Ultimate Europe Trip Overview

The summer after I graduated college, I took the Ultimate Europe trip with EF Ultimate Break (previously called EF College Break) that lasted 35 days. This was in every way the trip of a lifetime. You can see the route we took in the map below.

I’d like to give you an overview of how EF works and the pros and cons of using them for your vacation, so you know whether this company is right for you.

A map of Europe showing 14 destinations for the Ultimate Europe trip with EF Ultimate Break.
A map of the EF Ultimate Trip with EF Ultimate Break.

Why EF Ultimate Break?

 Before I chose EF, I did an incredible amount of research on whether to go by myself or with a tour group. My family played a big part in my decision to go with a group because they were helping me pay for part of it. They were very worried about me taking a solo trip, especially since it would have been my first one.

So I did my research and narrowed it down to EF and Contiki which I think are the two major tour groups for people in their 20s. I chose EF Ultimate Break vs Contiki because it seemed EF stayed in better quality locations and it was less of a “party trip.” Not that I didn’t want to drink, but I wanted to focus on other things also.

Related: How to Plan a Dream Vacation

The price was comparable and EF had more items included like tours, subway tickets, and some meals. I do not regret this decision at all. They had great customer service, were very responsive, and gave me all needed information at the very beginning. They were a great company to work with.

I haven’t personally taken a trip with Contiki so when comparing EF Ultimate Break vs Contiki I can’t say much. But I do know that I had a great experience with EF.

The colorful houses of Manarola perched on a cliffside. The ocean is crashing into the rocks and cliff. EF Ultimate Break offered an optional excursion to the seaside village of Cinque Terre.
EF offered an optional day trip to Cinque Terre that I chose to opt into.

How It Works

For those of you who aren’t familiar with EF Ultimate Break, I’ll give a short overview of how booking with them works. They offer a large variety of trips with different lengths and to many different countries in six different continents.

You can filter the trips based on these categories plus when you want to leave. Once you figure out which trip you want to take, you choose your airport and pay the deposit. I believe the deposit is typically $150. They set up a payment plan for you based on how many months you have left until your trip.

Once you send in your deposit, EF books your plane tickets, hotel rooms, and works out any travel between destinations. We were on a bus most of the time, but we did fly between Athens and Rome, took a ferry to Paros, and took trains in Germany and France.

Other items that are included in the price are walking tours of each city, almost all breakfast meals, a couple dinners, and subway tickets in most larger cities.

A plate of falafel, pita, hummus, and french fries provided by EF Ultimate Break.
The welcome dinner included local fare from Athens.

Another helpful inclusion is a tour guide that stays with you throughout the whole trip. My guide was awesome and gave us great insider tips for each location and it also felt safer when I had someone to check in with each day. This was a huge plus for my parents and it helped their peace of mind.

Pros of Ultimate Europe Trip

  • You have very little, if any, of the logistics planning left to do. They plan all of the transportation and accommodations.
  • You get to see many of the big-ticket items, aka Eiffel Tower, Roman Colosseum, and the Acropolis. The best part is you also get to stop at off the beaten path places that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. A couple small towns that we stopped in were Dresden, Germany and Verona, Italy.
  • In the Ultimate Europe trip, I got to see 14 cities in 35 days. This doesn’t include the smaller cities that we stopped over in during our travel days. This type trip is a chance to see so many different cultures in a short amount of time.
  • If you want to go check out a different city or a special event that’s in the area, then you have the chance to do that. While we were in Paros, Greece there was a group that took a ferry over to Santorini for the day. In Belgium there were two girls that rented a car and drove to a music festival in the area and then met us in Paris.
  • There are about 30 to 40 people in the group so every day there is a good chance that someone will be doing something that you’re interested in. If you want to go off and do things by yourself though that’s fine too.
  • This was my first trip overseas and it was so easy to let someone else plan everything. It made for such a smooth trip. I felt safe with a group and I had a great guide who was very knowledgeable about each city that we visited.

Cons of Ultimate Europe Trip

  • There is no way to “make your own trip.” You have to choose from the options that they offer and sometimes you have to sacrifice a few things you wanted to do or places you wanted to go.
  • You are with the same group of people for 35 days. A majority of the group is girls so there is always the possibility of cattiness and cliques.
  • This is a very fast paced trip. You get to see a lot of different places, but you don’t get a deep connection with any of them. This trip barely skims the surface of what is out there.
  • Depending on the group, it could be a party centered trip. But depending on who you are that could be a pro or con. I wasn’t interested in partying when I went and by that I mean going to a club until 2am. I definitely did my share of drinking there. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
Girl jumping in front of the Eiffel Tower on a bluebird day. EF Ultimate Break made it possible to see this.
Can you tell how excited I was? And how odd the guy on the right thought I was?

Once I started writing out the pros and cons, I realized that this trip was a no-brainer for me. I didn’t have time to plan a month-long trip to Europe myself. I didn’t know the first thing about taking a solo trip. My family didn’t want me going by myself and they were paying for half of it.

Related: How to Find the Best Flight Deals

EF Ultimate Break made it possible for me to see Europe without all the hassle of planning. If you have the time and money then I definitely recommend this trip, especially if it’s your first time going abroad. Do you have any experience traveling with groups like this?

Have you taken a trip with EF Ultimate Break before? What was your experience?


  1. Hi!! I am actually looking at doing this trip next year sometime (once covid-19 has been handled lol) and was wondering if I could pick your brain about your experience! I want to go once I graduate college as well, and I am planning on going alone in hopes to make some new friends! Do you feel like you got a good amount of time in each city to explore and enjoy your time or do you feel like you were more often rushed while you were travelling? I have never traveled outside of the US and I am debating between doing the full month in Europe or picking a shorter trip where I can spend more time in the cities that we go to. And how tired did you get on a daily basis? I’m sure travelling for an entire much is exhausting, but would you say it’s totally worth it? Also, did you stay in more hotels or more hostels? If you stayed in hostels, how were they?

    1. Hey! I would highly recommend this trip! Sorry COVID is putting a damper on your plans for the time being lol. I thought it was the perfect balance of time in each city. It is super fast paced, and no you don’t get to see everything but you would be surprised how much you can see in 2-3 days. It was nice though because the travel days are broken up by staying in one place for a few days so it doesn’t seem like you’re constantly on the go. If you’ve never been outside the US this is an incredible introduction to Europe. On a daily basis I didn’t get too tired, but by the end (for me it was Barcelona – I think they’ve updated the cities this year) I was a little worn out. Just plan some down time in and you’ll be okay. If you take anything away from this: YES IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!! Those are some of my best travel memories. We stayed in a mix of hotels and hostels and you couldn’t tell a big difference between the two. I actually came to prefer the hostels because the rooms were the same, but there were more community spaces to hang out in. I’m happy to answer any other questions you have!

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