EF Ultimate Break // Bali Tropical Escape: Packing + Free Time Guide
So you've booked with EF Ultimate Break on their Bali: Tropical Escape, now what? Now, you... GET EXCITED!!! Congrats on booking! Having been on this trip myself, I know exactly how amazing it is! I'm here to share with you all of my tips from doing this trip with EF Ultimate Break. Haven't booked with EFUB yet and just here for more information? You came to the right place! As an ambassador for EF Ultimate Break, you can book with my link, and save extra on any first trip! My link is in this guide below!
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Before I get into it, I wanna add a quick hello!

My name is Alex! I've been traveling with EF Ultimate Break for several years now and have done a ton of their trips. I've heard nearly every question in the book about traveling with EF, and if I don't know the answer, I'll gladly find it for you!

I've been to over half of the US states and 20+ countries and counting. I love planning my own trips when I'm not traveling with EF, so I have lots of other resources here that you're more than welcome to pick through. 

I'm a backpack die hard, coffee and craft beer lover, adventure seeker, and just here to see as much of this big beautiful world that I can!

Bali was trip number five for me, but I try to revisit these itineraries and keep my information as updated as I can. 

Contents: 

1. Packing Guide

2. Seminyak

3. Ubud

4. Nusa Dua and Mount Batur

5. FAQs

6. EFUB Discounts

7. Travel Essentials

8. Map Points List

9. Accommodations

10. Other EFUB Trip Guides & Resources

^Please utilize this contents section to know if you'd like to skip over a certain section. & enjoy!

Packing Essentials:

• Carry on or checked luggage? In short -- this is really up to you and your personal travel style. I'm a carry-on backpack only girlie, but I know not everyone loves that life! You know yourself best!

If you do check a bag, I would suggest taking precautions/keeping these things in mind:

    • Keep at least 1-2 changes of clothes in your carry on bag in case of your checked luggage getting lost. I will say that on 6/8 of my group trips abroad, there was always at least one person who lost their luggage and had to wait 1-3 days for it to arrive (Bali was the one trip that we all got luggage there safely!!!)

    • Always keep medications and essentials in your carry on.

    • Be aware that you may have to lug your suitcase up flights upon flights of stairs, a ton of sand, and who knows what else. Nothing wrong with this, just something to keep in mind. 

• Adapter? My recommendation always is to use a universal adapter! This way, you can use and reuse in many places across many different countries without worry. I have one recommended that is a tried and true for me on my Amazon Essentials list, which you can find here:

• Outerwear? one very light waterproof jacket (if any jacket at all), emphasis on waterproof (not water resistant - I learned from experience that this is not the same jacket rating). Taking a jacket would be for the purpose of staying dry here, rather than staying warm. So, make sure it's light and packable! Columbia is a really good brand for waterproof jackets, and I have my favorites listed in my Amazon storefront as well. I went to Bali in May, and this is of course weather dependent, but I only used my jacket one time (for *maybe* 15 minutes) during the Mt. Batur hike. It wasn't raining, and I got plenty warm quick enough.  

• Do I need hiking boots? In my opinion, no. You could wear them especially for the hiking morning if you choose, but it's not absolutely necessary and would definitely take up a lot of packing space. I brought my Columbia hiking tennis shoes and they were perfect for this hike. Light and just like any sneaker in size, they weren't overly bulky. I ended up wearing them more than I wanted to because I had massive blisters. :( on that note, I have blister patches/band aids listed in my amazon that I discovered on this exact trip from my friend Savannah. Seriously a life saver, they're a must have on any trip for me now!

• Things for a tropical trip? Multiple swimsuits, waterproof phone case, underwater camera (if you have one already - if not, I definitely wouldn't say it's a "necessity"), lightweight clothing. If you carry a camera with you, you will likely want a waterproof backpack cover/bag cover, a plastic cover for your camera itself just in case, a dry bag for goods, and a waterproof jacket in case you get caught in any rain without your bag. A small dry bag may be good for any traveler to bring as well, especially for boat days and excursions. 

• Don't forget to bring mosquito repellent and reef safe sunscreen!

• General packing? For a 10 day trip, you're most likely going to want 7-9 base outfits, though you could always pack more. As a general carry on tip, I like to pack clothes that are often interchangeable as tops/bottoms. This way, you're able to mix it up if you need to re-wear anything. Another option and way of packing I like and find helpful is to pack specific for each day and plan ahead. You know you want to wear your Gymshark outfit on day x, so that outfit is already planned for you. You know you want to be comfy on the plane perhaps, so that day is done. Etc, etc, day by day. 

To list it all out, I would recommend bringing (minimum) 7-9 outfits (pants/tops combo or dresses/rompers), 2-3 swimsuits (there's not a ton of scheduled swimming, but there are some great hotel pools and some really fun stops you can go to on your own!), 1 plastic bag or dry bag to store swimsuits during travel days, 9+ underwear and socks, toiletries, prescriptions, chargers and adapter, 1 jacket maximum, and a trusty reusable water bottle (do not drink tap water, but you'll be given plenty of bottled water. I transferred those bottles to my hydro to keep them cool longer). Of those outfits, most travelers like to wear something nicer for the Welcome Mixer and the Farewell Dinner. "Nice" in this case is totally up to you! Truly, whatever you're comfortable in will be just fine. If this means a full gown, so be it. If this means jeans and a nice top, that's absolutely okay too! I will say that Bali tended to be a bit more on the casual side, at least for my group. Keep whatever you wear light and flowy for the most comfort!

Because this trip is 10 days long, I'd personally recommend packing for that full amount of time, so that there's no worry of the hassle of doing laundry. 10-11 days is right about at the max I'd pack for in full. If you're short on space in your bag, I'd suggest packing for 6-7 days worth and be sure to do laundry around your halfway point. Once you receive your list of accommodations from EFUB at 30 days prior to departure, you'll be able to check out your accommodation's website and see which ones offer laundry services. If you decide to do laundry, I recommend taking detergent sheets with you. I have a pack listed on my Amazon essentials at the end of this guide. Lastly, I do not recommend rewearing outfits on this trip - you will sweat through every single one. If you have to rewear, definitely wash in the sink and hang dry. 

