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RS Tours Update

On his Monday night on Zoom show Rick just noted:
2021 tours very doubtful (he was actually firmer in his doubt but I’m giving him some wiggle room)
2022 Tours booking fast but he is holding back dates; 20% of the tour dates not yet unveiled.; released as need as tours book out.
2022- Tours can be fully cancelled untill 12/31/21 so he is highly recommending signing up for Wait Lists as he is expecting cancellations.

Posted by
7483 posts

2022 Tours booking fast but he is holding back dates; 20% of the tour dates not yet unveiled.; released as need as tours book out.

Hopefully this will apply to the tour I want.

EVERY scheduled date is 'wait list' at this point

Posted by
77 posts

Same boat Joe— sitting with “pending confirmation” on a tour….waiting waiting waiting…. It would be easier if I had patience.

Posted by
77 posts

WOW. I had some potential back up tours being considered for the Fall of 2022. Lots of open dates last time I looked (Friday) that have now all seemed to have disappeared in the last few days. I have to assume we have a lot of folks double and triple booking tours while awaiting to hear what they will get confirmed and what will not be. I foresee a lot of wait lists opening up. I’ve been waiting for 6 days for a tour confirmation made on Wednesday. I can see folks in the same boat panicking and booking lots of back up tours they will later cancel.

Purely a guess but I suspect the held back tours will stay held back for a while. Once his staff gets through their back log some back up tours may be quickly cancelled and opened. Might as well let that happen before opening up new dates.

Posted by
1956 posts

Rick said on his Monday Night Travel show last night they had 18,000 bookings in the last 4 days! He and Ben, the young staffer who announces the show, looked exhausted and giddy.

Rick said he was not going to make the public announcement of the 2022 tours yet until they are able to sort through the booking requests currently in their backlog. He said to hang tight, they will get to you. More patience!

Posted by
911 posts

We booked our Best of Eastern Europe tour about 2-3 hours after it opened up on Wednesday and got the confirmation for it yesterday. It was hard to be patient but we got the one we wanted. So excited! It has to be in the summer and work around my husband's schedule so the one we signed up for was the only one of that tour we could do. Thankful we got it, but had a back up plan if we didn't.

Posted by
258 posts

It took about 48 hours for me to receive confirmation of the Best of Sicily next spring, but I’m a GO. Ricks system even reminded me that my passport expires next year!

Posted by
18 posts

I just did a search by date then cut-and-pasted the tours in Excel ... 61% of tours announced so far are waitlisted and 32% are limited. So glad that the urge to hesitate was ignored and I got on the Village Italy tour. It makes sense as earlier posters noted that people will cancel and probably requested multiple trips in hopes they got on one. I hope that everyone is able to book for 2022 if they wish and that we'll be able to go. All fingers crossed until next year.

Posted by
4991 posts

Another Pandemic effect. For a year, it was Wait. Then suddenly Hurry Up (and book), but Wait (for confirmation). But it’s a more tolerable wait, with summer approaching and vaccines developed.

Posted by
117 posts

Waited a day and all Portugal tours in the spring after our son’s wedding were gone! We are awaiting confirmation for the fall but would much prefer the spring. Just signed up for the spring wait list. ( we are booking 2 tours so hopefully both go through in the spring).

And now we wait....

Posted by
15 posts

Request made on 5/27 - still waiting to hear and now all Greece tours are waitlisted. We were cancelled twice in 2020 for this trip.

Trying to be patient...

Posted by
759 posts

I'm still waiting on a 5/26 request....so be patient, or at least try as I keep telling myself!

Posted by
328 posts

Waiting on a 5/29 request for GAS Tour.....still shows pending confirmation

Posted by
11 posts

We booked Village Italy on 5/27. On 5/29 we were notified that the tour was sold out, but that dates in a similar time frame were available. We accepted those dates and received an e-mail that we were on the tour. No formal confirmation or money charged to credit card, but I am not worried.

Posted by
328 posts

My GAS did not show as sold out until 5/31…. Tour request recd 5/29 … still pending confirmation… hoping for positive confirmation

Posted by
77 posts

Chris- hang in there. It seems like the RS computer system has evolved from the “old days” and almost all tours reserved (if you received an email and request #) have been confirmed as the system seems to be ‘counting’” and then shutting off a tour…but computers do make errors. My tours were booked on 5/26 within the first 6 hours of opening for tours. It took 6 and 7 days respectfully for those 2 tours to be confirmed. So hang in there!!

