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 reply to an existing topic, you'll need to take a minute or two 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 your account is all set.
  3. Set your "forum name" and more! Select "My Account" (in the website's header), then "Travel Forum," then scroll down and select the blue "Edit Forum Settings" button.
  4. You can post to the forum after selecting a message board from our forum homepage

Tips for Using the Rick Steves Travel Forum

Getting the Most from Your Travel Question

Help others give you the best answers by providing enough information. For example…

  • When asking about where to go or things to do, include your interests.
  • When asking about accommodations, give a budget.
  • When asking about clothing or what to pack, include the season.

Also, with 100,000+ forum topics, your question may already have an answer! Try our Search (in the website's header). Narrow your search results with the "Travel Forum" Filter, then Filter by date range.

Logging In

You will be prompted to log in if you try to add a post to the forum. You will also be prompted to log in by selecting "Travel Forum" in the My Account menu in the header of our website.

My Account Settings

Editing your settings lets you set email-notification preferences, choose how your name and location are displayed alongside your posts, change the email address associated with your account, and more. Here's how:

  1. In the "My Account" menu in the header of this website, select "Travel Forum."
  2. Select the blue "Edit Forum Settings" button.
  3. Make your changes and select the blue "Update" button to save your settings. 
Starting a New Topic
  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 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. In any post by the forum user to whom you wish to send a message, click their name as it appears alongside their post.
  2. Select the "Send...a Private Message" link.
  3. Give your message a title, enter the text you wish to write, and click the blue "Send Message" button. That's it!  Your sent messages and incoming PMs are available in the "Travel Forum" section of the My Account menu in the header of our website.
Receiving a Private Message

You can set your profile preferences such that you receive an email when another forum member sends you a Private Message. You can also check your Private Messages in your account. Here's how:

  1. In the My Account menu in the header of our website, select "Travel Forum."
  2. On the My Travel Forum page, your unread messages will appear in the My Private Messages section. Select the blue "Message Inbox" button to see all received messages. 
  3. Select the title of 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 logged 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