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Tour Patch

Hi Everyone!

I just booked my 21 Day Best of Europe tour for 2020 and I received a Rick Steves Tour patch in my packet. What are you all doing with them? Sewing on to bags, jackets, etc.?

Posted by
901 posts

Well I have seen several people sew their patches onto their backpacks, I have never had a use for them. In fact, on my last trip, I asked at the time I registered for the trip that they not send me a patch, as I didn’t want to have to throw it away. It’s a nice idea, but I wish they would make that an optional inclusion.

Posted by
548 posts

Where you put it rather depends on how much you want to be in the tribe or declare that you are. My recent tour group members had sewn them to packs, hats, and jackets. Some folks displayed four, six, or more. I have two sewn on my daypack.

You don’t have to toss it; sew a ribbon onto it and you’ve got a nice bookmark.

Posted by
4536 posts

I already have lots of bookmarks. I appreciate many things about Rick Steves' travel philosphy, books, tours, and some of the gear. I don't appreciate the relentless marketing but I understand the need to promote a brand in a competitive industry. However, I throw away the patch because I don't want to be part of the marketing. It's enough that Rick's name (and sometimes smiling face) is on my flight bag, guidebooks, liquid soap bottle, and the little bag where I keep charger cords. I'm not going to attach his name to stuff that doesn't already have it, thanks all the same.

BTW I feel the same way about company-branded t-shirts and the college-branded swag I get at reunions. Call me a grouch if you want. ;-)

Posted by
1047 posts

I wish they would give you a patch for the tour you are going on. The tour patch I got on our 17 Day Best of Italy Tour was for an East European Country. It meant absolutely nothing to me as I hadn’t been there and was not planning on going there. If they designed the patch specifically for the tour you were taking, it would mean something. Then if someone asks you a question about the patch, you could tell them all about the tour. It also would be nice to see what tours a person has been on. I couldn’t tell anyone about the patch I received.

Posted by
1106 posts

I’m going to try to punch a small hole in my patch. Thread it onto my metal cable luggage tag. Perhaps it will make my bag a little more easy to identify on the luggage carousel.

Posted by
1863 posts

rocket, I love your idea. We hope to get on a tour one of these days.

Posted by
2786 posts

I have 17 tour patches from 17 RS tours and store them in my sock drawer for some unknown use in the future.

Posted by
3644 posts

Excellent response, yosemite1! I’ve liked some of the patches better than others and definitely see your point if the patch location completely doesn’t even relate or excite you.

Posted by
4454 posts

We don't do anything with our patches, but we're always excited when they arrive. (Yes, we're easily entertained.) My patches sit in a little pile in my room, and I smile whenever I see them.

Posted by
4536 posts

Maybe I've been too hasty in my criticism. The patches may have some future use, or at least talismanic value, for Charlie and Jane and others. Sewing enough of them together could produce a glasses case or maybe even a quilt. ;-)

Posted by
548 posts

Punching a hole will be difficult and will only cut a couple hundred threads that will then unravel. You can do that if you have the sewing experience. You will need a liquid glue to set and stabilize all of the embroidery threads. Probably easier to sew some kind of hanger or paracord to the patch and then attach that to an existing luggage tag. good luck with the project and please post a photo.

Posted by
1752 posts

Jane,
I’m with you, seeing my patches make me smile. I use a photo of the 7 patches as wallpaper for the lock screen on my iPhone.
I haven’t signed up for a 2020 tour yet, so I’m anticipating adding the 8th one to my collection and making a new photo!

Posted by
249 posts

I have 17 tour patches from 17 RS tours and store them in my sock
drawer for some unknown use in the future.

Charlie, sounds like your sock drawer could tell some stories!

Posted by
743 posts

I like the patches. I put them on my rolling carry-on (yes, RS brand). It does help me identify my black bag among the sea of black bags. I scan the patches to include with photos of fellow group members in Shutterfly photo books. I also frame then with a favorite photo from the tour. Only three tours so far, but definitely plan to collect more.

Posted by
265 posts

I have to say that I enjoy the patches and don't mind that they are a marketing tool . They make me smile as well as bring back some wonderful memories. I do have to say that like REALLY like yosemite1's suggestion that the patches pertain to the individual tours!

Posted by
1204 posts

Charlie,the obvious is to use them to patch yr sock holes. Rocket. Boggie is rt, punching a hole in it will create a hot mess. Look for a fabric luggage tag( etsy? Vera wang?) And sew it to that.
Tho I do like the idea of an eyeglass case covered in them

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your responses and ideas! My wife and I are excited for the upcoming tour. It’s going to be our first time to Europe. We probably won’t sew any patches to our bags. We’ll stick a magnet to one and maybe make a Christmas ornament with the other. Happy travels!

Posted by
4454 posts

I like the idea of the Christmas ornament. Let's see, 14 tours times 2 people... we have 28 patches. And since we always get a small tree, we may not need any other ornaments!

I do know people have "themed" Christmas trees; wouldn't a tour tree be cool?

Not that I'd ever actually get that motivated, but I like the idea.

Posted by
95 posts

I think they are cool, but I wouldn't put it on my travel gear. Aren't we trying 'not' to look like tourists? :)

Posted by
700 posts

3 years ago in Rome (Baths of Caracalla) I came across a couple, his day pack was covered in RS patches. It was a reminder for them of their travels (modern equal to old travel stickers on luggage or on the rear windows of station wagons in the 1960s). They also said they were great conversation pieces as people would ask about them or other RS folks would come up to them (as I did) as they were already “family”.

Posted by
1204 posts

This has been a great conversation, but I must admit that every time it shows in my thread my brain tries to read it as "Sour Patch" (a brand of tart candy in the USA) or wonder if its a question about motion sickness medicines including the Scopolamine Patch . 🤓

Posted by
75 posts

I have 5 of them sewn on the back of my osprey convertible carry-on / backpack that I have been traveling with forever. Not super noticeable but create a nice pattern with the triangle design. Good way to meet other Rick Steves types at the airport, and I have.
Liam

Posted by
1854 posts

After years of travel - and recently becoming addicted to solo travel - I have booked my first RS tour (decided I didn't want to "do it myself" this time) and also got my first Rick Steves "Europe 2020" patch, which I'm excited to have, in my silly sort of way.

I have a magnetic travel board, which displays a paper, trimmed-to-fit world map and magnets from my travels, now including the RS patch.

I liked the idea of punching a hole and using it as a luggage tag or purse swag. I wonder if laminating it (with dollar store self-laminating sheets) and then punching a hole in the plastic sheets would protect the patch itself. I'll find something else to experiment on.

Do the patches from prior years have the year on them (mine says "Europe 2020") or is that a new thing? This being my first, I don't know.

Posted by
43 posts

We also use them as Christmas ornaments. They bring back great memories every year.

Posted by
5 posts

Glue a small magnet to the back and hang them on the fridge.

Posted by
43 posts

Got my first one today and first thought was Christmas decoration. I've been turning lots of random travel stuff into ornaments. The key cards that you keep now from universal studios in Orlando... hole punched and hung. A really useless corkscrew from Budapest... looped with ribbon and hung... Delft "wooden shoes" from Amsterdam.... yep! On the tree!

Posted by
700 posts

Enjoy! I hope you gather many more over the years as you explore Europe.

Travel safe,

One Fast Bob