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Mid-Tour Survey?

I was just reading Rick’s blog about his experiences as a member of a Portugal tour. He makes the comment that “Midway through each Rick Steves tour, our guides give everyone in the group a chance to evaluate the experience so far. Everyone fills out a little sheet with suggestions on how we can make the tour better — and tour members often share their highlights.”
Curious. I have been on 6 RS tours and have never been given any opportunity to evaluate the tour until after it was over. I can see how beneficial mid-tour feedback would be for everyone. Has anyone else been given this mid- tour evaluation sheet?

Posted by
408 posts

On our last tour we were asked Midway for any feedback. This was the BOE14 days two years ago

Posted by
377 posts

My husband corrected me. On one of our 6 tours ( Scotland) we were given a mid- tour evaluation to complete.

Posted by
1173 posts

I’ve been over a dozen tours. IIRC every guide has done a mid tour evaluation. They are primarily interested in tweaks that they can implement to make the rest of the tour more informative and enjoyable for us.

Posted by
1227 posts

I just finished 2 RS tours and did not have a mid-tour survey on either of them.

Posted by
672 posts

After 24 tours (including the one I’m currently on), I’ve only seen 2-3 mid-tour evaluations and that’s been years ago. I think that they’re a very good idea - too bad so few guides use them.

Posted by
1939 posts

On my 19 tours, we have been asked to do this only two or three times. I, too, think it's a good idea.

Posted by
25 posts

I’ve just returned from a Best of Ireland 14 day tour and we were asked to complete a mid tour check. Our tour guide wanted to know both the positives and negatives or if everything was going well. These were anonymous. I really liked that. She also verbally checked with everyone in private. Awesome!

Posted by
4601 posts

We've been on 12 RS tours, and on three of them - three of the longest - we were asked to submit a mid-tour evaluation, with comments welcome. On our most recent tour, another long one, the guide said there would be a mid-tour survey, but it didn't happen.

I too, think it's a good idea. The guides do seem to appreciate our comments and suggestions, although we had one who got a wee bit defensive about some of the comments. (Not publicly, and she probably later regretted telling me what she did. Tired and stressed, I'm sure. For some reason, people tend to tell me things.)

Posted by
8248 posts

After 10 tours I've probably been offered a mid-tour eval opportunity half the time. The odd thing is that In my experience it is usually a small slip of paper torn out of a notebook and handed around on the bus. This last tour it was a piece of graph paper maybe 3" x 3" so it's never been a formal evaluation sheet. The time before it was a strip of notebook paper...maybe a full sheet torn in to 6 pieces?

I've always wondered, if the guides know this is something they should do why isn't there better preparation? It always feels like an afterthought. If I've got comments it's probably more than will fit on that scrap of paper.

I did decide that if I had something that was bothering me it was best to just discuss with the guide privately.

**editing to add after seeing Jane's comment - Yes, I can completely see that happening. I, too, look like a keeper of secrets.

Posted by
52 posts

Just completed my third RS tour and was never offered a survey. Still, the tours were so expertly guided I didn’t feel a need for one.

Posted by
524 posts

I have been on quite a few tours. I agree, about half the tours had mid tour evaluations. Plus, the ones that offered were of the informal nature, a slip of paper or card.

Posted by
1954 posts

I have been on 5 tours and have been given a sheet of paper to write any comments or suggestions by 2 guides.

Posted by
262 posts

I have been on 5 tours so far and have not been given a mid-tour survey on any of them. I do agree with a previous poster that I haven’t felt the need for one, these tours are pretty wonderful as is.

Posted by
2809 posts

We recall given the opportunity to make comments on our Greece Tour last year. Felt it was productive. Don't recall any evaluation on previous tours. In addition, very helpful to evaluate following the tour.

**Edit: Always appreciate a proactive guide who encourages the group to share their experiences whether positive or needs for improvement.

Posted by
1017 posts

We have taken five RS tours, and have not been asked to complete a mid-your survey.

Posted by
5979 posts

we've had it 2 out of 3 tours. My impression was that this was done so those particular tour leaders could get some quick feedback from the group, not the RS HQ. Maybe its recommended by HQ but not mandatory.

Posted by
3409 posts

We were given a piece of scratch paper and told we could write down anything that we wanted the tour guide to know. That was the "mid-tour survey." I think this survey would be more effective if it was a bit more standardized and gave people specific questions to respond to.

Posted by
1939 posts

"So Rick does not actually know what is going on with his tours?"

I would bet a bundle on the fact the RS knows exactly what goes on with each of his tours. We all know you did not have a good experience on your England tour and I am sorry for that. Apparently, (and I wish for you) it could have been so much better an experience for your entire tour group.. Can we please just move on from that now?

Posted by
3465 posts

Mid tour reviews have been random on the 10 tours I took. Just like the name game.

The reviews were always just whatever notes you wanted to present to the tour guide, never any type of formal pre printed sheet of questions.

Posted by
5979 posts

Perhaps anybody who will be going on an RS tour in the near future would like to report back on this when they return. If not asked for feedback, ask the tour leader about it.

Posted by
153 posts

We did one on our Village Italy tour in May. It was just a small piece of blank paper.

Posted by
911 posts

I've been on 2 and we did the mid-tour eval on one, but we didn't really feel the need. If there had been something I felt could have been better I would have found a private moment to speak with the guide as on both tours they told us to do that at the beginning of the tour if at anytime we needed to.

Posted by
318 posts

I have been on 11 RS tours. Only on 2 tours did the guide collect feedback mid-tour. The guide handed out pieces of paper and asked us to provide feedback -- not a survey. It was totally voluntary.