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Cancelling a tour

I was wondering if anyone had experience cancelling a tour? I have trip insurance. But I am supposed to leave in about 12 days. On Tuesday I injured myself or something, though I have good idea how. I am in a lot of pain and can't move to easily. I just got a diagnosis of osteoarthritis in my hip, and if that's what it is it's probably a flare up. I have never experienced this before. I can't imagine in 12 days I will be okay. i got the dx at Urgent Care and see my PHP Tuesday. I read flare ups, if that's what it is can take 6-10 weeks to resolve, not to mention regaining cardio fitness (I am in my 70s and find it takes a LONG time to rebuild fitness after any sort of illness.)

Obviously too late to get my money back at all but I can use the trip insurance as it is a coverable term. The flight is cancellable.

Anyone experience this? I am thinking it would be best to go to my PHP first.

Posted by
7822 posts

When you feel ready, contact RS tours. They may offer a tour credit for a future tour since this is a health issue. If they are willing, and if that is acceptable yo you, it might be a lot less hassle.

I’m really sorry this is happening to you. Take care and get well soon.

Posted by
8249 posts

Unfortunate and do hope your road to recovery isn’t lengthy

Why is it obviously too late to cancel a tour? Are you referring to a Rick Steves tour? If yes, call their local Seattle immediately and chat with them.

Posted by
139 posts

I, unfortunately, was in the position of having to cancel a RS tour last year a few days before the tour was to depart due to a medical event. It was not a fun process. First of all, speaking to someone directly at the RS office was an impossibility last year.

Are you referring to a Rick Steves tour? If yes, call their local
Seattle immediately and chat with them.

I was unable to speak with anyone at the RS office. I left a message before my surgery, when I thought there was still a chance I would make the tour, but no one called me back. After the sx, when it was obviously there was no way I was making the tour, I called the office to try to cancel - same scenario - could not get through to them, and left a message, but no return call. I followed their recommended process of emailing them, and, in about 2 days they responded and informed me that their process was that I was required to file for reimbursement through my trip insurance, and then, if I was not fully reimbursed by my trip insurance and RS determined that it was a creditable event, I could notify them, and they would consider if I could receive a credit for any amount I was not reimbursed.

My trip last year was insured through Allianz Insurance and my Chase Sapphire credit card. I am happy to say, that I was fully reimbursed for all the various components of my trip that were not refundable, but what a pain in the butt! I think I uploaded about 15 documents both to Allianz and my credit card company. The credit card company would not pay until Allianz processed their claim, so I needed to obtain a determination from Allianz first. Besides obtaining the necessary medical documentation, they naturally wanted to see proof of payment and also the cancellation policy of each of the travel providers. For the airlines, they wanted the terms and conditions of carriage and they wanted proof that I attempted to be reimbursed directly from the carriers. As I said, it was an awful lot of work to obtain and upload all this information for reimbursement. And, quite frankly, when you are not feeling well, it's the last thing you feel like doing!

I really would have preferred if RS would just have given me a credit for a trip next year, but that is not their policy if one cancels shortly before the trip. Plus, even if RS receives full payment for the trip you couldn't take, they don't give you a $50 trip credit for the next trip you take with them.

The whole above process gave me pause if I ever wanted to do a tour again as it would have been so much easier if I had planned independent travel and just booked refundable hotels. But, I am signed up for a RS tour again this year, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I stay healthy!

I hope you feel better. I know the last thing someone wants to do is cancel a long awaited trip, but if you are feeling miserable, it would be difficult to enjoy the trip.

Posted by
311 posts

I'm sorry that your experience was less than ideal Terri. I faced a similar experience a few years ago and have to say that the process was much less painful than I had anticipated. The Seattle office was very responsive and the matter was resolved quickly. That meant a lot since as you say, the last thing you feel like doing is addressing such matters when you have physical issues.

Posted by
49 posts

Thanks for the replies. Unfortunately can't see them to respond directly. I have talked to them on the phone directly. So that problem doesn't exist this year. But that, sadly, was life during the pandemic. :( OTOH, they should have had a way of doing this if they were running tours. I think also no excuse.

My sister often goes to Switzerland, (this was the alpine your way) she is an ex-ex-pat. So I think, I'd just go and visit her and she would give me an excellent tour for less money (although Switzerland, so not so sure. :D)

Sounds like a complicated mess! Fortunately for me I "feel" fine, but I am hurting a lot. Sitting is one thing that is not painful (if I get up and move around often). I haven't gone thru exactly when I could get credit for another tour (but as I said might not be my best route). The tour is the only thing that is not refundable at this point. The ticket is transferrable and cancellable up to 24 hours ahead (Lufthansa). I have a hotel room in Salzburg but that's a pay when you get there thing cancels up to 3 days ahead ( I think) .The tour is the only thing I need to account for. My trip is also insured thru Allianz.

I am an avid hiker, travel artist, and think I would not enjoy the trip at all if I am hurting.
I think I will call Rick Steves tours and talk to someone. (At least that is possible now.)
Thanks for replies and well wishes.

Posted by
49 posts

I did call the office. My experience with them was much better as I got someone on the first try. She suggested I email asap, and then get the medical records later and well as saying I have travel insurance. So good experience.
Not sure right now whether I will travel over there at all this year. My sister has a strict time line over there leaving on the 7/22, but suggested a very nice itinerary for me just in Switzerland.
Otherwise, I will go somewhere beautiful and cool in the US in August, if I'm better by then. Get a little cabin for myself (and maybe dog).


I had to cancel two years ago. It was not a problem; I emailed and they provided a credit for two years. We have just booked our next RS tour and the credit came up quickly and easily.
I am sorry that you are injured. Hope that you heal well and are able to travel again soon!

Posted by
101 posts

My son wasn’t able to go with us due to a medical issue, they allowed us to apply his payments to our tour. And were super nice.

Posted by
5 posts

We had to cancel the day before our tour in 2022 because husband got Covid. The RS staff was very helpful and told us to apply to our travel insurance company & file our claim. Be sure to get documentation, medical info, etc for insurance claim. It's disappointing to have to cancel but better than going and being miserable the entire time.