Posted by
1946 posts

We're in a similar situation: our tours did not show as "sold out" or even "filling fast" when we booked on the morning of 5/28. As of 5/31 both still showed as "filling fast." But both registrations are still pending confirmation. I'm not giving up hope!

Posted by
1946 posts

almost all tours reserved (if you received an email and request #) have been confirmed as the system seems to be ‘counting’” and then shutting off a tour

I so hope you are right!!

Posted by
328 posts

Thank you both for sharing...it makes waiting a little easier..my tour was the same when I booked on 5/29....not even showing as filling fast never mind waitlist.....I did not see either of those until 5/31.

This will be my friends 1st RS tour.....

Posted by
305 posts

Just like so many others here we are anxiously waiting to hear. We requested a filling fast tour and still waiting for confirmation. Pending charges were on our credit card but have disappeared which is probably not good news. Has anyone actually gotten a no go email?

Posted by
3413 posts

Pat, don’t worry about the pending disappearance. That is merely a function of time and nothing else. That happened to several of us, and we later received our confirmations. I know it is hard to wait!

Posted by
366 posts

I signed up for the Paris and the Heart of France the first day the tours were available and received a confirmation within two hours. Have gotten confirmation number and the deposit hit my credit card. A day later I got the welcome letter with the first and last hotel. They are processing. But I am glad I jumped on it. Going in May. Have a year to wait and anticipate.

When I looked two days later the majority of the tours were sold out and all are now wait listed.

Posted by
657 posts

requested 2 tours on 5/29. So far haven't heard back, but at least haven't heard no.

Posted by
5980 posts

FYI we were once told that "filling fast" means there are 6 or less spaces still available. Important to know if you're trying to plan for a group.

Posted by
1946 posts

That's also good to know - it could mean there were at least 6 spaces still available when we registered, since our tours weren't "filling fast" at the time.

Posted by
328 posts

Ditto CWSocial.....my requested tour/date never showed filling fast until 2 days after I got my pending tour request confirmation.

Posted by
759 posts

The below was copied from the Main Tour Webpage. Note: "or so"...or so means longer...so hang tough folks, good word is coming. If you booked your first ever RS tour it is quicker- but if you have taken prior tours and checked that box it takes them longer as they have to hand confirm your reservation, calculate and apply the prior trip discount etc.

"If you've signed up for a 2022 tour: We've had so many sign ups, you can imagine we're quite busy. Please be patient. We're processing reservations as fast as we can, but it may take a week or so to confirm your seat."

Posted by
328 posts

Well....the pending charge for deposit has dropped off of my credit card....but my tour request in RS tour account still says Pending Confirmation:(

Posted by
759 posts

Chris- quite common; many banks set a time limit on completing a charge aka it times out. RS can still charge you.

Oh, I should also mention that your Requested Tour may disappear from your Tour Account page- that means they are working on it! It will reappear once Confirmed. And it can show up as Confirmed on your Tour acct page hours before you get the confirming email.

Posted by
1946 posts

Both my tours still show "pending confirmation" on my tour page, as they have from the start. Good to know that they might "disappear" for a bit when they're working on them.

Today I'm hoping they just haven't gotten to our tours yet because they weren't as high volume and perhaps didn't have as many complexities. I'll have to come up with something else to tell myself tomorrow.

Posted by
1253 posts

My tour account shows tour is confirmed. Visa account still shows debit and credit in pending. I expect that to catch up tomorrow. I'm so excited!! September 2022 seems like a long time away but since earth spins quicker as you get older it'll be here soon.

Posted by
328 posts

Thanks OFB...that’s helpful information..both the bank time outs and the tour could disappear.

I’m telling myself that I’m a tour alum but my travel friend is not ...her first trip and she is on the same tour request and maybe that is complicating things despite we are sharing the room.

Posted by
1946 posts

My 2 tours just confirmed! I haven't even got the email yet, so it is just being processed. YIPPEE!

Posted by
305 posts

Sadly doesn’t look like a confirmation is forthcoming. Pending charges were on credit card for a few days. They disappeared for several days. Have now reappeared as a pending return so looks like we’ll be looking at other travel options. 🙁

Posted by
1946 posts

Pat, please don't lose hope just yet! I just checked my credit card and my deposits also show as pending refunds with today's date. But I was confirmed within this past hour. That may be what happens if time elapses and they have to re-issue the charge for the deposit.

Fingers still crossed for you!

