Know Before You Go: Ultimate Italy | EF Ultimate Break
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Ultimate Italy

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 and are available 24/7 so all you have to do is travel. Now, it’s time to do a happy dance and make this trip ULTIMATE.

Getting There

Complete Your Checklist

Before heading to the airport, complete the tasks below and check them off in your Online Account Checklist. If you have any questions, give us a call at 800-766-2645. We’re available 24/7 to make sure you have the Best. Trip. Ever.


  • Verify your passport: In order to enter Morocco, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six months after the date of re-entry. There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens
  • Join the Facebook group: Join your private Facebook group now! It’s how you can meet other travelers and see announcements from your Tour Director. Call us at 800-766-2645 if you’re having trouble joining.
  • Request a roommate:: Double check with us and your Tour Director that they have your rooming status on file. We will assign a roommate for you if you do not submit a specific request.
  • Personalize your trip: Travel Insurance is not available for purchase on tour, and the price of Optional Excursions increases after departure. We suggest logging in to your Online Account now to add these items.
  • Call your bank: Let your bank and credit card company know of your travel plans so you can withdraw cash and use your debit/credit cards abroad. Otherwise, you risk your account being blocked.

Pack Like a Pro

Consult your airline’s website for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but note that your airline ticket does include one checked bag. At EF Ultimate Break, we recommend limiting your luggage to one backpack or purse, and one checked bag or larger carry on; In different cities you may need to carry your suitcase where buses and elevators cannot, and remember that you’ll have the opportunity to do laundry throughout the trip. See more packing tips below:


  • 1 lightweight or rain jacket
  • Comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing days
  • 1 pair of dress shoes for nights out (some bars and clubs don’t allow sneakers)
  • 1-2 pairs jeans / trousers / shorts
  • 3-4 shirts / t-shirts / sweaters
  • 1 nicer outfit for Farewell Dinner or a night out
  • Underwear and socks
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Toiletries, medicine
  • 1 reusable water bottle
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Phone or camera
  • Passport
  • Debit / Credit cards and cash
  • A power adapter – a staff favorite is the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)

Note: You’re required to cover your knees and shoulders in sacred places like St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.


Also Note: Pack as light as possible (we recommend 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on backpack, but plan accordingly and save space in your bag if you want to bring back souvenirs!

Flight Preparation

Check your online account 30 days prior to departure for your flight itinerary and confirmation number. You can check in to your flight 24 hours prior to departure. If you prefer to check in at the airport, plan to arrive 2.5 – 3 hours before departure.


  • 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 slept in and missed 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.

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.

Arriving in Venice

Benvenuto in Italia! Your Tour Director will communicate on Facebook or email about where to meet them at the Venice airport. This is another reason you should join your Facebook group.

Meet Your Tour Director and Fellow Travelers

Your Tour Director will also tell you best way to communicate with them during the trip; they will be with your group from start to finish so if there is anything you need, connect with them. Concerned about international cellular data and staying in touch with your group? Check out “Phones and Electronics” further down in this guide.

Use your Phone, Internet, and Electronics

We recommend you get an international data plan from your cell phone provider. The most common options are the Travel Pass with Verizon, or purchasing a personal hot spot with your carrier. Wi-Fi will be in some hotels, restaurants, and bars; but it isn’t always as strong as Wi-Fi in the US. For your cell phone and any other electronics you bring abroad, you will need a converter/adapter.

Note: A staff favorite adapter is the “Targus World Power Travel Adapter” ($20, Amazon.com)

On The Ground

Money and Tipping

Cash in the local currency is accepted and encouraged everywhere in Tanzania and Zanzibar, but some upscale stores or restaurants will accept credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) or cash in USD (issued after 2006). If you exchange cash before the trip, check the latest exchange rates to make sure you’re getting the best rate. Otherwise, ATMs are available in most banks in Tanzania and are the easiest and best way to get cash while abroad. In Zanzibar, ATMs are only available in Stone Town.

Budget around $50 per day for meals, drinks, souvenirs, and tips or extra activities. When it comes to tipping, it’s customary to round up the bill to the nearest amount at a restaurant, or give the equivalent of $1-$2 for local guides. For your Tour Director, we recommend tipping $40 - $60 at the end of the trip if you feel inclined.


Currencies used:


  • Tanzania: Tanzania Shilling (TSh)

Note: Let your bank and credit card companies know your travel plans ahead of time to avoid potential complications while abroad.

Getting from A to B

All transfers between cities and islands are via private bus/safari vehicles, or local airlines; these transfers can take anywhere between 2-6 hours. Note that the road conditions in Tanzania and Zanzibar can be rough at times, and some stretches of roads may be dirt. Game drives are drives or safaris through the wild to see animals in their own environment. During game drives your group will be in safari vehicles, which are usually a 4x4 jeep, van, or Land Rover-style vehicle that can handle the off-road terrain. These vehicles typically accommodate 4-10 people so your group may be split up when driving.

