I traveled to Europe by myself twice in the last 3 years. I am wondering if people often travel with Rick Steves tours alone. Seems like it is mainly couples or families on most tours.
Lots of singles. On our last tour, Village Italy in the summer of 2017, over half of the folks on the tour traveled as singles. There were only 4 or 5 married couples, and one mother-daughter pair. I've stayed in touch with several of the singles, and they said they never felt left out. Although sometimes, of course, it happens.
Hi, yes, plenty of people travel solo on Rick Steves tours. This thread from 2015 has a lot of responses on the topic. The tours I’ve taken have been a mix of couples, singles, siblings, friends or parent/child pairings. All are welcome!
My personal observation: I've taken lots of tours and and there have always been single travelers. And they all seemed to really enjoy themselves. I am sure several posters will chime in with their own personal experiences.
Of the 12 RS tours I've taken, I've traveled solo on 10 of them. And I've always had a good time, and there have always been other solo travelers. Remember: As a solo traveler you have the option of paying extra (price varies per tour) and ensuring a room to yourself, or paying the regular rate and having another solo traveler as a roommate.
I have been on two tours, one with RS. My first tour had two single female travelers (including me). The RS tour had 3 single female and one single male travelers. However, some of the groups were friends and/or family members, not just couples. On both tours everyone was friendly and inclusive. I never had to look far for company when I wanted some. I would recommend that you be comfortable doing free time activities on your own in case your interests are different than others or in case your tour mates want some time on their own. I love the combination of having the choice of answering only to myself during free time and being with a great group during tour time.
We've had many solo traveler's on our tours. As many as half were solo on our Portugal tour. We are still in contact. Fond memories from our Southern Italy/Sicily tour a few years ago. Found out one of our solo tour member's luggage was lost (never recovered). Her and I found a great boutique in Positano and she found a couple outfits to mix and match. I realized then how you can manage on practically nothing! Rick would be so proud! She never complained once. Learned a lot from that experience. We have remained friends.
Our last two to Greece 17 we had four single travelers. We've had lots on other tours as well.
I’m single and have done 14 tours and a close friend has done 9. I have yet to be on a tour that didn’t have a bunch of singles. And it’s fun meeting them as well as the couples and families. On these tours, you just seem to bond. Join the fun!
I am going on the Best of Europe 14 days, April 29th and just found out I'm one solo 7 plus a mom/daughter couple. There were 3 spaces left which just filled and so maybe another solo traveller?! I was thrilled to hear that as this is my first RS tour and First solo trip! I'm very excited! You will have a blast I'm sure.
I've taken four RS tours solo. There have always been other solo travelers - ranging from just two solos (Italy) to 10 (Ireland). I have not paid single supplement. On my next tour I probably would, just because it's nice to have your own space for certain (the RS single supplement is affordable compared to other tour companies). On all tours I have felt welcomed by families, couples, and singles alike.
Can you stand one more solo traveler chiming in to say...GO!!
I've done 8 RS tours, 5 of them solo including the 21 day BOE, and 3 with family members. I've also done 10 Road Scholar tours (5 International, 5 US) as a solo traveler. I've never been the only solo traveler and have always had people to hang around with/eat with if I chose to. I am to the point now that I do a lot of research on what to see in free time so am happy to strike out on my own. I'll invite others along if it doesn't look like they have plans but I'm good with being on my own.
I always get the single supplement. I want some time by myself. I might snore - not sure about that, hahah!! I like the lights out early and I get up early. Early on in my International travels I was on a Road Scholar trip with a person I knew I could not have roomed with. I had the single supplement but I always see if there are people I might have wanted to share with. This particular woman did not bathe for the entire trip! Yikes. On my Rick trips the other solo women have always been very nice, though! In fact, on one trip (Village Italy) there was only one other solo traveler. She had not signed up for the supplement but wound up with a room to herself because I had a single supp. She insisted on taking me to dinner because my arrangements caused her to have a single room!
Which tour are you considering?
Both RS tours we have taken have had singles, and the entire group always welcomed, included, and enjoyed the company of the single people....some just not married, some who had lost spouses.........it did not matter; they were interested, interesting, kind fellow travelers.
On MOST of our other group trips, there have also been single travelers.....Tauck river cruise, National Geographic trips, and also ocean cruises. Fellow travelers seems to welcome everyone and are inclusive.
I have wanted to take one of the RS tours for 20 years and finally decided that there is no better time than now. However, as someone who enjoys talking to people and sharing experiences, I was very hesitant about going solo. When I spoke with a RS employee on the phone, she reassured me by telling me that there are 4-5 other women traveling solo on this particular tour (Paris & South of France-May 4-14). I immediately felt more confident about signing up. And by booking the 1st hotel a day earlier, I imagine that there is a possibly of meeting some of the other persons on this tour who also arrive a day early. I think you have to have an attitude of " we're all here for one purpose--to have a wonderful time & meet new people". I'm definitely stepping out of my comfort zone-I'm 66 & sometimes my body reminds me-but it's going to be wonderful. I don't think you would have any regrets.
I am a solo traveler. Looking forward to tour #12 this summer. There have always been singles on my tours. 99% of my fellow tour members have been inclusive. I respect the fact that it is not their responsibility to include me in "their daily plans". Likewise, I have agendas on my trips that I want to personally pursue. Never have I been made to feel "left out" or seen others excluded.
