The Most Value for Your Money

Compare what's included: many "budget" tours expect you to shell out extra cash during your trip.

Would you rather travel with a group of 48...or 28? A different hotel every night...or 2-night stays? When comparing Rick Steves' tours with other companies, take a close look at what's included, and how many extra-cost "sightseeing options" and tips you'll be expected to pay for once you're in Europe.

Here's a "what's included" summary from a typical Rick Steves tour (in this case, the Heart of Italy tour) — and why it matters!

What we include...

Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Italy come alive for you.

Why it matters...

Guides from most tour companies make their income from tips and merchant kickbacks. Our guides are carefully selected by Rick and paid a full salary — tips are not allowed — so his or her focus is on teaching, not shopping.


What we include...

All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 17 group sightseeing events • Ancient Rome walking tour • Colosseum tour • Roman Forum tour • Pantheon • Evening walk through Rome's piazzas including Trevi Fountain • St. Peter's Basilica • Vatican Museum tour • Sistine Chapel • Volterra walking tour • Guarnacci Etruscan Museum tour • Alabaster workshop • Wine tasting • Lucca walking tour • Orientation for "vacation" day on Italian Riviera • Renaissance Florence walking tour • Florence's Accademia (Michelangelo's David) • Uffizi Gallery tour...and more.

Why it matters...

Many companies charge $50 to $100 extra for each sightseeing excursion. This adds up fast. We include all group sightseeing and admissions in your tour price.


What we include...

All group transportation from Rome to Florence.

Why it matters...

We'll get you around in the most efficient and resourceful ways we know, to help you get the most out of every minute of your trip.


What we include...

8 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels.

Why it matters...

Beware of frequent, one-night hotel stops — they can really wear you out! Our tours nearly always stop for two restful nights in each location.


What we include...

All breakfasts and half your dinners.

Why it matters...

We'll give you a generous taste of the best local dishes, protect your budget, and give you the freedom to make your own yummy discoveries.


What we include...

A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups.

Why it matters...

The goal of most tour companies is to fill every seat of a 50-seat bus. Our small (24-28 max.) groups feel less like a mob, and more like a family.


What we include...

All tips for guides and driver.

Why it matters...

Most companies expect you to pay out-of-pocket for guide and driver tips. This can add up to several hundred dollars!


What we include...

Free stuff including Rick Steves' Italy guidebook, Italy Sightseeing Supplement, Italian phrase book, moneybelt and earplugs.

Why it matters...

We equip you with up-to-date information to help you get the most out of your free time — and moneybelt security to guard against pickpocket theft.


What we include...

Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit.

Why it matters...

Many tour companies reserve the right to increase your price after you've signed up. We guarantee it will not change.


What we include...

Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee.

Why it matters...

On all our tours, extra-cost single supplements are a choice — not a requirement.


What we include...

Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014.

Why it matters...

Every year, about 1/3 of our tour members are repeat customers. With our uniquely "cumulative" discount, the more you travel with us, the more you'll save.


What we include...

50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans.

Why it matters...

Our expert travel advisors also guide our tours. They'll be happy to assist you with your pre- and post- tour travel plans.


What we include...

Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel/interrupt your tour.

Why it matters...

All our tours include Tour Cancellation/ Interruption protection. You can even switch to a different 2014 date or destination — with no charge or penalty — up to 60 days before your departure date.


Fine print: On a fully-guided Rick Steves tour, you are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. An "un-guided" My Way tour includes no sightseeing, admissions, lunches or dinners, and an escort is provided (not a guide). Everything else mentioned above applies equally to fully-guided tours and My Way tours. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above.