We're starting to discuss what clothes we may need to buy for our GAS trip. I'm not sure if I would wear shorts because it may be on the cool side when we go (9/20 - 10/5), but my husband probably would enjoy it. However, is that an "American" thing and not worn over there? Capri's? Jeans? Looking for someone to give us a heads-up.
You can wear anything at all you like on this tour. Jeans, shorts, capris. People wear the same clothing and shoes as in the US. Maybe not parachute pants that make noise when you walk, or jogging pants, but jeans are popular all over the world.
Don't buy extra clothing. Wear what you normally wear.
The weather can be warm with perhaps cool evenings.
Rick Steves tours visit a lot of churches. I have been in churches that do not allow entrance with shorts or even shoulders not being covered.
This tour doesn’t go into many/any churches. I can only remember doing some on my own not with the tour group.
By the end of Sept you’ll probably want long pants for the Switzerland portion. I’d check the weather closer to the time!!
I have gone to Europe yearly since 2001 and decided after my first trip there to not take jeans again since I only exist on a carry-on for a month and only take 3 sets of everything utilizing sink washing when needed. Jeans do not dry quick enough when sink washed when I want to pack up and move on the next day or two. I now take three pairs of pants (REI & ExOfficio) that can be sink washed and dry overnight. One pair is heaver than the other two and is of a zip-off style so that I can use it for shorts when weather dictates. When I took the GAS tour (I have taken 16 RS tours) I had no problem with my current clothing selections. As someone else said, wear whatever is comfortable for you and that you have at home.
Dont worry about it as a fashion issue. When we took the GAS a few years ago at that same time frame, some days were too cool or wet for shorts. It can also cool off enough in the evenings that shorts weren't that comfortable, and less likely for people to be wearing them. Note that Germany is about the same latitude as Minnesota, not California. In the mountains, of course, it can be hot during the day and cool at night, or vice versa.
You will love the GAS tour! I went on it and wore jeans and slacks. You could bring one pair of shorts but given the three countries you will be going to you will likely not need them. It will be cooler than the summer or the beginning of September. This is not Italy, it is more northern. I would bring layers and one pair of Capri's may be fine. Do bring a rain jacket with a hood if you have one and a warm sweater or sweatshirt as you will find it much cooler on top of the mountains in Switzerland.
It is a casual tour so what ever you wear in your daily life is fine. Do make sure you bring a good pair of walking shoes, I always bring two pairs of shoes and a scarf. It can be windy on top of the mountain in Switzerland.
Have a great time, the scenery and castles are wonderful.
I definitely remember going into several churches on the GAS tour, especially In Germany and Austria. For that reason I would not recommend shorts. The churches are worth it!
I was on the trip during the same time frame. I remember several people wearing jeans on the trip. I prefer my travel pants as they are lighter and dry faster if (when) I encounter rain. I remember only one hot day (Baden Baden). I had only packed long sleeve tops and I regretted that decision. One short sleeve top (or a top with roll up sleeves) would have made a huge difference.
Also remember that several parts of the trip are in the mountains at altitude. It will be cooler in those sections. The trips always leave early and it will be cooler then too.
The best strategy is lots of light removable layers.
I also echo the strategy of a lightweight, excellent, packable, waterPROOF raincoat. If you need to buy an item, that would be it. Water resistant shoes would help too.
You can wear there what you wear at home.
As to jeans, some people wash them after 1 wearing or 2, others 30 wearings or more, so for me washing jeans in such a short time frame of a couple weeks would not come up.
Note that Germany is about the same latitude as Minnesota, not California
Not really sure if this is helpful except for choosing sunscreen, winters are much milder in Germany, and summers are much milder in Germany.
I wear shorts when in Europe, they are more like bermuda short length. I am not a skirt person, but i do bring one or two dresses, which go to just below my knees. I am in my early 60’s.
As for churches where you don't want to wear shorts and really shouldn't, there are churches in Munich that are beautiful and right in the city center, there are churches to visit in Vienna and a church in Hallstatt. You may not go to any churches with the tour but you could go into churches during your free time which is what I did when I was on the GAS tour and the Best of Europe tour.
The only thing I have to add is that on the two RS tours I have been on, some people chose to dress up a little for the group dinners, especially the last one. One or two of the men would put on a sport coat and a few women would wear a dress or skirt. I, and many others, never dressed up and I never felt out of place.
I had forgotten the Hallstatt church. It’s a definite must see.
Our tour swung by the church used for the wedding in Sound of Music. A real tourist trap, still very pretty.
There were several cathedrals too.
As I said, lighter pants helped with the inevitable temperature swings.
Short answer: yes, jeans and shorts are acceptable on this tour. To add my voice to the chorus, I also advise packing with an eye for layering your clothing and bringing comfortable shoes with good support if you’d like to hike in the Alps. For shoes, I like to wear one pair and pack one pair in case of rain and/or snow in the mountains. My feet aren’t happy when they have to be in wet shoes. I also agree with the advice posted for appropriate clothing when visiting churches. It’s a great tour and as an aside, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a RS guide carrying the RS guide book but I imagine it could happen!
The online information on the GAS tour has a section on weather averages. If consistent, it will be cool to cold. If not, who knows? As someone else said, take a look at more weather info closer to the time of departure. I would not expect shorts weather.
There are many resources to consult for potential weather based on averages. Weather2Travel includes averages as well as more current information further down the location pages. As always, Mother Nature can confound any predictions.
Trying to figure out how a church can be a tourist trap?
Only churches in Italy and maybe Spain care about knees and shoulders. In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, you are fine wearing your shorts to church.
Trying to figure out how a church can be a tourist trap?
The entire town was built up around visiting the church. You know - all sorts of stores selling souvenirs and food.
I’d estimate that 90% of the locals I rode trains with today here in Vienna were wearing jeans or shorts. Shorts and jeans are just about all people wear here. In my office, it’s jeans every day.
I took GAS late May/early June. Weather was much hotter than I had expected and I wished I had brought one more pair of shorts beyond single pair of zip off pants/shorts.
You are traveling different season so your mileage may vary but in these days of climate change, I think it prudent to plan for some warm days. Others will be wearing shorts too.