Why You Should Travel with EF Ultimate Break: Honest EF Ultimate Break Review

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Is EF Ultimate Break worth it? Find out as we share our EF Ultimate Break review and dive into the pros and cons of traveling with EF Ultimate Break!

So you want to travel abroad…

But you’ve never left your time zone. Or maybe that $1500 roundtrip flight you just searched for is forcing you to exit the page. Or you have no idea how to start planning a trip, and you don’t have the time to figure it out.

So you do some Googling, and you find these awesome blog posts about people who book one-way tickets, quit their jobs and travel for a living, or manage to travel to Europe for only $100 a day.

But this doesn’t seem at all realistic for your lifestyle right now. For those who are new to traveling abroad or afraid of all the planning themselves, traveling with a tour agency is an often overlooked option by bloggers. There are so many people on the internet who plan these amazing trips and do them at low costs, which is awesome. Props to you! But such trips require a lot of planning, travel hacking, and experience.

Thanks to tour agencies like EF, or Education First, traveling hassle-free as a young adult IS POSSIBLE!!

Venice with EF Ultimate Break

In this post, we will share all the details about traveling with EF Ultimate Break, a tour company designed specifically for young adults aged 18-35. EF Ultimate Break offers young adults an affordable and easy way to travel. So, let’s get into our honest EF Ultimate Break review!

EF Ultimate Break Review

TLDR: Are EF Ultimate Break Trips Worth It?

Yes! If you’re a young traveler who doesn’t have the time to plan an international trip, an EF Ultimate Break tour is a great option. The trips include major bucket list destinations, sites, and attractions, and most of the difficult planning is already done for you. It’s a great way to travel with the comfort of other people and a full-time tour director. Tours are fairly priced, and EF Ultimate Break offers a range of tours! 

Book with our referral link and get $100 off your next EF Ultimate Break trip!

What is EF Ultimate Break?

EF, Education First, is a large tour agency with headquarters and subdivisions worldwide. We have traveled with two of their brands: EF Ultimate Break and EF College Study Tours.  Each subbrand of EF offers travel experiences to different age groups and for different purposes.

EF Ultimate Break is the Perfect Way to Travel for Young Adults

When traveling with EF Ultimate Break, anyone from 18 to 35 can book a trip online with a down payment of only $150. EF Ultimate Break offers precisely what you think it does: ultimate trips! These tours are hosted throughout the year, worldwide, and on a young adult’s budget! When browsing the website, you can search by length of trip, country, and cost. Each tour page includes the activities and general itineraries for each day. You can price out your trip based on wherever you’ll be flying out of, the time of year, and the type of trip.

A reputable tour agency like EF provides a sense of comfort for travelers while being affordable, especially for young people. We know it can be hard to find time and funds for travel, and EF makes it easy and affordable!

Read more about how we selected our EF Ultimate Break trips here!

EF College Study Tours

EF College Study Tours is another branch of EF that allows colleges to arrange short-term study abroad trips with their students. For these trips, a professor or academic representative must coordinate student sign-ups. Then, they can recruit students to attend! If you’re a college student, see if your school offers College Study Tours with EF. This is how we traveled with EF while we were in college! These trips were just as fun as our trip with EF Ultimate Break, and they offer all the same perks, including cost and location!

EF Gap Year

EF Gap Year is designed for those who want to travel during a “gap year,”  either through language exchange, volunteering, or internships. These experiences allow you to build skills and explore the world at the same time! For these programs, there is an application process. Gap year trips are offered in locations around the globe as well!

EF Educational Tours

EF Educational Tours allows teachers and a variety of educators to travel the world with their students. Tours can be focused on educational topics, language immersion, service learning, and leadership studies.

Explore America

While most EF trips offer international travel, Explore America is completely based in the United States, territories, and Canada. Visit national parks and cities from New York to San Fransisco, attend themed tours based on STEM, art, and service-learning, and even visit colleges.

