Intrepid Travel vs EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break) - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 4
Value — 4.2
Guide — 4.2
Activities — 4.2
Lodging — 4.2
Transportation — 4.2
Meals — 4.2
Recent Reviews

Loved camping with Intrepid

5.0 June 2018
LR
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved this trip. Camping in very nice places - usually had hot water and nice showers. Great itinerary - LOVED Namibia and the variety of the tour from the desert to the delta to the parks.

Intrepid did an incredible job

5.0 December 2017
ATFT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thailand Cambodia Trip. Nov 2017. For my 60th birthday I decided I wanted to take my family of 6 to Thailand and Cambodia. After my initial conversation with the Intrepid office, they pulled together a perfect 24 day custom itinerary for us. My Intrepid coordinator really listened. We set up a incredibly diverse trip, ranging from ocean front resorts to a primitive hillside village trek. From the minute we landed in Bangkok, to the day we flew home, all transfers went off with out a hitch. What really made our trip memorable was our local guides. Every single one of them were warm, professional, humorous but most importantly, had a deep knowledge of the geography, the plant life, dining, the history and government. We felt by the end of the trip, these guides had become a part of our family. The entire trip was amazing and we will definitely use Intrepid for our next adventure travel. Thanks so much.
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great tour

5.0 October 2017
k
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 3.0
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy

Convenience of payments is not worth the stress.

1.0 October 2018
RG
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
So far, our experience has not been great.
We booked, everyone was fabulous, we were excited! I was offered an additional $100 off of my trip and $45 off the price of private rooming, along with my boyfriends. Obviously an incentive to get us to book. Neither discounts were ever taken off the bill, even after sending in emails. Eventually I sent screenshots of what other reps had said and had the $45 taken off, but they refuse to honor the other discount. Oh well, only $200.
We are supposed to be leaving in January. They recently emailed and said that due to low enrollment, they are changing the dates to combine us with another group. Not only did I get this time off work, but the second date is after my semester already starts. Im not sure what Ill do for school, and no one at EF seems to care how this affects us. We selected a specific date? How can you just go and change it? Oh well, we will have to make it work.
Finally, the cherry on the cake here, we are told that our private room isn't a guarantee and we wont necessarily get it if we change dates. So the upgrade we already paid $700 for isn't necessarily available. No one ever mentioned it being questionable, they were in such a rush to take our money they didn't even feel the need to let us know. I told them that the private rooming is make-or-break for us, and Ive been waiting on a reply for days.
So far, the anxiety I feel over losing out on 3k is not worth the convenience of the monthly payments. Id highly recommend booking elsewhere unless you are unemployed and not a student.
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A trip with Tyson is an amazing trip

5.0 August 2018
LoD
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This trip was the European Road trip that was specifically done for New Years. It took us on a road trip through Amsterdam, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and London.

The trip was truely an experience which was only made amazing due to the awesome time we had with our tour director Tyson Monfredini. The man is overall the best director ive ever taken a trip with. He is so unbelievably helpful in all things and is super down to earth. Unlike directors who are there just to do their jobs and thats it; Tyson really makes you feel like family. He will go out with you to explore the city, give you advice and overall act like a true friend.

The trip involves visiting multiple cites via a couch bus. After so much time traveling you create a bond with the individuals who are on the trip and you might end up doing other trips with some of those people.

You will explore the cities, clubs, bars, new foods, cultures and so much more.

I truly recommended this trip for a person who wants to hit the road and explore.

If you want check out my channel and look at some of the trips I have taken. Each place is in its own segments and I have more videos I need to still need to post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp2IZNX6Moo&lc=UgyENhdE6rU6iaI3hJV4AaABAg
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Tour EF College Break Company Reviews

Best trip of my life!

5.0 June 2018
G
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
11 days of pure bliss. Hands down the best trip of my life. Went with friends from college but left with 40 new friends and one incredible Greek tour director. Best bang for your buck out there. All accommodations and travel included in the price. Highly recommend for 20 and 30 year olds if you like the beach, boats, and drinking!
Read more
Tours 1,071 Trips 27 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 187 $ 229
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Adventure
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Cambridge, MA, USA
Year Established 1989 2003
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
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About Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ Founded back in 1989 following an “intrepid” African adventure trip, Intrepid lives up to its name by offering up some pretty big adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea -- but is broad-based enough to also lead group trips to Hawaii, complete with sipping sunset Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach.

Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts

Founded in 1989

No Single Supplement (rare exceptions)

Small Groups - max 16 on most trips

Typical Age Range - 18 - 45

Travel Style - Cultural immersion, adventure, overland

Accommodation Style - Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels

Average Tour Price - $2,377

Top Regions - Asia, Africa, Europe, South America

Other Brands: Peregrine, Geckos

Commonly compared with G Adventures »

Morocco homestay with Intrepid Travel

What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?

Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes average just 10 travelers each, with a maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion.

Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel?

Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages.

Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time, “Original” journeys which offer more included activities and more hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles.

The kind of traveler who gravitates to Intrepid Travel is one who has a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates or daring, ahem, encouraging each other to try strange new foods.

Top Destinations

Monk mediating in Myanmar on tour with Intrepid Travel

Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.

Intrepid Travel Style

Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt, on a camel in Morocco, or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy.

There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour:

1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants.

2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used.

3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher end, more discerning, accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own.

Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel?

Sample of many spices in Middle Eastern market

Intrepid is a good choice if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you.

It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary.

For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals. The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you.

Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way.

About EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

Newly rebranded as ‘EF Ultimate Break’, EF College Break has been a leader in educational tours, language services, and study abroad experiences since 1965.

What Makes EF Ultimate Break Stand Out?

Europe tour with EF College Break

EF stands for “Education First”, and they have been offering educational travel experiences, exchange programs, work and teach abroad assistance, and language courses for over 50 years. They focus on making sure the often daunting and complicated process of planning an abroad experience, whether for pleasure or a career change, remains as simple as possible.

Their travel experiences were named EF College Break, this name changed to EF Ultimate Break in 2017, reflecting a fresher more youth driven outlook, and seemingly placing less emphasis on the education aspect and more on the fun aspect.

Two young travelers in Europe on EF Ultimate Break trip

Their tours are about being completely immersed in your destination and appreciating all it has to offer with your tour group who are guaranteed to become your good friends by the end. This is like a study abroad journey with all the fun and none of the schoolwork.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With EF Ultimate Break?

This is the kind of trip that active outgoing, social college aged adults interested in learning and having fun will enjoy. If you have a “work hard play hard” kind of mentality you will fit in well with their approach to traveling.

Young travelers in hostel on EF Ultimate Break trip

EF Ultimate Break specifically caters to 18-29 year olds (though the broad spectrum of their educational programs are open to adults and working professionals). Their main target being 18-29, tours are designed to not be price prohibitive, itineraries include a lot of social activities, and the emphasis is on having fun and staying active, with a sprinkling of educational value thrown in for good measure. Enough for you to maybe convince a parent to put up some of the cost.

Incredibly studious types who gravitate to history tours, archaeological sites, and long moments in each stop learning from a guide may want to check around first before settling on EF Ultimate Break. One of their mantras is “we don’t do boring” and let’s face it museums often fall under that category.

Adventure traveler college aged tour with EF college break

The emphasis is on being active, seeing and doing a lot - both on the historically significant side as well as the locally immersive side (which in this case might mean your bunkmates are frequently sampling the nightlife).

Top Destinations

Pastry shop in Europe EF Ultimate Break

There is a strong emphasis on Europe for EF Ultimate Break, though they do offer group travel experiences around the world. In Europe they cover many popular countries in Western and Central Europe, including Iceland and the UK.

In Central America, you can find trips in Cuba, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama, and in South America they have departures to Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina. In Asia, EF Ultimate Break has tours in China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Lastly you can also find tours in South Africa, and Australia and New Zealand.

EF Ultimate Break Travel Style

Street in Europe EF college break trips

Tours are designed to be easy to pay for using installments; and they have a few different payment plans to choose from. You can choose from 1-2 week, 2-4 week, and 4+ week durations, and filter by a variety of trip type.

While on your tour: Accommodations are standard and basic. Think multi-bed hostel rooms more than hotels. A variety of transportation modes will be used, from private motor coach to train to bicycle.

Your Tour Director is a local, ready to introduce you and welcome you to their home - acting as a tour guide and friend.

Why Choose a Tour With EF Ultimate Break?

Young traveler on EF College Break tour

If you’re a college aged adult looking for a stress free and adventurous tour experience, EF Ultimate Break could be the perfect choice. This is for the type of traveler for whom backpacking through Europe sounds fun, but you’d rather do it with a little less stress, a little more companionship, and the guarantee of a hot meal and drinks with friends. But the adventurous backpacker spirit remains.

Not only that, but they provide generous payment plans, and almost everything is included making it really hard for you to make the excuse that an awesome travel experience is out of reach financially. They want you to see the world, have fun, and provide many ways to make it happen.

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