Rick Steves - Ugly American Again!

Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 09:41 AM
  #21  
 
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Pintxos, I agree!
<I like how he made travel accessible to people who otherwise would deem it too difficult to plan and too expensive. I despise his TV show on PBS for its lack of depth.>

When I said that "followers follow", I should have added, we all seek and take advice; Rick Steve's is not my cup of tea, but I understand why others listen to him.

I have to say, I really hate the way he emphasizes avoiding getting ripped off, which to me is not the same as being frugal or on a budget. The defensiveness--watch out! they're out to get you!--seems alarmist.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 09:42 AM
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Rick Steves popularity stems from the misguided imprimatur of PBS. His insanely simplistic TV shows are free advertising that no other guide book or tour company has received or could match. At least doo-wop is entertaining.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 09:57 AM
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I think her name is Samantha Brown. I always thought she had the best job ever.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:04 AM
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I listened carefully and read the transcript.

Unfortunately, the host of the show mispronounced it, adding an extra "n".

Rick pronounced it correctly: Vicenza - lovely town, one of my personal favorites.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:12 AM
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Simplistic, yes but insanely is too harsh, IMO.

Do most people travel as broadly and often as long-time Fodor's posters? I appreciated Rick Steves' approach when I was a new traveler, and I think he fills an important niche for many folks.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:31 AM
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"Rick Steve's shtick seems to be encouraging the idiots to go abroad"

Is a very interesting point.

30 years ago, most Brits were prone to their two week holiday. This usually involved a pootle down to the local travel agents shop to ogle at glossy travel brochures. Nobody had a computer at home which was capable of anything more than playing Pacman. The agents had magic computers linked to tour operators, we all booked our two weeks in Greece and slapped on chip oil to protect us from sun burn.

During those two weeks abroad, we ate egg and chips and fought with the Germans over sunbeds, world wars and world cups (football not soccer).

A this time every week, TV channels were packed with Rick Steves types who, in their half hour slots, encouraged not to go to Corfu but exotic places like Orlando or Eygpt.

Then came the Internet.
Then came low cost operators.
Then came Thatchers comsumer revolution.
Then came weekend shopping trips to New York and Dubai.
We discovered Thailand, cruising round Alaska, sushi in Okinawa, scuba diving in Raja Ampat.

Put simply, we generally become less of the idiots trying to travel abroad.

We haven't seen many Rick Steves types in Britain for years.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:32 AM
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And I sincerely hope he stays away from Vicenza, it is a wonderfully unassuming place.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:32 AM
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I heard this show on Saturday. He should known better about asking a city to build storage facilities for a tourist that needs three hour storage for a bag.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:37 AM
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I love Rick Steeve's guide books. They are easy to spot plastered to the noses of many American tourists all looking for that hidden cafe nobody knows about. This badge makes it easy to run the other way and avoid the hordes.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:42 AM
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IMDONEHERE and MICHELEN Gracias

"I googled it-her first name was Samantha." Brown, of course.
Really liked her show...
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:53 AM
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In what era was Samantha Brown's show? It sounds wonderful, but I do not remember seeing anything like it in the last 10 years. Was she on PBS?

I always thought Rudy Maxa was pompous and catered to the over 50 crowd with a comfortable retirement package. Not my cup of tea.

I have to admit Rick Steve's Italy Guidebook was the first travel book I bought and it helped me overcome the fear of traveling abroad alone without knowing the language.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 10:55 AM
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Dickie_Gr, thanks for a wonderful history of British tourism in a nutshell.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:02 AM
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Here is America's travel history in a nutshell:

World War I
The Titanic
World War II
Amsterdam, Ibiza, and Marrakech
AARP guided tours
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:30 AM
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Sorry Pintxos

I missed the final phase which has emerged this year.

After 29 years of international travel, unidiotic British travellers became sick of 10 minute transfer times in Changi, being strip searched in Cali and then abseiling into Kilauea.

Burgers and beer in Ibiza is back.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:34 AM
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<i>They are easy to spot plastered to the noses of many American tourists all looking for that hidden cafe nobody knows about.</i>

Me and Mrs. Sparkchaser hosted a friend her husband for 3 weeks last year. Everything they wanted to see/do/eat was from Rick Steves. We went to Salzburg for the weekend and we booked a B&B they wanted to stay at because it was in a Rick Steves guidebook. At breakfast in the morning we were surrounded by Americans who came because it was recommended in Rick Steves.


IMDonehere: you left out Vietnam and Thailand.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Sparky I will include it next time.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:41 AM
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Surely there's a Rick Steves equivalent in nearly every country, someone whose advice caters to people who would be too afraid to venture out otherwise? I am not a truly adventurous traveler, but I agree with whoever said above that the Internet has rendered his ilk obsolete, except among those who are not Internet savvy, and they're a dying breed.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:44 AM
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Folks should not always be held to stupid things they say when much younger but Rick's advice in earlier books to load up for the day from the unlimited breakfast buffet still rings in my ears - something we've all done perhaps when younger and poorer but still to write it in a guidebook?

I bet there was a time when hoteliers did NOT like seeing guests toting Rick Steves' book into their establishments!

But he has evolved into a cash cow - not his books but his much much more lucrative group tours that he sings a different tune to his tour members now no doubt - don't even think of doing that.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:52 AM
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I don't know if this is still in Steves Europe Cheap-o book but he advocated that you eat uneaten food from trays in cafeterias that others left behind. And by example, you can save money on laundry, by not changing your shirt.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 11:53 AM
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<And by example, you can save money on laundry, by not changing your shirt.>
But that's true!
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