EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break) vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4
Value — 4.2
Guide — 4.2
Activities — 4.2
Lodging — 4.2
Transportation — 4.2
Meals — 4.2
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

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!
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Tours 27 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 229 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • Budget
Headquarters Cambridge, MA, USA Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Year Established 2003 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
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      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 Italy, 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.

      About Signature Collection by Gate 1

      A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.

      What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?

      These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.

      They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.

      The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.

      Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

      Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.  

      Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.

      While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.  

      Top Destinations

      They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

      Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style

      Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.

      Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.

      Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

      If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.

      All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.

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