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! You will be prompted to log in if you attempt to start a new topic or post on an existing topic. Here is how to get started with adding posts to our forum.

  1. Get registered for a new account.
  2. Verify your new account. You'll be sent an email when you register. Click the verification link in that email.
  3. Get yourself signed in so that you can start posting. Set up your profile name so that people 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!

How to use the Rick Steves Travel Forum

Signing In

You will be propmpted to sign in if you try to add a post to the forums. There is also a "Sign In" link at the top of any page within the forums. On a mobile device, this "Sign In" link is behind the menu button in the top left corner.

Setting Up Your Profile

Get your profile set up! Set email preferences, how your name and location is displayed alongside your posts, and more. Here's how...

  1. Sign In.
  2. Enter your profile. To do so, click your name as displayed next to any of your posts. You can do the same at the top of any page within the forums where it says "Signed in as [your name]." On a mobile device, this link is behind the menu button.
  3. On your profile page, click "Edit Profile."  You'll know it from there!

    While any page within the forum will do, you can start from the General Europe forum.
Starting a New Topic

Here's how you 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, enter the text you wish to write, and click the blue "Create Topic" button. That's it! Return later to check for responses.

*If you do not find a message board that fits well, our General Europe board is typically the best place to go as long as your post generally relates to European travel.

Posting a Reply

Important note: 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.

If you want to engage in a one-on-one conversation with another poster, send a Private Message (more on PMs below) rather than replying to their comment on the public message board.

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

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...

  1. Sign in.
  2. For the person to whom you wish to send a message, enter their profile by clicking  their name as it appears alongside their posts.
  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

If you haven't set your profile preferences to email you your Private Messages, here's how to check them...

  1. Sign In.
  2. Enter your profile. To do so, click your name as displayed next to any of your posts. You can do the same at the top of any page within the forums where it says "Signed in as [your name]." On a mobile device, this link is behind the menu button.
  3. On your profile page, click "View Private Messages." 
  4. Select any message you wish to read 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 is that formatting buttons are available above each text field when writing your posts.

The confusing part is that using the formatting buttons adds unexpected characters. These characters will not display in your published post, but function as a way to indicate where you would like your formatting to be applied. To see how the formatting you have 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. For those of you who are familiar with various formatting languages used in forums (e.g. html, bb code, etc), we use a system called Markdown. For those who are interested, here is a guide to understanding Markdown.

Badges?

New contributors won't have a badge to start. As you give more replies, you'll get a badge and your badge will 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 over 5,000 posts

 

 

A round badge for Rick Steves Travel Advisers and forum moderators