I was just wondering if anyone has taken a repeat Rick Steves trip? We just did the Europe My Way and maybe it's the the after glow but I think I could do it again! It would be great to go to where you have been and know now what you missed and see it next time!!! Anyone??
I haven't personally done the same tour twice, but thought I'd chime in. While I definitely see the appeal of going back to places you've enjoyed and have already gained some familiarity with, I would be more inclined to visit new places on my next trip. Of course, there is no right or wrong answer--just personal preference--but I like the idea of creating new memories and wonderful experiences in places you haven't yet had the chance to discover. At any rate, happy travels!
I know it's tempting to repeat but there are so many wonderful places to see! We thought nothing could top Italy until we saw France, which became our favorite until Greece, and then Turkey, and then Croatia, and then Amsterdam ...
One of my favorite travel quotes:
"There is a peculiar pleasure in riding out into the unknown. A pleasure which no second journey on the same trail ever affords." Edith Durham
Thanks Stefanie! Good thoughts. Same to you!
Charlene, stuff to think upon!! Thanks!
Although I haven't taken the exact same tour more than once, I have taken tours that overlapped in places. For example, I took each of the Rome, Florence, and Paris tours before taking the Best of Europe tour. The BOE tour hit Rome, Florence and Paris, and, for the most part, I ended up seeing stuff on the BOE tour that I had seen on the previous tours. I also took the GAS tour, which covers the Lauterbrunnen Valley, as does the BOE tour. But it's great fun getting to go back to places you've already been to! Knowing that just around this next corner is a terrific gelato shop or that you're only a three-minute walk from the cathedral is so empowering and makes you kind of feel at home. Plus, you can see things you missed the first time around.
I have done Venice, Florence, Rome twice. I would have repeated the now defunct Venice in 7 days more than once, too. Truly, I would probably like My Way versions of most of the trips I have been on. I was on the My Way Alpine and could see repeating.
Sometimes, I want to travel, need to travel, but the timing or scenario at work does not permit me to put all kinds of energy into wanderlust and planning and adventure. At times like that, I repeat travel.
This winter, I was hoping to travel to Black Forest and Alsace Christmas markets. Just found out today about lay-offs that will happen by next Monday. If I go at all, I may stay in tried and true, known places: Munich, Innsbruck, Bolzano, London, Bath - just to comfort and nurture myself.
I have long known myself to be a repeat and return traveller. I love being asked directions as if I were a resident. I love being able to give directions! I used to do study vacations in Oxford for several years in a row. They were the most relaxing breaks. I miss them and am thinking about some alternatives. I do think repeating tours or travel locations has its place. Would I do Venice, Florence, Rome again? Maybe. And maybe at a different time of year. Violets in Florence, a la Room with a View, Easter, not Christmas.
I can not speak for the Rick Steves tours, but I have used the Rick Steves guides since my first trip in 2000 and maybe a dozen trips since then. I have found, and experienced, (well all but obviously the first trip, then two business trips where I was only in one city) that it is rewarding to mix in at least one stop where you have been before.
Usually it is one or two stops, someplace you loved (Amsterdam 4 times, London 3, Rome 3, Paris 2, Athens 2, then a number of places at least briefly twice) But it does provide a nice base or sense of security to have a stop where you recognize the landscape, seek out a museum or sight that is more off the beaten path, mix in a favorite restaurant, and maybe feel that you can relax and not have to hit the "must sees"
Certainly seek out new places, they are good places to hit on a future trip as well, but finding a past stop has it's charms as well.
I have thought about doing a repeat of some of the 13 RS tours I have taken but have decided that I want to take new ones that appeal to me before doubling back. I go to Europe every summer for 13 of the last 14 years and always go before/after/or both the tour so I get time to revisit some of my favorite places. What I would really like to do is when I run out of RS tours that I want to take, is to go to Europe for a month or two and spend one week in different places and do day trip out of them. It is nice to have a base where you are not moving regularly as I experience on the RS tours. However, I still have a couple of RS tours to take before doing that.
I have taken 13 RS tours and have repeated the week long tours but not the bus tours. I have taken the Rome tour twice, Paris tour twice, Florence tour twice, London, Prague and Istanbul once. I also took the Ireland tour, 15 day France tour ( now 13days, they cut out Paris), BOE tour and the Paris & Heart of France tour. Some of the tours overlapped with other tours and cities I have been to already. I see nothing wrong with taking the same tour twice, I just try to see something different when I go someplace I visited already, to keep it fresh. I also enjoy going back to the same restaurants if I really liked them. I enjoy knowing my way around and can get there more easily and I love seeing the same museums more than once. I do enjoy seeing something totally different and some of the tours I won't repeat as it was so great ( usually do to a great group of people) I just don't want to repeat. I won't go back on the London tour ( such a great group) but would like to go back to London on my own and see totally different places than where the tour went to. I also have gone back to Paris without a tour as I have now been to Paris with RS several times and really felt comfortable doing Paris on my own. I want to go to Paris again, as there is more to see and do. I agree, seeing and doing things you missed the first time is great to do the next time.
We did the Best of Sicily tour in 2014, and although we enjoyed it, we agreed that we would have chosen a different itinerary; too much of what we wanted to see in Sicily was not available. When the 2015 tours were announced, the Off-Season Best of Sicily was exactly the route we dreamed up for ourselves! So we scratched our plans for France or Italy, and went back to Sicily. The second tour did go to a number of places the first one had covered, but also travelled to new places. The different guides make a big difference, as well.
In addition, we have a milestone anniversary coming up in 2018, and DH suggested we celebrate by repeating the 21 day BOE. As much as we enjoyed it the first time (2011, I think) I know we'll get more out of it the second time. And if RS ever reinstates the Best of Florence trip, we would consider taking that one again.
