For COVID-19 Travel and RS Tours information, see our FAQ.

Tour Member Expectations

This document applies to all Tour Members in your group. If you cannot meet the expectations as outlined, please call or email us to discuss.

Rick Steves' Europe tours are physically active, our hotels may provide fewer American-style amenities, and our touring culture emphasizes flexibility and open-mindedness. These are essential characteristics of the Rick Steves tour experience. Sadly, every year a few people ignore these details, and, after spending a day or two with us in Europe, wish they had joined a different style of tour. We truly want you to be happy with your tour choice. Please read this carefully and understand that by participating in a Rick Steves tour, you assume certain obligations and responsibilities to Rick Steves' Europe and your fellow tour members, including, but not limited to, the following:

Understand the physical levels of your tour's daily activities described by our catalog and website's tour activity grading system and be capable of fully and happily participating  without any assistance — in the following levels of activity:

  • Walk 2 to 8 miles over the course of the day, up and down stairs and over unpaved or cobblestone surfaces.
  • Be comfortable on your feet for up to four hours walking and standing, both inside museums and outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Bring one main piece of luggage (we strongly recommend carry-on size 21" x 14" x 9"), plus one smaller day pack or shoulder bag, all of which you will have to carry yourself, no matter how tired you are.
  • Carry or roll your luggage for up to 15 minutes from the bus to the hotel (not applicable on 7-day tours), then haul it up several flights of stairs to get to your room.
  • After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.

Please note: Our tour guides cannot provide assistance for any of these activities! Tour members requiring help must be accompanied by an able companion who can be entirely responsible for providing the assistance.

Appreciate our quaint and sometimes creaky hotel characteristics, which may include:

  • The possibility of sharing bathroom facilities for a night or two on some tours.
  • No (or inadequate) air conditioning, no elevators, and potential street noise in some hotels.
  • Slow Wi-Fi connections or Wi-Fi only in common areas.
Embrace and participate in our NO GRUMPS policy:
  • Travel is all about experiencing things we're not used to. Tour members are expected to be flexible and open-minded and to practice considerate social behavior toward one another.
  • Understand that if you are a solo traveler, you will be assigned a same-sex roommate who may have different sleep habits and might snore like a gorilla (that's why we recommend earplugs). If you do not want a roommate and prefer a guaranteed private room, if one is available, you will need to pay the single supplement fee.
  • Accept that in rare circumstances your tour may have one additional tour member above the advertised number.
  • Agree that you won't be allowed to smoke or vape on the bus, in the hotel, or where other tour members are present.
  • Look forward to surprises, understanding that itineraries, like the rest of life, are subject to change.

Agree to follow all safety precautions and health directives set by your guide, RSE, or local officials to help safeguard your health and wellbeing as well as that of your fellow tour members, RSE staff, and RSE tour partners. These precautions may include but not be limited to the following:

  • Be able to present, if requested, an authentic CDC vaccination certificate showing that you are fully vaccinated*
  • Being seen by a health professional if you are showing symptoms of a contagious illness, and/or being tested for contagious illness (such as COVID-19) as a condition of continuing on with the tour.
  • Maintaining proper social distancing.
  • Use of face masks (covering your nose and mouth).
  • Proper handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer.

*"Fully vaccinated" as defined by the CDC 30 days prior to the tour's departure.