Posted by
305 posts

Hurray! Received confirmation after all! Hang in there all still waiting . Don’t rely on credit card pending charges.

Posted by
1946 posts

Pat, so very happy that you are confirmed on your tour! Even with my confirmation email and confirmed tour page, those reverse deposits still made me twitchy!

Posted by
15 posts

We were not lucky. Signed up 5/27 and it looked ok but today got the sorry Charlie email. All dates are waitlisted - so much for a priority after getting cancelled twice!

Posted by
1946 posts

I'm so sorry, dfolson! Yes, we were cancelled twice in 2020 also. That was hard enough, but not getting on your preferred tour this year is a blow.

In case it's an option, they have compiled a nice page of tours that still have seats available:
https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/seats-available

Though I'm sure you really wanted the one you had registered for, there are still (as of this post on June 4) some great destinations!

Posted by
4601 posts

dfolson, sign up anyway! They're expecting quite a few folks who have signed up to back out. And 20% of the 2022 tours have not been posted yet. Sign up and get on the waitlist.

Posted by
96 posts

Same thing happening with my credit card and I'm trying not to lose hope. Was pending, gone, pending and gone again. I paid deposit on 5/27 for Loire/South of France tour in Sept/Oct 2022. It wasn't even at the "filling fast" stage yet, so hoping I'm okay. :)

Posted by
328 posts

Still ‘Pending Confirmation’ since tour request 5/29.... deposit dropped off credit card deposit 2 days ago....tour request for GAS 7/16-7/29 2022

Posted by
1253 posts

For those of you who are questioning the mysterious credit & debit on your Visa, I thought I let you know what I'm seeing. Yesterday my tour account showed tour is confirmed. About an hour later I received the confirmation email. I looked at my Visa account each time. It showed pending credit and debit. I completed the tour agreements as soon as it posted to the confirmation. Later I looked at my Visa, the pending debit dropped off but not the pending credit. This morning I looked and there is no charge pending or otherwise. So I looked at my tour account's payment. At the top of the invoice it says "We're still processing your tour reservation. It may take up to 3 business days for your final balance to be available for payment online."
The bottom line of this post is don't be concerned about your Visa charges but follow your reservation in your tour account. Hope this answers a few questions.
EDIT: Thanks CWsocial. I forgot to add that the invoice showed the $400 deposit and my single supplement as paid.

Posted by
1946 posts

The day after my confirmation, I'm seeing exactly what horsewoofie has described above. And it shows that I have a "Deposit via Debit/Credit Card" for the $400, dated the date that I received my tour confirmation. At the bottom a note says that "balance may include pending payments/adjustments" - true, since the charge for the deposit is not yet showing in my credit card account.

Posted by
15 posts

We are not out of this yet! Fingers crossed as RS staff has reached out with alternate dates and I have responded...

Posted by
1946 posts

Oh dfolson, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!!!!

Posted by
15 posts

A big shout out for Ragen!!!!! We are confirmed for Greece at last!

Posted by
12 posts

I’m very happy for you!! I’ve just about given up hope on getting 2 seats on a 17day Best of Italy tour. We were a little late signing up (5/30) but did pick a tour that was still in the “Sign up” phase. I’ve been watching this tour for a number of years and know that our chosen dates were often ones that were slower to fill, so I wasn’t particularly worried. In addition, we are also in the group that had both a tour canceled in 2020 and had shown interest in two 2021 tours. But now I’m worried! 8 days later and not even a “tour pending” listed on our RS account is making me realize that it’s time to explore other options. I’m so disappointed!!! It was supposed to be our 45th wedding anniversary trip.

Posted by
328 posts

dfolson........you are going to love Greece....I did this trip in 2019....I went a week ahead and spent 4 nights in Santorini and 2 in Athens before the tour....

John....don’t give up yet....I was gearing up yesterday for disappointment since it was 1 week since I booked GAS and still showing pending ...... but mid afternoon I received the Confirmation email...I’m especially happy since this will be my friend’s 1st time to Europe and an RS tour.....what a great introduction for her!

Thanks to everyone for keeping this thread going with their own experiences of waiting....it really helps:)

Posted by
1946 posts

john41776, I was feeling quite nervous as well, and my tours finally confirmed 2 days ago.

You can definitely sign up for waitlists for other dates. As other people who may have booked "backup" tours cancel those, you'll be in line for available seats. And there are numerous Italy tours that still have plenty of tour dates available. Though not the same, you could check out some of the itineraries - you probably already have, since you've been watching the tours for years.