Great original question. There are places I love and places that are okay. There are places where I don't feel finished and others where I could just go an hang and enjoy being there. For me, cities like St. Petersburg, Paris, London always have more to see. For example, in London, I don't feel like I spent enough time in the British Museum and I have not yet visited Churchill's War Rooms. So going back would be great. There are other cities where I just love the atmosphere and would like to go back and hang out. A very good trip for me is one where there are new places and a return to some favorites.
Chriss, our second time in Paris was really quite different from our first; more relaxed, and better tuned in to the city without some of the learning curve. It didn't hurt that the second time we were there for eight nights instead of the original five.
We haven't done any over, but there have been plenty of duplicate locations on the French and Italy trips we've taken. We just got back from the France/Loire/south of France trip and had already been to:
3) Pont du Gard
On other trips with RS or on our own.
We had such a wonderful guide this time that we didn't find any of the places redundant. Learned so much more about all the locations. Enjoyed all the locations immensely.
Really good incites, thanks! I think it's the mix of new/old that almost everyone mentioned. I usually need to see something twice to make it "mine". Thanks for all the good thoughts and ideas!
hmm, insights? =]
^ ^ You have incited insights on the website ;-)
BAHAHAHA! Thanks for not dissing my grammar or spelling!!
I was and FCS teacher not English!! =]
If you want to go back and visit places that you saw on a tour, it's very easy to do that on your own. That way you can spend as much time as you want there, and see the sights that interest you the most.
This is true but I need a certain amount of hand holding. =]
Chriss, we just returned from the Village Italy tour, which we originally did in 2008. We repeated it because we had friends who we knew would just love it, and the more time went by, we thought it would be fun to go with them! We even had the same guide, the amazing Lisa Anderson, who was really concerned that we would be bored...but we had a blast...and we had many new experiences. The nice thing about so much free time is that there is always a new adventure to find around any corner. To us, it's the same as visiting the same favorite beach, national park, or anything else that speaks to you....places you love and are happy to return to. Follow your heart!
It's nice to read all the great advice from everyone about visiting someplace again. As an employee of RS I have had the opportunity to return to many places several times. Each time is a new experience for me in some fashion. Whether it be new sites, guides, local people I meet, restaurants I try or the 'life' experiences I encounter I still get great joy out of it. Having been someplace does not necessarily mean you know it or will not have a good time on a repeat visit. Chriss, you mentioned that you did the My Way Europe tour. The My Way tours are a great option for those who want to go back to a location but do not necessarily want to go to the same sites. Since your time is your own you can go to all those places you did not get to on your prior visit but leave the travel essentials of Transportation and Lodging to someone else. That being said I also know that there are so many wonderful places in Europe it is hard to choose where to go. I just like to think that you can't go wrong either way ~ visit an old friend or make a new one. They are both a good options.
We had such a great experience with this trip that ,if its still offered again in a few years, we will do it again. It offers so many diverse sites, that it's easy to want to go back and do things you didn't do the first time!!! My Way gives you the freedom to plan your own sites and experiences. It was wonderful!! We have been to Europe before and certain areas hold more attractions than others for us. If we were independently wealthy, we would go to out of the way places. This tour hits diverse areas!
I would equate this to my travels in the USA. My husband and I have visited the same part of Colorado where we honeymooned 12 different times over 42 years of marriage. We see the same sights at different times of the year and with different people. That is an easy trip because we drive there and we aren't spending thousands of dollars for the trip. Some people have time-shares and go to the same place every year. We recently returned from the Rick Steves GAS tour and would love to see some of the sights again, because we only scratched the surface on our trip. There are so many wonderful places in Europe that I want to see, that it would be hard for me to do the exact same tour. Everyone is a little different.
My husband & I enjoyed our RS Northern Italy tour so much 9 years ago that we commented we could take that tour again. Instead, a few years later I pulled together an itinerary where we went to towns in the Veneto region & into the Dolomites again, visiting Verona where we stayed before the tour and spending four more wonderful days in Venice.
Personally I have not taken a repeat RS tour but I met a couple of people on RS tours who were taking the same exact tour a second time. (And I'm guessing they don't read the forums because I have not seen them chime in on this topic.) One tour member said she was taking it again because she wanted to see what a different guide had to say on the same places , and she wanted to experience the same itinerary at a different time of year. On another tour, a member was taking it again because she had pretty much done all the different Italian RS tour itineraries, and the one we were on was her favorite, so she was returning to it again. In both instances they said it was different than the prior time they had taken the tour (not better or worse, just not the same) and they were seeing different things on their free time.
The advantage was that having learned from the prior time they knew how to budget their time better on the second go-round (to focus on what they really liked) and were able to "catch" sights they wanted to see but missed the previous time.
We did My Way Best of Europe in 2013. It was fabulous and we definitely want to re-visit the places we went to on that trip, but we'll do it as part of other tours or on our own. That was our first RS tour. We're taking My Way France next summer, so we'll repeat Paris but have completely different destinations otherwise. We want to do GAS in the future, which will overlap some. Probably take daughter back on that trip as a college graduation present - Lauterbrunnen was her fave in 2013. We left very early the last day of our tour, didn't do justice to Rome at all, so we'll definitely go back there someday. However, we may choose to do Italy independently - hubby was stationed in Naples for 3 years (a loooong time ago, lol) and knows about driving, and the language, etc. We'd be more comfortable doing that on our own than France.
My Way is definitely the way to do a re-visit. Set your own itinerary and leave the driving to someone else (so you can have that adult beverage at lunchtime!!).