My husband and I are taking the Best of Tuscany in 12 Days tour starting October 30, 2023 (with three days in Cinque Terre beforehand). I would like to know if there is any time where I would need to be a little dressed up. I am planning on packing lightweight nylon hiking pants because they take up little space and dry quickly. I will also be wearing hiking shoes most of the time. Definitely nothing dressy. Also - does each hotel room have a hair dryer? Every little thing I can leave at home will help!
I have been on three RS tours and scheduled for another next year. You do not need to dress up on the tour. I take one better blouse to wear if I want to look a little better than everyday but wear same pants. I also take sandals to wear besides my walking shoes. Not only do they look a little better but give my feet a break; I can walk 6 miles in them.
All hotels I'm stayed at, tour and independent, have hair dryers.
Italians dress rather smartly and I would not feel comfortable in hiking pants/shoes at dinner. I don't mean a dress or dinner jacket, but definitely an upgrade from my daytime wear. A light cashmere and scarf would be fine.
I take hiking trips and my feet and hiking shoes both need the break in the evening.
On a RS tour (have done 12) Ive never dressed up for dinners. I’ve always worn what I had on from the day including my walking shoes. If there was time to shower before a group dinner I put on the clothing I was going to wear the next day, lol.
My experience is like Horsewoofie’s. I have always had a hair dryer in the room.
Agree with horsewoofie and Pam.
RS tours are casual, no need to change for dinner. I would only bring something dressier if I was planning on something fancier during my free time.
I took this tour last November and there was no reason to dress in anything but casual clothing unless you were going to a function not included on the tour that might have warranted fancier duds. This is a GREAT tour!
The last RS tour I took was during the fall season (late October into the first week in November). People wore what was comfortable for them. Some people dressed in what they wore for day time touring. Others changed into a nicer blouse or top. I myself enjoyed wearing a nicer top or my cashmere sweater/scarf and dark wash jeans for some of the group dinners out to restaurants or nighttime events (that I had booked). I did adhere to the packing light suggestion, but for me that was a 22 inch suitcase which worked out well. With that bag I was able to include some clothes to change into for dinner.
I’ll answer your question with a question. If you’re going out for dinner in a city near you, do you dress up a little or stay casual?
Personally, I always dress up when eating dinner in Italy since the locals tend to do it, especially for a nice dinner. My wardrobe for my last 2-week RS in June, plus two weeks independent was three dresses & a pair of quick-dry pants. Take whatever you normally would wear which may mean you don’t need to bring anything extra at all.
I’ve been on a couple of Rick Steves tours and there was almost always one dress up night.
I think we also need to separate what is allowed Vs what is appropriate. I’ve seen Rick Steves participants show up in NFL team tee shirts and cargo pants. That’s still allowed and the guides will internally roll their eyes. But it isn’t the same as dressing appropriately for the occasion.
With that said, traveling lightly and dressing nicely are not mutually exclusive. You can dress nicely and still travel light. A nice top and a beautiful light scarf paired with sandals is usually acceptable. A pair of darker hiking pants can usually be dressed up as long as they aren’t cargo pants. Add in some nice dangly earrings. If you don’t want to bring sandals then bring a pair of ballet flats.
I’ve always had hotels with hair dryers.
Also, I’ve always liked changing out of my sweaty day clothes at the end of the day. I personally jump into the shower, rinse out laundry, and then change into nicer clothes for dinner. An early shower gives my clothes extra time to dry. And I’m now cleaner for bed.
Well nothing formal or, even a tie & coat are necessary unless you're going to such a place. RS tours doesn't have that type of itinerary.
You don't want to dress like a slob that just rolled out of bed, came out of the gym or hanging out in the back yard. As long as your appearance is clean and considered, you should be fine. Dark bottoms and a colorful top is a simple but well practiced method to balancing simple packing and wardrobe. Hiking shoes can be a double-edged sword, all leather or, leather appearing shoes work but, if they're looking well worn or, muddied then you may want to spend some time to spiffing them up.
Thank you for your replies. We leave in less than two weeks. Looking forward to it!