New or Modified ETBD Trips??

Just curious how often RS adds new trips, or makes major changes to existing trips? I love the Rick Steves trips, but I was thinking that I'd like a trip that maybe didn't cover as many locations and spent a little bit longer in each city (3 nights instead of 2 nights, etc). Or for example, I've done the Best Of Europe trip, and would really like to do it again, but just not the exact same trip.. Maybe some different cities, or maybe do different things in some of the regular cities. So a trip I'd like to see would be: "Best of Europe 14 days Do-Over" - Paris 2 days, - eastern France 2 days, - Lauterbrunnen 3 days, - French Riviera 2 days, - Cinque Terra 2 days, - Lake Como 2 days,
- Milan 1 day Anyone else have any ideas for new or "improved" ETBD trips? Or how we might get this feedback back to those in control? I understand how much research and effort goes into planning and setting up trips, so I'm not going to be holding my breath for new trips, but just thought this might be a fun exercise.

Posted by Grier
Carmel, IN
1054 posts

Matt - I have e-mailed tour suggestions to Steve Smith at ETBD in the past and have had responses from him. I believe he is in charge of tour itineraries. They do change and/or tweak and/or add new tours occasionally but not that frequently.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

I think three nights in some places would be nice, they do that a few times , but not enough. I also think they almost never change the tours, looking at them today, the ones I sort of scan over now and then seem exactly the same as they have always been( for at least the last 6 years or so anyways).

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1838 posts

I just completed my 10th RS tour in the last 11 years. I can attest that the tours do get added and dropped as well as their itineary changes. About the only tours that I have found that stay in one place for 3 days are the 7 day city tours. You might want to run up to Edmonds, WA and visit the RS Headquarters and have a discussion with the Travel Desk folks who I have found to be very helpful when visiting in person many times over the years.

Posted by Matt
Kent, WA, USA
107 posts

Charlie,
Have you ever repeated a trip? I think it might be fun to repeat a trip, but there are a lot of the group things that wouldn't be that interesting the second time around. Maybe the new MyWay trips would work well for that, do the "My Way" trip the second time, and then even if it the same cities you could do different things?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17745 posts

Matt, Based on my observations over the years, tour Itineraries are modified according to a variety of factors, including tour member feedback, how well the tour is selling, etc. I doubt that they would implement changes based on the suggestions from a few people, but you could certainly try. If you happen to be in the Edmonds area one day, stop by the office and have a chat with them. Cheers!

Posted by Matt
Kent, WA, USA
107 posts

Hi Ken, Thanks for the info.. I wasn't seriously thinking of trying to influence changes to trips, but it was more just an exercise for entertainment, just thought it would be fun to think about "dream" trips...
BUt on the other hand, if they don't get feedback, then they'll never know what users want, but I think RickSteves and ETBD is very good about collecting feedback from their tour participants, and assume that they at least try to use the data.. And over just a few years of more closely watching the trip itineraries I have noticed some changes.. but I wasn't really thinking of changing existing trips, I was more thinking of having two versions of a trip, one for first timers, and one for repeat travellers. On the "MyWay" trips, is the entire group on the "MyWay" plan, or is there a mixture of normal people and "MyWay" people?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17745 posts

Matt, On the My Way tours, all participants receive the same benefits. The main characteristic of those tours (as opposed to the "regular" tours) is that tour members have to plan their own sightseeing in each place. Only a Tour Escort is provided to offer suggestions or help with any minor problems so there are no guided tours, no local tours, no group dinners, etc. One of the benefits of the My Way tours is that all Hotels and all transportation are provided, so it takes a lot of the work out of planning the holiday. Some of the staff in the Edmonds office are also Guides and Tour Escorts, so you'd be able to get lots of information by having a chat with them. Cheers!

Posted by David
Sacramento, CA, USA
205 posts

Great idea Matt--I responded via another new thread in error (hit the wrong button)....didn't mean to steal a thread-sorry.