Go Ahead

Most EF programs are focused on college-aged adults, but Go Ahead welcomes young-at-heart attendees with the opportunity to travel the world. These trips pride themselves on hosting smaller groups for immersive travel experiences across seven continents.

Is EF Ultimate Break Only for College Students?

No! EF Ulitmate Break trips are for anyone aged 18 to 35, so you do not need to be exclusively a college student. When we traveled with EF Ultimate Break for the Grand Tour of Europe, the average age was a little younger, like below 25. But when we traveled on the Grand Tour of Ireland Tour, most of our group were over 25. So the age will vary on your trips!

Is EF Ulitmate break Legit?

When we first learned about EF Ultimate Break, one of the top questions we saw on Google was: Is EF Ultimate Break legit? To answer the question, yes. Yes, EF Ultimate Break is a legitimate company that offers legitimate trips for young adults. It is not a scam!

Common Criticisms of EF Ultimate Break

If you Google EF Ulitmate Break reviews, you’ll see both good and bad reviews. We think it’s important to remember that with travel, expectations can vary greatly, and oftentimes, some mishaps are out of anyone’s control (Like canceled flights). We will briefly talk about some of the common things people don’t like about EF Ultimate Break and our response to them.

We have seen some reviews of people who felt they were overpaying or had issues canceling or rescheduling a trip with customer service. We had no issues with customer service when booking or rescheduling our trips. When the pandemic happened in 2020, we originally had the Grand Tour of Ireland tour planned for that summer, but unfortunately, we had to postpone the trip. EF Ultimate Break made postponing and rescheduling the trip very easy by issuing us a voucher that we could use within two years of it being issued.

We have also seen some criticisms where people feel that these trips tend to attract young people who just want to party in a country where it’s legal to drink. Personally, we did not have major issues with people like this on our trips. Ultimately, when you’re going on a tour group, you will encounter a diverse group of people who want to have different experiences on the trip. So, you’re bound to have some people that might want to take the opportunity to party, or not fully immerse themselves in the cultural experience. We just chose to ignore these people on our trip, and we didn’t let them ruin our experience.

Another common criticism is that EF Ultimate Break tours tend to take you to the “Instagrammable” places of these countries and do not offer a fully cultural experience. While most of our trips did take us to the most popular destinations and attractions, we personally wanted to see these things and didn’t have a problem with it. However, EF Ultimate Breaks trips include a lot of free time in the itineraries, so the free time is a great opportunity to explore things off the beaten path. And again, the primary goal of tours is to make travel easy and accessible (especially for first time travelers!), so they tend to include the most popular attractions and places. We personally don’t view this as a bad thing, especially when the itineraries are very transparent about it. If you haven’t traveled to those destinations before, it’s a great opportunity to see the top attractions and maybe get a taste of what these places are like so you can decide if you want to go back later at another time. The tour directors also encourage exploring and trying new things like food, riding public transit, and speaking the language. The tour directors are either locals or have been on the trip many times before so they can offer insider tips!

What Kinds of Trips Does EF Ultimate Break Offer?

EF Ultimate Plus vs. Essential Trips

EF Ultimate Break recently added two different styles of trips to their catalog. When you’re browsing trips on their website, you’ll see a designation of either plus or essential next to the trip. The essential trips are their standard trips, including everything you would typically get on an EF Ultimate Break tour. The plus trips, on the other hand, offered a premium and luxury experience. The EF Ultimate Break plus trips include a double room with a roommate of your choice, additional meals, and higher star-rated accommodations. Plus trips are great if you’re traveling with a close friend or a partner or if you want more privacy. Because you are paying for a single room and more meals, typically, these trips have a higher cost compared to the essential trips

Solo Travel with EF Ultimate Break

In addition to adding the plus trips to their catalog, EF Ultimate Break added solo travel trips. These trips are only for solo travelers, so this is a great way to meet other people and travel with the safety of a tour group.

