Our Travelers: Meet Val Sandora

We often describe traveling abroad as a “Once in a lifetime experience,” but who says it literally can only happen once? We sat down with a one of our EF College Break veteran travelers, Valerie Sandora, to find out just how and why she has chosen to travel with College Break over the past four years. 


Valerie enjoys a churro in Spain
Valerie enjoys a churro in Spain


EF College Breaker since 2011

Trips Val has TakenAmsterdam Paris and London NYE (2011), Italy and the Greek Islands (2013), Grand Tour of Spain (2014), and Germany, Italy and Switzerland (2015)

Fun Val Facts:

Favorite trip: “Each place has always been so different, but if I have to pick, I’d say Amsterdam, Paris and London. I liked how fast paced it was – you fit in so much in 10 days and ringing in the New Year in Amsterdam was unreal.”

Craziest moment: On Germany, Italy and Switzerland we were at a bar trying not to look like tourists, but what can you do? A ton of us just got up on the dance floor and started karaoke-ing Backstreet Boys and it was SO funny.”

Funniest moment: In Paris on my first trip, the whole group went out to dinner. The wine was flowing, so my friends and I decided to write a poem for our Tour Director. I went to give it to him, but ended up reading it in front of the whole restaurant! It’s always like a, “you had to be there moment,” even when I talk to my own friends about it – so just go do it for yourself!”


Read on for Val’s Story…

Val started traveling with College Break when she graduated college and decided to treat herself by ringing in the New Year in Amsterdam back in 2011. Since then, she’s been on four trips with us all over Europe. When asked what keeps her coming back, she mentioned a few things that warmed our hearts. First, she loves the ease of it. She raved about her Tour Directors and the perfect balance of planned sightseeing, but also the ability to make the trip your own during free time. “I had looked into a trip of my own,” Val said, “but not only is it a better deal to go with you [EF College Break] but it’s so convenient. If you price it out to do it yourself, it’s way more expensive. Plus, if I went on my own, I wouldn’t have made the life-long friends I made on my College Break trips.” Cue the studio “Awww” sound.

But really, the cynics out there are probably thinking, “Four trips? Must be nice.”  We asked Val just how she’s been able to save up for travel. Val told us that she works a few different jobs and is able to put her babysitting money away for trips. She said she loves our monthly payment plan because not only does she sign up early, giving her the most time to pay it off, but she also puts down a substantial deposit (only $150 is required) to reduce her payments. “Now is the time to travel before you have a family and other responsibilities. The first trip, I was worried about the money, but I was fine. The experience is so worth it and I don’t regret a penny spent on these trips.”

So what’s next for Val? She said she’s hoping to travel next with us on Thailand and the Islands. We think that’s a great idea!