Free Time Suggestions and Daily Guide:

Seminyak:

• You will arrive late indeed. I know this is stated in EFUB's itinerary, but I just want to confirm that. We (everyone who booked flights through EF were on the same flight) arrived late to the hotel. Not sure on the exact time, but I know I got to the hotel, showered, and unpacked a bit, and by then it was 2:30am. The travel days leading up to arrival are honestly exhausting. This was also my first time going to Asia and longest flights! Check out my post later including all of my flight and travel day tips. The second longest part was customs. Very long lines for both covid vaccine checks and visa lines. Once outside, it was very easy to find the rest of our group and our guides, Putra and Putri! Putra brought an awesome energy on our arrival despite our lack of energy!

• Starbucks Reserve Dewata: Check out the Starbucks here! I love checking out small local shops when I travel, but I do also love seeing the differences in a chain, especially their location itself! It's a gorgeous building and have some different drinks offered than back home. Also, hearing the price was a good basis to compare for what I'm spending. "This costs one Starbucks drink, okay." Also a note, be sure to walk here!!! It's not a very long walk, but it's great to get a feel for the area of town you're in. You'll pass some fun buildings and shops, and maybe even a temple right in town. 

• Visit Seminyak beach: whether you come here for a bite to eat or just to see the waves, it's a must stop! Grab a coconut and have a seat!

• Visit a spa: you can do this on many occasions on your trip, but don't skip out on it! Spas offer so many services, often including the popular flower baths that you may have seen across social media! 

• Try a Bintang: the local beer in Bali! You can also get a Bintang Radler (which is half lemonade!). Both are so refreshing in the tropical heat!

• Chez Gado Gado: Beachside restaurant and bar with great pasta

• Day trip to Nusa Penida! This is an entire day event, but it's one of my favorite things we all did! Because so many of us wanted to go (all but two of us), we asked our TD to plan us a day there. Highly highlyyyy recommend going this route.

    The ferry/boat ride over to the island is... rough. In so many ways haha! First, the buying of tickets and finding your correct spot can be a challenge. It was all pretty confusing and I'm glad that we really didn't have to do a single thing except know where Putra was. Second, the ride itself is literally rough waters. If you're prone to seasickness, take something (everything) for this one. 

    Once we got to shore, it was all worth it! Note that I would bring tp with you here if you need it, because you will need it. The tour that Putra set up for us was led by three private drivers for us with stops at Angel Billabong/Broken Beach, Kelingking Beach (aka dinosaur beach, very popular Instagram stop), and Crystal Bay. There was a decent amount of time at all of these stops, but be aware that the Crystal Bay stop is not like a "beach day" stop. You'll have a bit of time to swim if you'd like, but not a ton. I want to say it was maybe a 30-45 minute stop maximum. 

• Potato Head Beach Club: Ended our night in Seminyak here! Had some great food and drinks and overall just really enjoyed the vibe. 

• Mexicola was another popular stop for my group: this is the most popular nightclub in the area!

Ubud:

• After a pretty full morning/early afternoon of activities, you'll have some free time in the evening after arriving to Ubud.

• Explore Ubud! There is so much to see. Definitely explore on foot.

• Puri Saren Agung: a free temple to visit in the center of Ubud. Gorgeous!

• Starbucks Ubud: another Starbucks, I know. This one has an actual temple inside/in the back.

• Ubud market: goes along with exploring on foot, but be sure to check out the market!

• CP Lounge: a fave among my group! We had drinks here and danced! Not sure if it was just the day of the week for us, but we WERE the whole party. Came back the following night, and it was busier then! They have a main area with a DJ, pool tables, bar seating, and a lounge type area separate: that's where the party is. They also have a whole pool inside! It was just being put in when we were there, but I've seen that it has since opened and looks awesome! It's open air in the pool area!

• On your next day in Ubud, you'll have a morning yoga session and a few temple visits. At the final temple, you'll have the option to go through a "purification" and I highly recommend participating! Your TD will explain it much more in depth, so I will leave it to them. It was a great experience, and if you have a microfiber towel that you've brought with you, I would bring it here along with a fresh set of clothes (you get fully in the water). If you don't have a towel, don't worry. They do have towels to rent as well as locker rooms to change in if needed. Our TD stayed by our pile of bags during this, and the few who did not participate took photos for us during. While yes, you could probably take a waterproof camera, I would advise against it just out of respect. This is a sacred process, and we're honestly lucky as tourists to even be allowed to participate. Please be respectful.

• Your stop at the rice terraces will be on the way next. This is where you can do the famous Bali swings if you choose. EF cannot technically recommend it as an activity for reasons of liability, but they also will not stop you. Your time at the terraces is for you to explore how you'd like. There are many places to do this, but this stop is already on tour, so might as well!

     Cost in May 2022: RP 200k, which is equivalent to about $13 USD.

If you're plus size and concerned about this, please see my FAQs below for more detail!

• Canyon Tubing Excursion: Included in EF's itinerary. There are a TON of questions on this, so I'm going to address it in depth in the FAQs below as well. I have a lot to share on this!

• Campuhan Ridge Walk: DO THIS. I cannot stress this enough. I know you may be tired and worn out from a full morning tubing, but I promise the hike/walk is worth it. My group was absolutely wiped out from tubing, and only four of us went on the walk. Perhaps that added to the serenity. It was so beautiful, a great time of day, the cutest included snacks and coffee, and great views throughout. They have drinks available, but worth noting to bring cash for this stop if you do want anything extra. You'll walk to the top and be picked up at the "end."

• End your free night at a decent time because you'll have an early wake up call if you're participating in the hike on the following morning.

Nusa Dua and Mt Batur:

• Mt Batur Sunrise Trek - Optional Add On Excursion:

      • TLDR: do it!

      • Be ready for a 2-2:30am departure

      • Hike details: 5.8 miles RT, 2234 ft elevation gain, very busy

      • Here's an in depth explanation because I found so much conflicting info online.

