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Repeating a favorite RS Tour

Just curious……….if you’re a long-time RS traveler have you ever repeated a favorite Tour or been tempted to do so? Would one be bored? I know that the itineraries can change slightly over the years on some tours as RS responds to repeated critiques, etc.

Posted by
1079 posts

I would love to repeat the RS Switzerland tour, I never get enough of the Alps!

Posted by
2451 posts

No. With few exceptions such as London, I do not like repeat visits to anywhere. I would be bored. I always want to see new places and have new experiences especially at our age (mid 70’s) when our opportunities to travel are becoming fewer.

Posted by
13 posts

I’d like to repeat the Turkey tour. This was the first RS tour that I took (in 1991), so I know things have changed!

Posted by
5884 posts

We did the RS Rome tour a couple years ago. Loved it. I can definitely see us going back to Rome again, but I feel like I have such a good "lay of the land" from the tour, that I would just do Rome independently on future trips.

Posted by
1595 posts

"that I would just do Rome independently on future trips."

Same here, except that I learned that in several situations I would take a guided tour. You do learn a lot more.

Posted by
240 posts

My husband and I took the itinerary of Best of Europe with a few modifications and did this on our own with our 2 kids (age 18 and 20). Ten years later we did the RS tour of this. The guided tours were one reason. Most places I would not hesitate to revisit. Our original trip was mid August into September and the RS trip was May to include the Keukenhof Gardens. The spring had incredible wildflowers (you could smell them hiking in Switzerland). I always see new things when I visit someplace a second time.
Not sure I’d repeat again unless I went with my sister who has never been to Europe and would do better with the organized tour.

Posted by
8484 posts

I have wondered about this. I don't think one would get bored because there is so much to see and explore and the group dynamics would also be different. In fact, that is what has worried me a little about redoing a tour that I really enjoyed. What if I had an absolutely fabulous time on a tour and decided to repeat it and the experience was less than I experienced before? What would that feel like? Would I be horribly disappointed?

So far there are so many places that I haven't been to yet that I have signed up for new tours. I think the one time I might be more tempted to redo a tour is if I was traveling with someone who had not done the tour previously and was eager for that particular itinerary.

Posted by
2712 posts

Been tempted but we have not. Here is why: after multiple RS tours, some were real standouts. But, to us it’s a combination of things that makes a tour really special-the location, the guide, the local guides, the fellow tour group members, the weather, the food, the hotels. When most of those click it becomes a really memorable tour. But a repeat will always be compared to that benchmark, and may lead to disappointment. Have we gone back to places we visited on tours? Absolutely.

Posted by
329 posts

We enjoyed the Village Italy tour so much that when friends wanted to go several years later, we very happily joined them. The itinerary had changed to a point, but we were never bored. That said, we used the free time to see and do things that we might have missed the first time around. Out of our five tours, this is our absolute favorite…as much as we enjoyed them, we probably wouldn’t repeat the other tours.

Posted by
546 posts

If I had lots of time and the money, I'd repeat Southern Italy, Eastern France, and Spain.

Posted by
173 posts

I would like to do the Village Italy again, we took the Village Italy in its inaugural year of 2003 and loved it but the itinerary has changed so much (for the better). Also I would repeat the My Way Alpine. Having lived in flat Ohio and Florida I just can’t get enough of those great mountains and, except for bus days, one can do whatever one wants to do.

Posted by
37 posts

My husband and I took the Village Italy tour in 2006 (which was our first Rick Steves tour) and again in 2019. Loved both tours so much that we have talked two others couples into taking the tour. Village Italy has been our favorite tour out of our nine Rick Steves tours.

Posted by
139 posts

Took VFR about 13 years ago and would be delighted to do it again. So much wonderful art and food! Super tour. I would be happy to do any of the four I was on really and agree that the guide, tour mate, the weather all contribute to the experience...and some of the routes or places change a bit. But I still want to go places I have not been before I repeat any one of them...at least that is my viewpoint today ! LOL

Posted by
4795 posts

So funny you should ask this today. I just got back a few days ago from the RS Best of Istanbul and Best of Turkey tours. I was already asking myself if I would go on the Best of Turkey tour again. I think I'm still just coming down off the high of the tours.

Posted by
1243 posts

A number of years ago, I repeated VFR. I would have repeated 7Days in Venice, but they stopped offering it. My reasons for repeating were: work time constraints, the desire to be with people and not totally solo, and I am not done exploring those places (still not done). The time constraints were instrumental. I had limited time and limited windows of opportunity.

More recently, I repeated MSV, each time for the Christmas markets. As tweaks to the tours occur, there may be slight differences each time, and that was the case for me. I leaped on the second time around based on the day we would visit Hallstatt - the one day per year they hold the Krampuslauf. It was fantastic, and the other small changes to the itinerary were enjoyable, too. I love the Bavarian, Tirolean area and could happily go on my own, but again, time constraints - plus, I got to meet and hang out with some nice fellow travellers.

