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My Way Tours vs. Regular Tours

Just booked my first RS Tour for November 2020. Those who have done both types of tours, which do you prefer and why? I've travelled solo around the world but getting tired of going "alone". Thoughts??

Posted by
1608 posts

Just curious - which tour did you book? My Way or regular fully guided?

I’ve done 6 of the fully guided RS tours and I find the company of fellow travelers to be very congenial. Folks who are attracted to RS tours in general seem to be friendly, curious and interested in learning about the world. The fully guided tours work well for me also because of my fairy limited vacation days. RS designs the itineraries to fit working Americans’ schedules.

I haven’t been on a My Way Tour, but I’m considering the My Way Alpine Tour because I want to see the scenic mountains of very different Alps. And do some hiking.

Posted by
856 posts

I think it's pretty clear in the My Way description. They handle the logistics of lodging and transportation, but you do whatever you want to do during the day, including meals. Of course, you may make friends with others and occasionally do things together or meet for meals.

I've done 6 regular tours as a single, and like having a knowledgeable guide available at attractions, and having some meals as a group.

It really depends on how you like to travel.

Posted by
13 posts

Judy B.. I booked the regular tour! I always said if I ever did a tour that it would be a RS Tour!

Posted by
13 posts

Liz...I guess I'll find out! I'm really excited to travel with others. I'm just so used to doing it alone. I like all the planning but have grown tired of the being alone. I actually didnt read up about the My Way options until after I booked my tour. I've always just heard about how great the RS Tours are and have even been to the Test A Tour Guide program at the RS office in Edmonds, WA a few years ago. Either way, I'm excited!!

Posted by
782 posts

Hi Gypsy.

I have done 10 RS tours, one of which was My Way Alpine. Like Judy B. I wanted to see those locations, plus, I speak German, so I felt I needed perhaps less structure than in some other countries/language areas. I certainly appreciate the regular tours in an area that I have not visited before or maybe just a tour I have not taken before. I always learn soooo much. I am at the point, that I want to revisit some locations, so I appreciate the My Way opportunity, but I also find that I plan more for myself during the regular tours - you can opt out of an activity, just be there for when the bus leaves for a new location - and always tell the tour guide and your buddy.

So, I like both versions. About "alone", I do like my alone time and can plan and execute with the best, but I do find I really like having a group I can check in with - my folks - for the period of the tour. I enjoy my fellow RS travelers. I must say, whether it is a regular tour or a My Way, all groups have been great. In fact, My Way Alpine had one of the best, closest groups of all. I often plan a few days before or after on my own.

I do work full-time, so there are some limits on my time away. Not sure how my habits will change on retirement.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks Debbie for your input! I also work fulltime. I'm doing the Christmas markets in Cologne and Nuremberg over Thanksgiving this year on my own since I have time off then! It will be a quick trip! I did SE Asia, walked the Camino de Santiago....traveled quite a bit on my own. But always wanted to try this tour. So I appreciate your comments. Sounds like My Way tour could be in my future!!

Posted by
16 posts

I’ve done both ... regular fully guided RS tours and did the My Way Italy tour in September 2018 with my daughter. For the My Way tour our guide gave us an intro tour at each stop, talked on the bus about Italian language, how to order coffee, history, customs etc. We also had some organized meals together if we wanted to go .... pizza in Florence and agriturismo dinner in Assisi, happy hours at Lake Como and Rome. All fellow travelers very friendly. The main difference was on the My Way tour we did plan our own sightseeing ... we got tix in advance for Uffizi, tours in Rome of Coliseum and Vatican, and a walking tour in Venice. Love both types of RS tours!

Posted by
2979 posts

Gypsy, I am so excited for you. I think you will have a great time! I tried a Rick Steves tour for the first time in 2018. I wasn't sure what being on a tour would be like or if it would be a good fit for me. I loved it! There was just the right balance of time by myself and time with others. I did get the single supplement and strongly recommend it. It is fun to have a group to experience things with and to have a meal with occasionally.

I liked it so much that I went on another tour in 2019 and am already signed up for one in 2020. I still travel solo sometimes, but I really am glad I put RS tours into the mix.

Posted by
14007 posts

I've taken 3 RS tours, one was My Way, through the Alps. I chose it because that is complicated area logistically to visit briefly and it's not one where a guide would add much (on your left is a tall mountain, on your right is a lake . . . ). The escort provided extensive information and advice on sights and activities on the lengthy bus rides and also had "office hours" for at least an hour a couple times a day if anyone needed more help. She also took us on an introductory walking tour at each destination.

I'm comfortable as a solo traveler and have taken tours, with RS and others, to areas that I felt would have been difficult on my own, like Ireland and southern England (less than easy public transportation and driving on the left is out of the question for me).

Posted by
856 posts

Gypsy
I hope you enjoy your tour as much as I do, and I suspect you will! I traveled independently with my late husband--it's been a relief to enjoy the experience without worrying about logistics and loneliness.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you everyone for the great input! Looking forward to my solo trip, my RS Tour and possibly a My Way Tour in the future!! Happy travels everyone!!

Posted by
1608 posts

So, Gypsy, did you sign up for a November 2020 tour for Christmas markets? I’m going this year on the Munich Salzburg Vienna tour 12/01-12/08, it will be my 7th tour.
I’m sure you will have a wonderful time!

Posted by
5122 posts

Don't forget to report back on how it went.

Posted by
13 posts

Judy...yes 11/22/20 tour! Munich Salzburg vienna!

Posted by
856 posts

The Munich Christmas Market opens Nov. 27th this year--I would expect no earlier next year.

Posted by
13 posts

Liz...thanks for that info. I may see them in munich this year on my own. But Vienna markets open mid November so I should be able to see those. Regardless, I opted to do Thanksgiving dates to give me less days to have to use at work!!

Posted by
1608 posts

Wow, that’s a great choice! I’m excited to go on my MSV this year and plan to arrive in Munich 2 days early to enjoy the ambiance of the markets and take in some sights not included on the tour.
Who knows maybe we’ll end up on a tour together sometime.

Posted by
102 posts

I've used Rick's books for years to travel to Europe - solo and with friends, and have always wanted to try one of the tours. I chose the Best of Paris tour. I'd been to France, just not Paris. I found it to be just a bit too structured for me. Also, having to always be mindful of the group made it harder for me to be in the moment. Everything about it was quality, and my fellow tour folk were great - but it just wasn't for me.

I am however, seriously thinking about a My Way tour. Seems like that's more my style.

Posted by
13 posts

Hi Jodi! Same for me! I've always used his guides and travelled alone! Just tired of that and booked the tour before really exploring the My Way option! That's next!!!!