Okay, so your morning starts off with a sleepy stop for coffee and water, use the bathroom if needed, and it could be chilly this early in the morning (see; middle of night) at this high up. This is when I wore my rain jacket. You'll arrive at the trailhead. Locals are there selling some things and you can also rent a jacket if needed. Your hiking guides will provide you with a headlamp for the hike. I brought my own from Black Diamond, and it worked great (so great that it did also blind my fellow hikers though, oops, sorry Katie). Here, you'll break off into a couple groups and without sugarcoating it, we had a faster group and a slower group. It's cool, we all hike at our own pace.

You'll hike on a dirt path for maybe 15-20 minutes or so to start off. I got warm enough in this section to already take off my jacket layer. Still, it's good to have with you. Then, you arrive at a paved path. This is when we started seeing the motorbikes that we'd heard about. They may start at a lower spot (which is unknown to me), but this is when they started whizzing by us. You can opt to just hop on if you'd like. Pricing can vary, but you'll need cash. I believe it ranges around $20 USD roughly. These bikes can take you about 2/3 of the way up, and this is the "easy" part of the hike. Easy meaning that it's paved but a very steady incline. The final half mile to a mile is one that you'll have to hike if you want to get to the top. It's a bit more difficult, but again, you're on a guided hike and the trail is defined (but narrow). 

What if I can't make it all the way?

Don't worry! Our group actually left late for some unknown reason, and this caused a few of us (myself included) to not have time to make it to the top by sunrise. With such a time constraint, a few of us decided to stop around that 2/3 point, and relax and watch the sunrise there. There is a small stand there where we were able to get coffee and some very cute cabanas to sit in. There are chickens roaming around, a few structures, plant life, and an incredible view. On this particular morning, I'd honestly say that our view was better than those who went to the top. Is this true for every morning? No, not necessarily. However, you're guaranteed to have a great view whether or not it beats the view above. Another plus from stopping where we did is that we were the first ones to the hot spring! Hiking and the hot springs is such a popular combo, and everyone will pretty much get there at the same time because it's a sunrise hike. Since we didn't have as far to go, we arrived at the hot springs about 30 minutes before the rest of our group and the rest of the crowds. 

Hot Springs after hiking!

This is included afterwards, and an amazing stop. Especially after a long hike, it's much needed relaxation. Note: you can leave your change of clothes/swimsuit in the van that you arrive to Mount Batur in, no need to take it hiking. However, if anyone is planning to stop at the point I mentioned, be sure to all be in the same van, so that you can all depart together and have your clothes early for the hot springs.

Some who went to the top of Mount Batur mentioned that they wish they'd had more time at the hot springs, so I think that extra 30 minutes for us made a world of difference. We really had the entire place to ourselves for that half hour.

You'll then have an included lunch (elsewhere, not even 10 minutes from the hot spring) with incredible views. Then, relax for your bus ride traveling to Nusa Dua. 

• Lakeview Bali is where we had lunch. I'm not sure if this stays the same each time, but the views were unmatched! Food was okay, not great. There was a cat there though, and he was very cute. 

• Enjoy some pool time back at your hotel: our hotel had a couple pools and one was on the rooftop! We grabbed drinks from the restaurant area and took them up top. You can also bring your own drinks up there if you have already made a stop. 

• The Edge: Highly recommend going at public opening time and making it a half day event! The Edge, as you may have seen on Instagram, has a pool hanging over the edge cliffside with a glass bottom and beautiful views. What you might not have seen is that they actually have multiple pools for use, and they even have a daily entry rate! 

     You'll need an online reservation ahead of time. To do this visit their website (I'll link everything below!), and go to "OneEighty," that's their day club option. We made our reservations for 11am, which is the earliest we could get in (and I believe their earliest option for day passes). One day regular admission costs RP 400k, equivalent to roughly $26 USD. This was one of my more expensive days, however, this includes a food and drink credit of RP 300k (~$20 USD). You can even do a VIP day pass as well. It costs RP 550k, which is equivalent to about $35 USD (RP 400k/$26 USD food and drink credit). VIP includes a longer stay option, upgraded seating area, a welcome granita, and more. My group did just the regular entry, but honestly, VIP looks pretty good. I do recommend visiting here on this day of the trip! It was a pretty quick 20-30 min drive for us, whereas the group who went on day 2 had about a 2 hour drive (they weren't sure if it would fit into the schedule!). Going around 11 allowed for us to leave at 3:30pm, giving us time to return to the hotel, get showered and changed, and head to the sunset at Uluwatu Temple. 

• Once you head to the temple, most of your night will be included tour activities! After the temple, head directly to your farewell dinner.

• Because of how our flights lined up, we ended up having a free morning left over before leaving! We used this time to visit Sundays Beach Club. Admission here is 500k including a 300k credit for food (~$33 USD entry with a food credit of ~$20 USD). Sundays is open daily from 10am to 8pm at time of writing this. 

General FAQ's

Q: Did you have any issues being plus size for the Bali swings?

A: At the place I noted we went to; no. I have to say that I was very nervous. To get on, you literally stand on a plastic chair while the (fairly small built) workers attach your harness to the swing. At one point (I'm now realizing that this is definitely just because I'm short also), they have you sit on the swing while they hold it... and you... in the air... The swing itself was fine but getting on was terrifying! I will also note that the harness fit without issues at roughly size 18-20. 

Q: So, what's the deal with the canyon tubing?

A: To answer this, let me just state my groups experience first. I personally enjoyed the activity, but about half of my group did not. You'll arrive, eat lunch, watch a safety video, and get suited up and head out in a 4x4 vehicle. They provide life jackets and helmets. After a bumpy ride, you'll walk a bit down a slippery path (I fell on my butt and I'm sure it was karma for laughing at a joke someone made about themselves falling).

When we got down to the raft launching area, there's a large bridge and stairs that curve down the canyon side. To really kick off our adventure, part of that bridge broke while my group was on it. No one fell and the bridge stayed mostly intact (of the four points it was connected, only one broke), but it jump started the anxiety among us. 

