EF Ultimate Break Review: Germany, Italy, and Switzerland Ultimate Plus
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Let me preface EF Ultimate Break review by saying: I am a very anxious person by nature. The idea of traveling alone (in order to meet my tour group) absolutely terrified me to my core. But I did it anyway. And I do not regret it in the slightest. In fact, I plan on doing it again as soon as possible. 

This is going to serve as my review for the EF Ultimate break trip “Germany, Italy & Switzerland: Ultimate Plus”. I chose the ultimate plus version specifically because I felt more comfortable knowing we’d be staying at hotels rather than hostels, and with only one roommate rather than 3-5 other people. 

Let me be clear: This is absolutely not sponsored, I bought and paid for this trip myself, after hearing a glowing review from a friend who had been on one of the trips before (and was actually in Eastern Europe with them while I was on my own tour!). While I had the time of my life I’m here to tell you about both the good and the not-as-good, and how to plan accordingly for the less good parts. 

up in the air
Up in the air

EF Ultimate Break: the Travel Process 

I opted to have them purchase my flight, so originally my roommate (whom I had never met before, I found her Instagram and we connected that way) and I were meant to meet up at the airport in Venice and take a taxi over to the hotel together. Well, her flight got moved to the next day, and enough other flights were delayed where (fortunately for me) I was able to hop on the coach with the rest of the group for that day! 

I flew from Miami to London Heathrow on an overnight flight, and then from London to Venice. It’s a long flight to have as your first international one, and I HIGHLY recommend that if you’re ever on a flight longer than 5-6 hours, pay for some sort of seat upgrade. If I were to do this 12-hour flight to London again, I’d pay anything to have my own little sleep pod. 

We traveled by bus from city to city, country to country, which was no issue (other than the fact that the bus had no bathroom, but that’s a personal problem, and one I took as a challenge). 

EF Ultimate Break: Time and Money 

The biggest question everyone asks themselves when it comes to booking something like this is always rightfully “can I afford this?” and “is it worth the money?”. While the first question is more personal in nature, I will say you can opt to book your own flights to knock the price down a bit, which works out well for people who maybe have SkyMiles or credit card points they can use for their flight (or if you’re just really good at finding nicely priced flights). 

The sticker price on my trip as it stands on the website is $3539 with flights. That included all of the hotels we stayed at (which included breakfast every day), an included dinner in each city, and the walking tours (although you are supposed to tip each tour guide at least 2 Euros as a thank you, it’s the right thing to do). 

There are also optional excursions you can pay for, as well as events set up by your trip director you can opt in for. I said yes to everything except white water rafting (been there, done that, not quite my thing) and I don’t regret it one bit. I was able to do a wine tasting at a vineyard in Italy with homemade Italian food for each course, tour a brewery in Salzburg (the alpine slide we were meant to ride was closed due to the rain), take an emotional trip to Dachau (it’s difficult to get through but it’s something everyone should do at least once) and attend a Swiss Folklore dinner in Lucerne, going up to Mt. Pilatus the day after. 

Getting Cash and Spending Money Abroad

Do not make my mistake. Do NOT get cash out in dollars and attempt to exchange it for the currency over there. The exchange rate is going to be horrible and you’ll lose money because of it. Go to an ATM once you arrive in the country and take out your currency there. 

Check how much the foreign transaction fee on your credit card is. If you’re into credit card points, look into a good travel card to maximize points and savings. 

KEEP COINS ON YOU. You will need them for the bathroom!! Most public toilets were not free, and some required exact change (usually a 50-cent piece). You will also need to have a place for all your coins, because there’s a 1 Euro and 2 Euro coin, and in Swiss Francs there’s even a 5 Franc coin. 

The Pros and Cons 


  • It’s an organized way of seeing places you’ve always wanted to 
  • Good for anxious travelers because everything is taken care of ahead of time 
  • Being part of a large group made it easy to make friends quickly 
  • You’re given free time to explore each city so you can make it to the places that weren’t on the walking tour 


  • It can be expensive for those who aren’t ready to spend that kind of money (they offer monthly payments, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a large amount of money for a lot of people)
  • You might not get as much time in each city as you’d like (our tour was more of a “tasting tour” so we can come back at a later date to really explore the places we liked the most) 
  • If you don’t plan your own flight, you may end up less than satisfied with your travel times 

EF Ultimate Break: Final Thoughts 

I had the time of my life on this trip. I made a group of friends fairly quickly that I’m so glad I met, and I hope we continue to stay in touch. We’re also planning our next EF trips, and discussing where we think the best options are (I’m torn between London and Paris for New Year’s, or doing Rome, Paris, and London!)  To me, this trip was well worth the price for memories like singing drinking songs in an Oktoberfest beer hall to standing in the snow on top of Mt. Pilatus. 

I was so worried that because I was attending as a solo traveler I’d be alone the whole trip. That went out the window the second I sat down at the meetup point at the airport. We had such a lovely group on this trip, I’m afraid my next trips have a lot to measure up to! 

Our group was also mostly women, so if there are any solo female travelers out there who want to give it a try, I say do it! 

If you’d like to read more about my trip with EF Ultimate Break you can click here. For highlights of my trip, you can check them out on my Instagram here

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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