FULL REVIEW: EF ULTIMATE BREAK
With family vacations always being the routine 30+ hour flights to see family in India, the idea of traveling to Europe used to be just a dream. It was something I would do when I’d be “older”. One summer I stumbled across EF Ultimate Break, (then known as EF College Break) and booked my very first solo trip! 3 words - BEST DECISION EVER!
What is EF Ultimate Break (EF)?
EF Ultimate Break is an awesome tour company perfect for college students, young professionals, and anyone 18-29 looking for a life-changing adventure! They’ve curated an amazing selection of trips all over the world catering to all travel styles and trip lengths! It almost seems too good to be true!
For the young girls waiting impatiently to take their first adventure, I want to show you that you have options! EF gave me the travel opportunity I had been waiting years for!
Trips I’ve been on:
Spain, France, Italy - 16 Days, 6 Cities (Highly Recommend!)
New Year’s European Roadtrip - 16 Days, 7 Cities (Would have loved, but the European winter was really rough / lots of driving)
Strangers to Family:
One of the biggest reasons it took me so long to start traveling was because I didn’t want to do it alone. It was a combination of being scared, lonely, and the silly assumption that people just don’t travel solo.
EF does a fantastic job of hosting ice-breakers and a great first night on the first leg of your trip - you instantly make friends! On both of the trips I’ve taken, it only took a couple days for our big bus of 30+ strangers to quickly turn into family. Although, my first tour will always be extra special as I made 5 crazy new best friends! From our first nights partying in Madrid we hit it off instantly - it felt like we had known each other for years. Being with them made the entire trip extra special.
Once returning back to the States, it’s really hard to part ways after 3 crazy weeks with your new best friends! So many of us have stayed in touch and have had reunion weekends all over the country. I may not be the best at explaining it, but these friendships are entirely different and way more genuine than most that you have.
Everything is planned out!
You would probably laugh at how much anxiety I get when things go wrong on a trip. Have you ever gotten FOMO because you know you could be doing something super cool yet instead you’re struggling with Google Maps? Either you’re nodding your head agreeing or thinking I just need to go back to yoga. With EF I really loved that everything was taken care - I could just live out my carefree vacay! You know the entire itinerary beforehand so you know what to expect from day one!
Your tour guide will always go over the itinerary at breakfast. Your tour guide makes your trip extra special because they are EF’s own personal mascot. Plus, they are actually really fun to hang out with as well. They have tons of knowledge about each city you’ll be at, are super accommodating, and make sure you’re comfortable and safe. Our mega-sweet tour guide was extremely patient and always 2 steps ahead! I remember he had even arranged a surprise birthday cake for a mid-night celebration and also got medicine for those of us who got sick along the way!
The freedom you get on tour is so convenient! There were multiple evenings when people didn’t join the group since they had plans to meet up with high school friends, see a different part of the city, or just enjoy being on their own. Some couples went on their own dates, like having dinner on the top of the Eiffel Tower (so cute)! There’s no obligation to stay with your group, just remember to stay smart and make good decisions! As you know the exact itinerary, it’s super easy to rejoin the group when you’re ready! Plus we had both a Facebook Group and Whatsapp Chat so we were always in touch! If possible, try to get a international data plan, but you can survive without it.
The coolest thing about EF is that they’ve been doing tours for a while, and they are super good at it! The packages they offer are tailored so perfectly that you want to book all of them! Major wanderlust feelings! From having beers at Oktoberfest, to sunbathing in the Greek Islands, all the way to Costa Rican adventures - they have tours that fit all personalities, lengths of time, and travel styles! It’s really important to look at each tour to find one you absolutely love!
The best way to book the “perfect trip” is to to prioritize your criteria. Since I was in college, I already knew the dates I was available. From there, I would see which were in my budget. You’ll find that there will always be about 4-5 trips available to choose from. After reading up on each destination on Pinterest (key to finding the perfect tour, I would then Marie Kondo your options aka realize which one you were most excited for.
It’s really important to note that not all travel styles are made for everyone. I prefer slower paced trips focused on cultural experiences and are relaxing compared to other travellers that may enjoy water-activity tours more. Also, group tours like EF often have a notorious reputation for being just a party-fest. Yes, a lot of us did really like experiencing foreign nightlife, but the daytime activities were much more memorable. I loved our pasta making classes, wine tastings, and gondola rides! The trip will be everything you make of it, but I guarantee everyone always has a good time. Make sure to ask all your questions and do your research!
When booking your trip, EF goes out of their way to make sure that you’re super happy with your choice. For more of you, this will be your first real taste of freedom after all! I feel like at this point, I’ve become friends with their customer service team as I was soo indecisive when booking yet they really helped me with the entire process! They had an answer for every nitty gritty question I ever asked! Not only did they give me confidence about travelling, they answered my mom’s questions as well! It was really important she felt comfortable about sending me and they understood that.
Abundance of Resources:
Once I book any trip, I do tons and tons of research on everything I expect to do so that it turns out to be exactly how I dream of it to be! I’m a big time planner! With EF having such active social media platforms, I loved connecting with them and other travelers on different platforms prior to our start date! It made me feel so prepared! If you’re planning to book a trip soon, you should definitely watch the EFCB reviews on Youtube!
I even made my first (horribly made) vlog of my second trip to Europe! I promise I’m working on getting better at these! haha!
Travelling is expensive and not a lot of people have the opportunity to take on such an adventure. My favorite thing about EF is that they understand this and are able to provide these opportunities to us. Their pricing is realistically affordable and they have payment plans as well! You really get your value for your money. Not only do you get to go on a great holiday, you experience an entirely different lifestyle. From looking at all the memories I’ve made, the people I’ve met, and the change I’ve seen in myself, I am so grateful to have come across EF at such a young age - it’s been worth every penny.
Book your trip!
If you’re on the fence about going on your first adventure, trust me - book it! Its an experience that’ll change your life. 5 years later, I’m now a digital nomad living in Bali. It all started by booking my first trip with EF Ultimate Break!