Why We Chose to Travel with EF Ultimate Break

We have traveled with the tour agency EF, or Education First, for almost all our international travels. We traveled with EF College Study for our first trip abroad, which made trip planning and the trip itself easier to manage compared to doing everything on our own. Aside from a high school-sponsored trip to Mexico, we had never traveled out of the country before, so planning a trip to Europe on our own seemed out of reach and scary for us. We wanted planning to be effortless! When the opportunity arose with our college to travel to Italy with EF College Study, we decided to take the plunge and book with EF! We then booked several other trips during college with EF college study. Then, several years later, after we graduated college, we then decided that we wanted to continue traveling with EF through EF ultimate break. Our first trip with EF ultimate break was the grand tour of Europe. Because we were so happy with her experience with EF ultimate break we then decided to book another trip, the grand tour of Ireland.

Personally, we found that traveling with EF Ultimate Break made the planning process much easier than if we were planning these trips on our own. We wanted the convenience of having most of the itinerary already planned for us, and all we had to do was fill in the free time and other activities we wanted to do. One of the most convenient aspects of traveling with a group like EF ultimate break was having the transportation and hotels booked and coordinated. And lastly, we enjoyed the sense of comfort that traveling with a group and a full-time tour director provided us. It was nice to have the option of doing activities with other people, and it was great to have a tour director who could offer us tips and recommendations throughout the tour.

Our Experience Traveling with EF Ultimate Break.

We have traveled with EF Ultimate Break twice. Our first trip was the grand tour of Europe trip, which was a 30-day-long excursion across 10+ countries. Most recently, in August 2023, we traveled on the Grand Tour of Ireland trip. Because the grand tour of Ireland was much shorter and only featured one country, we felt like the pace of the trip was a little slower compared to the Grand Tour of Europe. In the Grand Tour of Europe, we spent more time traveling between cities and countries in comparison to Ireland, where our longest drive is only about 3 hours. The Grand Tour of Europe was an ultimate Euro trip where we packed in so many places and activities in just 30 days. This is something to consider when picking a trip. Longer trips where you visit more countries are fast paced since you have to spend more time traveling to get from one place to another.

For both of our trips, we felt that we did a lot in a short amount of time. We could see most of the “bucket list” attractions, museums, and activities in each destination, and we had free time to plan our own. IT wasn’t like we were constantly on the go. There were days when we had time to relax at the hotel for a bit before moving onto the next activity. We felt it was generally a good balance of structured itineraries versus free time.

Our only criticism of traveling with EF Ultimate Break is that we wish we had booked the Plus trips. For the Grand Tour of Europe when we traveled in 2017, the Plus itinerary was not an option. So we can’t fault EF for that. But when we traveled with a Grand Tour of Ireland, we wished we had booked the Plus trip. Our reasoning for this came down to personal preference. At this point in our lives, we weren’t particularly fond of staying in hostels or rooming with other people that we didn’t know. It wasn’t because we didn’t like the people on our tour. It was just that we wanted our privacy. This was our fault for not booking the Plus trip, so next time we plan to go Plus! In addition to the privacy situation, we would have preferred the plus trip because the bus trips include more meals. Sometimes, the day can be fast-paced, so you have to make quick decisions about where to eat lunch. This was often a source of stress because Pam is a vegetarian, so our options are limited in some places. For meals, we would’ve preferred some more structure in the itinerary, which is something the Plus trips offer.

For both of our EF ultimate Break trips, we opted to extend our trip. After the official tour was over, we decided to stay behind in Europe and plan an extension to the trip. After we departed our official group, our accommodations and transportation were our responsibility. So we went on to explore other places on our own. However, our flight home was taken care of by EF. All we had to do was call customer service and tell them that we wanted to extend our trip, and they modified our departure day to the date and location of our choice. You can also do the same by starting your trip earlier. Or you can book two trips back-to-back.

We have loved our experiences will EF and plan to book our future trips with them. Traveling as college students with EF Ultimate and College Break helped us to see parts of the world that we never thought we would be able to visit.

