Rick Steves tour for 28yo single female?

Aug 4th, 2007, 06:53 PM
  #1  
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Rick Steves tour for 28yo single female?

Hi all -

I'm a 28 year old single woman who desperately needs to get out of the country While I've tried to plan trips with friends, the time/dates/prices never seem to align, so I've decided to do a group tour.

Rick Steves has a weeklong tour that I'm considering for March, and I have a few questions:

1) Have any of you taken this (or similar tours)? Any feedback?

2) I'm concerned I'll be either the lone twenty-something and/or the lone singleton. What are my chances?

Thus far I'm thinking of forgoing the single supplement and just rooming with another woman. (I've invited friends along, but in case they decide not to go, at least I've still got a trip on my calendar!)

Also, I HAVE considered making the trip alone, but I really enjoy learing about a city/country and thought having a guide (esp. since I don't speak French) would be beneficial.

I've also considered companies like Contiki, but from what I've heard, they're more interested in partying than learning.

Thanks in advance.
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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My apologies, it's a weeklong trip to PARIS I'm considering. (I didn't even mention the city above.)
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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Just a quick comment...I'm sure the Rick Steves tour is good, but from my experience a week in Paris is easy to do on your own and language is not a problem.
alcook2 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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There is absolutely no reason that a 28-year old could not visit Paris independently, even without speaking French. Pick up a few travel books, find a central hotel, and go -- a week in Paris is a luxury that could much better be enjoyed without being confined to a schedule, tour buses and meals with strangers. Its one of the easier cities to navigate by public transport -- the Metro goes everywhere and is very, very simple to figure out, even without speaking a word of French.
thit_cho is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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Personally, I have never done a tour and would not be happy doing so. However, we know many friends of our children (single kids in their 20's and 30's) who like Tours for several reasons:
You have the opportunity to meet others, share experiences, hang out in the evening together, and make potentially life-long friendships with other who have similar interests.
nanabee is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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A tour with Steves' company doesn't sound good to me, but I understand your desire to learn and to also share the expense of a room.

Would you consider some sort of learning trip that is orgazinzed on a group level? Art history, architecture, language, painting, photography, or something specialized, such as cycling or hiking? Universities and museums sometimes sponsor the learning type trips, and hiking and cycling are all over the internet.

You might just try googleing learning trip/vacation in Paris.

I suggest this because I have been in contact with groups like this on occasion, and they seem to attract younger people, as well as some single people.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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"Would you consider some sort of learning trip that is orgazinzed on a group level? Art history, architecture, language, painting, photography, or something specialized, such as cycling or hiking? >

Really good suggestions. I wonder, however, if I'd be sitting in a classroom, dying to just go sightseeing

Also, I'm a grad student (in addition to my day job) so while I'm definitely interested in learning about Paris, I don't want it to be STRICTLY academic. I get enough of that already

Love the feedback so far.
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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"There is absolutely no reason that a 28-year old could not visit Paris independently, even without speaking French."

I'm certain you're right. But I like the idea of sharing the experience with others. If I can't convince my friends go to, I'll deal with a group of strangers who MAY become friends.
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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I agree with others who said you can do this trip on your own, easily. Just remember the hotel owners will help you out as best they can. Always carry their business card with you and take a cab back if you lose your way (which probably won't happen with a good map). Paris is easy to navigate.

There are many good guidebooks out there. I would start with Rick Steves and Lonely Planet; then start emaiing hotels for rate information for a single room, and you've made the first step.

I think you will find you can do the trip on your own much more economically. You will meet plenty of people (locals as well as tourists) on your own.

And try to see the movie Paris Je t'aime.

Susan
susan001 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:49 PM
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Though I am part of a couple, I've taken one Rick Steves tour (the 14-day Best of Europe) and feel that you would feel welcome and comfortable on one of his tours. Read the feedback from former tour members on Steves' website, and have a look at the tour scrapbooks that others have posted. Most folks seem to make a lot of good friends on these tours -- I know we did. While I'm sure that you could easily manage a week in Paris on your own, and probably do it less expensively than on an RS Tour, I'd recommend the tour as a good introduction to Paris with compatible folks.
azzure is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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I should mention that I've taken one tour (around England) as a teen. I really loved having a "native" tour guide tell us about places we visited, introduce us to places off the beaten path, etc. And while I didn't exactly love everyone I traveled with (it was a school group) I still absolutely loved the trip. In fact, I blame that trip for giving me the "travel bug."

So, while the Rick Steves tour will probably cost more than a self-planned trip, my guess is that I'll get more out of it. But that's just a guess.



AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:05 PM
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I have been on three of his tours. I can understand your desire to share the travel experience with others as that is why I have gone on the tours myself. However, even as a Rick Steves fan, I would have to say a 28 year old would not generally be comfortable in his groups. I doubt anyone would be close to your age.
GaryCA is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:32 PM
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"However, even as a Rick Steves fan, I would have to say a 28 year old would not generally be comfortable in his groups."

What gave me hope about possibly being among some other 20/30-somethings is that the 7-day Paris trip requires participants to "handle strenuous walking of up to 10 miles a day (2-3 hours at a time)" and "walk at a brisk pace over uneven pavement for several blocks at a time."

I'd think those statements would skew participants a bit towards the younger side, perhaps (?)
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:38 PM
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I probably shouldn'at say any more to influence you, except to say that people in their 60's can do all those things.
GaryCA is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:38 PM
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Also, by looking at this link, it DOES seem like the RS tours do involve the younger crowd:

http://tours.ricksteves.com/tours08/guides.cfm

But it's possible the testimonials aren't really representative of the customers as a whole...
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:39 PM
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the demographics on tours run against you. The expensive ones like Rick Steves and Tauck are primarily geared to older folks. Not ancient or anything but middle aged and above.

Tours aimed/marketed to younger people like Contiki tend to be party central.

I have friends who have taken RS tours to Italy a couple of times - and those have the same warnings about strenuous walking etc. They are in their 50's/early 60's and there were only 3 or 4 people in the group younger than them.

BTW - those photos on the testimonilas page - are the tour guides -- not participants.
janisj is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:40 PM
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Forget that most recent post. Those photos are of GUIDES. Duh.
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 10:51 PM
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I'd MUCH rather be with a group older than myself than a group younger myself. I think I'd jump off the nearest bridge if I was on a tour bus with a bunch of 18-22 year olds.
AONeal79 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 11:05 PM
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AONeal79 - I'm a few years older than you, but still a fairly young, single female traveler about to spend a few weeks in Paris. I speak very little French, but it's never been a problem on past trips... as long as you learn a few key phrases, you should be fine.

I also like to meet other people, but I think I'm going to do it through the organized Paris walking tours suggested by another Fodorite. Here's a link I found - http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...g/thismnth.htm

Either way, I'm sure you'll have a great time!

slangevar is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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It seems as if you've made up your mind to take the Rick Steves tour, and are now looking for that to be confirmed. Most people who participate on this forum travel independently, and you are likely not going to get unanimous and unwavering support of the tour. For me, personally, my own private hell would be a one-week city tour -- for others, including some of my older relatives, that would be heaven.

I would never want to be part of a herd following a guide (holding an umbrella as a beacon) through the Louvre, from Mona Lisa to Winged Victory to the seated scribe... But, as evidenced by the enormous crowds following those umbrellas, tours do appeal to a certain segment.
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