If you have any interest in the "My Way" tours (more of a DIY approach to your sightseeing activities and pace, but they take care of all of your hotels and transfers between cities) there are plenty of dates available:
https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/italy/my-way-italy#tour-dates

There is still hope!

Posted by
15 posts

I second that John. I had originally registered 5/27 and did not get squared away until 6/5. They told me over 18,000 requests in 4 days. Last night when they called me the staffer said he was down to about 500 emails yet to go through. They have added new tour dates not listed yet, and they are adding new tours that were not on the site before. Send your email with your flexibility and options, get on the waitlists as many that work (I think the limit is 5 per tour) And the biggest of all (most difficult) have patients with the RS staff, I cannot imagine dealing with this volume in such a short time. I just looked and the tour we are confirmed on (in MY Tours), that date is not listed as one that is even available. There were at least two other dates we were offered as alternates and they are not on the site either.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks, all, for your encouraging words!!! I hope that I’ll soon be able to report that I have a confirmed tour.

Posted by
5980 posts

It appears that if you had put yourself on a waitlist, you will be the first to be notified of the opportunity to sign up for any of the new tour dates being released for that tour. A great customer service move by RSE.

Posted by
1018 posts

We received official confirmation for the Best of England tour - requested reservation on 5/30 and confirmed on 6/6. Also received confirmation for Munich, Salzburg & Vienna - reservation made on 5/30 and confirmed on 6/7.

Posted by
1293 posts

Wow! We were certainly lucky. I signed on for two tours on 5/26 with a confirmation for one within a few hours that day. The second confirmation came in the next day. Two other couples going with us signed up on the same day with confirmation two days later.
I think we signed up before noon Pacific time or shortly after.

Posted by
96 posts

Made my reservation on the evening of 5/27, but no confirmation yet. But others who made reservations after me have already been confirmed. 😬

Posted by
7 posts

I made a reservation on 5/30 for the My Way Alpine Europe tour and am also still patiently waiting. Fingers crossed! I know they're working extremely hard to sort through all the reservations.

Posted by
375 posts

Oh! This is a little off topic, but I just thought of this - when we get our confirmation letter in the mail, we will hopefully be getting our 2022 tour patch too! I am inordinately excited about this!

Posted by
1946 posts

Barbara, in normal years, don't they send the tour kits (including guidebook, security gadget and patch) when the deposit becomes non-refundable? Or does the patch come earlier with the packet of documents?

Posted by
375 posts

Hmmm, I remember getting a letter in the mail within a few weeks of booking. Good question. Probably won’t get it til after December 31.

Posted by
317 posts

It's interesting that only 3 of the Venice-Florence-Rome tour offerings are "Filling Fast" and nothing is wait listed. I thought this was one of the most popular tours in years past. Add a few days at the start to cover Padua and more time in Venice and more days in Rome at the end and it's amazing. It's harder to add time for Florence being in the middle of the tour.

Posted by
1163 posts

Tour kits will be made available two months prior to your tour. This info is in your tour account for your trip.

Posted by
10 posts

Vicarious waiting for a tour confirmation for Best of Sicily seems to mirror the experiences of some others on this board who are likely more patient that I.

My spouse and I had a pending confirmation on June 2 after registering 5 days earlier, on 5/28 early in the morning. Our tour was confirmed on the evening of 6/4, seven days later.

With our dueling laptops snuggled up side by side, our friend, travelling with a single supplement, registered about 2 minutes after we did for precisely the same tour, and still has no confirmation now 10 days later. He is pending. Still.

Is there anyone else out there who was confirmed after waiting 10 days or more?

Posted by
96 posts

I also have a single supplement and I'm wondering if that is the cause for the delay for me as well? I have a friend who registered after me for the same tour, but it wasn't with a single supplement, and she already received confirmation.

I hope we aren't being treated like pariahs because we want to room alone! 😁

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for your response, Jill. Yes, I have considered the same possibility for our friend. I've sent RS an email inquiry because we are travelling as a little group. I'll advise when I hear something.

Anyone have difficulty getting confirmed as a single with single supplement?

Posted by
182 posts

I registered for the Best of Ireland on 5/30 and have not gotten confirmation. I am a single willing to share and thought that might be part of the reason for the delay. So it might be something to do with singles in general? My dates showed as available to book for a few days after I signed up so there shouldn’t be an issue with no availability, but who knows. Patience is not something I was blessed with, but I’m trying!

