what things have you bought from the site that were the most helpful/wouldn't want to do without? - julie
Wheeled suitcase, packing cubes, clothesline, eating utensils, travel books, maps, shower/bathroom hang-up for personal items,
day pack, money belt, that is all I can think of now.
Guidebooks are crucial! We bought the convertable carry on for my husband, myself and the smaller version for my 12 year old for our 5 week trip last summer. We all loved them! They were perfect for us because we were riding the train mostly and the bags made it very easy to get around in a hurry. Sometimes we had very quick connections so it really helped to be able to put in on your back and hoof it.
I also bought and love the compact toiletries kit. We stayed a few places that had no counter and it was really helpful to have the hanger and mirror.
I bought the clothes line but only used it once. I also bought compression bags which really were helpful in keeping things organized, dry and good for separating clean from dirty. You can run into trouble though because they allow you to pack too much in making your bag heavy.
I've used many of Rick's guidebooks, the wheeled bag, moneybelt and clothesline. I love them all.
ditto on RS-Convertible bag (non-wheely to save weight). I pref. the Eagle-Creek cubes variou size, but RS ones are a a lot cheaper but work ok. Money Belt and Guide Books of course are a must (nice when they are on sale or with one of his discounts). The toiletry bags (like eagle creek) seem expensive - so I use heavy-Ziplock freezer bags (I take a bunch as they are disposible and handy and security likes them too!) TSA locks are nice too.
I think Rick's strength is his guidebook sections on museums and other big sights. For example, the sections in his London book that takes you through St. Paul's, the Tate Modern, Westminster, etc. Perfect amount of helpful, interesting information to make your visit to any museum or historical spot really great. Seriously, I wouldn't go to a museum, etc. without Rick's guidebook for that spot.
And -- I also love his luggage! I've used his backpack bag (you know, "the one that Rick travels with") for years, and its been great. I'm passing that bag on to my kids (I decided I'm too old for the backpack look, but the bag is still in great shape)and I just bought the rolling bag -- it seems really nice and just as advertised (no trips with it yet, so can't say). Enjoy your trip!
Not all from RS site, but all sold there: Guidebooks of course, moneybelt, clothesline that doesn't need clothespins, hideaway totebag (for souvenier hauling), silk sleep sack. I just bought the Civita day pack and hope it finally resolves my quest for the perfect day bag.
Packing cubes-- much softer and lighter than other brands.
Civita day pack. Have used it on many trips.
For sure... Rick's Packing Cubes!!
I'm very organized when it comes to traveling and Rick's cubes makes me even more efficient. Everything is in order and makes traveling in a suitcase so easy!
The nice part of the travel cube is you can -
1) Separate the dirty stuff from the clean stuff literally in separate cubes. For the dirty stuff, I place a fabric softener sheet (el cheapo ones work best) and it keeps my suitcase smelling fresh. When its time to wash, I know precisely which cube to take to the laundromat.
2) When unpacking from one hotel to the next simply take the cube you need out and put them in the drawer.
and 3) The cube keeps you from overpacking! And Rick is always saying... PACK LIGHT!
Guide books for sure! The soft packing cubes are great and I love my new very large soft bag that zips into it's own pocket. The guide books have been so valuable in England, Scotland, Italy, France and soon to take trip to Ireland. We've never had a bad b&b or hotel that Rick has recommended. Using his books saves us money so we can stay longer. Theresa, CA.
guidebooks are a must. dont bother with any other company
I didn't buy it from his travel store, but his Scandinavia 2005 guidebook made my May-June 2005 trip there a big success. It was the only book I used in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. I even got a discount with it at an Oslo hotel!
Silk Neck Wallet, Compact Travelin' Toiletries Kit, Travel Dreams sleep mask, TSA combo travel lock, cotton sleep sack, map of Europe (it might be free to anyone buying a Europe rail pass from Rick Steves. And his Europe rail passes are a lower price than buying it from my local travel agent. And the Rick Steves travel guide books for countries in Europe are the best travel guide books for planning a first trip to any country in Europe.
Didn't buy from Rick, but I found a compass to be my MOST valuable asset in Europe. Especially for cities and towns that aren't square and you lose your direction quickly. A compass ($5) allows you to avoid getting totally lost and disoriented. I wouldn't leave without one.
The Civita day pack is my favorite item. It is great and it holds a lot more than you think. It is very lightweight. I also use the stow-away bag (don't tell Rick bag) for souvenirs. After two Rick tours with different bags, I prefer the rolling bag.
Whereever, you are going but Streetwise maps. You can go directly to their website in Sarasota, FL or most big chain book stores with travel sections sell them. They are the best maps. I have a collection of them. Rick should sell them.
Guidebooks and money belt.
Definitely Rick's Packing Cubes!! It is bigger and more flexible than the "name brands" and it kept me from over packing!
I love my Veloce bag. Now that I'm back I will take it on all plane trips and plan to use it for work, carrying my computer in the padded compartment.
I've bought a number of items from Rick's store, both in person at the travel festivals (20% discount!) and via the net.
Partial list of items:
Civita bag ("Ricardo's secret")
Cable combination locks
Guidebooks (many over the years!)
Keyring Compass (getting a bit worn now, might have to replace it?)
I've looked at Rick's newly re-designed Convertible Bag, and it looks like a great product, however I've got a good quality Backpack now so can't really justify spending the money for another one. My present Pack has a detachable Daypack as well as a built-in "shower cap", both features I really like! Still, I wouldn't mind trying the Convertible Bag as it looks like it might be a bit more "roomy" (if I attend the travel festival next year, the discount might be too hard to resist!).
The Civita backpack--it's lightweight, holds a lot, and can be thrown into the wash at the laundromat. I have two silk moneybelts and take both of them so I always have a clean one--they do get sweaty. And, of course, a book or two or three for each country/city I'm traveling to. I bought a couple of things that I haven't found useful: the cosmetics bag and the clothesline.
roll aboard bag....i roll my clothes and stuff it and take one bag, so no waiting for luggage after a long flight.....moneybelt....and carry the books around like my bible...also, the free ipod downloads were great for the louvre museum, etc
Hands down the convertible suitcase. We purchased ours 5 years ago and have logged thousands of miles--all carry-on of course and saved hundreds of hours not waiting in luggage check lines. Learn how to pack light and have a more relaxed, stress-free trip.
Pretty much a repeat of everyone else, but I live by the guidebooks - they are my travel bibles! The language books are also handy.
I recently purchased 2 of the convertible carry-ons, the packing cubes, clean kit, clothesline, civita day bag, and Veloce shoulder bag. I went gung-ho Rick Steves! The quality of all the products is fantastic.
Haven't used them yet, but I can't wait to use them in September.
Moneybelt...Rick's are the most comfortable.
I just got the new Rollerboard.
I consider myself a "Luggage snob" I travel a lot and fly with a fairly pricy Victronix 22" on a weekly basis.
The Rick Steves 21" is a VERY VERY nice piece of luggage. It's lightweight, well designed, has GREAT pockets on the outside for papers etc...
My only concern is that the "attachement" strap does not come off so when you check the bag there will be a risk of damage. (And I do generally fly carry on, but I am flying back out of London in September....since they have the ONE carry on rule I will probably have to check!)
Overall I would recommend this luggage over most of the stuff I see out there!