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EF Tours

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Consumer reviews about EF Tours

cseymore
Dec 9, 2011

travel

The fact is that a number of other companies run student educational tours, and I could use them if I so desired. (These other companies have the same basic approach in terms of paying for the adult chaperones on the basis of a given student-teacher ratio.) And if it's such a huge "benefit", how come most teachers think I'm "nuts" for giving up my summers to bring groups of teenagers on these educational tours. Yes, EF pays for the adult chaperones (but not their expenses like tips, spending money, typically insurance, fees for single rooms, etc.). This is done to allow for these tours to occur, because no student tour to another country can take place without adult supervision. The majority of these trips would not happen if EF Tours didn't have this system in place, and then thousands of students would miss out on the opportunity to travel abroad and experience another culture as a high school student.

JJTansley, EF Tours does not pay "all expenses" for the teachers and adult chaperones that lead a tour. You are right when you advice parents to think long and hard before they make this kind of investment in their children's education and maturation. It's not something to be taken lightly, and some students aren't necessarily ready for the experience. And without question you need to know you can trust the teacher who is bringing your son/daughter abroad. Unfortunately, you traveled with a teacher or teachers who were irresponsible. They are not employees of EF Tours, just as I am not. I will not debate whether your group leader(s) behaved as you describe. It goes without saying that parents need to do their due diligence regarding the teacher or teachers who will be responsible for their kids while on tour. I have taken more than 300 students abroad in the past 6 years. When students get sick on tour, I'm the one who stays back at the hotel (along with a female chaperone if the student who has fallen ill is a girl). I make sure the kids are awake in the morning and I monitor their behavior AT ALL times. I don't have a sip of alcohol while on tour. I spend an hour or more each day sending home emails and photos to my parents back home, and I am often in communication with them via phone when the situation requires.

GCG, one remark by JJTansley above is a prime example of a comment that's a bit "ridiculous." The assertion that "These group leaders could really care less about the kids ... it's all about them" is unfair and inaccurate. This is a gross generalization, and in my opinion, it's quite ridiculous. And, trust me, not only does it misrepresent me and the personal responsibility I take toward all of my students, but it misrepresents the vast majority of teachers who choose to lead groups of TEENAGERS on tours abroad. Imagine being responsible for a group of 40 sixteen and seventeen year olds on a 2 week trip to Italy and Greece. Think about it for a second. As you can imagine, an undertaking like this is a big responsibility, and certainly there are probably teachers out there who do these trips for the wrong reasons. But, again, the reason why I have led 13 tours and nearly 330 students on these educational tours is because of how seriously I take this responsibility. It's the reason why more than 20 parents have sent multiple children on EF Tours with me, and it's why more than 20 other parents have sent a child on two or three of these trips with me.

JJTansley, over the years a number of parents have sent me detailed thank you notes after their kids returned, and a handful, I'm embarrassed to say, brought me thank you gifts. It's too bad your experience was a negative one. If you son/daughter had me as a teacher, I guarantee you your experience would have been completely different and you would feel differently today. I'm sorry you had a teacher who didn't take personal responsibility for his students. It sounds like the problem on your tour was with the teacher or teachers leading your child's group; the problem wasn't EF Tours. My students and parents have never had an experience on my tours with EF that resemble yours in the slightest. This summer I am leading a group of 48 students on an 18-day tour of France and Spain, and I am absolutely certain that my students will have an amazing, educational, life-changing experience as we tour Europe with EF Tours. (Of the 48, 10 of these are younger siblings of students who have traveled with me in the last few years.) This is the 14th tour I will be leading with EF. Please trust me when I tell you, that parents would not continue to send their kids on these educational tours with me if EF did not provide a great product and professional service at a great value.

GCG
Dec 9, 2011

travel

Chris Seymore, If you have forty kids on a trip to be responsible for 24/7 I think you have a problem of another kind. Where are the chaparones for these children. And I might add, where are the other "Group Leaders" on this site.

cseymore
Dec 9, 2011

travel

I'm sorry you had a negative experience, and you;re entitled to your opinion. I'm just letting you know that over the course of 13 tours, my students and parents have been extremely pleased with EF Tours.

GCG, there will be 7 adults for 47 students. Please trust me when I tell you that I know what I'm doing, and my students are extremely well looked after during the entire trip. Over 300 students and approximately 150 days abroad and nobody has gotten seriously injured, lost, or harmed. And all the students have come home with wonderful learning experiences in another country. Again, if there had been any mishaps or problems, parents would not continue sending their children (and investing thousands of dollars per trip in the process) with me on EF Tours year after year after year. Large numbers of parents continue to ask me about the tours we are running in 2013 and 2014; this wouldn't be happening year in and year out if (a) their children were not safe, secure and well cared for and (b) EF Tours didn't do an excellent job for me and my students.

cseymore
Feb 15, 2012

FRAUD/Hidden Fees

In fact, all of my students who traveled with EF Tours in 2009 received a refund check of approximately $125 about 45 days after they returned. This was done because the airline had reduced departure fees about 2 weeks prior to departure.

