Earlier this year I set my mind on the fact that I would be taking a trip to Europe. I didn’t know when, where, or with who, I just knew it was something I had to do.
I asked friends and family if they would go with me and many said yes. But the follow through and finances weren’t there. And I began to get disappointed and begin to think that maybe this wasn’t going to be possible. And then something happened, something that shook me, and I knew I had to get away and a trip was going to be the only way. I didn’t care if I went alone, I was going. And then I heard about EF Ultimate Break.
I had seen this company advertised a lot on Facebook and Google but I never thought it was legit. Like when people advertise that much, it just makes them look sketchy and suspicious. But when I met a girl who said she had just gotten back from a trip with them (her 2nd one) and had had a blast, I began looking into it. And this trip that I was so set on going on began to become a reality.
As you know by now, I took the trip and it was the best decision of my life! Here’s a break down of this not so sketchy company, EF Ultimate Break:
What Is It?
EF Ultimate Break is a travel group company that literally sets everything up for you. You just pick a place and dates and they take care of the rest!
Who Is It For?
EF Ultimate Break is for anyone between the age of 18 – 29. They do this to maintain an atmosphere and pace. I didn’t understand this until I actually went on the trip. With all the walking and go-go-go attitude of the trip, I don’t think I could have kept up had I been 5 years older. With that being said, there is other options for people outside this age range. Comment below or email me for more information!
This travel style is for literally anyone! Out of 20 of us, there was a pair of sisters and a pair of cousins. Everyone else signed up as a SOLO TRAVELER. Yup, we were all just a group of crazy kids who wanted to travel and were gonna do it with or without anyone. More of this in a bit.
Note, you do NOT need to be in college to qualify for these trips. You literally just need to fall within the age range and live in the States.
They book your flight from your airport of choice. Our trip included a personal item, carry on, and a checked bag. We flew Delta and I had a great experience. Our tour guide met us at the airport and took us to our hostel and at the end of the trip, she payed for our transportation from the hostel to the airport.
Accommodations and breakfast. We didn’t stay at the nicest hostels and the breakfast typically included some bread and cheese with fruit, but it was all part of the deal. You can choose to have a private room, a shared room with a friend or partner, or share a room with 4-6 fellow travelers. All the options except for the last one are an additional fee. In all honesty though, you fall in love with your fellow travelers that you WANT to room with them. Lol. The rooms are by gender (boys with boys, girls with girls) and only people on this trip will stay in your room. So although you do stay in hostels, you will NOT have a random stranger staying in a room with you. Our tour guide let us pick our roommates, which was great!
Here are the hostels we stayed at: Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona. They did get better/nicer as the trip progressed. And if you go on this specific trip, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll stay at THESE hostels. I’m sure they change it up depending on time of travel, availability, and size of group!
Transportation. Like I mentioned earlier, transportation is included to and from the airport (that you’re visiting – not in the States). They also include transportation if you are traveling to more than one city/country. We flew from Lisbon to Madrid and took a train from Madrid to Barcelona. Transportation is also included if you sign up for the extra excursions. And you get a metro pass in each city to be able to get around yourself! Some have limits, but your tour guide will explain all that, and honestly, we didn’t have an issue with it running out. Just the fact that I lost mine and had to replace it…. -_-
Tours, tours, and tours! First of all, you’ll get an AMAZING tour guide! They literally love their job and will go above and beyond for you. They communicate with you well before you go on the trip and will answer any and all your questions. I know, I sent my tour guide a lot of questions because I was so nervous and she was so good at getting back to me! Thank you Serai!
You’ll get a welcome walking tour upon arrival to each city to help you get acquainted to each place and a guided city tour in each city, that your tour guide will set up so all you have to do is show up and not forget your camera and water bottle. They’ll never leave you behind (unless you ask for it) and are a great resource for food and activity recommendations. Serai always got us special treats and took us to the coolest places! Literally love her!
So You Went On This Trip Solo…
Let me make things clear, had it not been in a group setting, I would not have gone alone. I’ve seen Taken! And to say I went alone can be misleading. Yes, I went not knowing anyone prior, but I was never alone. If I wasn’t with the group, I was with the friends I made! And don’t worry, it’s so easy to become friends with these people! No, not everyone is going to become your best friend, but think about it, you are all there for the same reason!
Before your trip, EF will set up a Facebook group so that you can begin reaching out to each other. Or your tour guide will create a WhatsApp group. How much you interact is completely up to you, but just remember, you will only get out of it as much as you put in! Prior to Serai creating a group chat, someone in the Facebook group created a chat that only about 6 people joined, including myself. Those two weeks leading up to the trip we chatted it up in there! We talked about where we were from, what time we were getting there, what we were most excited/worried about, what we were packing, etc. And those people are the ones that I hung out with and still talk to today! Those girls became my roommates on this trip!
During the trip, you’ll do all the city tours as a group, as well as a welcome mixer and goodbye dinner. Our group was small compared to others. They’re usually 30-40 people. I was so blessed to have a small group because we were able to really get to know each other. And the group was great for photo ops! We hyped each other up and stole poses and angles from each other! We really were such a supportive group and I miss them all the time!
Let’s Talk Finances
So I’ve convinced you and now you want to go on a trip! So how you gonna do it? Well the reason I decided on using EF Ultimate Break was because they offer payment plans. Depending on when you sign up and how far away your trip is, they’ll set up a payment plan so your trip is paid off 30-60 days before takeoff. To begin, you will need a minimum deposit of $150. You can opt to pay more and you’re payments will be smaller. You can choose to pay bi-weekly, monthly, or all at once! And there’s no fees!
So as you can see, it was the best decision of my life! Would I do it again? Absolutely! They even give you $250 off if you take a second trip with them! Half of this group already booked their next trip!
I do understand that you can save a lot more money if you plan a trip like this on your own. However, for those of you who don’t have the patience to plan a trip on your own, who don’t have someone to go with, or who just wouldn’t know where to start, this is a great way to test the waters. Want $100 off your trip? Email me!
Have you ever traveled with EF Ultimate Break? Where’d you go? Are you interested in travelling with them? Where would you go?