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Beautiful Adventure!I had the most amazing time traveling to and within Europe. I loved the tours and being able to see history right in front of my eyes!
Memories for a lifetime!I went into this not knowing what to expect and I was amazed at the incredible history that was in front of our eyes and beneath our feet. Our tour guide was great even as one person lost her personal items, he found a way to move the tour along and help her out (ex, we ate dinner and he left to file police report). His knowledge and experiences were so very helpful in this type of situation.
The far away hotel in Rome made our stay a little shorter, but we had a great view and the hotel personnel were fabulous. The food was amazing in Rome.
France had great views and lots of fun and museums to see. So much invested in art in Paris and the hotel was close to downtown Paris. Dinners were ok and I will need to go back to see the art that is encapsulated in the places we went, because... WOW!!
My favorite was the Vatican tour and I longed to stay much longer to breath it in. The next time I travel I will bring my husband and we can tour and look for hours, or days.
Thank you for selecting a great tour guide who allowed the groops flexibility. We had a great time!
First Time Trip Success with EFThis was my first experience leading a student trip but I have traveled myself prior to this tour.
Rome and Paris are fantastic destinations and hit so many "must-haves" for student travelers. Both are so rich in history and the arts and feel familiar enough to students that they have some background knowledge. Each city has its own vibe and sense of history, and my students LOVED them both.
Our guide was fantastic, and accommodated us when one of our students got sick and we needed to stop at a pharmacy in the middle of a guided bus tour of the city.
Tip: prep your kids and they will be fine. My kids sailed through small hotel rooms, new foods, and the bumpy bunks on the night train with ease and true excitement. The group we traveled with spent most of their time complaining and looking for a McDonald's. An EF staff member said "Be a traveler, not a tourist" and this advice really helped my kids experience the whole trip with the right mindset.
Amazing ExperienceThis was one of the defining moments of my youth. Traveling has become such an important part of my life, and I credit early travel experiences for this. I changed as a person and grew into a more worldly and mature young woman. This tour, especially, was so unique because of the richness of the culture and the learning that I experienced that far surpasses anything a textbook can attempt to convey.
Amazing, But DifficultFirst, I did my homework, due diligence, concerning the pace of tours and amount of walking.
In spite of this, we were rushed through many sites, rushed to points where we were told we had an hour to explore without much explanation. Kids were exhausted the very first day. I don't think it is right to do tours after 9-12 hours getting to the city without visiting the hotel first. I understood the idea, but on the ground, with really nice kids, it is hard to take.
We received no set itinerary before hand other than the broad one posted by EF. I had understood that our Tour Director would send something a few days ahead that was more set. Because of this, almost every day was changed. I planned several cooking and food related demos and classes during our afternoons off. I did this only after discussing with my tour helper months before to make sure I didn't make any mistakes. It was then discovered that Versailles was closed on the day planned. My group had declined to go there and to take a cooking class instead. This meant that we missed another tour planned in place of Versailles which we might have liked and had an open spot on another date when everyone else went to Versailles. This was our first day in Paris and we didn't feel comfortable with the Metro etc. by ourselves. Another teacher from another school was taking her kids to Montmartre that day....so we went with them.
It was a very nice save and we had a great time with them. Our director didn't seem to realize the extra effort we had to make on our own behalf.
We also were expecting, per the EF itinerary, that all dinners and breakfasts were paid for and arranged. So when we were told that we needed to take time out to shop for dinner and breakfast things to take on the train to Paris from Milan, we were concerned. The kids had planned their budgets based on what we told them.....we paid for dinners/breakfast stuff.
I also think that the night train to Paris is a little too rough for American students. Absolutely no sleep, no ability to sleep, and by the time we got to Paris we had one violently ill student, dehydration and exhaustion we think.
We also thought the food for dinners could have been a bit more exciting. And I am sorry but a little paper cup with 2 tablespoons of fruit cocktail in Rome is not anything to expect as a dessert. One of our salads was the saddest thing I have ever seen and I have traveled in some rough spots in the world.
All that said, we did love so much of the trip. The kids met some wonderful students from other states. The local tour guides in Rome and Paris were excellent and spent a lot of time with kid questions and were very friendly. We enjoyed them very much. Being herded through the Sistine Chapel in 10 minutes flat was amusing. The breakfasts were better than expected. The hotels were better than expected.
Once our students got the hang of Rome and Paris they were very comfortable seeking out interesting sites and food during our free afternoons.
I clicked the NO button about recommending this tour to a friend because of all of the above. I know more now, and would need to be more aggressive if I took kids on another tour. This was my first.
I am also amused to hear that EF Tours sponsors a cycling team for the Tour de France. Perhaps some of those dollars could have been spent on a nicer dessert for the kids in Rome.
Great tripFantastic trip, fantastic sites to explore. A bit pricy, especially if you have more than one traveler, however, the experience was worth it. I am glad I had the chance to go!
Amazing experience!It was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. Our tour guide was great and gave us a lot of freedom as well with a lot of new opportunities
Europe at a Glance!When you think about Europe, you think about the highlights: Rome and Paris. Our EF tour to those two cities was the perfect introduction to European travel for my students. It was easy to sell to potential travelers because it was appealing and affordable, and while we were on tour, students and parents alike appreciated that it was safe while still be engaging. I will definitely lead this tour again in the future!
EF Spring BreakWe spent 4 days in and around Rome and 2 days in and around Paris. It was a whirlwind packed tour and of course we wish we had more time every step of the way, but a great experience for the kids. Our local tour director was absolutely amazing! It was great to watch the kids in their evolution from starting out unsure about the whole thing, to really enjoying the sights as well as coming together as a family on the tour. It was a great adventure and everyone wants to go back another time to see more now that they know international travel is something they can manage!
Couldn't see enough or eat enoughHad an awesome time. The guide was amazing and made the trip so fun!! I saw so many amazing sights and did so many fun things that there just wasn't enough time to enjoy it all!!