No EF
Mar 1, 2012

HUGE HIDDEN FEES

I absolutely agree. EF hit me with a hidden fee for a "private tour" because EF couldn't find another group, not because we asked for it. In addition, they put this fee on without notifying me. I had agreed on the first price, not the increase. When I decided this was too much to pay for this particular trip and tried to cancel, they told me they were going to keep 50% of my money. This company is a scam and I will be telling everybody I know and posting on ever site I can find to stay as far away from EF Tours as possible. We're considering civil and criminal actions as well.

cseymore
Mar 24, 2012

HUGE HIDDEN FEES

$800 per day? Where do you come up with a number like that? We're doing an 18 day tour of France and Spain this summer for $3850. That's $214 per day.

Beebee, Bangkok
Apr 2, 2012

Abandoned at train station

I live in Bangkok, Thailand, I've never heard about EF tour in Thailand. Could you tell me how I can join EF Tour to Europe . I can join that tour in April because it is my vacation.
Looking foword to your answering.
Beebee

KK234
Mar 25, 2014

EF Tours - Criminal

The whole tour was cheaply done, the tour guide was worthless educationally, the food and hotels were disgusting and the kids did not get to see much! The hotels were 40-60 minutes outside of the cities so too much time was wasted commuting by public transportation. The hotels were 1 star at best (one was a youth hostel) and two of the 4 hotels did not have phones in the rooms. Security issue if the kids need help. The hostels food in Florence was not fit for animals...Day old bread, rock hard croissants and some form of Tang served as orange juice. My room had a hole in the wall that went to the outside that was stuffed with newspaper. Both my hands could fit thru the hole. Our tour guide gave us information for about an hour just one day on the bus during our 15 day tour. NON educational!!! Most sites were not seen...David in Florence was missed...our tour guide informed us that the replica was good enough...We missed going up the Leaning Tower of Pisa since they took too long showing us another Church and Baptistry...the tour guide informed me that no one comes to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa...Galileo"s Museum was missed too. We ended up with only 1/2 a day in Florence since the other half was spent wasting our time in Pisa. Very disappointed since the itinerary stated that we would have 2 days there. We were never informed that a bus would be our form of transportation from Paris all the way to Rome. The company made plenty of time to take us to a perfume manufacturing place, a leather workshop demo and a so called chocolate demonstration all because the company gets kick backs from our purchases. Time wasted that could of been used to see sites. Way too much time was also wasted on the cramped bus just traveling. On average, 1-2 churches a day were seen. This is due to the fact that churches are free. As beautiful as they are, I did not travel all that way to see 1-3 churches a day...rather than artwork and sites. No one could pay me enough to send another child of mine on a tour with this company. Just criminal what was missed!

student /parent
Jul 5, 2014

4,000 + ...awful service

My child just came home from an EF tour...unsafe, awful locations in two major cities! No running water in one hotel room...was told they couldn't change rooms. Paid for the tour in full several month's in advance of the trip and my son was charged again for xtra's on the trip...added one more student in rooms that were supposed to be for a maximum of 3 kids. Not sure what the relationship or the payment that was made to the tour leader and teachers involved on this particular tour...my son was in contact with us on several occasions during the trip and we are not happy!! Do not recommend EF tours!!!

Lividmom
Jul 1, 2015

Horrible chaperones!!! Unsafe for girls stale food bedbugs!!!

I read what a chaperone write and wish my daughter had at least 1 if her chaperones that cared. She and 3 other girls were left alone in London and Paris because the 2 chaperones went on the tours. Their group had 6 kids... 2 kids had a one on one chaperone on a guided tour and 4 girls were left alone!!!!!!!! The girls got lost and no one answered their phones when they tried to call. Their hotel was in an unsafe area, the beds have bedbugs, the food is stale and moldy and the rest of the guides are non supportive. The girls were so excited about this trip, they worked to pay for it and so far it gas been a HORRIBLE experience. They just want to cone home.

mariadelmar
Apr 5, 2016

Okay

Toured France with EF Tours (Castle tour). It was okay. Some hotels were nice and others were dumpy. Meals are included but not very good and no choices. It's a fixed menu. Felt rushed the entire time. Tour guide gives you 45 mins. to an hour for lunch which wasn't much time since the service is slow. Guided tours are quick and back to back so it doesn't give you much time to mentally digest and retain the information. The whole week seems like a blur of images & information and running to the bus. Our tour group was accompanied by three other groups with only one EF tours. Spent most of the time worrying about getting lost and finding the EF tour guide which moves at a quick pace and doesn't wait and doesn't look back to see if the entire group of 50 people is together. Also tour guide blends into the masses of people. EF tours should make their guides use a yellow T-shirt with EF tours on them and a hat or umbrella so one can easily find them in the crowd. I think EF tours cuts many corners to maximize profits. In the long run, they will lose customers. I don't think they have many customers that come back for more!

ptaube
Feb 21, 2018

Buying the Insurance is a LIE!!!

BEWARE: We had booked a trip with EF Tours and bought the insurance that stated "EF recommended the Global Travel Protection Plan includes cancellation and interruption, illness etc..." This is completely false. We had to cancel due to a family emergency and they said they would NOT honor it. They would take $760. Watch out doing business with this group.

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