I am contemplating taking MyWay Alpine for a second time. I would say this is about my favorite tour. I have plenty of new ideas on how to spend my time and on what to do pre and post the tour.

I was not bored. As noted, I probably will repeat again. Because I am working around a work schedule, I appreciate the structure of a tour, meaning places to stay and transportation, and the company of others. I am not always wild about the massive evening meals in group format, but that will not be a concern with MyWay Alpine. Also, during my second MSV, the guide really, really encouraged me to attend the Mozart concert in Salzburg. Well, I did not enjoy it the first time around so I begged out. It worked better for me that way.

If you repeat a tour, enjoy.

Posted by
1056 posts

I’ve been on seven Rick Steves Tours. Hands-down, my favorite is one that, regrettably, they don’t offer anymore, Village Europe. If that were offered again I’d happily sign up.

Posted by
2252 posts

Yes! Sicily, I fell in love the first time plus it was also a “winter getaway” (less expensive) and a slightly different itinerary second time around. I loved it equally as much the second time. Different guide, different place in my life, etc…..That said, I would happily repeat any of the many tours I’ve taken. The staff just keeps coming up with interesting tours in interesting countries. I’m currently hoping for Iceland!

Posted by
44 posts

I repeated Paris and the Heart of France this spring. I enjoyed it the first time about 15 years ago and the dates and availablity worked for me this past April. I had a wonderful time. Paris is always great to visit and the itinerary for the rest of the tour was different enough to keep me interested. Even if it were exactly the same, I was so thrilled to be in France again that I would still have been happy. I’ve lived near New York City my whole life and still find things to see and do there.
I also agree with the people who would like to or have repeated Village Italy. That was a great tour and I’d also sign right up for Village Europe (if there was such a tour).

Posted by
15 posts

I took the 7 Day Rome tour twice. The first time was when the ciity tours first came out. The second time was in 2017. While the general itinerary was the same it was also different. The guides offered different perspectives, and had different priorities . My first tour guide was very art centered. We popped in and out of churches throughout the day so he could show us the paintings inside. My second guide provided more insight into the history of Rome and modern Italy. The food was amazing on both, and I had a blast on both tours. It was fun to go back and see the big sites but also make new discoveries. Each tour stayed in different neighborhoods, so I got to get to know different parts of the city a little more intimately. It was definitely not a waste. I even went back a third time for a week on my own last November.

Posted by
222 posts

I'm new to Travel. Started off with two back-to-back RS tours just before Covid hit. VFR first then up to Best of Paris.

Of course I'm going to take it again. At least the VFR part. I get the feeling I could spend several lifetimes in each of those cities wo being bored. And then there's the whole "outside the US" thing. And the "I don't speak the local" thing. And the ...

I'm looking forward in my second trip to not being so overwhelmed. I'm planning to take more down time in Venice, Florence, and Rome. And do some of the activities I've found out about (many from this forum) in each of the cities.

And yes of course it would be nice to see new things instead of going back. All of those choices would be good (at least from this end). I really don't think I could lose at this point. No matter which I choose.

Posted by
121 posts

I’d repeat the Best of the Adriatic tour. Fabulous surprises while touring Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia… the food, astounding natural beauty, fascinating history, architecture, etc. I have high hopes for the My Way Alpine Europe tour next month. I’d also repeat the Mongolia and Ladakh tours (with Adventures Abroad); they blew my mind.

Posted by
14150 posts

So…mmaryallen…are you considering a repeat?

One thing that interests me are some of the spin-off companies Rick’s current or former guides are doing. Some of them are doing more focused itineraries in certain areas and not moving so much. . For instance, Sarah Murdoch is offering “staycations “ in Venice, Paris and maybe other locations. I think she assumes you’ve been before and seen the big sights, now she’ll show you other things. 2 friends from my Village Italy trip and I think at least one forum regular did the Venice staycation this spring ( or maybe late fall?). They had gondola rowing lessons among other activities.

I’ve also given a good deal of thought to your question. Although I’ve not done Best of Italy I’m signed up for Fall. There are a lot of repeat cities for me as I’ve done 3 tours that have had time in Italy. I think I need to plan my days out so I know my alternative sights in Venice, Florence and Rome. I’ll make sure my guide and buddy are aware of my plans to strike out on my own.

Posted by
82 posts

I will be going on my 11th RS tour in 40 days…..squeeeeee! My favorite travel trick is to go on a RS tour, learn the ropes for that particular destination and if I want to go back on my own, I go and primarily stay in one or two places. That being said, in 2019, I went on the My Way Best of Europe (?) for a repeat of my favorite places with a couple of new ones……so much fun with experienced eyes the second time around ……I loved the Ireland tour and the Village Italy and wouldn’t mind doing either of those again…..such good memories!