What To Expect on an EF Ultimate Break Tour

Before you Leave

Before leaving for your trip, you can be added to your trip’s group chat in EF Ultimate Break’s app, where you can communicate with other travelers and your tour director. Here, you can think about what you want to do in your free time and get advice about packing and preparing from others going on the trip! This was a nice perk for us! Another perk about traveling with EF Ultimate Break is that if anything goes wrong on the trip, in terms of flights, accommodations, or tours, EF takes care of the problem for you.

Can I Travel Solo with EF Ultimate Break?

When traveling with EF, don’t worry about traveling alone. Many people who attend EF trips are traveling alone, making it a great environment for meeting new people in your tour group.

What Are the Accommodations Like? 

If you’re traveling with EF ultimate break on an essential trip, you will stay in a mix of hostels and hotels. Hostels typically room up to 6 people and are more “basic” than a hotel. Usually, the breakfasts aren’t as expansive, and the rooms are basic with bunk beds. Think dorm room! The hotels, on the other hand, are usually nicer and offer more, since they’re a hotel. We didn’t travel with EF ultimate break on a plus trip, but plus trips advertise that they stay at only hotels and higher-rated hotels. 

What Is It Like Traveling with Strangers?

We can be introverted, and traveling with strangers wasn’t weird for us! Generally, people are friendly and interested in meeting new people, which is part of the point and fun of traveling with a group! So EF usually attracts people who want to meet other people. We didn’t travel solo because we were traveling with each other, but it wasn’t weird to us traveling with strangers.

What Are Transportation and Travel Days Like?

Depending on which trip you’re going on, transportation includes all transit between cities and attractions and arrival and departure transit like cabs or buses. We have experience with coach buses, trains, and ferries with EF. The buses are nice coach buses, and the trains depend on the country because they are the local trains. Some transportation between destinations included longer transit times, like 4-5 hours. But it all depends on where you go. We personally disliked the ferry when we took it from Italy to Greece. We imagined it to be more like a cruise ship, but it wasn’t. It was a little rough. But we did that in 2015, so we can’t judge what they are like now. 


  • Difficult planning is done for you
  • Payment plans are available
  • Frequent discounts and sales
  • Group setting – meet new people – good for solo travelers
  • Full-time tour director
  • Includes tickets to big-ticket items, and sometimes you get to skip the lines
  • Pre-planned guided tours with local guides 
  • Includes most “bucket-list” items in destinations
  • Cost *


  • Can be fast-paced
  • Detailed itineraries aren’t provided until tour directors contact you (usually 2-3 weeks before departure)
  • Can’t select accommodations
  • Some travel days are long
  • Most meals aren’t included (except plus trips)
  • Age limit (18-35)
  • Cost*

**You might notice costs are both pros and cons. Personally, we think EF Ultimate Break is fairly priced, but others might disagree, depending on your financial situation or your skill level, with travel hacking and getting a good deal. So we think price can be subjective, BUT in our opinion, we think the price is fair. So we would have it on the pros list!

How Much Free Time Do You Really Have?

We would say that about 40% of the trip is free time. Some days, most of the day is scheduled, but other days are completely free days! When considering a trip, you usually can tell when the free time is included because the itinerary will recommend things to do that day.

What Happens If I Need To Change My Trip?

If you need to change your trip, you can contact customer service, and they can help you. As long as your trip is not within 99 days and you opted into Travel Protection, you can make changes to your itinerary. Changes include cancellation rescheduling, changing dates to the trip, and switching trips. If you need to cancel, you will be refunded the total amount – a fee depending on when you cancel.

  • 30 days or less: Full balance paid (You get no money back!)
  • 30–60 days: $2,000
  • 61–99 days: $1,000
  • 100-364 days: $450
  • 365+ days: $150

How Big Are EF Ultimate Break Groups?

Usually, EF groups have up to about 30 people. 

What is Included in an EF Ulitmate Break Trip?

Tour Director

Having a full-time tour director made traveling much easier. The tour Director is the trip’s main coordinator, ensuring the group gets everywhere on time to the right place. Having a tour director removes the stress and anxiety of coordinating the transportation and travel logistics. They handle all the tickets for included activities and scheduling. It’s also very nice to have a tour Director who can speak a local language.