Posted by
318 posts

I requested a single spot on a Village Italy tour on 5/27 (with a single supplement). The next day the tour was listed as "limited" and was "waitlisted" the following day. I received confirmation on 6/2 (late in the day). I know there are limited spots for those seeking single supplement rooms. So it's possible that those who signed up later may be too late for the single supplement. RS folks may be searching and confirming with hotels if additional singles can be accommodated in their own rooms. Hence, the lack of confirmation from RS.

Posted by
7 posts

Y'all might be correct! My reservation is also for single (willing to share a room). That could be why it's taking a bit longer.

Posted by
759 posts

Mary above has it! Not just this year but every year- there are only a small number of single (supplement) rooms available for each tour. And the number varies between tours-- Most hotels have a very small number (if any) of "single" rooms available. These are smaller rooms with a twin bed. Thus a tour can be available but the single rooms sold out. I would assume that they are going above and beyond this year and probably reaching out with the hotels to see if other single rooms will be available- and for many tours this means checking with multiple hotels.

"I hope we aren't being treated like pariahs because we want to room alone! 😁". No, it just means they are out of 'single' rooms. Paying the single supplement doesn't mean you get a large 2 person room to yourself (although sometimes that does happen, score!). Opting for the Single means just that-- a small single person room and those are limited in terms of availability.

Posted by
96 posts

Yep, I'm aware of the single room set up and process as that's what I got for the Germany Austria Switzerland tour in 2019. However, it did not take this long to get confirmed for that trip. This is obviously an atypical time and I'm guessing a lot of people want to have private, single rooms now versus being matched up with a stranger due to COVID.

Posted by
10 posts

Single Supplement Issue:

Here's a shout out to Michelle at RS (Thank you!) who just confirmed our single supplement friend who is travelling with us on our tour and had been waiting 10 days for confirmation. She responded within a few hours to an email. Excellent customer service.

She confirmed that it was the "single supplement" issue that had taken additional confirmation time.

Posted by
12 posts

We were on the waitlist for Eastern France and the Adriatic tours. Got an email notification yesterday of many additional dates for these tours. Signed up with our friends within an hour of receiving the email, and less than 24 hours later, we already have confirmation that we’re on the tour. A lot of people at RS working hard for all of us all right now!

If you aren’t confirmed for something you want, go on waitlists and get the emails, get access to new, unlisted tours. The one we are on now is just a few days different than one we were waitlisted for.

Posted by
12 posts

I’m happy to report that we successfully registered for one of the newly added 17 day BOI tours. It’s thanks to you folks, though. We still have heard nothing about the initial tour we signed up for. I tried email and received an auto generated response from the office, asking me to trust their system and to be patient. If I had not read forum posts about the emails you waitlisted folks were receiving, I probably would not have checked for new dates. So, THANK YOU all, for sharing your experiences on this forum. It will be interesting to see if I am eventually contacted about my initial request - or if we did get lost in their system.

Posted by
33 posts

Wow, we've been waiting on a filling fast Sicily tour in November for a week now, everything kinda disappeared a couple of days ago....(pending charges and pending tour from our tour account page). So this morning I checked and there were NEW dates added, In October no less, when we really wanted to go. Bottom line, I signed up and we received confirmation, within the hour, that we on on our tour...no more waiting and the time we wanted!!!!

Posted by
96 posts

Just got my confirmation for the Loire Valley and south of France tour next fall with single supplement. Doing the happy dance!!

Posted by
10 posts

I'm thrilled for you, Jill, and everyone else who was formerly pending and now confirmed. Thanks to all on this forum for sharing your experiences with the RS "process". What a helpful community.

Posted by
12 posts

I can’t believe it!!! I just got email confirmation that we are confirmed for our first tour request! I should have listened and been more patient! Kudos to the Rick Steves team and shame on me for doubting the process.

Posted by
7 posts

Just got confirmed for the reservation I made on 5/30, My Way Alpine Europe - SO EXCITED!! If you're still waiting - keep hoping and try to have patience. The RS team is on it and working hard!

Posted by
4991 posts

Rick’s n my along space to accommodate the overwhelming tour requests. Lots of demand, but RS Tours will be equipped to manage that.

Posted by
29 posts

I wish we had the "problem" of being waitlisted!
Down here in OZ we are not even allowed out of our homes (no more than 5 klms) and NO international travel possible until at least middle of 2022!
We have had tours cancelled for 2020, 2021 & now probably NO chance of getting within cooee of a 2022 booking by the looks of this thread, & our draconian rules! :(