Merry Christmas and Happy Travels!


Our friends at Avalon Travel (the folks who publish all our books) built this tree out of my guidebooks and I had to share it with each of you with a holiday wish. Looking at the “branches” on this happy tree of travel dreams, I see our mission of connecting people through travel. There are thousands of pages of hotel listings, restaurant tips, and the best sights. There are books on festivals, phrasebooks to make communication more fun, art appreciation books, and even my Travel as a Political Act book. While each of these serves a different purpose, they all build upon each other to eventually reach that shining star on top. And that star symbolizes the greatest souvenir any of us can bring home: a celebration of our shared humanity, an invigorated passion for peace and economic justice, and a mindset where we’re more inclined to build bridges and less inclined to build walls.

The year 2016 was a great one for our work at Rick Steves’ Europe. In 2017, the value of our mission — connecting people and bringing our world closer together — will become even more important. And, as that value surges, so will the value of your travels along with the meaning and gratification that comes from our labor.

Over the last few days in our office, it’s been pretty empty. Our staff is enjoying their families and a well-earned holiday break. And that makes me very happy. When we dive back in after the holidays, we’ll be hosting 100 of our European tour guides and a couple thousand of those who joined our tours last year for our annual guide workshop and tour reunion. We are revving up to put maximum sparkle into your 2017 travels.

At Rick Steves’ Europe, we’re thankful for our work and thankful for your support. Together, we wish all of our travelers a holiday season that is both serene and joyful, and filled with humanity, love, and promise.

Merry Christmas!


10 Replies to “Merry Christmas and Happy Travels!”

  1. @Judy Brandon – Just go to the website. You can research and sign up from there. If there are any issues, the customer support reps at Rick Steves Tours are friendly and will bend over backwards to help you. I know that from experience, having gone on several tours.

  2. Rick, Merry Christmas to you and to Steve Smith and to Cameron and…well, to all the guides and writers and DVD makers who have brought such wonderful travel memories to so many of us who wanted quality group tours or the advice that enabled special independent tours! ‘Long May You Run!’

  3. Merry Christmas! Thank you for all the hope and inspiration.
    The writing and photos are brilliant.

  4. Rick Merry Christmas to you and your great staff, they are always there to answer any question. Hope that travel can continue in this environment! Glad that I got many many years in Europe, and hoping in the next couple years to go again!

  5. My husband and I have found ourselves being able to live our Europe for 3-6 months (until the money runs However, we have several things that may make our situation a little unique: we will be bringing our Goldendoodle Service Dog, we are seniors and have a few mobility and heart issues (no hiking, and we move a little slow). We have traveled to some of the main cities in the past (Paris, Normandy, Venice, Rome, Athens, Interlaken, Positano) so, we want to live like the locals and take our trip much slower than in the past when we tried to fit too much in to our 10 day trips and came home exhausted. I have read several of your travel books and at this point, we sat down with a map, made a list of the places we want to visit, but not sure of where to start. We will be arriving in Europe around the end of March. Our first thought was to fly in to London (start in English speaking area that will help us settle in to our new lifestyle, plus easy for the dog to enter the country) but the weather may be too rainy and cold. Here is a list of the places we want to visit, but we need some input as to the order we need to do this:
    UK, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Florence, Pisa and Tuscany Italy, Spain-running of the bulls in July, Greece, Morocco, Monaco (day stop), Austria, Norway, Iceland, Turkey. We will primarily be traveling by train, ferry and can fly if the small airlines will permit the dog. When visiting places like Turkey, Iceland and Morocco, it may be easier to board our dog for a few days, rather than take her out of Europe. We could certainly use some guidance to help make our lifetime adventure a successful and low budget success. Thanks!

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