We’ve got a lot to say about student travel. It’s why we’ve been bringing travelers on tour for over 55 years. But it helps to hear from other people. People like you, who’ve been through the whole experience. Before planning your trip, read these EF Explore America reviews to get a feeling for what it’s like to travel with us.
We know travel can be nerve wracking. Whether you’re leading a group, going yourself, or sending a child, safety is your first priority. In these EF reviews, past travelers reflect on the safety and security of their experiences.
I have traveled with EF Tours internationally several times. This was my first domestic trip with EF Explore America and considering everything we were dealing with, all the closings due to Coronavirus, all the staff at EF did everything they could to ensure we had a great trip and we all made it home safely.
I always know that EF has our safety in mind, though even though I have not had any major disruption to any of my tours, I know that we would be well taken care of. That is one of the many reasons that I go with EF. I have already talked to one parent today about the current coronavirus problem. She was hoping our trip would not be canceled and really liked the letter that EF sent out. Well done EF!!
– Jim B.,Group Leader, LA
Safe and secure
Her school chose to go with EF Tours because of its reputation, attention to every last detail, and (most importantly) security as its number one priority. I highly recommend this company to anyone looking for a safe and secure, no-hassle, very reasonably priced experience.
– sharn888,Parent, HI
Never once was I worried
I was invited to be an adult chaperone on our school’s spring break trip to Italy. At first, I was very anxious to travel abroad since I was new to the whole thing, but from start to finish, our trip was thorough, smooth, and well organized. Our tour leader was fantastic and great with the students. EF/our tour leader was very considerate of another adult on our trip with a severe nut allergy and made sure that her meals were always safe for her to consume. Every location that we visited was amazing and our tour guide was very patient with the varying needs and interests of our group. Never once was I worried for our safety.
– TravelerReborn,Chaperone, KY
Grateful to be part of the EF Family
I find solace, as well as pride, in the extraordinary care that EF is providing for them. These are some crazy times, but I have never been more proud of EF and grateful to be part of the EF FAMILY. You all are doing an amazing job under such trying and unprecedented circumstances.
– Bettie B.,Group Leader, TX
I am so glad that we were traveling with EF
The response to the virus and rerouting us home early was bar none. While we were sightseeing in London, EF was busy providing transportation, hotel lodging, and flights home. I am so glad that we were traveling with EF and not on our own during this crisis. Again, I cannot say enough about the overall positive experience and thank you for getting us home safely!
– Barbara B.,Group Leader, ID
EF was incredible
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, my daughter was traveling in Germany with EF and her school program when the travel restrictions due to COVID-19 were announced. I felt completely powerless and uncertain how a route home could be achieved for my daughter, her entire group, and the multitude of other student groups traveling over Spring Break. Over the course of the next few days, I spoke with numerous employees at EF. Every single time, I was able to speak to a person who was concerned and engaged about the situation. They expressed understanding for my fears, assured me to the best of their ability (even when they had no new information to share), and emailed parents announcements as to the various flights being scheduled. That attention and kindness in and of itself was astonishing, knowing that they must have thousands of anxious parents calling and were likely working ceaselessly to get everyone home. What was even more astonishing was the professionalism in making sure at every leg of the journey—Munich, London, Toronto, and finally Dallas—was that the students were safely cared for, had very good lodgings, transportation to and from the airports, hot meals, and EF still educated them and made the most of the unplanned stops! EF was incredible. I will confidently book with EF knowing that they truly have the infrastructure to handle a crisis, that they care deeply for the students, and that they remain committed to sharing the wonder of travel.
– Jennifer C.,Parent, TX
I didn't have to constantly worry
The way that EF takes care of every detail makes the trip enjoyable for students and adults. As a chaperone, I didn't have to constantly worry about my students and their safety or their experience. There was constant feedback from the students about their enjoyment which made the trip more pleasurable for me as well.
Challenges them to step outside their comfort zones
Traveling with my students is just more than taking a summer “vacation” with the students. An educational travel experience helps students to put into practice the concepts they’ve learned in the classroom. It also challenges them to step outside their comfort zones and helps them develop skills, habits, and mindsets closely associated with future success. I have noticed that stepping out of their comfort zones is the most beneficial aspect they get out of our travel program. Rooming with kids they normally don’t room with. Flying on an airplane. Visiting cities and states that they would never get a chance to visit. These are the experiences that I enjoy offering to the kids.
– Bruce E.,Group Leader, TX
EF plans itineraries with that education piece first and foremost
– Brady R., Group Leader, IN
It’s fun watching that confidence being built
The first milestone on any trip is watching students and adults who have never flown during their first take off. We live in Mississippi, so we take a small plane to a larger airport. I usually film the new flyers. By the time we get to the first stop they’re strutting through the airport like seasoned travelers. It’s fun watching that confidence being built as they learn to navigate through new experiences.