Posted by
185 posts

Jen, how can you fit in 11 Rick Steves tours in 40 days? Even if you just did 7 day city tours it would take you 77 days to complete. ?typo? Completing 11 RS tours is a feat on it’s own. Lucky you! I’ll be going on #2 in September.

Posted by
57 posts

My wife and I have taken 14 R.S. tours, and there are 4 that I would consider repeating - Villages Italy, Turkey, Sicily and Eastern France. These four tours were so enjoyable that I do not believe we would be bored in repeating them.

Posted by
40 posts

We’re doing our 9th RS tour this summer….Family Tour with daughter and grandkids. We have loved each one. I wouldn’t repeat any but if I had to choose one it might be Germany, Austria, Germany. We like to see new places but go back to favorite places on our own.

Posted by
9760 posts

Jen, how can you fit in 11 Rick Steves tours in 40 days?

She said that in 40 days from now, she will depart for what will be the 11th RS tour that she has taken. No typo.

Posted by
50 posts

It’s been fun to read that others have had the same inclination as me to consider repeating a great tour. But, of course there are still tours I have not yet enjoyed and would love to experience. The Adriatic, Turkiye, Scandinavia, Portugal, and more. So, as another poster mentioned, time and money are a factor in deciding a tour choice. (And, it’s a loooong journey from the west coast of Washington State ;), so I like to make the most of the time/cost)

This September I’m scheduled to take My Way Spain and that will be my first venture into Spain. Of the 13 tours I’ve taken, I would happily revisit the sites of the South Italy, Eastern France, Sicily and Village Italy. I know I can always travel to favorite locale on my own, but as a solo traveler the support and companionship of the tours has been great.
Thanks for all the great posts!

Posted by
83 posts

We repeated the Villages of Italy tour. No regrets, different time of year, different guide and a different group of RS travellers. All in all, a different experience. We didn’t mind seeing our favourite places again.

Posted by
1852 posts

I have loved all 7 of my RS tours, but I would gladly repeat the Village Italy and Sicily tours. Partly because IMO both of those tours make it easier to see alot without renting a car. I also realize that part of why I loved those tours so much was I had exceptionally good guides on both of them AND Village Italy was my first.

Posted by
58 posts

This is a fun forum topic. I have taken 7 Rick Steves' and enjoyed every one of them. Since Covid uncertainties have stalled my travel plans I probably won't travel until next year. My favorite thing to do is visit new places. I miss traveling to Europe and would take any of the Italy tours and be very happy.

Posted by
2482 posts

I loved all of my 8 tours but might consider redoing my first - Paris and the Heart of France! Or, my 8th, Scandinavia, which I just returned from. I found it to be so fascinating, I could do it again! Mainly because Scandinavia is so different from the other tours.

Posted by
39 posts

I am repeating tours because of my grandchildren. As they continue to come of age, I may be doing Best of Europe eight more times! It depends on their tour requests, and whether or not I can still keep up! I love Turkey, and would cheerfully repeat that tour. I have been to Sicily a couple of times, once in the winter and once in May, with slightly different itineraries. Great tours! There are many tours I would love to take, so if it is just for me, I would choose a new tour over a repeat tour. I am currently focused on introducing my grandkids to Europe.

Posted by
6 posts

RS BASQUE COUNTRY WAS SOOOOOO AMAZING!! We spent a few extra days in San Sebastian too. Would do it all over again in a heart beat.

Posted by
57 posts

I hope this is not bad form, but I would suggest taking a similar tour with another tour company. You would redo the general tour from a different perspective. Look at tours from Overseas Adventure Travel, Roads Scholars or Adventures Abroad and pick the tour that is comparable to the Rick Steves tour you enjoyed.

Posted by
48 posts

I would love to do the Sicily tour over. I went in a September month; it was still hot! Yes, it would be Sicily for me and hope to get Alfi as the guide.

Posted by
10 posts

As soon as I got home from the Best of Spain tour in early June I started looking for a travel buddy so I could take it again because I enjoyed it so much. I loved our guide (Amanda Bettinger) and the itinerary. - Ellen

Posted by
47 posts

I often contemplate repeating the Best of Italy tour however there are so many other places I have not been to yet.

