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Customized Tours

Hello! We are visiting Europe for the first time with our family (and some extended family). We were planning on cruising and then adding on a bit of a land vacation in Italy. We love Rick Steves, have many of the guide books, watched the videos and listen to the pod casts. we're wondering if it's possible to book tours with Rick and team - if our land stay is shorter than 7 days.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
1106 posts

To my knowledge Rick Steves does not do customized tours. His tours of Rome are 7 days in length (really 5 days not counting the day you meet late in the day and the last day which has no activities). So, if your dates match, you may be able to fit in one of them. His book does have recommended tour guides in Rome and you could arrange tour(s) with one of them.

Posted by
15588 posts

I don't think that works to drop in and out of a set tour. The limit is the number of people on the bus, which is about 50% of the bus's capacity. Plus all the hotels are booked, and the costs of the tour amortized over all the participants on the trip. Think about it. It just would not work.

On the other hand, nothing says you can't copy a given tour. The itineraries are all posted, and you can visit the same sights, book your own hotels. You could travel by public transportation, or rent a van and drive. You can even pay for a consultation with Rick's team.

Posted by
6381 posts

I suspect you can book a tour, but you will pay the full rate regardless. If you arrive late or leave early there is , so far as I know, no prorated adjustment.

You would need to let them know if you are arriving late or leaving early, so the guide itn't wasting time looking for a 'missing' member.

Posted by
2235 posts

Certainly a phone call to the Rick Steves Tour Department would be the best way to discuss your questions.
I very much doubt that they would accept a family of several people to participate in just a portion of a group tour, as the group dynamic is very much a part of the tour experience. From your perspective, you would be wasting a lot of money, paying for hotel nights, meals, transportation and other things that you would not be using.
However, to take advantage of the Rick Steves "team", I can think of two ways:
1. Use the "consulting services" at Rick Steves Tours to help you plan your own itinerary and experiences. There would be a moderate fee, but the staff members are excellent.
2. In Rick Steves guide books, including his Italy books, in chapters on major cities there are often recommended private guides listed, with contact information. Often these may be people who sometimes lead Rick Steves Tours, or serve as local guides for RS Tours in particular cities or regions. You might also get names and contact information from the Rick Steves Tour Department, maybe as part of a consultation, and could arrange some private tours for your family group with these excellent guides, assuming they are available for your dates. Good luck!