Note: It’s a good idea to bring a great book with you for transfer days. Try bringing a novel that’s based in somewhere you’re visiting! We recommend Under the Tuscan Sun, Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, or if you’re a history buff try I, Claudius

Optimize Your Free Time

Not sure how to fill your free time? Lucky for you, we offer “optional excursions” for just that! If you did not purchase EF Ultimate Break Optional Excursions before the trip began, you can log into your Online Account and do so on tour. However, to avoid increased prices for these activities on tour, you should purchase these optionals before your trip begins. Optionals on this tour include (prices increase on tour):


  • Taste of Italy Pasta-Making class: $70
  • A Day in Lake Como: $100
  • Capri: $110
  • Mt. Etna: Volcanoes and Vineyards: $80

Make the Most of Your Trip

17 days in Italy is exciting and life-changing, but to make the most of this experience without burning out, we have a couple reminders:


  • Stay Healthy: The pace of travel is fast and we include a lot of activities in your tour; Take advantage of down time to catch up on sleep, drink plenty of water, and take time for you whenever you need it.
  • Talk to your Tour Director: Your Tour Director is with you every step of the way from Milan to Catania for a reason. If you need anything during tour, you can reach our team 24/7 at 800-766-2645, but remember you can talk to your Tour Director at any point too.
  • Rooming: Maybe you’re a night owl and your roommates are early risers. Maybe you find your new BFF on tour. Maybe your roomie is a snorer and you’re a light sleeper. Whatever it is, let your Tour Director know and they can try to rearrange room assignments at the next accommodation.
  • Carpe Diem: You’re in ITALY! Make the most of every day and remember why you chose to travel in the first place. This is an epic experience, so make it yours.

Local Culture

Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country, is the heart of the Roman empire, and birthplace of the renaissance. Everything you’ve dreamed about, read in history books, and watched in movies comes to life on this trip. Michelangelo’s David, the Sistine Chapel, DaVinci, Caesar, pizza, it’s all here! As you prepare to spend time in a new-but-old country, here are some expert tips to help you live like a true Italian.


  • Italians greet everyone with two kisses—one on each cheek
  • When you cheers or toast, make eye contact—it brings good luck!
  • Expect to see queues and crowds at major sightseeing attractions – you’re visiting some world-famous spots after all.
  • Public restrooms in Europe sometimes require a small fee – hold on to your coins!
  • Unlike the U.S., everything (hotels, meals, appliances) is smaller. After all, less is more!
  • Practice the local language when greeting people or ordering food - It goes a long way with the locals
  • Water is an added cost at restaurants, and you have to choose between still or sparkling
  • Feel free to seat yourself in restaurants instead of waiting to be seated, and don’t be afraid to flag your waiter or waitress over for help
  • Italy is known for its fashion. Now is the time to break out your new leather jacket, shades, and kicks.
  • Smoking is still very popular in Italy. Don’t be surprised to see large amounts of locals with lit cigarettes!

Wine and Dine

Italy’s food scene is a well-known giant. Italians take pride in fresh seasonal ingredients, passionate cooking, and sharing dishes with family and friends. You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on your trip, but read on for tips, tricks, and delicacies you just must try.


  • For breakfast, Italians usually have a sweet pastry and cappuccino instead of the savory eggs and bacon you’re used to. When in Rome!
  • Iced coffee begone, espresso is your new friend and you’ll never find a bad espresso in Italy. Make sure to order and pay for your espresso at the bar to avoid paying more than the usual 1-2€!
  • Indulge in long lunches and try the local pasta, meat, fish, cheese, fruits, wine, and more wine. May we suggest a bold Tuscan red, a Chianti Classico, or a glass of Prosecco in Venice?
  • Try aperitivo - A light meal between lunch and dinner with snacks and wine, or a refreshing spritz like aperol or campari
  • Dinner in Italy doesn’t often begin until after 8 or 9pm. More reason to enjoy aperitivo!
  • Try an after-dinner digestive liquor like limoncello, sambuca, amari, or apertivi
  • For pasta we recommend cacio e pepe in Rome; a pasta dish with black pepper, pecorino Romano cheese, and pasta. They say all Italian meals only require 3 ingredients!
  • Florentine steak is a specific cut of the meat from Tuscan cattle, and it is an excellent choice if you’re feeling #fancy in #Florence
  • Roman artichokes, one of the most famous dishes of Roman cuisine, are braised in water, white wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil.
  • Pizza. Need we say more?

Speak the Language

While it may feel awkward at first, attempting the local language goes a long way when navigating a city and interacting with people. Practice these basic Italian words and phrases to get started:


  • Hello = Ciao
  • Goodbye = Ciao
  • Thank You = Grazie
  • Yes = Sì
  • No = No
  • Where is _? = Dove si trova?
  • I need ____ = Ho bisogno _____
  • Cheers! = Saluti!

Health and Safety

With a global presence of more than 46,000 people in over 115 countries and regions, we’re fully committed to your safety. But, it’s equally important for you to maintain your health and safety while abroad. From your first flight all the way through to your farewell dinner, drink plenty of water, get sleep when you can, and 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!
  • 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, and always have cash on hand.
  • 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.
  • Save our 24/7 number in your phone: +1–617–619–1411

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.


Bon voyage!

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