The tubing itself is not a leisurely ride. You're pretty constantly getting in and out of the rafts. There's a good chance you will fall in the water. I fell in twice, and probably over half of our group fell in at least once. The water is not deep, nor is it whitewater, but it is moving. Falling in can be scary for some, and to make it more nerve-racking, there are other tubes coming behind you. Some people on my trip didn't know how to swim. Like I mentioned, it's not deep water, but if you don't know how to swim, it could certainly make it scarier. Lastly, there are leeches in this water. They're more likely to be in the slower moving areas. (You can pull them right off, but obviously no one wants to have to lol).

Summary: If you enjoy water activities that are more intense, go for it! Some of us had an awesome time. If you don't enjoy these things, maybe skip it. 

If you've done the EFUB Belize trip and the cave tubing: this is NOT at all similar to it. It's just about the exact opposite. 

Q: What should I wear canyon tubing then?

A: We were originally told swimsuits, but this has since been updated to suggest wearing long sleeves and pants. I'd recommend athletic quick drying leggings and a sunscreen/fishing/quickdry long sleeve shirt. This will lessen the chance of getting any leeches on you, as well as help protect against scrapes. You could still wear just a swimsuit if you're not bothered by anything mentioned. 

Q: Did you use cash or card?

A: I used a good mix of both! I use card whenever possible, but it would be good to have some cash here for sure. Aside from tipping your guides (I recommend setting this money aside before you even leave on your trip!), I don't think I used more than $100 in cash for the duration of the trip. Some examples where only cash was accepted are small convenience stores, market stands, the coffee stop during the Campuhan Ridge walk. Both of the day clubs we went to along with a couple restaurants and larger shops did accept card, and those were the more expensive things I did. 

Q: How hard is it to get cash, either through ATM or exchange?

A: I found it to be fairly easy! You can exchange very early on in the trip, either in the airport or I stopped at a place on our visit to Tanah Lot (most people generally recommend avoiding the airport for this as their rates are typically not as good. I did not see what their rate was however). I believe there may have been more options to exchange after that, but I exchanged all of the USD I had.

ATMs were also no issue in my experience. There are some in markets, shops, and the airport again. The ATM we all used the most was in a convenience store near our final hotel. Do your best to limit ATM use in order to avoid ATM fees (that ATM was a $5 ATM fee). 

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask your fellow travelers to spot you if needed in exchange for a Venmo or Zelle payment to them! It honestly makes things easier for everyone, especially when you have small group dinners and outings and such. 

Q: What do I need to wear at temples?

A: At all of the temples we went to on tour, a sarong was provided for us. Traditionally, it is wrapped around your waist. Other general guidelines do say to have your shoulders and knees covered, however, the locations we went to were not as strict on this. Our guide informed us when our sarongs were needed. They gave us one that we used for the duration of the trip as well as some being available at certain temples. When in doubt, just ask your TD, and they will be able to let you know. You can also purchase your own sarong at most temples at an affordable price. They make for a very versatile clothing item, and also a great thing to take home and rewear. 

Q: Follow up to the above, do you get to keep the sarong mentioned above that EF lends you?

A: We did not! We gave them back at the end. However, I regret not asking my TD if I could purchase it from them to keep! If this is something you'd like, I'd encourage you to ask them! 

Save $100 below:

DISCOUNT LINK FOR ALL TRIPS | EF ULTIMATE BREAK:

DISCOUNT LINK FOR BALI TROPICAL ESCAPE:

Thank you for using my link, and make sure you get that extra $100 discount at check out! If it doesn't add automatically, please feel free to reach out to me directly, and I'm happy to help get it sorted!

You can reach me via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok by searching my handle: @alexdeanmedia

Amazon: Travel Essentials

Here you can find all of my packing and travel essentials! I personally use almost all of these, and those that I don't use myself have been recommended to me by a variety of seasoned travelers.

Map Points List:

Starbucks Reserve Dewata
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Seminyak Beach
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Bodyworks Spa
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Chez Gado Gado
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Penida Island
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Angel Billabong
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Broken Beach
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Kelingking Beach Nusa Penida
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Crystal Bay Nusa Penida
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Motel Mexicola
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Potato Head Beach Club
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Puri Saren Agung Ubud ( Puri Saren Ubud )
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Market (Flohmarkt)
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CP Lounge Ubud
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Lakeview Hotel & Restaurant
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Oneeighty Dayclub
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Sundays Beach Club
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Accommodations:

Tijili Hotel Seminyak
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SenS Hotel & Spa + Conference Ubud Town Centre
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Tijili Hotel Benoa
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*Note: EFUB often cycles through a few hotels and can change to other stays. These are definitely subject to change, but I'm listing these to give you a rough estimate of the type of place you can expect to stay and the area in which they are located.

These hotels were all great stays! AC was impeccable, pools were all great, clean rooms, etc. 

Interested in another EF Ultimate Break trip guide?

View the other trips I've done here:

For more travel inspo, visit our other social media accounts:

@alexdeanmedia

Thank you for reading!

Be sure to save this guide to come back to it later!

safe travels /// @alexdeanmedia

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CURATED BY
Hey friends! Welcome to my page for guides and recommendations. I specialize in "travel for the weirdos." Have you ever had that feeling of not fitting in? Ever been 'too much' of something or another, but not enough of something else? Well, me too. I understand, and I make guides for people just like us. I'm here to show off all of the unique and niche finds throughout this travel journey! From 90s themed AirBnbs to the world's largest bison statue and everything far and in between, I'll cover all the weird things we love. I'm a travel photographer and content creator based out of Las Vegas, NV. Recently moved back to my hometown of Vegas after growing up and spending years in Montana, just outside of Yellowstone National Park. Come explore the Southwest and around the world with me! I frequently do group travel with EF Ultimate Break and am able to offer various discount codes, all linked in my EFUB guides and in my website link! Feel free to reach out anytime with questions. My socials are all @alexdeanmedia, and my DMs are always open for fellow travelers. <3
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EF Ultimate Break // Bali Tropical Escape: Packing + Free Time Guide
So you've booked with EF Ultimate Break on their Bali: Tropical Escape, now what? Now, you... GET EXCITED!!! Congrats on booking! Having been on this trip myself, I know exactly how amazing it is! I'm here to share with you all of my tips from doing this trip with EF Ultimate Break. Haven't booked with EFUB yet and just here for more information? You came to the right place! As an ambassador for EF Ultimate Break, you can book with my link, and save extra on any first trip! My link is in this guide below!
22 Places • 8 Saves • ago
Free

Before I get into it, I wanna add a quick hello!

