We know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking holy s**t… 25 days in Europe. Can it get any better than that?
We propose that it cannot.
DIWYY’s Jena Sparu lays it out there in this EF College Break review.
Check it out.
EF College Break – Be a Traveler
The European Panorama trip is an Epic 25-day tour where EF College Break takes care of just about everything.
Great for the traveler who wants the experience with limited amounts of planning.
This tour up and down Europe starts in Dublin, Ireland. EF College Break will arrange a flight departing from your city of choice (included in the price of the tour). Your guide will meet you at the airport, so no need to worry about finding the hotel or flagging down a cab on your own just yet. It ends in Barcelona, Spain where once again, EF College Break will arrange your flight home. However, it is possible to start earlier or end later for an additional small fee.
Highlights of My EF College Break Trip
EF College Break has numerous tours through several different countries and continents but this was the one that caught my eye. The adventure begins in Dublin then continues to North Wales, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Lucerne, Florence, the French Riviera and finally Barcelona. For the most part, you will take buses between cities, with the exception being Dublin to Wales and London to Amsterdam, where you will take a ferry.
I must say, you really do get a lot of bang for your buck. The price you pay includes round trip airfare, hotels (most of which had incredible location), travel between cities, breakfast every morning, a few dinners, a tour guide and entrance to all the attractions you visit with the group. If you have the curiosity and money available to do so, make sure you check out the extra optional excursions. For every one available, you will get transportation to and from your destination as well as a knowledgeable guide. There were several planned for this tour in particular and I did my best to make sure I was a part of them. My favorite overall was the trip to Bath and Stonehenge, although I’m still not sure I understand the first thing about how those rocks got there.
When first researching this tour, I was a little off-put by the fact that we didn’t have many free days. It seemed there was always something planned or something we had to do. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to do anything, the tours and excursions are simply suggestions. I strongly urge anyone who goes on a tour, regardless of company, to participate in everything made available. Your guides provide insight and history you would have never known about otherwise and they will always suggest things to do in your down time. I never felt that I was doing something against my will while on this tour and in most cases, stayed with the majority of our group when we had time on our own.
EF College Break is great because they take you into the heart of every city you visit. You will see all the main tourist attractions but you will also get to experience the off beaten track with the help of your guide. In Dublin, we got to explore the famous Temple Bar area, Trinity College and the Guinness factory. But we also took a quiet trip to the countryside for a picnic, a visit to the most breathtaking gardens I’ve strolled through and a watchtower that was older than I could comprehend.
The highlight of this trip was London. Since my tour was at capacity (50 people and a full bus every time) it took a while for us all to learn each other’s names and get comfortable with one another. In London, we were becoming more adjusted to the time difference, the lifestyle we would live for the next few weeks and the concept of sharing living quarters with complete strangers. On our first full day, a small group of friends took the hop-on, hop-off bus around the city to explore, in person, what we had only seen on postcards or through a movie screen before then. We stopped for a picnic of fish and chips right outside the Tower of London and for the first time felt like this really would be the trip of a lifetime.
Overall, this tour did not disappoint. Every city was full of discovery and left me wanting a little more. I was sad to leave but so excited to go on to the next destination, where I fell in love all over again. I think these tours are ideal for first time travelers or those who are not sure what to expect from Europe. You will get a small taste of different cities and cultures so you know where you might want to return and where to avoid for future purposes.
Don’t Forget to Bring These Things on your EF College Break Trip
- Your manners! It’s very important to behave well on these trips. While not trying to sound like your nagging mother, I must insist. During our time in Amsterdam, we had to stay in a hotel well outside the center of the city. While still close, we had a considerable ride time into the city and had to take a bus to and from the bar crawl our guide organized. We were inconvenienced because someone on the tour before us got a little out of hand and EFCB lost the contract with that specific hotel. Keep those going on tours after you in mind! Be considerate of other paying participants and always be responsible.
- As little as you can. You are going to be hauling your luggage between cities. You might get lucky enough to have a bus driver that will load your suitcase for you, but for the most part you are responsible for carrying your bags wherever you go. It’s also important to pack light since you’re taking buses between cities. You might think it’s okay to pack just one extra bag, but 50 other people on your tour might have the same idea. A bus can get awfully crowded when the aisles are full of luggage (which we experienced first hand on more than one occasion).
- Spacebags. Ever since a friend suggested using spacebags, I have found them to be an absolute godsend. I bought spacebags from a local convenient store for less than ten dollars. No need to buy the extravagant vacuum machine. There are several brands available where all you need to do is roll and push the air out. I’ll never travel without them again!
- A journal. If not a journal, something to write on. I definitely do not suggest bringing a laptop on tours like these. They’re inconvenient and an overall hassle to travel with. Most of the hotels we stayed at provided computers in the lobby we could use for a very small fee, so communication home was still easily available. But I always recommend bringing a small pad of paper and a pen so you can jot down things you notice, people you meet, or memories you don’t want to forget.
- Entertainment. A book, iPod, Kindle, something! You will have long bus rides, so it’s important to keep yourself entertained. This is a great time to catch up on sleep but you will want to bring something to aid the inevitable boredom between destinations.
- Tissues. Primarily advice for young women traveling on tours such as these. You are thrust into uncomfortable situations with strangers, so in some ways you are forced to become fast friends with fellow participants. I was lucky enough to meet some wonderful young women who became my good friends. We still keep in close contact and do our best to see each other when possible. When leaving, despite how long you traveled together, I’m sure a few tears will be shed.
Photo courtesy of MorBCN.
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