Rick Steve's Travel Guides, BUY THE BOOK and make your dreams happen.
Updated: Apr 21
When my husband and I decided it was finally time to go to Germany, I didn't know where to start. Although I had lived in Germany many years ago, all over Germany in fact, we needed to make the most of the time we had available. There are plenty of guidebooks out there, but I decided on Rick's Steve's guidebook.
It turned out to be a really good decision; I am now a devoted follower. With Rick's guidance, I have been able to plan some truly fantastic trips.
These books are a mini escape in themselves. They are so detailed, and descriptive, I come out hours later feeling like I just took a trip to France....
I take my guide books with me everywhere. (entertaining myself while my husbands waits to be taken back to surgery 😂😂)
Travel in and around Europe is so easy and inexpensive. I find it helpful to have books from surrounding countries, in case I want to cross the boarder for a little side trip. (my collection to date:)
So why do I like Rick's books so much?
Rick's books concentrate on Europe. They include all of the pertinent information to plan your best trip, including a bit of history and humor. He covers the highlights, but includes "back door" adventures too.
BUT If I could tell you one thing, and one thing only about his books,
I would tell you in his own words that he "gives you all of the information & suggestions necessary, for wringing the maximum value out of your limited time and money!" That my friends, is exactly what your goal should be.
My tips for using these guides:
I buy these books and DEVOUR them, every word. I write in the margins, highlight text, pull out the generously sized map (make myself a copy because I'm about to mark all over it!) when I come across something of interest in the book, I make a mark on my map. After I read the entire book, from cover to cover, I look at my map and try and see where the largest concentration of my "must sees" are. From there I build my itinerary!!!
The book: What's between the pages?
Rick digs deeper than just museum opening times, and how to hail a taxi. He starts with an overview of the country, or countries, and then covers history at the end of the book, and finally, the current state of affairs.
Let's take a look at what else you can expect.
Before you go, Tips for planning:
When to go. Rick gives good advice on the best time to travel, and what to expect at different times of the year.
Must see destinations. sites are rated from 1-3 (I have found the ratings to be pretty accurate!)
2-try hard to see
3- must see
Maps. Lots of maps! a full size pull out country map, city center maps, walking tour maps, and more!
Suggested Itineraries. if you are struggling to find direction of your own, Rick will line out his preferred itinerary for you.
Budgeting tips. because who doesn't like to save money! and you don't have to be rich to travel!
Planning your time. If you need some help, well Rick's the expert!
Travel tips for winter. dreaming of Christmas Markets in Germany? Snow Skiing in the Alps? Rick has insight!
Sight seeing passes. Cities often offer a sight seeing pass that covers several sights for a set fee. Rick does the calculations for you, and will let you know if it is indeed a bargain.
Bike and car rental information.
Walking tours (often including ghost tours)
Hop-on-Hop-off bus tour information, when applicable.
Boat cruises. One of my favorite travel past times! Rick helped me plan my Rhine River Cruise, and tipped me off to the York England boat ride.
How to get there:
Arrival: train, bus, plane, by car (He'll be sure to let you know if driving is inadvisable, because you probably don't want to jump into the fray in downtown London or Paris!)
When you get there:
Transportation. A comprehensive guide on all types of transportation, including information on driving, as well as public transport.
Rick Steve's Audio guide information. I haven't used them, but Rick has audio guides available. Just put in your earbuds, and let him take you around.
Orientation. Big cities can be overwhelming. Rick breaks down the different areas of town for you, and helps you get to know each one.
Tourist Information. Rest assured, your guide book will always direct you to the Tourist Information office.
Festivals. I appreciate this information. My husband and I avoid festivals whenever possible, but you may be more festive than we are. Rick has you covered!
Detailed walking tours. Including maps!
Everything you need to know about visiting a sight. Opening/closing, cost, parking, etc, literally EVERYTHING
Of interest in the surrounding area.
The basics, food and shelter:
Were to eat. (I like to google "where to eat in..." and go through their list. They have pictures, and atmosphere is big when I am choosing a spot to eat.)
Where to stay. Ricks rates the cost of his recommended accommodations from $-$$$$. (I prefer to use Booking.com to book my accommodations)
What to eat and drink. Tips on local dishes, and tipping your server.
Budget travel. One thing I love about Rick, is that he doesn't think you need to spend a lot of money to get your best experience. He includes money savings tips.
What to expect from the locals. He'll give a very good indication of what the people you will meet will be like, how to get on their good side, and how to be sure not to offend or annoy.
Smart travel tips, so you don't look quite so much like a tourist, or feel like a fish out of water:
Theft alerts. important for those of us who don't spend a lot of time in the city. Watch for pick pockets, and people who make a living taking advantage of tourists.
Pedestrian safety. They are pretty serious about not allowing crossing against lights, or jay walking, in Europe.
Wi-Fi, where to find it.
Time zone info
What you need to know to keep your electronics charged and ready to go.
Using your cellular device.
How to make a call.
Money Matters. ATM's, information on using your debit and credit cards.
Laundry services (PERSONAL FAVORITE!! I wouldn't have dreamed of having laundry done on vacation. If you have ever had to drag around a couple of weeks of cloths around Europe, on planes and trains, you may rethink that thought process. I did. When we did our Scotland/England/Ireland trip we found laundry service. We dropped off our dirty things, and picked the up the next day, washed, dried, neatly folded....and for less than 15 euros...GENIUS!)
There you have it! I covered the bulk of it. What more could you possibly need to know? and what are you waiting for? Go buy the book, and get started on that dream vacation!!! Happy Travels!
Buy the book!
Rick's Books can be found almost anywhere you shop for books, or you can purchase Rick Steve's travel guides on his official webpage.
(a little tip...Rick sells the best electrical power adapters for continental Europe and the best electrical power adapters for Great Britain! BIG Bonus...their cheap too!