My name is Alex! I've been traveling with EF Ultimate Break for several years now and have done a ton of their trips. I've heard nearly every question in the book about traveling with EF, and if I don't know the answer, I'll gladly find it for you!

I've been to over half of the US states and 20+ countries and counting. I love planning my own trips when I'm not traveling with EF, so I have lots of other resources here that you're more than welcome to pick through. 

I'm a backpack die hard, coffee and craft beer lover, adventure seeker, and just here to see as much of this big beautiful world that I can!

Bali was trip number five for me, but I try to revisit these itineraries and keep my information as updated as I can. 

Contents: 

1. Packing Guide

2. Seminyak

3. Ubud

4. Nusa Dua and Mount Batur

5. FAQs

6. EFUB Discounts

7. Travel Essentials

8. Map Points List

9. Accommodations

10. Other EFUB Trip Guides & Resources

^Please utilize this contents section to know if you'd like to skip over a certain section. & enjoy!

Packing Essentials:

• Carry on or checked luggage? In short -- this is really up to you and your personal travel style. I'm a carry-on backpack only girlie, but I know not everyone loves that life! You know yourself best!

If you do check a bag, I would suggest taking precautions/keeping these things in mind:

    • Keep at least 1-2 changes of clothes in your carry on bag in case of your checked luggage getting lost. I will say that on 6/8 of my group trips abroad, there was always at least one person who lost their luggage and had to wait 1-3 days for it to arrive (Bali was the one trip that we all got luggage there safely!!!)

    • Always keep medications and essentials in your carry on.

    • Be aware that you may have to lug your suitcase up flights upon flights of stairs, a ton of sand, and who knows what else. Nothing wrong with this, just something to keep in mind. 

• Adapter? My recommendation always is to use a universal adapter! This way, you can use and reuse in many places across many different countries without worry. I have one recommended that is a tried and true for me on my Amazon Essentials list, which you can find here:

• Outerwear? one very light waterproof jacket (if any jacket at all), emphasis on waterproof (not water resistant - I learned from experience that this is not the same jacket rating). Taking a jacket would be for the purpose of staying dry here, rather than staying warm. So, make sure it's light and packable! Columbia is a really good brand for waterproof jackets, and I have my favorites listed in my Amazon storefront as well. I went to Bali in May, and this is of course weather dependent, but I only used my jacket one time (for *maybe* 15 minutes) during the Mt. Batur hike. It wasn't raining, and I got plenty warm quick enough.  

• Do I need hiking boots? In my opinion, no. You could wear them especially for the hiking morning if you choose, but it's not absolutely necessary and would definitely take up a lot of packing space. I brought my Columbia hiking tennis shoes and they were perfect for this hike. Light and just like any sneaker in size, they weren't overly bulky. I ended up wearing them more than I wanted to because I had massive blisters. :( on that note, I have blister patches/band aids listed in my amazon that I discovered on this exact trip from my friend Savannah. Seriously a life saver, they're a must have on any trip for me now!

• Things for a tropical trip? Multiple swimsuits, waterproof phone case, underwater camera (if you have one already - if not, I definitely wouldn't say it's a "necessity"), lightweight clothing. If you carry a camera with you, you will likely want a waterproof backpack cover/bag cover, a plastic cover for your camera itself just in case, a dry bag for goods, and a waterproof jacket in case you get caught in any rain without your bag. A small dry bag may be good for any traveler to bring as well, especially for boat days and excursions. 

• Don't forget to bring mosquito repellent and reef safe sunscreen!

• General packing? For a 10 day trip, you're most likely going to want 7-9 base outfits, though you could always pack more. As a general carry on tip, I like to pack clothes that are often interchangeable as tops/bottoms. This way, you're able to mix it up if you need to re-wear anything. Another option and way of packing I like and find helpful is to pack specific for each day and plan ahead. You know you want to wear your Gymshark outfit on day x, so that outfit is already planned for you. You know you want to be comfy on the plane perhaps, so that day is done. Etc, etc, day by day. 

To list it all out, I would recommend bringing (minimum) 7-9 outfits (pants/tops combo or dresses/rompers), 2-3 swimsuits (there's not a ton of scheduled swimming, but there are some great hotel pools and some really fun stops you can go to on your own!), 1 plastic bag or dry bag to store swimsuits during travel days, 9+ underwear and socks, toiletries, prescriptions, chargers and adapter, 1 jacket maximum, and a trusty reusable water bottle (do not drink tap water, but you'll be given plenty of bottled water. I transferred those bottles to my hydro to keep them cool longer). Of those outfits, most travelers like to wear something nicer for the Welcome Mixer and the Farewell Dinner. "Nice" in this case is totally up to you! Truly, whatever you're comfortable in will be just fine. If this means a full gown, so be it. If this means jeans and a nice top, that's absolutely okay too! I will say that Bali tended to be a bit more on the casual side, at least for my group. Keep whatever you wear light and flowy for the most comfort!

Because this trip is 10 days long, I'd personally recommend packing for that full amount of time, so that there's no worry of the hassle of doing laundry. 10-11 days is right about at the max I'd pack for in full. If you're short on space in your bag, I'd suggest packing for 6-7 days worth and be sure to do laundry around your halfway point. Once you receive your list of accommodations from EFUB at 30 days prior to departure, you'll be able to check out your accommodation's website and see which ones offer laundry services. If you decide to do laundry, I recommend taking detergent sheets with you. I have a pack listed on my Amazon essentials at the end of this guide. Lastly, I do not recommend rewearing outfits on this trip - you will sweat through every single one. If you have to rewear, definitely wash in the sink and hang dry. 

