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How early to book a Rick Steves tour?

I will have foot surgery later this month and wanted to wait a month or two before I'm sure I'll be able to handle the walking part. But at the same time, it may be sold out when I'm ready to buy it. This would be for second half of April 2022. Edit: I mean 2023 :)

Posted by
8653 posts

Here is part of the cancellation policy
“ Tour deposits are refundable up to 120 days prior to the tour's departure date.”
You could sign up for your tour now but make your final decision 125 days out. This would eliminate worries about it filling and still give you time to assess your progress.

Posted by
23472 posts

I would book it now and I do hope you mean April 23. We have tried to go on a couple of Rick's tours in the past at about the three month mark and hit the waiting lists. Still waiting.

Posted by
4946 posts

Some tours and times of year sell out sooner than others.

If you're interested in a specific tour and date, you may want to put down a deposit to reserve your spot sooner rather than later. If you're flexible on tours and dates, you can wait longer and choose a tour based on seats available.

Posted by
99 posts

I know exactly what tour to buy because I already have tickets to a broader vacation to Italy and Spain. I was actually looking for RS tours for Germany for 2024 because we always wanted to check RS tours and see if they're good for us as a change of pace (since we always tour countries by ourselves). But as I was doing that, I was surprised to notice that one of the RS tours matches exactly our itinerary (ending on the day of our flight back). Even if I didn't do RS tour, we'll still be going, hitting the same cities, and maybe even be in the same train to Madrid.

Good point on the 120 days. That'll be just before Christmas to decide. Now I just wonder if creditable event to cancel it includes a family death that are not in our immediate family (like our parents). Or maybe there's a travel insurance for that. Everything else I have booked so far is covered by the credit card insurance.

Posted by
2528 posts

I don't believe you need a reason to have you deposit refunded if more than 120 days out.

Posted by
99 posts

Yes, sorry, I wasn't clear. I was wondering after the 120 days if those events were covered to get a credit.

Posted by
1259 posts

Depending on your age and fitness, and, of course, the type of procedure, recovery can be long and tricky. , full of setbacks and disappointments. Pay attention to the physical therapist’s advice, mind the pain, use ice, Aleve, and take it slow. It is very easy to over work the involved tissue and do some damage that will add to the recovery time.

Posted by
8653 posts

First of all, take time to read the full cancellation policy yourself. It is listed under tour conditions.
https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/tour-conditions#cancel

Secondly, this tour company has always been extremely good about working with people that have unusual circumstances. No one here can tell you what RS Europe would do “if (fill in with circumstance) happened. I can tell you that their track record of helping people is pretty good.

Posted by
99 posts

Ok, I'm sold. I love walking on vacations and average 18000 steps a day when in Europe. I'm only doing this procedure now at early 50s because otherwise it'd interfere with walking 10 years from now and better do it now than later.

Posted by
399 posts

Overall, I think RS will handle things fairly based upon the policy that they have communicated. I remember 2020 and the cancellation mess. I had two tours scheduled and RS refunded both, no problems, no arguments, no delays, no twisting of my arm to get me take a voucher for a future trip. Therefore, they have earned my trust. But, a deal is a deal, and i don't expect a full refund after the payment date. If you can afford to self-insure that is great. But, if losing the tour money means your dreams of visiting Europe are erased for many years to come, buy travel insurance.

I self-insure because I drive an old car that comes with a free trip to Europe every year. (That is the money I save on insurance, depreciation, license fees, etc.)

Posted by
4946 posts

I self-insure because I drive an old car that comes with a free trip to Europe every year.

Chuckling 😁

Posted by
1259 posts

I will have foot surgery later this month

Depends much on the procedure. I'm significantly older than you and my neurectomy had some interesting after effects. The typical reaction is to try to get back to normal activity too quickly and damage the site. Pay attention to the prescribed recovery routine and physical therapy. Strongly recommend you take it VERY easy for longer than you think necessary in order to not put any stress on the involved tissues. Best of luck with your surgery.

Posted by
99 posts

Thanks. I am now 12 days post surgery (cheilectomy) and so far it seems fine. Luckily a cheilectomy is not that complicated. The pain I used to have is gone and now I just need to do some physical therapy to be back at walking several miles a day. At the moment, I'm hopeful, but I have to do it slowly like you said.