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Trip Report EF Travel Feedback - never again!

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Just got back from a 10 day trip sponsored by a local college in conjuction with the travel company "EF". I am amazed that EF has been described as a leader in educational travel since the only educational aspect of the trip was how not to do things and/or how to rip off students. This company is the Walmart of travel...if there is a way to squeeze a buck, or in this case, a Euro they do it.

To give an overview, let's just say that there is truth in advertising and then there's EF brochures. Every hotel we stayed in was 1 star, old, dark, dank and in the middle of nowhere...never close to the cities we were supposed to be visiting. When were not in these crappy hotels, we were usually on a bus. During the 10 day trip we easily spent the equivalent of 5 days driving up and down the interstates and back roads, stopping to eat and bathroom, maybe a 2 hour castle or church tour, then back on the bus.

The included meals were ostensibly breakfast and dinner...if you call last night's stale dinner rolls served for breakfast a meal, hats off to you. One night we had a baked potato and piece of lettuce and seriously, a tablespoon of ice cream...that was the "dinner"!

The tour guide was nice, but clearly he was motivated by trying to get a maximum tip by kissing our tour leader's butt and/or trying to sell us side trips and push certain restaraunts and businesses so we would spend money. One trip was to a glass factory...what a joke...we watched a dude blow a vase in about 10 minutes, then they locked us in a big showroom for an hour while these guys did the Italian version of QVC trying to sell us all their glass crap. Another time in Switzerland the guide sold evryone an extra trip for $100 to go up on a cable lift while he did not tell us that close to the hotel was a much, much cheaper cable car ride, for about $20! Total sleazy business!!!

The fact is this is a huge company and they totally do not care about anyone except their own wallets...this is a good case of buyer beware...if you want a trip where the highlight of the day is finding a clean toilet or you don't mind paying paying 30 Euro's to get a decent meal, they by all means, go on an EF trip. I would not wish a trip with this company on advice...less is more and don't be greedy...they will tell you all that you can see and do, but it is a big scam. Everything is quick sneek and peek, then off again for another bus ride and very little free time to enjoy the things you really want to see...and because of all the driving in and out of the big cities where you really want to be, the days are incredibly long for very little value.

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