Free Time Suggestions and Daily Guide:

Seminyak:

• You will arrive late indeed. I know this is stated in EFUB's itinerary, but I just want to confirm that. We (everyone who booked flights through EF were on the same flight) arrived late to the hotel. Not sure on the exact time, but I know I got to the hotel, showered, and unpacked a bit, and by then it was 2:30am. The travel days leading up to arrival are honestly exhausting. This was also my first time going to Asia and longest flights! Check out my post later including all of my flight and travel day tips. The second longest part was customs. Very long lines for both covid vaccine checks and visa lines. Once outside, it was very easy to find the rest of our group and our guides, Putra and Putri! Putra brought an awesome energy on our arrival despite our lack of energy!

• Starbucks Reserve Dewata: Check out the Starbucks here! I love checking out small local shops when I travel, but I do also love seeing the differences in a chain, especially their location itself! It's a gorgeous building and have some different drinks offered than back home. Also, hearing the price was a good basis to compare for what I'm spending. "This costs one Starbucks drink, okay." Also a note, be sure to walk here!!! It's not a very long walk, but it's great to get a feel for the area of town you're in. You'll pass some fun buildings and shops, and maybe even a temple right in town. 

• Visit Seminyak beach: whether you come here for a bite to eat or just to see the waves, it's a must stop! Grab a coconut and have a seat!

• Visit a spa: you can do this on many occasions on your trip, but don't skip out on it! Spas offer so many services, often including the popular flower baths that you may have seen across social media! 

• Try a Bintang: the local beer in Bali! You can also get a Bintang Radler (which is half lemonade!). Both are so refreshing in the tropical heat!

• Chez Gado Gado: Beachside restaurant and bar with great pasta

• Day trip to Nusa Penida! This is an entire day event, but it's one of my favorite things we all did! Because so many of us wanted to go (all but two of us), we asked our TD to plan us a day there. Highly highlyyyy recommend going this route.

    The ferry/boat ride over to the island is... rough. In so many ways haha! First, the buying of tickets and finding your correct spot can be a challenge. It was all pretty confusing and I'm glad that we really didn't have to do a single thing except know where Putra was. Second, the ride itself is literally rough waters. If you're prone to seasickness, take something (everything) for this one. 

    Once we got to shore, it was all worth it! Note that I would bring tp with you here if you need it, because you will need it. The tour that Putra set up for us was led by three private drivers for us with stops at Angel Billabong/Broken Beach, Kelingking Beach (aka dinosaur beach, very popular Instagram stop), and Crystal Bay. There was a decent amount of time at all of these stops, but be aware that the Crystal Bay stop is not like a "beach day" stop. You'll have a bit of time to swim if you'd like, but not a ton. I want to say it was maybe a 30-45 minute stop maximum. 

• Potato Head Beach Club: Ended our night in Seminyak here! Had some great food and drinks and overall just really enjoyed the vibe. 

• Mexicola was another popular stop for my group: this is the most popular nightclub in the area!

Ubud:

• After a pretty full morning/early afternoon of activities, you'll have some free time in the evening after arriving to Ubud.

• Explore Ubud! There is so much to see. Definitely explore on foot.

• Puri Saren Agung: a free temple to visit in the center of Ubud. Gorgeous!

• Starbucks Ubud: another Starbucks, I know. This one has an actual temple inside/in the back.

• Ubud market: goes along with exploring on foot, but be sure to check out the market!

• CP Lounge: a fave among my group! We had drinks here and danced! Not sure if it was just the day of the week for us, but we WERE the whole party. Came back the following night, and it was busier then! They have a main area with a DJ, pool tables, bar seating, and a lounge type area separate: that's where the party is. They also have a whole pool inside! It was just being put in when we were there, but I've seen that it has since opened and looks awesome! It's open air in the pool area!

• On your next day in Ubud, you'll have a morning yoga session and a few temple visits. At the final temple, you'll have the option to go through a "purification" and I highly recommend participating! Your TD will explain it much more in depth, so I will leave it to them. It was a great experience, and if you have a microfiber towel that you've brought with you, I would bring it here along with a fresh set of clothes (you get fully in the water). If you don't have a towel, don't worry. They do have towels to rent as well as locker rooms to change in if needed. Our TD stayed by our pile of bags during this, and the few who did not participate took photos for us during. While yes, you could probably take a waterproof camera, I would advise against it just out of respect. This is a sacred process, and we're honestly lucky as tourists to even be allowed to participate. Please be respectful.

• Your stop at the rice terraces will be on the way next. This is where you can do the famous Bali swings if you choose. EF cannot technically recommend it as an activity for reasons of liability, but they also will not stop you. Your time at the terraces is for you to explore how you'd like. There are many places to do this, but this stop is already on tour, so might as well!

     Cost in May 2022: RP 200k, which is equivalent to about $13 USD.

If you're plus size and concerned about this, please see my FAQs below for more detail!

• Canyon Tubing Excursion: Included in EF's itinerary. There are a TON of questions on this, so I'm going to address it in depth in the FAQs below as well. I have a lot to share on this!

• Campuhan Ridge Walk: DO THIS. I cannot stress this enough. I know you may be tired and worn out from a full morning tubing, but I promise the hike/walk is worth it. My group was absolutely wiped out from tubing, and only four of us went on the walk. Perhaps that added to the serenity. It was so beautiful, a great time of day, the cutest included snacks and coffee, and great views throughout. They have drinks available, but worth noting to bring cash for this stop if you do want anything extra. You'll walk to the top and be picked up at the "end."

• End your free night at a decent time because you'll have an early wake up call if you're participating in the hike on the following morning.

Nusa Dua and Mt Batur:

• Mt Batur Sunrise Trek - Optional Add On Excursion:

      • TLDR: do it!

      • Be ready for a 2-2:30am departure

      • Hike details: 5.8 miles RT, 2234 ft elevation gain, very busy

      • Here's an in depth explanation because I found so much conflicting info online.