– Rachel K.,Group Leader, MS
I see the world through a new lens
Meeting larger than life people and having indescribable experiences was just a small part of this lasting experience. The experiences, although laden with horrific aspects of our nation's history, left me inspired, energized. These museums were created to memorialize the incredible people and accomplishments of the Civil Rights movement. These were markers of great pride and success. We met ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things in one of the darkest hours in all of humanity. The museums are meant to inspire, to challenge visitors to see what has been accomplished and know and understand that we, too, can accomplish extraordinary things if we are willing to get off the sidelines and work together. I can say that I left this experience a better educator, a better father, and a better human. I see the world through a new lens and understand the true depth of the human spirit.
It's so important to change the mindset of students
I truly enjoy seeing my students experience different cultures during our travel time. For example, I had a student last trip that only ate burgers and fries. Once we experienced our French cooking class, he started to eat all the French foods we had. This was an awesome moment for me because he realized that he could experience other cultures through food. It’s so important to change the mindset of students by having them experience other cultures and understand that we are all the same with different experiences.
– Mitch S.,Group Leader, GA
An inspiring feeling
I love traveling with my students because I get to know each one of them better and I get to see them at their best. As a history teacher, it’s an amazing feeling to see my students light up and get excited about “that thing we talked about in class." Not only do they get a rich educational experience but watching them transform from scared teenagers who have never left home into young adults who are eager to take on more travel is an inspiring feeling. I can easily say that after each trip, the students that traveled with me have been the ones that I have grown closest to and the ones who began to succeed more in my classes. On my last EF tour to England and France, there were too many memorable moments to count. I think one of my favorites was watching one student run circles in the craters left on Pointe du Hoc in Normandy and falling over. I also loved when the shortest, most shy of my AP European History students helped us get a table and order food for lunch in Saint-Malo because she spoke the best French. Finally, I always make my students keep a travel journal that they usually roll their eyes at, but are entertained by my own journal readings on the bus. While they may roll their eyes at having to write in their journal at first and certainly at sharing their entries, by the end of the trip, most of them want to share and take it home as their best souvenir. Listening to their journal entries is always a highlight on my EF trips.
– Bobby T., Group Leader, GA
Fun but also able to learn a lot
I really had an amazing time exploring Washington D.C. and I really love how we were able to be young adults and go out on our own and explore but still being managed by adults. I love that I was able to have fun but also able to learn a lot and learn new things. The trip was amazing!!
– 8th grade student
Educational, fun, and life-changing
This trip was very educational, fun, and life-changing. I learned so much about each country that I went to and my Tour Director gave me a very thorough tour of each place I visited. I went to many popular tourist spots as well as many places that were historic and not as popular for tourists but still very interesting and fun to learn about. It was just such an amazing experience and I encourage everyone to take the chance and go on this trip because you will not be disappointed. It was so nice to have the whole trip planned out for me and I didn’t have to worry about finding something to do because our Tour Director gave me tons of suggestions about shops to look in, restaurants to try, and some popular tourist spots around our location. I made a lot of new friends that I still keep in contact with on a regular basis and we are trying to plan another trip in the future. I felt like a part of the public and it was just so peaceful and fun. All five hotels were in a good area and were clean, nice, and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Our tour bus was clean, comfortable, and our driver was extremely friendly. The days were very well thought out and our Tour Director gave us the schedule each day so we knew everything that was happening throughout the day. Overall, this trip was a trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to plan my next trip with EF!
– DavidO1999,Student, PA
What people think of our support
There’s a lot of planning that goes into any travel excursion. In these EF Explore America reviews, customers talk about working with the EF team, whether it was during the months leading up to their trip or once arriving at their destination.
We haven’t lacked a single thing which we might have needed from EF since [the COVID-19] travel ban was announced. We were contacted shortly after the announcement, we received our flight information for our evacuation much sooner than we expected, and our Tour Director, Gavin, was there to help in any and every way up until we entered the security checkpoint at the airport. He even told us that he would wait there until our flight took off, just in case someone had a problem. I can’t think of a single thing that EF could have done better under these circumstances, and my travelers seem to agree with me. Thanks to everyone who helped with this crisis!
– William B.,Group Leader, TX
Genuinely care about my students, my community, my family
Every single time I go and do one of these experiences where I’m in contact with people from the company, I feel this deep resonance in caring about the experience of students, and making sure that those students are really experiencing everything that the world has to offer. The personal relationships that I’ve managed to build with people at this company—who genuinely care about my students, my community, my family—is inspiring to me. It means a lot to know that there are people working every single day who want what I want for my students and my community. And they’ve shown that to me. I’ve had conversations with my Tour Consultant, I’ve had conversations with the Regional Director that has worked with me, and they will remember students by name that I have mentioned. And that just means a lot to me as a teacher. When a company like EF can show that they care about my kids as much as I care about them, I know I’m working with the right people.
