1. Our group was supposed to travel prior to June 30, but our tour had to be postponed. What happens now?

We have reached out to your Group Leader to discuss the options available to your group. Your Group Leader can take advantage of the following enhanced Peace of Mind options on behalf of the group:

  • Reschedule your existing tour to a new date
    • If your group chooses to simply move the existing tour to a new date, there is nothing you need to do. We will automatically enroll students on the new tour. This will allow everyone in your group to rebook to the new date easily. To better support you, we have made the decision to honor your current tour price for any rescheduled date through 2021 and are not charging any rebooking fees, so there will be no additional costs to move the tour.
  • Choose a new tour and new date
    • Please note that, if your group decides to choose a new itinerary, there may be a difference in the program fee.
  • Choose to take Future Travel Vouchers for the entire group
    • We understand that it might be difficult to make plans for a future tour at this time. Therefore, your Group Leader can elect for the group to receive electronic Future Travel Vouchers in the amount of all monies paid to EF (including non-refundable fees) that you can apply once your tour can be rescheduled, or for you to use on one of our other EF travel programs.
      • For travelers who were originally scheduled to travel through May 14, vouchers may be redeemed for a refund of all monies paid to EF, less $565.
      • For travelers who were originally scheduled to travel on or after May 15, vouchers may be redeemed for a refund of all monies paid to EF, less $500.
    • For the full list of your redemption options, visit our Future Travel Voucher website.
    • There is no need to make any decisions now, as your voucher and all of the redemption options are valid through September 30, 2022.
Additionally, we have enhanced our Peace of Mind Program to provide the option for individuals to receive a Future Travel Voucher. If an individual cannot join their group’s rebooked tour, they can elect to receive a Future Travel Voucher that comes with all of the same options listed above by calling 800-665-5364.

2. What should I do if my group has not yet rescheduled our tour?

Rest assured, there is nothing you need to do now. Given the circumstances, it may take your Group Leader some time to work through the details of setting up a new tour. We recommend you stay in communication with your Group Leader on next steps.

3. My group is scheduled to travel later this summer. Are we still going?

Given the evolving nature of the situation, our operations and safety teams around the world continue to assess matters on a daily basis. 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 time to operate tours through the summer, nor will some key suppliers be prepared to consistently meet our safety standards. Therefore, we are encouraging everyone to contact us to reschedule your tour to a later date so that you and your group can get the full and powerful experience of exploring the world together. EF will not resume tour operations until we receive updated guidance from the U.S. Department of State, we learn that travel and other restrictions have been lifted, and we feel confident that our travelers will be able to fully enjoy the immersive, culturally rich experiences that we pride ourselves on delivering. As a reminder, your group also has all of our Peace of Mind options available to them if you would like to proactively reschedule your tour and/or elect to receive Future Travel Vouchers. We recommend that you stay in contact with your Group Leader for the most up-to-date information regarding your tour.

4. What is an EF Future Travel Voucher?

As an additional measure in response to the COVID-19 situation, we have amended the terms of our Future Travel Vouchers for all travelers who were scheduled to travel in 2020. A Future Travel Voucher is issued electronically in the amount of all monies paid to EF (including all non-refundable fees). Future Travel Vouchers may be used towards a travel program with a variety of EF products or it may be redeemed for a cash refund (refund amounts vary based on original departure date). Future Travel Vouchers may be resold and are transferable to immediate family members and to students or faculty in the same school district as the traveler to whom they are issued. Your Future Travel Voucher is valid through September 30, 2022—so you do not need to make any decisions on how to use it at this time. To view complete details on all of the ways to redeem your voucher, visit our Future Travel Voucher website.

5. What are my refund options?

We know that the decision to travel in the next few months is a very personal one. That’s why we have amended our policies so that you can elect to take a Future Travel Voucher even if your group is currently continuing to travel as planned. Taking a Future Travel Voucher instead of canceling allows you to protect your full investment and travel at a later date that works for you—giving you the option to use the voucher on a variety of EF Programs. In addition, Future Travel Vouchers can also be redeemed for a refund. For travelers who were originally scheduled to depart through May 14, you may exchange your voucher for a refund of all monies paid to EF, less $565. For travelers with original departure dates on or after May 15, you may exchange your voucher for a refund of all monies paid, less $500.

6. Why are summer groups eligible for a different refund amount?

We begin planning our tours as soon as the first traveler enrolls to ensure the highest quality service at the lowest price. For example, our staff work to vet, negotiate, and book large volumes of flights, hotels, and entrances months, if not years, in advance. Many of these are at a group booking level which is subject to different cancellation rules than typical consumers. The closer to departure we are, the higher the investment we have already made in a tour and the less flexibility we have to avoid or mitigate those and other costs. For our spring tours much of our costs had already been incurred before tours became affected by the events of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, flight space had been secured and allocated, hotel rooms were blocked, entrance tickets had been purchased, Tour Directors had been selected and trained and thousands of hours of our staff’s time had already been spent on the details of our groups’ tours. However, the additional time we have had prior to summer tour departures has allowed us to avoid incurring, reduce, or negotiate additional flexibility with respect to costs and other investments on those tours. As our unavoidable or non-refundable costs for those summer departures will be lower, we feel it is the right thing to do to pass these additional savings to our travelers that were scheduled to depart after May 15.

7. Why can't I get all my money back?

We begin planning your tour as soon as you enroll, to ensure the highest quality service at the lowest price. For example, EF Educational Tours books large volumes of flights, hotels, and entrances months, if not years, in advance. Many of these are at a group booking level which is subject to different cancellation rules than typical consumers. The cancellation policy allows us to partially cover costs related to these non-recoverable payments to our suppliers and our staff, as well as the investment we have always made and continue to make in itinerary, date, and destination flexibility. We are currently in an unprecedented situation that is affecting everyone across the globe. As such, we have made adjustments to our standard policies to provide expanded options to our groups during this time.

We are offering very flexible rebooking options, holding pricing through 2021 for any of our groups that want to move their tour to a later date and making an exception by offering Future Travel Vouchers to any individual traveler who cannot travel on their group’s future tour. We have also now made the vouchers even more valuable: Future Travel Vouchers will be issued for all monies paid to EF, including all non-refundables. Additionally, travelers may now redeem their Future Travel Voucher for a refund of the majority of their program fee.

8. I purchased Global Travel Protection, can I file a claim due to COVID-19?

EF Educational Tours’ 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 program price less non-refundable fees if a traveler needs to cancel from tour 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 or parents who have recently lost their job may qualify for cancellation coverage. For a full explanation of benefits provided under this policy or to submit a claim click here. We recommend that you reach out to Specialty Insurance Solutions directly if you have additional questions regarding your specific circumstances.