Okay, so your morning starts off with a sleepy stop for coffee and water, use the bathroom if needed, and it could be chilly this early in the morning (see; middle of night) at this high up. This is when I wore my rain jacket. You'll arrive at the trailhead. Locals are there selling some things and you can also rent a jacket if needed. Your hiking guides will provide you with a headlamp for the hike. I brought my own from Black Diamond, and it worked great (so great that it did also blind my fellow hikers though, oops, sorry Katie). Here, you'll break off into a couple groups and without sugarcoating it, we had a faster group and a slower group. It's cool, we all hike at our own pace.

You'll hike on a dirt path for maybe 15-20 minutes or so to start off. I got warm enough in this section to already take off my jacket layer. Still, it's good to have with you. Then, you arrive at a paved path. This is when we started seeing the motorbikes that we'd heard about. They may start at a lower spot (which is unknown to me), but this is when they started whizzing by us. You can opt to just hop on if you'd like. Pricing can vary, but you'll need cash. I believe it ranges around $20 USD roughly. These bikes can take you about 2/3 of the way up, and this is the "easy" part of the hike. Easy meaning that it's paved but a very steady incline. The final half mile to a mile is one that you'll have to hike if you want to get to the top. It's a bit more difficult, but again, you're on a guided hike and the trail is defined (but narrow). 

What if I can't make it all the way?

Don't worry! Our group actually left late for some unknown reason, and this caused a few of us (myself included) to not have time to make it to the top by sunrise. With such a time constraint, a few of us decided to stop around that 2/3 point, and relax and watch the sunrise there. There is a small stand there where we were able to get coffee and some very cute cabanas to sit in. There are chickens roaming around, a few structures, plant life, and an incredible view. On this particular morning, I'd honestly say that our view was better than those who went to the top. Is this true for every morning? No, not necessarily. However, you're guaranteed to have a great view whether or not it beats the view above. Another plus from stopping where we did is that we were the first ones to the hot spring! Hiking and the hot springs is such a popular combo, and everyone will pretty much get there at the same time because it's a sunrise hike. Since we didn't have as far to go, we arrived at the hot springs about 30 minutes before the rest of our group and the rest of the crowds. 

Hot Springs after hiking!

This is included afterwards, and an amazing stop. Especially after a long hike, it's much needed relaxation. Note: you can leave your change of clothes/swimsuit in the van that you arrive to Mount Batur in, no need to take it hiking. However, if anyone is planning to stop at the point I mentioned, be sure to all be in the same van, so that you can all depart together and have your clothes early for the hot springs.

Some who went to the top of Mount Batur mentioned that they wish they'd had more time at the hot springs, so I think that extra 30 minutes for us made a world of difference. We really had the entire place to ourselves for that half hour.

You'll then have an included lunch (elsewhere, not even 10 minutes from the hot spring) with incredible views. Then, relax for your bus ride traveling to Nusa Dua. 

• Lakeview Bali is where we had lunch. I'm not sure if this stays the same each time, but the views were unmatched! Food was okay, not great. There was a cat there though, and he was very cute. 

• Enjoy some pool time back at your hotel: our hotel had a couple pools and one was on the rooftop! We grabbed drinks from the restaurant area and took them up top. You can also bring your own drinks up there if you have already made a stop. 

• The Edge: Highly recommend going at public opening time and making it a half day event! The Edge, as you may have seen on Instagram, has a pool hanging over the edge cliffside with a glass bottom and beautiful views. What you might not have seen is that they actually have multiple pools for use, and they even have a daily entry rate! 

     You'll need an online reservation ahead of time. To do this visit their website (I'll link everything below!), and go to "OneEighty," that's their day club option. We made our reservations for 11am, which is the earliest we could get in (and I believe their earliest option for day passes). One day regular admission costs RP 400k, equivalent to roughly $26 USD. This was one of my more expensive days, however, this includes a food and drink credit of RP 300k (~$20 USD). You can even do a VIP day pass as well. It costs RP 550k, which is equivalent to about $35 USD (RP 400k/$26 USD food and drink credit). VIP includes a longer stay option, upgraded seating area, a welcome granita, and more. My group did just the regular entry, but honestly, VIP looks pretty good. I do recommend visiting here on this day of the trip! It was a pretty quick 20-30 min drive for us, whereas the group who went on day 2 had about a 2 hour drive (they weren't sure if it would fit into the schedule!). Going around 11 allowed for us to leave at 3:30pm, giving us time to return to the hotel, get showered and changed, and head to the sunset at Uluwatu Temple. 

• Once you head to the temple, most of your night will be included tour activities! After the temple, head directly to your farewell dinner.

• Because of how our flights lined up, we ended up having a free morning left over before leaving! We used this time to visit Sundays Beach Club. Admission here is 500k including a 300k credit for food (~$33 USD entry with a food credit of ~$20 USD). Sundays is open daily from 10am to 8pm at time of writing this. 

General FAQ's

Q: Did you have any issues being plus size for the Bali swings?

A: At the place I noted we went to; no. I have to say that I was very nervous. To get on, you literally stand on a plastic chair while the (fairly small built) workers attach your harness to the swing. At one point (I'm now realizing that this is definitely just because I'm short also), they have you sit on the swing while they hold it... and you... in the air... The swing itself was fine but getting on was terrifying! I will also note that the harness fit without issues at roughly size 18-20. 

Q: So, what's the deal with the canyon tubing?

A: To answer this, let me just state my groups experience first. I personally enjoyed the activity, but about half of my group did not. You'll arrive, eat lunch, watch a safety video, and get suited up and head out in a 4x4 vehicle. They provide life jackets and helmets. After a bumpy ride, you'll walk a bit down a slippery path (I fell on my butt and I'm sure it was karma for laughing at a joke someone made about themselves falling).

When we got down to the raft launching area, there's a large bridge and stairs that curve down the canyon side. To really kick off our adventure, part of that bridge broke while my group was on it. No one fell and the bridge stayed mostly intact (of the four points it was connected, only one broke), but it jump started the anxiety among us. 