For both of our trips with EF Ultimate Break, our tour directors went above and beyond to make our trip special. In addition to the itineraries provided by EF, they could recommend and book additional group activities. A lot of these additional activities were some of our favorite moments of the trips. For example, when we were on the Grand Tour of Ireland, our tour director booked us an excursion to see an Irish step-dancing show, which was a highlight of the trip for us. We would not have thought to book a show like that, nor would we have known where shows were located or which shows were the best.


All accommodations are provided in EF Ultimate Break itineraries. If you select an essential trip, you’ll be staying in a mix of hostels and hotels with either 2 to 6 other same-sex individuals, but if you were booking a plus tour, you only have one roommate of your choice. Plus trips, you will only stay in hotels, so no hostels. Personally, when we book our next trip with EF, we plan to book a plus trip because we would like the privacy of only one roommate.


EF Ultimate Break tours either include a flight itinerary or allow you to book your own flights. We personally have not done a tour where we booked our own flights

Ground Transportation

One of the most convenient parts about traveling with a tour group is that all of the ground transportation is included. This was especially convenient for our longer trips like the grand tour if you were up where we were traveling to multiple countries over the course of 30 days. it was so nice to have a coach bus that we hopped on anytime we were going to our next destination. In addition to offering a coach bus any additional ground transportation like trains are included as well.

Activities, Guided Tours & Attraction Entry

Your itinerary will also include guided tours, entry to attractions in museums, and other group activities. These activities are always listed in the itinerary on the booking page. You also receive group benefits such as skipping lines at busy attractions!

Paris with EF Ultimate Break

Read more about our 30 days in Europe here!

EF Ultimate Break Paris

Is EF Ultimate Break Overpriced?

When you first search for the price, you might think the cost is expensive. But considering how expensive flights, group transportation, and accommodations can be, the cost is very reasonable for a college-aged budget. (Remember that $1500 flight?) Do some searching on your own, and you’ll see expenses adding up and the benefits of EF Ultimate Break’s prices looking nicer and nicer. And the total cost isn’t due upfront; you can pay in monthly installments! We personally feel EF Ultimate Break prices are made incredibly reasonable for a young person.

Does EF Ultimate Break Offer Sales or Discounts?

One of the nicest parts if that EF offers promo codes and discounts throughout the year. They have Black Friday sales, semi-annual sales, year-end sales, first-time traveler discounts, and repeat traveler discounts!

Book with our referral link and get $100 off your next EF Ultimate Break trip in addition to any discounts being offered!

Read more about how we selected our EF Ultimate Break trips here!

How Do I Book with EF Ultimate Break?

EF Ultimate Break Greece

Now that you know EF Ultimate Break is legit. Let’s talk about booking a trip!

  1. Create an account with EF Ultimate Break
  2. Browse trips
  3. Select trip
  4. Select the trip departure location
  5. Select date (make sure to check the date include the style of trip you want! (Solo, plus, essential)
  6. Proceed to booking with a. $150 deposit

Booking with EF Ultimate Break is so easy. Put $150 down and your travel plans are locked in! During the booking process you will have the option to add optional excursions and select a payment plan. EF Ultimate Break also offers trip protection that covers you medically while on your trip.

Book with our referral link and get $100 off your next EF Ultimate Break trip!

Conclusion: EF Ultimate Break ReviewIn conclusion, EF Ultimate Break offers an exceptional travel experience for young adults seeking adventure, cultural immersion, and lifelong friendships. With well-planned itineraries, knowledgeable tour guides, and a diverse range of destinations to choose from, this travel company truly delivers on its promise to create unforgettable memories. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first trip abroad, EF Ultimate Break is a reliable option for those looking to explore the world in a fun and meaningful way.

To end this post, we’ll leave you with a little photo dump of some of our favorite EF Ultimate Break memories! You don’t want to miss out on the trip of a lifetime!

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Why you should book your next trip with EF Ultimate Break
Why You Should Travel with EF Ultimate Break