– Brady R.,Group Leader, IN
They think of everything and nothing is too much trouble
– Sister Christine,Group Leader, NY
Can't wait to plan our next trip
I can't say enough good things about EF and its staff. They clearly have my student's best interest in mind when planning their tours. This first tour with them has been fabulous. Arianna and Devon made the process seamless. EF staff genuinely cares about introducing as many students as possible to travel. The value and lessons learned you won't find in textbooks. I can't wait to plan our next trip!
– Amber T.,Group Leader, OK
They helped with everything
Very personable, professional, and empathetic people. They helped with everything. Isabel was so patient and helpful with the process of funding our trip. Amanda is an amazing tour guide. She knows her information and is enthusiastic about her work. She's open to suggestions and is devoted to making the tour an educational and thought-provoking experience.
– Jamilah M.,Group Leader, IL
EF will take care of you
– Kirstyn S.,Group Leader, AR
Support through it all
I have made a couple of hospital visits with students on tour, changed tour dates due to soccer championships, and, on my last trip, I had to get two of my travelers back home immediately due to a death in the family. EF had a representative in front of me making flight arrangements within 15 minutes—and that was in the heart of Paris during peak tourist season. I knew that although the coronavirus was going to change everything, we would be taken care of by a team of professionals. Knowing that EF had my back allowed me to be a source of stability and reassurance for students and parents on my 2020 tour.
– Elana Marie M.,Group Leader, NJ
Above and beyond
Over the years, my Tour Consultants have been really flexible to work with and anytime I need anything they are always there. When talking through options regarding COVID-19, my Tour Consultant provided instant communication on that level. Some parents had questions and he was willing to talk with them. He’s gone above and beyond.
– Aaron A.,Group Leader, KS
How customers feel about EF’s flexibility
Plans change. World events are unpredictable. Before making a commitment to taking a trip with us, read EF reviews from travelers who’ve encountered the unexpected before or during their tour.
We decided to travel to another country, far away from the virus
– Ashley S.,Group Leader, GA
EF did it in a day!
Just today my Japan trip was rerouted to Belize for 72 people. EF did it in a day! This proved the commitment to safety and support of all the GLs, families, and students. I have been traveling with EF since 2006. I have always been impressed (that's why I am still with them), but their handling of the recent COVID-19 has been fantastic! I will keep traveling with my students with EF forever! They have worked quickly and mindfully while rebooking our group. They have been supportive every step of the way. Thank you for giving us options and for really standing behind your word.
– Linda H.,Group Leader, CT
Fully trust everyone on staff
Program is organized, flexible, and the pacing is great for students. There is enough to see and do to keep them going and it is great for adult chaperones too. Representatives from EF are quick to act and work with our tour guide to solve any issues that come up. I fully trust everyone on staff to take care of our students and ensure they have a great experience.
A month before our departure, mainstream news was just getting a hold of the information regarding the virus outbreak. It was very shortly thereafter we heard from EF with options for travelers should they be very concerned about traveling. The travel advisories, at this time, were all only at a Level 2 for the countries we planned to visit, and those had been issued months before due to possible terrorism and protest issues, not due to the virus. Yet, here was EF giving my travelers options to ease their nerves—recognizing that for many, this was a once in a lifetime experience that might be greatly marred by their fear. My group was so impressed to be offered these choices, recognizing that, had they made these plans on their own, they would have few choices beyond travel or lose all the money paid out. EF went so far as to allow customers a chance to change their plans up to a week before their departure. I was so impressed with the amount of communication and calls I received from the company in this time. All of it reassuring me, and therefore my travelers, that EF was our watchdog—that they had our backs, and they had contingency plans for everyone.
– Kelly G.,Group Leader, OR
EF quickly devised a plan for students to return home safely
I would recommend EF to any parent or student looking to travel internationally. I was extremely impressed with how well EF handled the March 11th announcement that the United States would be closing its borders to flights from Europe. At the time of the announcement, our daughter was on an EF trip in Germany. EF was immediately in communication with our sponsor and continued to provide opportunities for the students to explore Germany, which prevented any anxiety they may have felt with the situation. EF quickly devised a plan for students to return home safely and even provided a tour in London for the students, which was unexpected. My daughter returned from the trip and immediately asked to go to Italy with the school in 2021. As a bonus, EF offered parents a partial refund or a travel voucher, which was completely unexpected. I expected nothing as I could only imagine the cost and time it took to schedule multiple flights and hotel stays. As a result, I had no hesitation in sending my daughter on another EF trip next year.
– Rene R.,Parent, TX
Share your story
If you’ve traveled with us before, write your own EF Explore America review. Hearing from people who’ve been there and done that is a big help for those considering traveling with EF.