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PLEASE tell me how wonderful Rick Steves tours are...

I just got some bad news about one of my jobs and I really need someone to tell me that in May 2015 when I go to Paris and Heart of France that I will have the time of my life and it will make all my cares go away... well at least for two weeks. Thinking about my upcoming tour is the highlight of my life right now. I soooo can not wait. :-)

Posted by
51 posts

I had no idea the scrapbooks even existed! Awesome! I loved reading through about personal experiences and looking at the pictures. Now I can't wait even more! Thank you!

Posted by
9914 posts

You will have the time of your life and you will totally forget about the bad news from your job. You will even forget the good news from your job. You will forget everything but taking a picture of the schedule your guide posts every afternoon so you can be on time to breakfast, lol!! Are you old enough to remember the old commercial Calgon take me away!?? Well, your wonderful trip to France will completely do that for you.

So, if the news will mean you have to conserve resources, I suggest you start now by seeing how much or little shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste you can use for the next 2 weeks so you will know exactly how much to take with you.

For stress relief I also suggest an aerobic round of trial packing, deciding if, with your clothes, it is best to roll or fold. I have been a roller but decided on this last trip that my shirts and sweaters fit in the Eagle Creek silnylon packing cubes better if folded flat. lol

It is completely fine to concentrate on trip planning than worrying about one of your jobs.

Posted by
1040 posts

Kathy, my hubby and I did the Paris and the Heart of France tour last year in May. It was our second Rick tour. We like his tours because they are well-planned, have excellent RS guides as well as local guides in many cities and generally are taken by intellectually curious, non-grumpy co-travelers. . There's a lot to see in Paris. You will have some time on your own, but we chose to have a little extra on each end of the tour in order to maximize the number of sites we could see. I can't praise the local guide for the D-Day beaches highly enough. He has made a lifetime of studying the battle and has a way of presenting the info that is not in the least bit dull. In general, the tour moves from place to place at a good clip, which some may find a bit faster than they would like, but for us it was just right. The group dinners are great and many include wine at no extra cost. We met a fourth-generation winemaker who took us on a tour of his one-man operation and gave us samples. Accommodations are first-rate. We even spent the night in a chateau owned by a local noble. You will love your trip and want to do more. This year we will visit Village Italy and are looking forward to another wonderful experiece. .

Posted by
9914 posts

@Patricia....Village Italy is such fun! Now you both have me thinking about this tour....

Posted by
876 posts

Kathy, they are wonderful! I went on my 9th RS tour this past September. There were a few people for whom it was their 10th tour, and for one couple it was their 21st! (Point is, it's easy to get addicted!) Heart of France was my 4th tour and my first "moving around" tour. We had an amazing guide, we stayed in wonderful, picturesque places, we had nice hotels, and all the food was good. It's been five years since I took that tour, but it's still very vivid in my mind. Staying on Mont St. Michel, touring the Normandy beaches ... everything was unforgettable. Even the rest stops are fun!

Sorry that you've gotten bad news about one of your jobs, and I really hope it doesn't preclude you from taking the tour. You will have a fabulous time, and you most definitely will start thinking about the next tour even before the Heart of France tour is over!

I didn't create a scrapbook, but I'll happily send you a link to my travel blog (with pix) if you'd like to read about what we did from day to day (keeping in mind that it was in 2009, so some things may have changed on the itinerary).

Posted by
2788 posts

I have taken 12 RS tours and will be taking #13 this next June/July and ALL of them have been great!

Posted by
776 posts

You WILL have a fabulous time. I really believe that each of us menatally decides if we have a good or bad trip. Good trips think a lineup is an opportunity to people watch, critique the dress and footwear choices of others, I love people watching. People with a negative frame of mind will only think of wasted time on a lineup.

I have done 4 RS tours and enjoyed them all. Paris is the best, that is where I am now!!!

Have a great time. Start your holiday now by reading information or finding a giction book based in France. Planning is such fun.

Posted by
206 posts

Kathy, six years ago I was in the middle of planning my first RS tour. Then all of a sudden, the company I worked for had a big cutback and I was one of many that lost a job. Was not able to make the tour but was able to find another job and got to take the Germany, Austria Switzerland tour the next year. Even though I was bummed out about not getting to go at first, it all worked out and I had the time of my life on the tour. I even did Normandy for 3 days before the tour started. After five years, I still look at all the scrapbooks, tour reviews, and most of the info on this site and hope to take another tour before I'm to old to go. See many posts of how many RS tours people have taken and just envy them. Hey Charlie from Ha. and Wa., wow 13 RS tours. Must be wonderful to be able to do that.
Kathy, planning is almost as much fun as the tour. Enjoy! Enjoy!, you will have a wonderful tour.

Posted by
371 posts

The Paris and France tour I took with RS was one of the best ones ever. My advice is to read up a bit on the places and sites you will be visiting to get the most out of the trip. But, even if you show up having done no preparation, you will still enjoy it. France is lovely country, the people are great (forget what others say about rude Frenchmen) and there are enough cultural differences to make life very interesting. Enjoy it!

Posted by
51 posts

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to respond. I am more excited now more than ever. You have brightened my life immensely! Wish I could give all of you a big hug! Now, hurry up May!!!

Posted by
725 posts

Kathy,
I want to reiterate the "looking at the scrapbooks" comment. I have spent hours ogling them! It is great to see what others have seen that have taken the same tour you are taking. It makes it so much more real than just words on a paper.

Posted by
14 posts

Kathy, my family (3 of us) took this tour two years ago and we're still talking about it. About 2 hours ago, I signed us up for yet another RS trip, but I think the one to France will be the benchmark for us for years to come. Aside from all the wonderful things we saw, learned -- and ate -- the trip is very fast-paced and you won't have time to dwell on whatever you've left behind at home. We spent almost another week in Paris at the end and left wanting to come home, do laundry and head back out again. That happens with all our RS trips, come to think of it. You think you got troubles? Wait till you experience Normandy Beach (tearing up here, sorry -- it was a rainy day when we went and our whole group was wearing sunglasses all day). Seriously, it's a fabulous trip. I hope you have a wonderful time, and I have every reason to believe you will.

Posted by
796 posts

I don't take tours but the RS tours take you to all the places you would want to see and really, you can't help but have the time of your life in France.