COVID-19 & Educational Travel

Our commitment to our travelers and their families

In a short period of time, so much has changed about our lives—how we work, how we communicate, how we move around our communities, and how we think about the world. The past few months have been different—and difficult—for every single one of us. We’ve been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation around the world and are working tirelessly to provide safety, flexibility, and value as we focus on the future of educational travel.

In March, we led the industry in rapidly bringing travelers home as travel bans and restrictions were instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We went above and beyond federal, state, and international guidelines to get customers out of harm’s way. As soon as all travelers were home safely, we turned our focus toward amending policies and creating options that allow as many teachers and students as possible to still travel with us—when restrictions are lifted, and when they’re ready.

As we navigate these unprecedented times together, we know some of you have outstanding questions regarding your travel plans that have been affected. We’ve gathered our policies and resources here so you can quickly understand all the ways to proceed. And we’re here to talk through your options in more detail or work through specific situations.

¿Prefieres leer en español? Visite nuestra página de Viaje Educativo y COVID-19.

Reschedule travel for 2021 and beyond

Flexibility is one of our top priorities because we want to make sure that, when the time comes, experiencing the awe-inspiring power of travel remains a possibility for students.

We are excited to get back to traveling as soon as we can and we remain committed to providing flexible options for groups that are unable to travel this year. We have been in touch with affected Group Leaders directly to communicate all available options (learn more in the FAQs below). In the case that groups wish to postpone their tour, we have made rescheduling a group’s trip as easy and simple as possible, and to protect the full investment our travelers made in their tour, we’ve taken the following actions:

  • Any group originally scheduled to travel on tour in 2020 or 2021 that wishes to embark on the same itinerary at a later date can do so with no additional rebooking fees
  • As soon as your Group Leader selects a new date for your tour, we’ll move all travelers to the new date—there is nothing you need to do
  • All details from the original tour—optional extensions, Global Travel Protection plan, rooming, upgrades, etc.—and money paid will be transferred into the new account

Options for individual travelers

We recognize that it might be difficult for some travelers to reschedule their tour right now.

Any individual traveler who is unable to travel with their group’s rescheduled tour can receive a COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher. Our vouchers provide a ton of flexibility: You can redeem them for all sorts of programs offered through EF’s wide variety of products. They’re also in the amount of all the money you paid towards your tour—including non-refundable fees. And you have 2 years to use them.

To understand all the options available with a voucher (including partial refunds), visit our dedicated Future Travel Voucher page.

Feel confident planning for the future

The world is always changing. And while our belief in the positive impact of travel is unwavering, it can feel hard to predict what life, here in the U.S. and abroad, will look like several months, a year, or even two years from now. That’s why we’re constantly adapting, enhancing, and expanding our policies: We’re doing everything we can to make planning for the future as flexible as possible.

We are planning to travel as soon as we can, but we’re also adjusting cancellation policies to help new customers book with confidence and give existing customers more time to decide about upcoming trips. We’re expanding the reach of our Peace of Mind Program, which provides groups flexibility to change the dates and destination of their tours in uncertain times. And we’re offering more options for individual travelers who want to purchase coverage that further protects their investment.

Get the details

We’re leading the charge on student safety

As the world opens and we all get ready to travel again, your health and safety will continue to be our top priority. With our extensive global presence, our best-in-the-industry experience coupled with our strong, long-established relationships with some of the largest airline, hotel, and transportation companies, global governmental agencies, and health organizations we are actively shaping new worldwide cleanliness and safety standards. In addition, we’re proud to have earned the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp—the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp for Travel & Tourism, designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks.

Learn more

Frequently asked questions

¿Prefieres leer en español? Visite nuestra página de Viaje Educativo y COVID-19.

For inquiring journalists please email [email protected].

What teachers are saying

Every single one of our actions in response to COVID-19 has been made with students, teachers, parents, and administrators at the top of our mind. The true results of those decisions can only be measured through their reactions.

Have additional thoughts or questions?