Rick Steves Tour. Pro/Con

Old Jun 6th, 2021, 03:50 AM
  #21  
 
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Great idea!

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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Iwan2go View Post
I appreciate the way his tours list the number of hours on the bus. Can anyone share their experience regarding what time the bus leaves each city, whether they felt rushed during the day, if they liked the hotels (as well as their locations), etc? His tours sounds interesting, as do the people who book them. We’ve never been on one, and am not sure if they’re targeted to people like us, in our early to mid 70s who like to linger a little bit. Thanks!
Iwan2go. The itineraries definitely are not as rushed as say, a 'Cosmos' or 'Trafalgar' type tour, but they do keep moving. From what a family member who did two tours describes, lunch is often a sack lunch since that helps make the most of sightseeing hours. If you want to 'linger a bit' over lunch - or breakfast for that matter - then you must consider sacrificing that lingering as a tradeoff for the positives of the tour. At least you would not be driving, or even hustling luggage to a train station, and so could nap or relax on the bus.

The "heart of France tour" - Anyone who follows my trip reports knows spouse and self are not leisurely pace travelers. Carpe diem is our motto. However, we can't keep up with RS partly because we want to do more. For example, we wanted to do some of both of the US and British-Canadian sectors of the Normandy landing beaches, the RS tour only does the US sector - quite naturally enough, since it's an American based tour. But a more in depth look needs more time. So we spent 3 and not 2 nights in Bayeux. But also because self conducted tours do take more time - to rest after driving, and, because we don't like doing laundry in the sink if we can avoid it, to find a laundromat for that task.Bottom line - the tours are well designed, as in, my family member did not find them rushed, but except for the city-only tours, neither he nor I would call their itineraries leisurely.



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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 03:51 PM
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I have done a number of Rick Steves tours.
I have never had a sack lunch on any of them.
Most days the group meets at 8:30 or 9, though it might be earlier on occasion to get to a site before it gets busy. While they are active, and include lots of walking, there is generally lots of free time to do as you please. The biggest plus is the outstanding local guides they hire. I get so much more out of an area than I would on my own.

It might be too late to decide on a 2022 tour. Many were quickly filled when they were posted last week.
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Old Jun 7th, 2021, 03:03 PM
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We have a trip reserved for May 2021 already.
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Old Jun 7th, 2021, 03:07 PM
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Opps, 2022!,
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Old Jun 7th, 2021, 08:00 PM
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Thanks, Sue and Elberko, for filling in a little bit more on RS tours for me. I appreciate knowing that they don’t usually start at the crack of dawn.

Until a few years ago, we drove on our travels - I think the last time was in the Dordogne in 2014. Since that time, we’ve done train vacations and hired local guides - sometimes for a city walking tour, and on other occasions, a day long tour. Like you, we have found that we understand and appreciate places when we have local tour guides bring the history to life. I just wanted to get a better idea of the scheduling, which the links above (RS Scrapbooks) and your comments helped with.

Our next few trips will be to larger cities, connecting with trains. I would love to go to the Basque region, Alsace, and Cornwall - those are the ones where I’m considering tours. And yup, most of the R Steve’s tours for 2022 are “Wait list” already. Guess everybody else has the same idea - let’s go!

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Old Jun 8th, 2021, 04:01 AM
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Iwan2go

I wouldn't hesitate to put yourself on a waitlist if there is any chance you might want to go next year. The general thought is that quite a few people have signed up because there is no downside to doing so and will realize later this year that they aren't going to go.

Basque was my last RS trip, and it was great!
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 05:13 PM
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If I weren't doing it on my own, for whatever reason, I would trust a Rick Steves tour over any others.

I'm in Seattle so he's a "home town boy" to me. And loved by many. I have only heard good reviews for decades about all different branches of his business... tours, educational classes, private planning, lending library, etc.
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