Who uses Rick Steves?

Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:22 AM
  #21  
 
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We use RS books. We have not stayed at the hotels he recommends but we use the books for recommendations for site seeing etc for places we are interested in. Then we tear out the pages and take them with us for the places we want to go to.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:28 AM
  #22  
 
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I find his books to be as useful if not slightly more useful than most for determining which areas are worth visiting. For trip planning, I almost always use three books. Rick Steves, DK and Fodorís, none of which sufficiently cover the less visited areas of a country. Not sure what book actually does or should. That would be like a book on the U.S. having a whole section on Wilmington, Delaware. Most will never care to read it. They are always going to cover the more frequented areas. I use the Rick Steves books to get "The Lay of the Land" by referring to his page with the top sites and must sees, DK for the pictures and "survival guide", and Fodorís and the forums for restaurants/hotels. I do find most hotels or restaurants recommended by Steves to be run into the ground or overly touristy by the time I make it there. I find the Internet to be the best resource overall, however. The only problem there is that I have to deal with everyoneís "opinions" which one should never be subject to... Especially someone like that sandal wearing, pot smoking Rick Steves, huh llamalady? But seriously, I don't mind reading opinions either from a guide or from this site. Rick should do as good a job keeping his opinions to himself as us Fodorites. For info gathering, Iíll take all of it. I think it all has value.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:32 AM
  #23  
 
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I have stayed in several hotels recommended by Rick Steves and have not been disappointed. Interesting experience in the Loire area of France. I stayed at a recommended B&B (it was wonderful, by the way) and our host told us that he is listed in several travel guidebooks, but that the only guidebook that checks his B&B out EVERY year is a staff person from Rick Steves. And - there is no warning that the person is coming, so that they see it "as is." He told me that he was listed in some guidebooks where he had never been visited by anyone to confirm that what he was offering was a reality.

I found that very interesting. And - while you might not always agree with Rick's taste in hotels, restaurants, etc., I have found his descriptions to be very accurate, so I haven't been disappointed when I have selected a hotel or restaurant he has recommended.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:44 AM
  #24  
 
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We use Rick Steves quite a bit. I like the practical information his guidebooks contain, and find them especially helpful for a first time trip.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:45 AM
  #25  
 
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I like Rick and use his books as one of several when planning a trip. I also take his book(s) along.

I suspect that some people do not like him because they are simply jealous that he has been able to turn his passion into a way to make a very comfortable living.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:53 AM
  #26  
 
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dolciani,

You can't expect EVERYBODY to like EVERYBODY. Many people simply don't care for Rick Steves while others worship him. As to "why?", it's not important (or even answerable, possibly). IT'S OK.

Save your time and energy for your trip planning.

Find an author/guidebook whose style fits your own and have a great trip.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:55 AM
  #27  
JN
 
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I've used RS's books when going to places he discusses. I also use Frommers and this discussion board. I think RS is fine for those seeking less expensive hotels/restaurants and those who plan to visit the restricted set of places his books discuss.

I don't know about his politics, and could care less. I can't imagine how that would dissuade me from staying at a particular hotel.

Is he goofy on TV? Yes, but who cares. He has a passion for what he does, by all accounts is a down to earth, nice person, and his shows give good information. Like AisleSeat, I enjoy his shows, Maxa's and "Samantha-Brown-stays-at-the-world's-most-expensive-hotels" Passport to Europe program. I learn something new or good regardless of his dorkiness.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 10:55 AM
  #28  
 
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Thanks for the suggestions on Auxerre. At least I think I'm going to Auxerre. I just checked the e-mail about my reservation & notice they had typed July, but I'm supposed to be there in June.

As far as Rick Steves is concerned, a lot of the posters make a valid point - it's best to use a variety of guide books. One that I like for some of it's info, though I'm certainly not in their target demographic, is the Let's Go Books.
I like the DK books for their graphics & Fodors has good info,too. And RS has useful info - if he's writing about the place you want to go to.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 11:00 AM
  #29  
 
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"our host told us that he is listed in several travel guidebooks, but that the only guidebook that checks his B&B out EVERY year is a staff person from Rick Steves. And - there is no warning that the person is coming, so that they see it "as is." He told me that he was listed in some guidebooks where he had never been visited by anyone to confirm that what he was offering was a reality."

