About Rick Steves

Rick Steves, America's most respected authority on European travel, empowers Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. In 1976, he started his business, Rick Steves' Europe, headquartered in Edmonds, Washington, near Seattle. There he produces a best-selling guidebook series, a popular public television show, a weekly public radio show, a syndicated travel column, and free travel information available through his travel center and ricksteves.com. Rick Steves' Europe also runs a successful small-group tour program taking 30,000 travelers to Europe annually.

Email Rick at rick@ricksteves.com, or write to him c/o 130 4th Ave N, Edmonds, WA 98020.

Rick's Biography

Short Version (71 words)

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. He is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Rick lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Medium Version (200 words)

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.

Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. The company contributes $1 million a year to climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax. He also works closely with several advocacy groups and has been instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in states across the US.

Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. To recharge, he plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Long version (390 words)

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.

Widely considered America's leading authority on European travel, Rick produces a best-selling series of guidebooks and is the author of Travel as a Political Act. He is dedicated to providing all Americans with access to travel information, and has made extensive resources available for free on the Rick Steves' Europe website, via the Rick Steves Audio Europe™ app, and in Rick Steves Classroom Europe™, a searchable database of short, teachable video clips.

A longtime supporter of public broadcasting, Rick produces and hosts public television and radio shows that air across the nation. His newest special, Hunger and Hope: Lessons from Ethiopia and Guatemala, will be available in February 2020, and Season 11 of Rick Steves' Europe will air in the fall.

Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe (RSE), a travel business with more than 100 full-time employees. RSE operates a successful tour program which brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. The company contributes $1 million a year to climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax.

Rick works closely with several advocacy groups and makes regular financial contributions to more than 170 organizations, including an annual donation of $1 million to Bread for the World. He is a board member of NORML and has been instrumental in the legalization of marijuana in several states. He has also provided $8 million in funding to build two new neighborhood centers in his community, and has donated a 24-unit apartment building for homeless women and their children to his local YWCA.

Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. To recharge, he plays piano, relaxes at his family cabin in the Cascade mountains, and spends time with his son Andy and daughter Jackie. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

In the News

Rick and His Business

USA Today

Travel writer Rick Steves explains self-imposed $1M carbon tax, where that money is going

CBS News

Rick Steves rolls out self-imposed carbon tax

Travel + Leisure

Rick Steves self-imposes $1 million 'tax' to help offset the environmental impact of the 30,000 people who take his tours each year

Quartz

Rick Steves is putting a $1 million "self-imposed carbon tax" on his travel company

The Washington Post

Europe's 'flight shame' movement doesn't stand a chance in the U.S.

The New York Times Magazine

Rick was profiled in an 8,000-word cover story by Sam Anderson

Time Magazine

Rick Steves: The Traveler's Aid

The New York Times Magazine

A profile of Rick conducting guidebook research in Europe

USA Today

Rick Steves has the inside track to Europe

Puget Sound Business Journal

Rick Steves' travel empire is moving as fast as a Europe-bound 747

Updating a Rick Steves Guidebook (4-minute video clip)

Rick gives us a peek at what it takes to update his guidebooks.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Outspoken Travel Guru Rooted in Edmonds


 

Travel as a Political Act

Wall Street Journal

Rick’s plan for a better world:  more travel

USA Today

Rick provides 10 great places to challenge American assumptions

NPR

Rick gets uncomfortable in "Travel As A Political Act"

Budget Travel

#BTReads: Rick Steves's 'Travel as a Political Act'

Writer's Digest

Write Like Rick Steves: Travel Writer Extraordinaire

USA Today

Rick writes an op-ed about how travel helps gain global perspective

The Seattle Times

Rick comments on recent elections in Iran

The Costco Connection

Travel guru Rick Steves says travel with an open mind and think globally

Book Slut

G is for Geopolitical: Rick Steves Revealed

WorldHum.com

Interview with Rick Steves: 'Travel as a Political Act'

Seattle Times

The World According to Rick Steves

Faithful Travel with Rick Steves (10-minute TV interview)

Learn why Rick is dedicated to thoughtful travel

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Rick talks about how Europe perceives the United States

The Seattle Times

Rick writes an op-ed about what he sees as the real threat to U.S. security

The Seattle Times

Rick writes an op-ed about global warming

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Outspoken Travel Guru Rooted in Edmonds

The Seattle Times

Rick writes an op-ed about what he sees as the real threat to U.S. security


 

Drug Policy Reform

Rolling Stone

Mr. Steves goes to Washington – to talk drug policy

The Marijuana Times

Rick briefs members of Congress on marijuana law reform

Houston Chronicle

Rick Steves offers a European take on America’s drug war

Seattle Hempfest

Rick sums up his drug policy views in this 8-min video

New York Times

Fresh ideas on a tired crusade

Los Angeles Times

Rick’s op-ed on "Europe: Curing, Not Punishing Addicts"

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Rick Steves’ writes on "We need to get smart about marijuana"

Huffington Post

Rick's LA Times op-ed listed as one of the "Top 10 Reasons for Optimism"

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Travel guru stands firm on war and weed


 

Rick's Products & Travel Advice

MSNBC

Rick's guidebooks endorsed

USA Today

Rick writes an op-ed about why a weaker dollar can actually give you a richer travel experience

Washington Post

Rick Steves, Through the Front Door