Going solo with EF Ultimate Break
Three travelers share their experience booking a trip with us by themselves.
Gavyn: One day, my dad came home from a trip to Italy and told me I needed to get over to Europe. I had never been abroad before, so I went online, found EF Ultimate Break, and signed up for Grand Tour of Europe.
Maria: I went on an EF trip in high school. When I got to college, I was dying to travel again. I signed up for Spain, France and Italy with my sister, but that wasn’t enough. Costa Rica was calling my name, so I signed up for that one too as a solo traveler.
Jane: When I got to college, I knew it was time to travel. I found EF Ultimate Break, signed up for Australia & New Zealand on my own, and before I knew it I was heading Down Under!
The Facebook group
Gavyn: Right after I signed up, the Trip Consultant for my trip emailed a link to our specific Facebook group. There was already like 35 people in there. I was the only one from Texas Tech, but there were a couple people from Austin. It was awesome to get to know the people in my group before the trip.
Maria: We were on Facebook a lot before the trip. Especially for the Costa Rica trip, I remember we were planning who wanted to do what during free time and less busy days—laying out a couple things we wanted to do, some places we wanted to go.
Gavyn: It’s very easy to make new friends on the trip. As soon as I got into London, I went up to my hotel room, and my three roommates and I went down and grabbed a beer and just hung. Then the next night we all went out and just kind of hit it off with everybody.
Maria: On the Costa Rica trip there were only 25 of us, and we all got really close. It’s so easy to make friends. I’m telling you we got off the plane at around 1:00pm and we were all having a party by 4:00pm. We hit it off right away. Right away.
Jane: The group of people I hung out with the most I actually met at the airport, we were part of the same pickup time slot. And I immediately bonded with my roommate. I had a group of people, there were about six of us, and we kind of stuck together from the very beginning. So from the very start I always felt like I constantly had this group of people to hang out with.
Why you should leave your friends behind and go solo
New travel friends > lame home friends.
I knew we were really friends when...
Maria: It was about halfway through the Costa Rica trip and we were in a small town called Monteverde. We were all already friends by then, but this was the first time that we all went out together, and we all stayed out till like 4:00am drinking, dancing, having a good time. From there on out it was like we were a family.
Jane: One stop on the Australia tour is Coffs Harbour, and I remember all of us thought it was too quiet compared to all the other cities. But we decided to go out anyway, and we found this convenience store not too far from the hotel, and we all got some ice cream. I still remember that moment, just sitting outside the convenience store, having this ice cream, just really enjoying each other’s company. I remember feeling at the time that it’s not really about where you are but who you’re with that matters.
Friendships that last
Gavyn: One of my buddies from the trip I still talk to on a weekly basis. And he went to the same college my best friend goes to, so I’m gonna go up there and we’re gonna meet up and hang out. He went to Penn State. There were two other kids from Penn State on the trip, and they were the ones that I mainly hung out with. I think that’s the best part, I definitely feel like I’ve made a couple lifelong friends.
Maria: About 10 of us are going to Thailand this summer. Then, a bunch of us that were on the Costa Rica tour are going ahead of the trip to go to Bali, and then we’re staying after to check out some of the islands as well.
Was going solo the right move?
Gavyn: I think going by yourself is the way to do it, especially the first time. It makes things easier, you’re there by yourself, you can kind of pick and choose what you want to do certain days, you’re open to do whatever. There were days when the group of kids I hung out with the most would go off and do something and I was like “eh, I don’t really feel like doing that” so I could easily move and go with a different group.
Jane: Going alone or going with a friend or two, I feel it’ll have no effect on the amount of fun you’ll have on the trip, because if you’re alone you’ll meet people who you connect with, that’s for sure. Every solo traveler, I know they definitely made some connections. And those who went with other people still had an amazing time because they also met new people.