Using the Rick Steves Travel Forum

The Rick Steves Travel Forum is a place for discussing all things related to European travel. We provide our community with these message boards to assist and encourage thoughtful travel to maximize your experience abroad. It's also a great way to connect travelers with each other!

For the comfort and enjoyment of everyone, our community is expected to follow our Community Guidelines.

Getting Started Quickly

You do not need to be logged in to view the discussions in our travel forum. Pick a message board to read and browse away at your leisure.

To start a new topic or post on an existing topic, you'll need to take a quick second to set up an account. Here's how to get started:

  1. Register for a new account.
  2. Verify your new account: Once you've registered, you'll get an email with a verification link — click the link, and you're all set.
  3. Sign in, then set up your profile — that helps other forum users know how to address you.
  4. Select a message board from our forum homepage. From there, you can start a new topic of conversation or view an existing topic and add your reply.

If you need more information, read on!

Tips for Using the Rick Steves Travel Forum

Signing In

You will be prompted to sign in if you try to add a post to the forums; you can also use the "Sign In" link at the top of any page within the forums.

Setting Up Your Profile

Editing your profile lets you set email preferences, choose how your name and location are displayed alongside your posts, and more. Here's how:

  1. Sign in.
  2. Go to your profile page by clicking your name as displayed next to any of your posts. This link to your profile also appears at the top of any page within the forum where it says "Signed in as [your name]."
  3. On your profile page, click "Edit Profile."

Note: The forum's homepage does not have a link to access your profile. You can start from any other forum page (such as the General Europe forum).

Starting a New Topic

Here's how to start a new topic of conversation:

  1. Select the message board that best fits your topic from our forum homepage.*
  2. At the top of each message board is the blue "Start a New Topic" button. Click it!
  3. Give your new topic a title, write your post, and click the blue "Create Topic" button. That's it! Return later to check for responses.

*If you don't find a message board that fits well, our General Europe board is likely the best place to go, as long as your post relates to European travel.

Posting a Reply

Important: Please stay on topic by reading the original post carefully. Please don't post without first considering whether your response is genuinely helpful and relevant to the discussion.

  1. To post a reply, go to the bottom of any topic and click the blue "Add Reply" button.
  2. Write your reply and click the blue "Add Reply" button. That's it!

To engage in a one-on-one conversation with another poster, send a private message (see below) rather than replying to their comment on the public message board.

Read more about formatting your posts.

Sending a Private Message

A private Message (PM) allows you to send a message directly and privately to another community member. Here's how to send one:

  1. Sign in.
  2. In any post by the forum user to whom you wish to send a message, click their name as it appears alongside their post.
  3. Click the "Send...a Private Message" link.
  4. Give your message a title, enter the text you wish to write, and click the blue "Send Message" button. That's it!
Receiving a Private Message

You can set your profile preferences such that you receive and email when another forum user sends you a private message. But you can also check your private messages within the forum itself. Here's how:

  1. Sign in.
  2. Go to your profile page by clicking your name as displayed next to any of your posts. You can do the same at the top of any page within the forum where it says "Signed in as [your name]." On mobile devices, this link is behind the menu button.
  3. On your profile page, click "View Private Messages."
  4. Select any message you wish to read and/or reply to.
Reporting Inappropriate Posts

You can easily report any violations of our Community Guidelines by clicking the "Report" link that appears alongside each post. You must be signed in to see the "Report" link.

Formatting Your Posts

The easy part: Formatting buttons are available above each text field when writing your posts.

The potentially confusing part: Using the formatting buttons adds special formatting characters. These characters do not display in your published post, but help you indicate where you would like your formatting to be applied. To see how the formatting you've applied will actually look in your post, see the preview below the blue "Add Reply" button.

If you are so inclined, you can hand-type these characters into your post to add formatting; we use a system called Markdown.


New contributors don't start with badges, but as you post more replies, you'll get a badge that marks you as a frequent forum poster. Badges change as you reach posting milestones:



A green badge for someone with 500–1,000 posts



A light blue badge for 1,000–2,499 posts



A yellow badge for 2,500–4,999 posts



A dark blue badge for more than 5,000 posts



A round badge for Rick Steves Travel Advisors and forum moderators