The tubing itself is not a leisurely ride. You're pretty constantly getting in and out of the rafts. There's a good chance you will fall in the water. I fell in twice, and probably over half of our group fell in at least once. The water is not deep, nor is it whitewater, but it is moving. Falling in can be scary for some, and to make it more nerve-racking, there are other tubes coming behind you. Some people on my trip didn't know how to swim. Like I mentioned, it's not deep water, but if you don't know how to swim, it could certainly make it scarier. Lastly, there are leeches in this water. They're more likely to be in the slower moving areas. (You can pull them right off, but obviously no one wants to have to lol).

Summary: If you enjoy water activities that are more intense, go for it! Some of us had an awesome time. If you don't enjoy these things, maybe skip it. 

If you've done the EFUB Belize trip and the cave tubing: this is NOT at all similar to it. It's just about the exact opposite. 

Q: What should I wear canyon tubing then?

A: We were originally told swimsuits, but this has since been updated to suggest wearing long sleeves and pants. I'd recommend athletic quick drying leggings and a sunscreen/fishing/quickdry long sleeve shirt. This will lessen the chance of getting any leeches on you, as well as help protect against scrapes. You could still wear just a swimsuit if you're not bothered by anything mentioned. 

Q: Did you use cash or card?

A: I used a good mix of both! I use card whenever possible, but it would be good to have some cash here for sure. Aside from tipping your guides (I recommend setting this money aside before you even leave on your trip!), I don't think I used more than $100 in cash for the duration of the trip. Some examples where only cash was accepted are small convenience stores, market stands, the coffee stop during the Campuhan Ridge walk. Both of the day clubs we went to along with a couple restaurants and larger shops did accept card, and those were the more expensive things I did. 

Q: How hard is it to get cash, either through ATM or exchange?

A: I found it to be fairly easy! You can exchange very early on in the trip, either in the airport or I stopped at a place on our visit to Tanah Lot (most people generally recommend avoiding the airport for this as their rates are typically not as good. I did not see what their rate was however). I believe there may have been more options to exchange after that, but I exchanged all of the USD I had.

ATMs were also no issue in my experience. There are some in markets, shops, and the airport again. The ATM we all used the most was in a convenience store near our final hotel. Do your best to limit ATM use in order to avoid ATM fees (that ATM was a $5 ATM fee). 

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask your fellow travelers to spot you if needed in exchange for a Venmo or Zelle payment to them! It honestly makes things easier for everyone, especially when you have small group dinners and outings and such. 

Q: What do I need to wear at temples?

A: At all of the temples we went to on tour, a sarong was provided for us. Traditionally, it is wrapped around your waist. Other general guidelines do say to have your shoulders and knees covered, however, the locations we went to were not as strict on this. Our guide informed us when our sarongs were needed. They gave us one that we used for the duration of the trip as well as some being available at certain temples. When in doubt, just ask your TD, and they will be able to let you know. You can also purchase your own sarong at most temples at an affordable price. They make for a very versatile clothing item, and also a great thing to take home and rewear. 

Q: Follow up to the above, do you get to keep the sarong mentioned above that EF lends you?

A: We did not! We gave them back at the end. However, I regret not asking my TD if I could purchase it from them to keep! If this is something you'd like, I'd encourage you to ask them! 

Save $100 below:

DISCOUNT LINK FOR ALL TRIPS | EF ULTIMATE BREAK:

DISCOUNT LINK FOR BALI TROPICAL ESCAPE:

Thank you for using my link, and make sure you get that extra $100 discount at check out! If it doesn't add automatically, please feel free to reach out to me directly, and I'm happy to help get it sorted!

You can reach me via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok by searching my handle: @alexdeanmedia

Amazon: Travel Essentials

Here you can find all of my packing and travel essentials! I personally use almost all of these, and those that I don't use myself have been recommended to me by a variety of seasoned travelers.

Map Points List:

Starbucks Reserve Dewata
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Seminyak Beach
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Bodyworks Spa
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Chez Gado Gado
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Penida Island
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Angel Billabong
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Broken Beach
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Kelingking Beach Nusa Penida
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Crystal Bay Nusa Penida
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Motel Mexicola
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Potato Head Beach Club
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Puri Saren Agung Ubud ( Puri Saren Ubud )
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Market (Flohmarkt)
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CP Lounge Ubud
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Lakeview Hotel & Restaurant
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Oneeighty Dayclub
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Sundays Beach Club
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Accommodations:

Tijili Hotel Seminyak
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SenS Hotel & Spa + Conference Ubud Town Centre
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Tijili Hotel Benoa
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*Note: EFUB often cycles through a few hotels and can change to other stays. These are definitely subject to change, but I'm listing these to give you a rough estimate of the type of place you can expect to stay and the area in which they are located.

These hotels were all great stays! AC was impeccable, pools were all great, clean rooms, etc. 

Interested in another EF Ultimate Break trip guide?

View the other trips I've done here:

For more travel inspo, visit our other social media accounts:

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Thank you for reading!

Be sure to save this guide to come back to it later!

safe travels /// @alexdeanmedia

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CURATED BY
Hey friends! Welcome to my page for guides and recommendations. I specialize in "travel for the weirdos." Have you ever had that feeling of not fitting in? Ever been 'too much' of something or another, but not enough of something else? Well, me too. I understand, and I make guides for people just like us. I'm here to show off all of the unique and niche finds throughout this travel journey! From 90s themed AirBnbs to the world's largest bison statue and everything far and in between, I'll cover all the weird things we love. I'm a travel photographer and content creator based out of Las Vegas, NV. Recently moved back to my hometown of Vegas after growing up and spending years in Montana, just outside of Yellowstone National Park. Come explore the Southwest and around the world with me! I frequently do group travel with EF Ultimate Break and am able to offer various discount codes, all linked in my EFUB guides and in my website link! Feel free to reach out anytime with questions. My socials are all @alexdeanmedia, and my DMs are always open for fellow travelers. <3
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