importance of learning about the world by experiencing it firsthand. Hearing how students grow emotionally from their hands-on learning experiences on tour and seeing them become more independent and confident in themselves is keeping us going right now. While travel is paused, EF is continually monitoring travel guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as well as local and federal authorities to ensure that when you’re ready to travel, you’ll feel as safe, prepared, and supported as possible. Below, find out how we’re equipped to handle any situation that comes up, before or during your travels.

Travel philosophy
Your network of support
Health & safety

Flexible policies

Travel philosophy

EF’s mission
Our mission at EF is Opening the World Through Education. With more than 55 years of experience, we have helped millions of travelers realize more about the world around them and themselves. As a family-owned company, we know how important it is to learn and grow. But in order to do so, we know it’s essential for you and your students to feel as safe as possible. As a result, we partner with international leaders in education, travel, and health to help make sure your experience is a positive and transformative one. We also follow global travel guidelines to ensure that you get the most out of your travel experience.

Affordable travel
We believe travel is for everyone. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing the lowest prices on the market. We also offer payment options that are practical, flexible, and easy to understand.

Your network of support

EF’s global presence
EF’s global presence is truly unmatched. We have staff on the ground 365 days a year in 50 countries. And we don’t just work in those countries—we call them home. In fact, EF team members live in nearly every one of our tour destinations. That means we have the local knowledge to keep our groups safe, and you’ll have friendly faces nearby to offer a helping hand (or high five).

On-the-ground assistance
EF will be with you every step of the way, especially when you’re exploring your destination. Your Tour Director is an expert guide who speaks the language of travel (and who can navigate the local language as well), and no one is better equipped to lead the way for your group. EF Tour Directors care for your group the moment you clear customs. Meanwhile, our Safety and Incident Response Team—comprised of industry experts, healthcare experts, and even former FBI personnel—is ready to spring into action 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Read more about how we support you during the entire tour process.

Our team is your team
When you partner with EF, you get access to everything we have to offer, starting with a network of experienced Global Education Ambassadors (teachers just like you who have already traveled with students). They can help answer any questions you may have about the tour experience. We’ll also team you up with your own personal Tour Consultant, who will work with you and your school to make the entire tour process as smooth as possible. And our Traveler Support Specialists are the go-to team for parents and students for any how-tos or what-ifs. But that’s not it. Not even close. There are many more people here at EF to help you out. Meet the rest of the team, even those behind the scenes, who work to guarantee you and your students have the best possible travel experience.

Health & safety

Shaping the future of safety
EF has been closely monitoring the specific travel guidelines for the destinations where we offer educational tour experiences. We are working with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and local and federal authorities worldwide to ensure our travelers are as safe as possible. Our work to keep travelers safe has earned us the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, the first ever global safety and hygiene stamp for Travel & Tourism, designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks.

Before tour
Because EF team members live in nearly every one of our tour destinations‚ we have the on-the-ground knowledge to help keep our groups as safe as possible. From new ways to navigate a city to a local’s take on safety precautions‚ we have access to the kind of insight you can’t simply read in a newspaper or infer from a government report. So, before you embark on tour, you and your travelers will receive destination-specific COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. For some locations, we will also require pre-tour health screenings to ensure everyone joining the tour is healthy. Find out more about how we’re committed to our travelers during these unprecedented times.

On tour
From partnering with hotels with the highest cleaning standards to thoroughly cleaning your motorcoach multiple times a day, EF is not only thinking about your health but giving you peace of mind.

Read more about how we’re approaching health and safety on tour.

Flexible policies

Peace of Mind program
Every EF tour includes our Peace of Mind program, which provides groups with flexibility to change the dates, destination, or itinerary of their tours up to 45 days before departure.

COVID Care Promise
In these uncertain times, it’s not enough to just offer flexible travel options. If an EF traveler is diagnosed with COVID-19 while on tour, we’ll help facilitate the care and support they need. We’ll offer support through hospitalization or a quarantine period, fly a parent or guardian to a tour location, offer translation services, and more. Read more about these policies and other protections we offer for all EF travelers.

COVID Peace of Mind program
In addition to our standard Peace of Mind program, EF provides an exclusive COVID-19 Peace of Mind program to account for situations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the COVID-19 Peace of Mind program, you can:

  1. Change the travel dates or tour itinerary of your group’s current tour; or
  2. Cancel your tour with each traveler receiving or reinstating a transferable COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher for 100% of all money paid to EF; or
  3. Cancel your tour with each traveler receiving a cash refund for all of the money paid to EF less $500*

If at 44 days or less prior to departure, any of the above conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are in effect such that a postponement of your tour program is necessary, Group Leaders or travelers will have all of the above options, but with slightly better refund terms of all money back less $350.

*For travelers who had booked their program by redeeming a previously issued COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher, the cash refund option available will be based on the originally issued voucher terms (e.g., travelers who received a COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher for a tour originally scheduled to depart between March 1, 2020 and May 14, 2020, may exchange their voucher for all monies paid less $565). 

EF will be there for you (whenever you’re ready). Until then, browse our tours for a little inspiration.

Our commitment to health & safety

Read our latest updates on everything we’re doing to keep our groups as healthy and safe as possible.

Topics: Safety

Lauren Vinciguerra

Lauren is a Web Content Editor at EF. She dreams of going to Japan one day and eating her weight in sushi.

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