Our Trip Consultants

Our Trip Consultants help you plan your European adventure.

Planning your dream trip should be enjoyable. If the complexities of rail pass features, sightseeing priorities, or even packing are stressing you out, we can help.

We've been to Europe — many times. If you have lots of questions and/or a complex trip to plan, or if you're a first-time traveler and are not sure where to begin, consider a personalized, in-depth trip consultation with one of our experienced advisors. Our team has helped thousands of travelers put together great itineraries tailored to their special interests, budgets, and time constraints.

We'll answer your travel questions, build an itinerary, and help you figure out transportation. We specialize in the areas covered by Rick Steves tours and guidebooks, but can often help in other areas of Europe.

Note: We are not a travel agency, so any transportation and lodging reservations for your trip will need to be made by you. And we don't focus on specialty modes of travel (such as hiking, biking, or cruising), though we'll help as best we can.

You can arrange a consultation in person at our Travel Center in Edmonds, Washington, or by phone. The in-person cost is $60 per half hour (which is enough time for most trips), or $90 for a half-hour consultation by phone (which also covers extra time the consultant spends before your call, looking over your itinerary). Appointments exceeding 30 minutes will be charged $30 for each additional 15 minutes.

Be prepared! Have these things handy at the time of your consultation appointment:

  1. Paper and pencil (take notes — we won't send you a written summary)
  2. Prioritized list of questions (to avoid forgetting one, and to help us stay focused)
  3. Your rough itinerary (e.g., list of overnight stops, top places you want to see, calendar)

During the busy travel planning seasons our consultants can be heavily booked. Try to make your appointment three weeks in advance to secure a date and time that fits your schedule.

To book a consultation, call our Travel Center at 425-771-8303 ext. 298. We'd love to do a little travel dreaming with you!

Meet Our Consultants

Lisa Friend

Traveled to Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Wales. Outside Europe, Lisa's also been to Aruba, the Bahamas, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, the Dutch Antilles, Jamaica, Mexico, and Panama.

My perfect travel day: That would be waking up in London, eating a lovely English breakfast, browsing through the Spitalfields Market looking for art and offbeat crafts and chatting up all the stallholders, going on a walking tour through one of London's great neighborhoods, taking a black taxi to St. Pancras Station and traveling on the Eurostar train through the Chunnel to Paris while taking a high-speed nap. In Paris, I love going to the Orsay Museum with its Impressionist paintings, then sitting down to a nice dinner topped off by a late-night cruise on the Seine River holding hands with my husband.

Favorite travel product: Our Traveling Toiletries Kit in bright red. I have a place for everything in it and have given one to everyone in my family. Runner up: Quick Fresh spray for stinky shoes, etc.

A customer raves about Lisa: "She was professional, extremely personable and made it feel as though she really wanted the best experience for our family. I would recommend Lisa and your travel service to anyone. I could not have asked for a better experience!"

Rich Earl

Traveled to Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. Outside Europe, Rich has also been to Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, and Uruguay.

My perfect travel day: After a leisurely morning sipping cappuccinos at the harbor in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre, hiking up to Monterosso and spending the day at the beach, swimming, relaxing and drinking limonate. Taking the train back to Vernazza in the afternoon for dinner of pesto lasagna at Il Castello, then wandering the winding streets of Vernazza with a gelato di caffe and people watching.

Favorite travel product: Hide-Away Tote Bag. I use it for laundry and shopping, and pack it with dirty clothes at the end of my trip as another piece of checked baggage.

A customer raves about Rich: "Rich was FANTASTIC! He was VERY helpful and was able to answer all my questions. I KNOW that he will improve my trip tenfold!"

Pat O'Connor

Traveled to Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia (St. Petersburg), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Outside Europe, Pat has also been to Alaska, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Mexico, and Thailand.

My perfect travel day: An Irish photo-safari hike with puffin-spotting stops among the cliff-perched ancient monastic ruins of isolated Skellig Michael off the County Kerry coast. Follow that with a scenic late-afternoon drive to Dingle town for a hearty fresh-fish dinner in a friendly restaurant. Then cap that off with an evening of Irish traditional music, cold pints, and playful conversation in a local pub.

Favorite travel product: It has to be the Essential Silk Moneybelt because it's the most essential thing we sell to ensure a happy trip. A second choice would be Rick's Europe 101 read-before-you-go book, which does such a great job of making European history and art accessible and fun.

A customer raves about Pat: "We received great information on scheduling, using rail passes, and supplementing with cheaper flights to save travel time. I learned more in the time I spent with Pat than with two local travel agencies here in St Louis!"

Mary Carlson

Traveled to Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. Outside Europe, Mary's also been to Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

My perfect travel day: For me, that would include one or more of the following: Italian coffee, freshly made crêpes, a walking tour with a good local guide, hiking in the French, Swiss, or Italian Alps (or a hike + swim at the calanques of Cassis), an aperitif at an outdoor café, chatting with locals over dinner at a restaurant with long communal tables, and an evening "Vélib'" bike ride along the Seine.

Favorite travel product: Velocé Guide Bag for iPad and our packing cubes.

A customer raves about Mary: "Mary answered my questions quickly and efficiently — good use of time — and provided money-saving advice that more than paid for the cost of the service. Fantastic job!"