Not sure which forum to post this in . . . Does anyone have experience with both RS guided tours and My Way tours? Looking at the cost difference, then thinking about the extra out-of-pocket costs on a My Way tour, I'm wondering if the cost comes out about the same overall, with the the real difference being freedom/independence as opposed to cost. Obviously will depend on personal spending habits, but am interested in anyone's experience with this.
I was a member of the 1st My Way tour offered. (In 2011) And it was my second Rick Steves tour. As I remember the price was $1000 less than the regular tour. It was the "Best of Europe in 14 Days" going from Paris to Rome. The My Way version went to the Cinque Terre rather the Florence. I remember thinking at the time I spent about $1000 buying all my meals and (not a lot of) paid sight seeing tours. Sorry no hard data just what I remember thinking at the time. I took the My Way tour because I had been to most of the tour stops in previous visits and while I was stationed in Germany in the USAF in the early 70's. This tour was going to where I wanted to go to agaom. So my thinking when signing up was I did NOT need another tour of the Louve in Paris and the major sights in Rome and etc. I walked around a lot and enjoyed just being there. However as it turns out having a tour of the major sights again with a Rick Steves guide is a good thing. I took the guided Paris and Central France tour last year and did take the included Louve tour on that one. And this year I am going on the guided Best of Italy tour and will get the Rick Steves tours of all the major sights and am looking forward to them since I know they will be very good. So if a My Way tour goes to the places you want to go and you don't want to see the sights that would be included in a similar guided tour the My Way is the way to go. Also if the lower cost of the My Way tour makes it so you can travel to Europe, go for it. But the one thing that was the same on the My Way and a my regular guided RS tours were the great fellow tour members. What a great group of fun people each time.
One of the things I like the most about Rick Steves guided tours are the group meals. I ate meals and foods I would not have known to order on my own.
Thanks for the input, Robert - sounds like I can't go wrong either way!
Kris, I've also been trying to find some answers to that same question. I've taken six RS guided tours so far, and have decided to try a My Way tour this year to see whether they "work" for me. I'm on a Pension so the fact that they're less expensive was definitely one factor in my decision. I've found that it's difficult to make an accurate comparison between the two types of tours, as there are a lot of variables. Some people on a My Way tour may want to see the same Museums, etc. as the regular tours so will have to pay all the admission fees and make their own reservations (if required). Some tours provide local transportation (ie: Transit Pass, Carnet, etc.), so My Way tour members will have to pay for that. Some of the things I may miss - there won't be any walking tours with local Guides, and I find that I learn a lot about the local culture and history on those. I'll definitely miss the group dinners and the "tutorials" about local cuisine. Food is probably the greatest variable, as the cost of that will vary with each individual / couple. I doubt that I'll learn as much on a My Way tour as a regular tour, but I figure the only way to know for sure is to give it a try. I'll have a better idea on the differences after I've taken the tour. Cheers!
@Elle, Regarding the "equity", it was my impression that there was no difference in that between the regular tours and the My Way tours. Could you clarify?