If the checkers are anonymous, how on earth would he know? It almost sounds the other way round to me, if the Rick Steves writers identify themselves (even after booking), may they not be getting special treatment?
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 11:01 AM
  #30  
 
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Fodors doesn't have any opinion on him, and has never tried to get people to say that.

A lot of people like the above insist it must be because people are "jealous." No, that isn't the reason, I don't like him either and I'm not remotely jealous of him or any other author, I have my own life and career and comfortable income, and wouldn't even want to do what he does.

I don't like him because I don't like his books. I don't like a lot of his attitudes and opinions (and it has nothing to do with liberal or marijuana). I just don't share his assessments of things many times, he just has weird taste to me. I'm mainly thinking of attractions, cities, etc. He is very dismissive of some things I find interesting and enjoyable, and will tell people not to waste their time there, etc. His guidebooks do not have very good maps, and I expect that in a guidebook.

Now I do think his Paris guidebooks is pretty bad, but I found his book on Switzerland not that bad, and useful enough for someone who hadn't been there before. I used it a bit.

I was on a plane ride with him last month, he was with his son. He looks better in person, actually, not quite as dorky, I thought. It was funny as even though I don't watch him a lot, I recognized him immediately -- at least, though, gee that guy looks like Rick Steves. Then I realized the plane was going onward to Portland OR (I got off in Reno), and read that he had been in Wash DC for some business thing, and realized it was him. he doesn't look as geeky in person, actually -- at least that's what I thought.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 11:05 AM
  #31  
 
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When I first started travelling to Europe, I used Rick Steves's books almost exclusively. As I have grown older, I have branched out to use Fodor's, Frommers, Lonely Planet and many websites. I do like his practical tips on many of the sites. However, I now like to find my own "back doors".
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 12:10 PM
  #32  
 
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The checkers (from Rick Steves) are not anonymous - they are just unannounced.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 12:34 PM
  #33  
 
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I like his info and have several of his books, but like anything in life I do not get all my information and base my opinions on one source. He's a good mix to any travel plans with others as well.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 01:30 PM
  #34  
 
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I use a variety of guide books and resources when planning a trip - Frommers, Fodors, Trip Advisor, RS, etc. I find RS very helpful with practical information as other posters have said and that is an important part of the planning for me. That being said, I also don't necessarily care for the commentary or some of his recommended restaurants because they do seem to be highly populated with other tourists.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 02:05 PM
  #35  
 
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shanti, we loved Auxerre. We had a wonderful dinner at a little restaurant called something like, Le Petit Bourdain (that might not be exactly right -- I'll check my notes). We liked it so much, we went back to the same place the next night!
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 02:30 PM
  #36  
 
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I use a combination of three books anytime we travel and Steves is one of them. We've used his recommendations for hotels a couple of times with great success. However,we have always used his higher priced locations. We've also stopped at a couple of the out of the way locations he recommends (especially in Spain) and used a local guide who was awesome that he also recommends. For more detailed info, we use the InSight Guide and for the broader, one size tries to fit all, we use Fodors (no offense meant here so don't take off on me, ok?)
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 02:32 PM
  #37  
 
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I always get a Rick Steves guidebook when I'm going to Europe, but I also bring a Frommers, and I consult a Fodors before I go--especially when I'm not sure what I want to see in a speciific city or country.

Rick limits his books to specific places, so he doesn't have info on all the places I typically want to go. Just my opinion, of course, but his is the first book I buy when I'm planning a new trip.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:02 PM
  #38  
 
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I will never forget the first trip to Europe on our own. I remeber watching one of Rick's PBS shows and he showed how to read the train schedule. It was very basic and yet so helpful. Also I like that he oftens points out where public restrooms are located. Again very helpful. I actually haven't used any of his books for a long time, but wouldn't hesitate to do so.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:47 PM
  #39  
mms
 
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We used to live close to the RS office and would go there and use the resources to plan trips. One thing that was especially nice is that there is a library of all sorts of travel guides, not just his, and you are free to browse near the firepit.

I do use his books on trips. I like how he makes suggestions of what to see if you have 3 day vs 5 days, etc.

As far as his hotel suggestions go, I too used to think that I would not go for them. But last summer we booked the Muguet in Paris and after I booked it I saw he recommended it in his book. It sure taught me to not just dismiss his ideas.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:57 PM
  #40  
 
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I'm surprised that no one in this thread has mentioned the excellent Michelin Green Guides, my all-time standbys. I loved the Fielding guides, but they are no longer being published.
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