Beware of EF Tours

Old Aug 15th, 2016, 01:11 PM
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Beware of EF Tours

I wish I had researched this tour company before I paid almost 4K for one student 10 day (2 are travel). Paris, Switzerland & Germany. The customer service was horrible, the girls were rude and defensive. Numerous responses to me were stating "What do you want to hear mam?" Seemed to be their go to when pressed to fix something - which they never did. It was horrible. In Switzerland they said that one of their buses were stolen and had to use a smaller uncomfortable one. All while the teachers and parents were on the larger more comfortable one. I called EF tours about it and they said the bus was functionally acceptable. The tour company does not care about anyone but the teachers since they are the conductors and bring the students to the tour (note that the teachers travel for free). The parents and kids will not be their repeat customers so that is why they do not care. Some hotels were nice others would have 3 to 4 teenagers in a room with a bathroom down the hall. My son said in many places the food was horrible. The adults were always served first and in some cases the kids were getting their food while the adults were saying they had to leave now.

There are some good tour companies out there - just not this one.
JLehman is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2016, 01:48 PM
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I too am sorry you didn't do more research.. on every travel forum I go on there are threads.. some very long, about EF tours.. 90% negative.. with only a few lone defenders..not a good record.

My own daughter was offered a chance to take a EF tour through her school 4 years ago.. luckily since I do travel I knew a rip off when I saw it.. the prices are shocking for what you get , but I think many parents either are not comfortable or familiar with overseas travel and figure this is a good way for their kids to have an experience.

My daughter was easy to talk out of it.. she had been to Europe before, and she understood that we weren't made of money to waste just so she could travel with her classmates( this is a big attraction to most kids.. being with their friends)
We suggested that she save her money ( she worked at mcdonalds while in hs) and do a GREAT trip WITH her buddies after graduation.

She just did 11 weeks in Europe with two of her girlfriends this past April-June.. had a ball..

And let me assure you.. she did not spend 4,000 on 10 days..

Hope others see your post and look carefully at what they get for the money. I personally think kids should travel.. and with their friends.. but on their own when they finish highschool. Its a learning process.. my daughtger and her friends took months to plan the trip, research where they wanted to go, compare prices, its really an educational experience , and getting hauled along on a whirlwind poor quality tour simply does not compare.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 02:10 PM
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The teachers are part of the problem - give them a free trip and then they have to round up students to pay steep prices - and have them like hold fund raisers, etc to pay for their trip.

Total scam but the teachers are also guilty IMO of not researching the company and being easily bought off with a free trip.

But EF is not the only company to use this free bait tactic with instructions on how to fund raise in the community, etc.

Complain to your board of education as it is a school-sponsored trip it seems.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 05:00 PM
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EF is notorious for this (most student tours are) and if you had done even the most basic research you would have seen this. It's unfortunate you didn't think that spending $4k - or your kid's time/energy - was worth doing an hour's googling.
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Old Aug 15th, 2016, 09:47 PM
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I went on an EF tour in 2004. The teacher who organized the trip has gone 9 times since, without major issues. My only complaints were some form of pork each night for dinner and the lodging was typically away from main sites. The good thing is this trip will give your son confidence that he can travel independently in the future. This is what it did for me.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 12:02 PM
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first world problems IMO, parents paying thousands for teens to have European vacations

I don't get the big complaints from the example, the teens had to stay in rooms with 3-4 people and share a bathroom? oh, the horrors, try staying in a hostel. And maybe they did have one bus that was stolen, so they could only a get a "small, uncomfortable" bus to replace it, sounds like they neede two.

I don't feel sorry for anyone who spends $4K for a teen to take a 10 day European trip because no one would do that unless they were wealthy. The rest of us riff-raff had to work and save money during summer school when students, and didn't go on expensive vacations until adults and we had saved the money ourself
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 12:29 PM
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I'm a bit baffled by some of the complaints too. Why shouldn't the teaching staff have been served first at meals? Or had the better bus - someone had to. Whilst they may not have paid for the trip in financial terms I bet they earned it ten times over in looking after the kids and the huge responsibility that entails. I can't imagine what the stress of that must have been like, especially in this day and age of the blame culture.

I do agree it seems pretty expensive for 10 days and not the best value, and there could be some redress if the itinerary specifically set out details like number of people to a room but was ignored. The rest of it makes the kids sound pretty entitled/ungrateful though - or perhaps more accurately the parents by proxy - most of the teens I know are quite easy going and more likely to put up with minor issues more readily than adults tbh.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 02:09 PM
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I don't feel sorry for anyone who spends $4K for a teen to take a 10 day European trip because no one would do that unless they were wealthy.>

Maybe not - peer pressure can be great on kids - a family may feel coerced also by teachers to join in (so they can get a free trip perhaps) and many school groups like that use fund-raisers in the community where others are made to contribute to what is said to be the chance of a lifetime.

You are jumping to conclusions that can't be made and have nothing to do with the OP's complaint.
PalenQ is offline  
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