Adult Expectations While on Tour

We’re so happy you’re joining students on this life-changing adventure abroad. As you know, our tours are designed with students in mind—from the affordable prices to the active itineraries that maximize educational value. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or this is your first time out of the country, we want to ensure that you have a fantastic time too. That’s why we’ve put together the following information to help you understand what to expect on tour.


Your Group Leader

The teacher organizing your tour—the Group Leader—is responsible for the group’s behavior while abroad. They will be the Tour Director’s primary point of contact and will work closely with their chaperones to supervise students.

Group Travel

Unless you travel as a private group, you’ll be traveling with other students and adults from the U.S. and Canada. When traveling as a group, it’s important to be flexible and to keep a positive attitude on tour. Your positivity can be contagious—especially for the students. And since you’re traveling as a group and not on your own, it’s essential to be punctual. If one person is late, it can make the whole group miss a scheduled activity.

Tour and Departure Date Flexibility

One of the ways we get the most affordable group rates for our travelers is by asking Group Leaders to be flexible with their tour choice and departure date so we can combine groups with similar preferences. Please check with your Group Leader for your three tour itinerary options and the date ranges. Your tour and travel date will be confirmed around 70 days before departure. If you’re doing any travel before or after the tour, make sure you wait for the tour and date to be confirmed before making any arrangements.



Our student tours are an introduction to travel and are intended to give young people the confidence to see the world. We design our itineraries to get the most out of each destination, so our Tour Directors and local guides focus on showing students iconic sites with the best educational value. Some itineraries have scheduled free time, but it’s usually limited.


You will typically be on the go all day, leaving your hotel after an early breakfast and often returning after dinner. Your day will often be fast-paced and include a lot of walking, so be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes. There may not be a lot of time to shop, and some lunches may be quick, so students can see as much as possible.

Hotels and rooming

You will stay in safe, clean, and comfortable hotels with private bathrooms. Hotels, which may be located outside the city center, usually have smaller rooms and fewer amenities (like no air conditioning or elevators) than you are used to in North America. Travelers in your group may not be roomed next to each other and maybe on different floors. As an adult, you’ll be assigned to a twin room (a room with two single beds). If you do not designate a roommate, you will be assigned to room with another adult of the same gender—either from your group or one of the other groups with which you’re traveling. Couples can request a double room (a room with one large bed) for no additional charge, and individuals may request a single room (one single bed) for an additional charge. Single rooms are not available on overnight trains or tours to Africa. If you have not yet spoken to your Group Leader about rooming requests, please do so as soon as possible.

Rooming on night trains and ferries (if applicable)

Sleeping compartments on trains are very small, and there are no single or double rooms. Adults and students will room in couchettes of up to six beds that fold down from the wall. Couchettes may not be exclusive to EF travelers and may be co-ed. Shared bathrooms are located outside the compartments in the train corridors. Ferry accommodations will vary depending on the tour. Generally, adults and students will room in cabins of up to four beds. Single rooms are not available on overnight ferries and trains. Your Group Leader will always work closely with the Tour Director to make rooming as comfortable as possible.


Trying authentic local cuisine can be a highlight of traveling, but you should expect portion size to be smaller than what you’re used to at home. Breakfast typically includes cereal, bread or rolls, jam, juice, coffee, and tea. Lunch is your chance to make culinary discoveries of your own. Your Tour Director will be happy to make recommendations. Everyone will have the same meal at dinner, which will be a mix of local specialties and familiar dishes that appeal to younger travelers’ preferred tastes. Dinners are included with your tour, but you will be expected to pay for soft drinks and other beverages. Table water is always provided free of charge; bottled water is provided in those countries where deemed necessary by locals (e.g., Egypt). If you notify your Group Leader that you are vegetarian, you will receive vegetarian meals for the entire tour.



We strive to keep groups together as much as possible. At times, larger groups may need to split up on different flights due to the number of seats available. In this case, your Group Leader will consult with us to decide who will fly on which itinerary. We can’t guarantee that groups will be seated together, as the airline will determine seating assignments upon flight check-in. Due to the special rates that we secure for flights, airlines will not allow you to accrue frequent flyer miles or upgrade seats for your itinerary. To make any specialized meal requests, please contact the airline directly (no later than 72 hours before departure) to make any specialized meal requests.

Ground transportation

On most tours, groups typically travel by motorcoach between destinations and on included sightseeing tours and excursions. Some itineraries, however, include internal flights or travel by train, cruise ship, or ferry. To travel to local activities or during free time, groups generally find it easy to use public transportation. Your Tour Director will help you learn the maps and routes.



You will be asked to load your luggage on, and off buses and into hotels (porterage is not available), so we encourage you to pack light—ideally, one suitcase and one carry-on bag. Luggage restrictions vary by airline, and space is especially limited on trains, so please plan accordingly as you are responsible for any luggage handling fees charged by the airlines. We recommend you carry any valuables and medication, along with an extra change of clothes, in your carry-on bag.


It’s customary to tip your Tour Director and coach driver as a token of appreciation at the end of the tour. We suggest that each traveler tip the Tour Director $6 per day on tour and $3 per day for the bus driver. Giving a small tip of $1 to $2 per person to both the professional local guide and the day’s driver is typical. If your tour includes a cruise, travelers will also be expected to tip $10 per person per day for the cruise staff, in addition to the standard gratuity for the Tour Director.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information. By understanding what to expect on your student tour, you’re well on your way to a memorable experience abroad.