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Today was my the Start of my RS Portugal Tour...

I am bummed but glad to safe rather than sick. My wife along with two other couples were going on our annual RS tour doing the Heart of Portugal in 12 day tour. We received our full RS refund over a week ago. We were flying KLM SFO-AMS-LIS and return from Porto. After several attempts at reaching KLM I was able to reach them. They waived the change fee and provided two travel voucher. Which requires booking within one year of cancellation but travel as far out as you can find a flight. We plan to return next year (as long as the World in a better place) so I took the vouchers. Our hotel cancellation was processed via email with no issues. Our pre tour guide was sorry but since we were paying at the tour no refund needed. The folks at Eating Europe who we have used in both Amsterdam and Stockholm were very nice. They offered a 50% additional credit if we took advantage of their Flex-Path vouchers. I jumped at this as I am sure we will be using them again in the future. The Taxi cab I had reserved through the hotel was another matter. It took several attempts to get them to issue a credit which was minus a cancellation fee.

My biggest fight has been with my travel insurance company Seven Corners. It took a week of daily calls to finally get them to call me back. The secret was to call them first thing when they open. Once the option to get a call back was offered I took it and about 3 hours later they called.. Since I was outside my cancellation period, they allowed me to move my travel dates out to what I think will be our 2021 RS tour. As long as the travel does not exceed 30 days and it's within 2 years of my purchase date they will not change me for new policy.

Our 2020 tour was the Best of Eastern Europe and we meet a wonder couple on the trip. As we were looking at 2020 they were booked already but were very interested in the Best of Turkey in 13 days for 2021. So it looks like a late May early June tour of Turkey.

The even better news is my wife expressed interest in doing back to back tours next summer to make up for our missed tour this year. So any suggestions on what works good as a back to back with Turkey would be greatly appreciated.

Sigh... I wish I was on my the plane right now but as Forrest Gump said "Life if like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get."

Posted by
2007 posts

I'm sorry, Mark. We have had to cancel two Rick Steves tours (one this month and one the end of May), one with friends and one with my family. How much time do you have? I'd say Greece. It's also a wonderful tour!

Posted by
7445 posts

Is there a Central Europe tour like Budapest-Prague-Vienna? That would marry well after Turkey and would give some variety .

Posted by
13 posts

I recommend BEST of the ADRIATIC to complement your Turkey tour. It covers Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. Their histories have much been influenced by their relationship to the Ottoman Empire, over the centuries and modern times. It is a fantastic tour!

Posted by
2545 posts

What works “good” is one that matches the dates and is a place you want to visit. Europe is so small that even a far away tour is close. Since you did the Eastern Europe tour the Adriatic would overlap a lot. Unless you want to revisit places I would not suggest that one. If the dates line up, go to Portugal. It was your original choice, it’s a terrific tour.

Posted by
126 posts

Mark, we were probably on your same flight tomorrow—leaving SFO on KLM. Haven’t gotten final word on my vouchers but hopefully soon. (We used CheapoAir). We had an Air Bnb in Lisbon, and their cancellation was easy.
Maybe next year to Portugal. This year we’ll stay close to home (in home for a while) and treat ourselves. Now if I could only find some good gelato in the Bay Area.

Posted by
116 posts

I want to thank everyone for all their suggestion. It does warm the heart to see so many good ideas. A little background on my previous tours. We started with the Villages of Italy 2017, then best of Scandinavia, followed by Easter Europe. Greece has been on our short list but I am not sure if mid June might be a bit to warm. Will just have to see how pandemic works out and the after effects.

Stay safe!

Posted by
875 posts

Mark - I am sorry too! My tour will be canceling probably next week. Our departure date May 23 for our May 25 tour. I got off phone with airlines and got our trip cancelled.

Best of luck

Posted by
4939 posts

Mark G, how did you get in touch with Eating Europe? I emailed them about our Rome food tour scheduled May 15, and haven't heard back from them.

Sorry about your travel plans; we're in the same boat (so to speak.) We had booked the RS Best of South Italy, as well as about 2 weeks independent travel in Italy.

Posted by
2007 posts

Hi Mark. What about adding on the Best of Athens and Greece tour if you're looking for back-to-back tours. You would need a good amount of time and energy, though, as I know from experience the Greece tour is "active" and I am sure the Turkey tour is as well. I was on the Portugal tour last fall and please don't give up on that one; it's wonderful! This: ""Life if like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get." So very true!