Please sign in to post.

Varied pricing for tour dates

Hello. I wonder if anyone knows from experience why certain dates for tours have different pricing than other dates. I realize it might vary due to potential better weather etc. But some variations don’t seem to make sense logically. I’m looking specifically at the Best of Poland dates for 2025. All the dates in 2024 for that tour are the same price. But in 2025 there are a few random dates that are $200 lower. I called the RS office and the person didn’t really have a solid answer for me. She said it’s possible that the hotels they could get for those dates aren’t as good in quality on the cheaper dates. Has anyone dealt with this issue before for RS tours? I’d love to save money by going one week later but then again it would be nice to have a clear reason why it’s less expensive.

Posted by
528 posts

There are many possible reasons why prices may vary. Some ideas that come to mind are: using different hotels on different dates (RS hotels are often small, so any one hotel might not be able to accommodate every tour group), local events that cause hotel, activity or meal prices to fluctuate, a history of lower enrollment on certain dates (so a decision by RS to incentivize enrollment on those dates), weather-related reasons, an area having an “in-season” and an off-season” and on and on. Although I have always found the RS phone center people very helpful, it’s unlikely that they would know the specific reasons behind pricing decisions for each of the hundreds of tours offered.

I have gone on 10 RS tours and generally try to go on one of the “cheaper” dates if at all possible. For instance, I just signed up for the one 2025 Basque tour that costs $2995 while all the others are $3195. Do I care what the reason is? Not really! I just know that it saves me $200 that I can use for airfare or extending the trip or whatever! As far as I can tell, my previous experiences on “cheaper” dates have been as good as on any other dates. The hotels have been fine, the guides terrific, the meals good to great, the activities wonderful. So this is not an issue for me.

Posted by
548 posts

I was told once that hotel prices change during certain months. Maybe some event is taking place during the time frame that caused the increase. And sometimes they actually stay in a different town because of an event. But that’s usually noted on the tour date.

Posted by
2522 posts

I would not fret about getting a "lower quality" hotels on a tour that has a lower price. I'm guessing the higher priced dates are due to the season and demand related issues. I would be more worried about stated changes in the itinerary - there are no such notes on any of the 2025 Poland tours. If you have flexibility and want to save a bit, go for it.

Posted by
2524 posts

It's not just a Rick Steves thing.
I travel with other companies too, and see differences in prices for different dates there, too. I assume it's usually connected to hotel price variations.