I love traveling. I mean, who doesn’t? But there are some trips that require a little extra assistance or expertise in planning and that’s where tour companies come in.
Back in my youth, I did two tours with EF Ultimate Break (formerly EF College Break) and can’t praise them highly enough so I thought I’d just write a formal review of them here.
My first tour with them was the Amsterdam, Paris & London trip with my sister and her good friend. It was 2008 and I was 19. A group of my friends were talking about going to Europe over the summer and I jumped on board but they ended up booking a longer and more expensive trip, and this was back when you practically had to rip my money from my cold dead fingers.
My mom, the concerned parent, called the company up to learn more about them and ask them probably a million questions. They passed her tests and she found them to be legit and let my sister and me go.
The second tour with them was in 2016, when I was nearing their age cut-off. I went with two of my girlfriends from high school and we booked the European Road Trip (which is no longer listed on their site). It was a two-week trip that spanned the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and the United Kingdom.
I will say that although I enjoyed this trip immensely, it was different being near their age limit.
Their tours are designed for college aged people and so many of the travelers’ priorities were different compared to me and my friends’. We were three women with full-time careers, bills to pay, and significant others and so we weren’t in the mindset of heading out to the bars or partying until dawn, nor were we receiving financial help for the tour from our families.
The other travelers were great and we all got along, but I will say the age gap was present and can make it hard to relate. If you’re between 18 – 24 though, you’ll fit right in and you should not miss your chance to travel as well as you do and as cheaply as you do on a tour with them.
Why do I love EF Ultimate Break for group tours?
- They’re affordable: I’m not kidding. If I had been thinking better, I would have squeezed in at least another trip or two with them when I was in their age group. For all that they include, their prices are very, very reasonable. They include:
- Transportation between cities and countries
- Metro passes or tickets for local public transportation
- Accommodations (with breakfast)
- A full-time tour director
- Local tour guides
- Select dinners and meals (like a welcome mixer and farewell dinner)
- Entrance to select attractions (both of my tours included tickets to the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre)
- They offer excursions: The tours include most of the major things you need to but they also schedule time in the itinerary for their optional excursions – also reasonably priced! Some of the excursions I’ve done included Versailles, a three-course dinner with wine in Paris, a dinner at an Italian winery, a canal cruise in Amsterdam, and a bike tour of Munich among others.
- Their tour directors are awesome: Both of my tour directors (TDs), Matt and Mayra, were amazing. Simply amazing. They were on top of everything, knowledgeable, and fun! They were communicative before the trip and got to know you during the trip. If you don’t want to join the group for that day’s tour or plan on exploring on your own, they just want you to let them know. They’re great resources of information having been to these cities many times before – or some even calling one of the cities home.
- There’s a great mix of must-dos and fee time: I love that their tours include the must-dos or must-sees in each city but also offer plenty of free time if you want to explore on your own.
- Everything is organized for you: This is probably my favorite part, the fact that everything is organized for you, so you basically just have to show up ready for an adventure. They organize your flights, your hotels, the itinerary, and help you understand what travel documents and currency you’ll need on your tour.
- You make friends for life: I’m still friends with some of my fellow travelers from my 2008 trip! You can request specific roommates (like my girls and I did), but sometimes you’ll room with others in your group and the TDs are great at matching personalities as best they can.
- Customer service is friendly and speedy: I was never worried about reaching out to their customer service line with any questions I had about my trip or travel arrangements. Everyone I’ve talked to or emailed has been helpful and seems to enjoy what they do.
This summer, we’re going on a trip with their sister company, GoAhead Tours, on an almost three-week tour of Barcelona, Southern France, and the Italian Riviera. I have no doubts that we’ll have an exceptional time exploring Europe on a guided tour with them as well.
Look at all the sights and fun you can enjoy on a European tour with EF Ultimate Break: