I have always liked traveling solo; I can set my own pace and go to places that I really want to go to without worrying about the others’ needs. However, for my spring break, I decided to break my habit and book a trip with EF College Break to Costa Rica. (To see the highlights of my trip, check out my personal blog!)
EF College Break runs all-inclusive trips all over the world for 18 to 28 year olds. Covered in the programs are: optional roundtrip flights (I used my miles instead), accommodations, 24/7 tour director, transportation between cities, and breakfast everyday.
With me being a non-Spanish speaker (although a lot of Costa Ricans seemed to think so), I thought EF College Break would be a great guide to a new country that I have never explored before.
Here are some other things that I love from my EF College Break experience in Costa Rica:
- Facebook and Whatsapp group set before the trip. I got to know – and let’s be honest, Facebook stalk – the other travelers prior to the trip. These social media groups are a platform for our trip consultants and tour director to inform us about travel plans, tips and recommendations, such as what to bring and how to tip.
- Local oriented. Most of the places where we stayed and ate were run by locals. This approach made me appreciate the locals even more, and it sure felt good to support small businesses.
- Amazing tour director and bus driver. Irene (our TD) and Tukis (bus driver) were such lovely people who gave their 110% to ensure our comfort and convenience. They also gave each and every one of us a customized miniature Costa Rican oxcart by which to remember them (*tears*);
- Amazing friends. At first I was anxious about going alone because I was worried that no one would want to be my friend. It turned out that a lot of the travelers were also alone, and we grew close quickly because we were all on the same boat. By the end of the trip, I had made friends for life. (Shout out to my roommates Jen, Ashley and Kelly.)
However, some things did not go as I expected. For example:
- Welcome mixer was a bummer. When the schedule mentioned welcome mixer at the Arenal hot springs, I expected a semi-fancy BBQ by the hot springs overlooking the volcano. WRONG. It was more of a “let’s dip ourselves in a kind of hot pool of a waterpark and then have BBQ dinner at a dining area.”
- Hotel room problems, although not EF College Break’s fault. The shower on our first night in San José was very weak and cold. Also, we had a cockroach in our bathroom in La Fortuna and saw many house lizards. But, it’s Costa Rica. One has got to expect ~exotic~ creatures living around them.
Nonetheless, it was still a great experience, and I recommend EF College Break to everyone. Everything is taken care of and hassle-free, and the schedule suits any traveler’s needs. If only I had more longer breaks, I would totally go for another trip. Or two. Or more.