I'm traveling solo on a Rick Steves tour this year to London and hoping to extend my stay a bit to continue on my own travels outside of London. I elected to share a room during the tour, so I'll have a roommate, but it keeps the cost down. This will also be my first RS tour, so I can't really comment on what the group dynamics usually are, but I decided that the trip had everything I was looking for as far as having a combination of group camaraderie & independent time.
I thoroughly enjoyed two RS tours, both solo. You have a buddy, so you get to know that person (and their partner) first. For the unscheduled time, I would ask others what they were doing, if I hadn't already made specific plans. I would receive an array of responses, invariably followed by an invitation to join them. I did not have an assigned roommate either time, despite not having paid the single supplement. I highly recommend RS tours.
Yes, lots pf people take the RS tours solo. I have done so 10 times and thoroughly enjoyed each trip. You can always find someone on the tour to hang out with during free time or go to dinner with as well as be alone when you want, no pressure either way.
Same here. Ten tours, 8 of them solo. I always pay the supplement. Roommate risk is not worth ruining a trip over.
I'm doing my second My Way tour in June (Italy) after doing Alpine Europe a few years ago. These work well for experienced solos as well.
You will be welcome within the group and shouldn't think twice about booking a trip as a solo.
We've seen lots of solo travelers. They are all welcomed by the couples/families. Always a very congenial group setting. go for it!
I have been solo on the Florence, Rome, Venice tour and it was an amazing experience! I loved it so much that I am going on another tour this summer to Switzerland with Rick Steves. I found it to be the perfect combination of built in companionship so I didn't feel lonely while still being able to do some things on my own. Whenever we broke for free time I was always able to join others in our group who were doing something I was interested in. Adding the single supplement also gave me a nice solo oasis at the end of the day. You won't regret it!
Hi csreid, no worries. Rick Steves has made it easy to travel solo! I've done 8 RS tours (signed up for #9 this year), 4 of them solo. Great guides and groups of fellow travelers made me feel very comfortable.
In my experience, the city tours attract more solo, younger travelers (maybe time off from work is a factor?). However, don't let this keep you from taking the tour you want. I did Germany, Austria & Switzerland (14 days) by myself. There was only one other person traveling alone on that trip but it didn't seem to matter. I had a wonderful time. I usually travel in shoulder-season (May, Sept-Oct) and so far haven't encountered many families traveling on the RS tours during those times.
Hope you have a great trip!
I am single and will traveling on my fourth Rick Steves' Tour this fall. I have found that most tour members are couples or family members (not many single folks). But, that doesn't really mess up the tour experience - we all get along and have a very enjoyable time.
I'll be by myself in September. Traveled to London, twice by myself. Think how often you do things by yourself here. Only difference, you'll be on the other side of the atlantic.
The number-one best reason (IMHO) for a solo traveler to join a tour: The possibility of making casual friends to join for dinner & sightseeing. (And all the better if you end up staying in touch with your new friends in the future!)
The number-two best reason: NO ITINERARY OR LODGING HASSLES!!!
I am a solo traveler, and planning to join my first RS tour in 2019, so his thread has been very encouraging.
Although I am mostly happy wandering on my own, the last time I was in a foreign-speaking country, I was there too long by myself and got very lonely about halfway through. I also had a bunch of logistical travel & planning snafus that sapped precious time.
So excited to try out a Rick Steves tour next year!!
Back in the olden days (before mid 2000's), I don't think RS offered the single supplement option. As I recall, you could book as a solo without paying a supplement, but if they had two same gender solos, they would become instant roomies.
My estimate is that RS tours have about 20% singles - that is people traveling by themselves. Add in the those singles traveling with a friend or relative and it approaches about 30%, IMHO. This is my estimate of course.
Most of the people will often team up for the free time and meals. So, often a group of 6-8 people may decide to use free time to climb to a certain lookout point, ride a cable car to another part of the city or just have a meal. These groups almost always include single people in them.
Of course, as a single person, one must always be careful not to intrude on the plans of a couple who want to spend some time on their own. Be sensitive to that and all will be well.
I have traveled as a solo on three RS tours. Two were before the single supplement was available, and, fortunately, some nights they did give me a room without a room mate. The last trip in 2004 was Best of Britain and I paid a single supplement. LOVED having my own room the whole time. And they were fabulous rooms with a queen-size bed. The only night I had a tiny room was in London - but it was still so nice! I think, like someone else commented, you do so much on your own at home, so not so different. On this last trip I was adopted by a lovely group of retired/working teachers, and caught lunch with them a few times. And the couples were a blast, and so kind! I am heading out this summer to a RS Southern England tour with a single-supplement paid. I am a bit of an introvert with a dreamy imagination, and love having time on my own.
I have taken 15 tours and all but two were solo and I am now going on my 16th tour this year! There tours are great, there are people that are traveling solo on the tours. Every tour I have taken there has been at least one other solo traveler and most more than one. I say go, you have been to Europe and know how to get around should you find yourself wanting to do something others don't want to do. Just have a plan as to what you want to see and do in your free time which helps even if you are with a friend. It is a great way to see Europe and have a really fun and interesting time. I have made friends with couples that I still keep in touch with and see!
I'm going on the BOE 21 day tour on 29 May and will be solo. This is my first tour so a little nervous but mostly excited. After 20 years in the military I'm used to being overseas, but in quite a different context. This will be the first time without a battle buddy but having moved too often you get used to making friends fast. Happy I have a few weeks to put together my trip book. Yep I over plan as I was alway advance party on my "tours". Just jump into it is what I believe, life is short go for it! :-)