Travelers Helpline Help Section
The Rick Steves' Travelers' Helpline is a message board for our community of travelers. It's a great way to compare notes with others about recent travel experiences, or ask questions about an upcoming trip to Europe. Before you get started, here is some information you might find helpful on how to use your profile, and how to post on the Travelers Helpline.
Signing In and Out
You will need to sign in to the Travelers Helpline in order to post a comment or start a new topic. To sign in, simply click the "Sign In" link at the top of the Travelers Helpline menu. Note: You do not need to be signed in to browse topics, but you will be prompted to sign in if you attempt to start a new topic or post on an existing topic.
Starting a New Topic
The Travelers Helpline is divided into six sections: To the North — covering topics on Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia; To the East — covering topics on Eastern Europe, Greece and Turkey; To the West — covering topics on Austria, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland; To the Boot — covering topics on Italy; General Europe — covering all your general questions about weather, health, safety, food, books, best walking shoes, and more, that can occur in any European country; and Transportation — covering your questions on trains, buses, flights, and more.
To start a new topic, select the section that best fits your topic. For instance, if your topic is where to find good restaurants in Venice, you should enter the "To the Boot" section of the Travelers Helpline. After you have determined which section is most appropriate to post your topic in, click on the "Start a New Topic" link on the corresponding section's menu page. You will be prompted to enter a "Topic" that identifies what type of help you are looking for, and ask your question. Using the above example of restaurants in Venice, a good topic would be "Where to Find Good Restaurants in Venice" and a good question would be something like this: "My family is going to Venice in May and would like some suggestions on good seafood restaurants."
If you do not have a question but would like to share a travel tip, browse our other boards at www.ricksteves.com/graffiti. If you do not see a board that is a good fit for your tip, please send a request for a new Graffiti Wall topic to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posting a Reply
As you browse the Travelers Helpline we encourage you to post replies on the topics you have helpful suggestions and answers to. So that we can keep the Helpline as user-friendly as possible, please stay on topic by reading the original post carefully. If you don't have anything useful to add to a discussion, please move on to the next topic.
At any given time while you are reading the Travelers Helpline, you can click on Post a Reply and share your knowledge. Or, if reading a specific topic inspires you to start a fresh topic, you can click "Start a New Topic" and be on your way.
If you want to engage in a one-on-one conversation with another poster, send a private message rather than reply to their comment on the message board.
Help us keep the Travelers Helpline clean: Report posting guideline violations to email@example.com
Sending a Private Message
Private messages allow you to send an email directly to a user who has posted a comment on a topic, or who has started a topic. The message can only be read by the recipient in their personal profile.
If you don't feel comfortable posting a reply for the entire Traveler's Helpline community to see, or if you want to add a comment which may not contribute to the original topic at large, send a private message.
Note: You must be signed in to send private messages.
Your Personal Profile
After signing in to the Travelers Helpline, you will also have access to your personal profile. This is where you can edit your personal profile information, such as your email address, name, and password. You can update your personal profile information at any time.
Your personal profile is also where you will find the messages other posters send you via our private message service. To read a message another poster has sent, click on the subject. You can respond to the sender as well. Note: private messages will only appear in your personal profile inbox — they will not be sent to the email address listed in your personal profile account information. However, you can set your Helpline preferences to notify you at your registered email address when you receive a private message if you choose.
Private Messages & AOL Users
We have found that Helpline users who use AOL as their browser of choice cannot access the private message function of the Helpline. We therefore recommend accessing the Helpline with Internet Explorer or Firefox (both free to download if you don't have either of them on your computer already).