Posted by
124 posts

I've been on 6 different RS tours, but several included in part cities that were included in a different tour: Paris 3 times, Rome 2, and Barcelona and Madrid 2 times. Again, all were different tours, not repeats.
What I discovered, to my surprise and enjoyment, all 6 RS tour guides were different, and all the local guides were different! They all brought their own personalities, knowledge, perspectives, and interests, making repeat visits to the same cities interesting and not at all boring! (Also, all of the tour members on all of the tours were new to me).
I would gladly repeat any of the tours just to get another experience and am actively considering repeating one almost certainly (Heart of France) and possibly two others (one of which has a change of itinerary).

But I also have new tours to consider! Not enough time for everything, sadly.

Posted by
49 posts

You would not be bored doing the same tour again, there are so many variables. Likely you’d get even more the second time around. Personally, I still have many tours I want to do first before repeating, but I would repeat the Heart of Italy in a heartbeat.

Posted by
118 posts

Interesting question – I told my husband I wanted to go to Paris again & he suggested the same tour – while it was lovely not to change hotels – NO it would not be my choice to go on the exact same tour again –

It is so much easier & more convenient having them do all the planning / getting the passes, etc (we have done that ourselves in the past-) & there is at least another tour, maybe two RS tours that include Paris along with other places we have not been – so…that’s in the to do some day – we are set to go on RS to Germany & Austria next month & RS Greece trip next year.

RobertH interesting that your 1st RS trip was the same as ours: Best of Paris & your 2nd the same as our 2nd: Venice, Florence, and Rome. So many fun tours to pick from! Burano was such a delight on our trip to Venice & part of our RS tour - do go!

Burano, is an island 4 miles from Venice

Posted by
399 posts

Normally, I would not repeat a tour. The exception might be the Sicily tour. I took that tour (actually So Italy and Sicily) many years ago. Today the tour is somewhat longer and has changed a bit. Still redoing Sicily when there is so much I have not yet seen doesn't seem like a good idea at the moment.

Posted by
4 posts

My Husband and I are going to repeat the Ireland tour next summer (2023) and we can’t wait! It was our first tour with RSE (2016) and it was so awesome. We are going to do RS London 7 day tour first then fly to Dublin for the 2 weeks. We love having the guide, bus, and hotel all arranged which leaves the “fun stuff” to enjoy. It will be 7 years between trips to Ireland, and so much to see in that lovely country I have no concern with being bored. The group of people you tour with make everything so interesting too!

This fall (Oct 3) we start the RS Best of Europe 14 day tour and are so excited……Can’t say we’re a long time RS traveler, however, we’re trying to become one:-)

I did Paris and the South of France 15 years ago with my adult daughter. I just returned from Paris and the HeRt of France as a solo traveler. I had been to Paris twice before and the Normandy beaches but everything else was new to me. I stayed in two different neighborhoods in Paris, made it a point to see new things in my free time and the guides were very dissimilar. The Normandy beaches are vast and every guide has a different take. So, to answer your question, I would repeat if you want to.

Posted by
1205 posts

I have now taken a number of week long tours and the bus tours. I have never repeated a bus tour but I have repeated the week long tours. I have been on the Rome tour, Paris tour, Florence tour all twice. There was so much to see in each city that I enjoyed doing those tours again, even if we were seeing the same museums and sites. I never tire of those three cities and hope to go back to Paris in the near future. It never bores me to walk the streets and visit the museums and eat at even some of the same restaurants in Paris.

I have a several tours on my list so going back to Florence and Rome would be wonderful, but I have other places I want to see first. I have also been on the GAS tour and the Munich, Salzburg and Vienna tour. I loved going back to Munich, Salzburg and Vienna after going on the GAS tour. After both tours I stayed in Vienna for four days each time and it was great to revisit the city. Vienna to me is second to Paris.

So to answer your question, repeating a tour can be well worth it because there is something different to do each time in your free time that you did not get to do the first time.

Posted by
7377 posts

We haven’t repeated a tour, but we have returned to many of the cities we visited during the RS tours by ourselves. Usually we stay in a slightly different location, i.e. our hotel in Salzburg was on the opposite side of the river and near the castle in Salzburg when we visited on our own. In Switzerland, the tour stayed in Lauterbrunnen; when we returned a few years later, we stayed up in Wengen.

Per your “bored question” - My thought is that if we repeated a tour, we wouldn’t want to repeat the guided tour part of the day but would choose to see something else. But, that kind of defeats the advantage of being on a tour.

I have returned to special places multiple times. Stresa, Italy comes to mind. But, I definitely like to have some years in between visits to a return location.

Posted by
104 posts

Would definitely repeat VFR again and possibly Sicily. I am absolutely in love with Venice.

Posted by
3 posts

For those of you that have done the Villages of Italy tour, did you go in or near October? My friend and I are going in 2023 and wondering what the weather may be like. My husband and I did the Best of Italy 17 day tour in June 2019 and hit a heat wave. It was a fabulous tour, just loved it but the heat was tiresome after awhile. No good hair days lol!😆