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My Way Tour - First TIme

I'm doing the France My Way Tour solo. This is my first tour and also my first time to travel solo. I have traveled with Rick's books and my family many times. I'm a little nervous that I will get lonely. Should I book small tours during the day now or wait? Will others in the group want to get together during the day? I don't want to over plan but I don't want to under plan and be lonely as well. Thanks for any advice.

Posted by
31 posts

May I ask why you chose a My Way tour over the standard group tour? I'm also a solo traveler, and have been to Europe a few times on my own. I opted to book a group tour for my first Rick Steves' tour this fall for the reasons you mentioned. I would like to have a group to tour with during the day and then some free time on my own. Maybe consider switching to a group tour if your dates are still available? Hope you have a great trip either way!

Posted by
1080 posts

You will find that the vast majority of people who book Rick Steves tours are people who like to learn about other cultures, enjoy interacting with locals and are very friendly. I have been on eight RS tours and each was outstanding and one of the best parts was the people I met on the tour. You will have no problem finding others in your tour group to eat with, go on mini-adventures or just hang around with. Your going to have a great time, just spend the effort to read as much as possible about the places you will be going so you can get the most "bang for your buck" because you are responsible for your own itinerary each day.

Posted by
8500 posts

The first time you travel solo is often a nervous experience no matter how you go. Don’t be surprised or put off by how you are feeling.

I have not gone on “my way” tours, only the regular guided tours or independent travel. I do know that no matter how you travel as a solo traveler, it is up to you to speak up and reach out if you want to do things with others. You also need to be comfortable doing some things on your own.

I think I would have options available each day. I would think what could I do in this location?, but not be in a hurry to prebook a lot of tours.

My experience is that the people on Rick Steves tours are congenial and friendly. I don’t think you need to worry about lonely, but you do need to feel comfortable with doing some things alone.

Don’t worry if you aren’t there yet. You learn as you go.

Posted by
179 posts

I did my first RS tour as My Way and having not wanting to depend on anyone else (to invite me or not want to see what I wanted to see) I planned ahead and was by myself most days or with daily tours I booked. That said, everyone was friendly and probably would let you tag along, and meals together were always open.

Posted by
7389 posts

If you really don’t want to do a RS regular guided tour, then I would go ahead and book activities you find that are interesting to you. But, before you reserve them, do an overall check - are you spending as much money on the trip with these additions (plus half your dinners) that the price is almost equivalent to a RS guided tour?

I’ve started traveling solo since 2018 after years of my husband & I going together (sometimes he still comes with me). One situation I run into as I’m looking for activities is that some of the on-line sites won’t let me reserve for one person. So, check up front that you’re able to do what you’re wanting to plan.

Are you an extrovert or introvert? Know your tendencies and plan accordingly. If you’re an extrovert, I would reserve more ahead of time.

Are you planning to stay longer in Nice? If so, this food tour was fantastic! Nadia from “Nice Food & Wine Tours”.

One more comment - from Day 1 of the tour, be out-going and say, “I’m going to eat at x restaurant if anyone wants to join me.” If you come across as friendly and having ideas instead of coming across as “I don’t know what to do. Can I join you?”, you will have a much better chance of not being lonely. Have a great time!

Posted by
2211 posts

We have only done one My Way tour and it was the Italian one. That said, the group was much more congenial than we anticipated. You will have the first group meeting and then, sometimes, the guides will arrange another get-together along the way. These are great opportunities to follow Jean’s advice about letting people know what you are thinking of doing and are open to company. We mentioned an activity at the initial meeting and asked if anyone wanted to join. Another couple did and then the guide jumped in with suggestions about how to facilitate it best. There were other nights when we joined different people for dinner. You have the bus time as well to make connections.

Posted by
642 posts

Our first tour was a My Way, and we loved it! We have since gone on two regular tours and we have had great travel companions on both of those, but our closest group was from the My Way. Our tour escort was so good at making suggestions based on our interests, and many of the nights most of us ate together. Anything that you definitely want to do that needs to be booked in advance, book it. Otherwise, leave your options open. Have fun!!!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks everyone, what great ideas and suggestions. I'm super excited about my first solo trip. I believe I'll just do my research and come up with my list of things to do and not book but one or two pre-planned tours. That way I have a plan but can be flexible as I go as well. I'm not worried about being on my own some but just wanted options to join others.

Posted by
399 posts

I have done RS guided tours and a My Way tour. While the MW tour was great for certain reasons of mine, overall I think the guided tours are a better value (not cheaper, but a better value). On the MW tour I was shocked at how many times I had to open my wallet to pay for things that would be part of one of the fully guided tours. And the guides really do help make the best use of your time, perhaps the most important asset for we vacation days starved Americans.

Each group is different, but my guess is that you will find friends inn the tour group and it becomes natural to get together for an informal group trip to a museum, some ruins, a favorite monument, etc. And you will have time on the bus to make friends with your fellow tour members. RS tour members are notoriously friendly and outgoing. So it's possible to find other folks, singles and couples that you can team up with at the various destination.

As one who did most of my RS tours as single, I found that I appreciated the group time together especially the dinners. It was a great opportunity to share the day's adventures with my fellow travelers. While I enjoyed being able to use the free time to go off and do my own thing, I greatly appreciated the time together as it made for a nice balance between freedom and companionship. For this reason, I would suggest you consider asking RS to move you to a guided tour that is similar to the MW tour you have signed up for. Either way, I think you will have a good time.