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What's wrong with Rick Steves?

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What's wrong with Rick Steves?

Hi everyone,

This is off topic I know, but I've been spending a great deal of time on this and other England forums and have noticed many comments against the Rick Steve's guide books. I'm not really a big fan of guide books of any kind, but was curious what it is about this particular author that raises the ire of some folks. Not trying to be controversial, just genuinely curious. Cheers!

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11. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

Plus....

people come on the UK forum and say;

"here's my itinerary, I got it out the Rick Steves book, what d'ya think!?"

And it's the same old useless itinerary that will only work if a) you have a time machine, b) you like "ticking boxes" and c)......

P.S. there is no c) ! ;-)

Edited: 21 January 2013, 21:09
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12. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

I don't agree with his sociopolitical views, so I won't be putting a dime in that hypocrite's pocket.

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13. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

I see a few people repeatedly post that his books are really great for the first time traveler to Europe. Personally, I think he is one of the worst - he promotes a lemming style of travel without encouraging people to actually do some meaningful, thoughtful research about all there is to see and experience - based on their own interests.

Maybe years ago, pre-internet, some of his stuff might have made sense for some new travelers but now with the internet and the continued publication of accurate, substantive guidebooks (which have long existed) - I can't think why people would choose to follow his itineraries without a second thought.

Two phrases that I have come to loathe are "must sees" "must dos" and "hidden gems" - I don't know where they came from but boy, the first two have sure made a difference in the way some people are choosing to travel.

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14. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

+1 to 11. See the "priority" trip here - sound familiar ? ricksteves.com/plan/…brit22.htm

Thing is - swap Norwich for Bath, Shropshire for The Cotswolds, and you'd still have a great trip - but without having to compete with hordes of your fellow countrymen for hotel rooms, decent places to eat etc. Steve/Rick, whatever your name is - how about a new route mate ?

Mike

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Shropshire
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Cotswolds
Cotswolds
England, UK
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15. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

Will admit my wife and I when traveling to London use his guidebooks. We have tried others but ultimately end up with his.

We don't use them for hotels or restaurants, for instance, as I prefer to rely on this site or Yelp. We will also determine if a site is worth seeing on our own and not rely on his 'Must Sees'.

What I do find useful is his walks. Living 10 miles from NYC I understand how sometimes taking a new route or getting lost can lead to some good finds, it is nice having a pre-planned walk that will allow me to see multiple sites in an orderly fashion.

It is also nice having something written about a museum and its exhibits rather than spending the extra $ for an audio tour and going at that pace.

In the end for $10-$15 it's a good book to keep with you to lean on in my opinion.

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16. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

OK, flame me, but I am going to defend Rick Steve's. Rick started out as a tour guide in Europe over 20 years, his love of travel and his love of bringing Europe to the masses here in America expanded his business and now his company allowes thousands of travelers to "See the World" every year on his tours.

Yes, maybe he makes some mistakes in his books, he also has a place on his very nice and easily navigated website for corrections to be made! All guidebooks have mistakes as information changes year to year. It is not intentional.

And yes, I agree with one of the above posters, when he suggests an area of any given city to stay in you will definately see an increase of "tourists" there and more of his "teal blue" guidebooks in the hands of happy travelers. But why criticize this? Just stay someplace else if you don't want to stay with the "tourists".

And yes, Rick is opinionated and sometimes interjects his personal and political thoughts here and there, he does it too on his video documentaries and sometimes it can be very helpful, ie: if you do not agree with what he says, then don't do to that area, or restaurant or bar etc. (think Amsterdam).

The guy has been around for years and if he was as bad as everyone says above he would be out of business!!! Even as a very seasoned traveler I will always buy his books when traveling abroad again. I also buy Lonely Planet, Fodors, Culture Shock and even Eyewitness, (but who wants to tote around a 10 lb. Eyewitness all day.) Rick's books....just tear out the sections you want, or get his Ipod walks and broadcasts and determine for yourself if he is for you. If you don't want to buy a book, check out his wonderful website. There's a forum to review and contribute to the specific city guidebooks so you can make the decision for yourself.

I have personally met the man twice after watching his PBS marathons a few times a year and find him warm, informative and approachable. Please don't just go by what you read on any trip forum.......Cheers.

I have been world traveling since 1982 so I am not a beginner

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17. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

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18. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

I saw him give a talk, years ago, and was underwhelmed. Too studiedly folksy, leaning towards a Daily Mail / Daily Mirror type of bloke.

New York City, New...
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19. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

The title of this forum invites comments about him - so, whether you approve of the opinions, or not, is irrelevant.

And, the NY Post is still around even while being a piece of tabloid trash -doesn't mean it's good and what is it again they call the Daily Mail - the Daily Fail? And, Spam! the "food" in a can, Spam - it's still around....

Stuff sticks around - good and bad.

If people like his books, fine; no bother to me. I do turn tail whenever I see one of his stickers in a restaurant window given what I have learned about what happens to the quality of places he recommends.

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20. Re: What's wrong with Rick Steves?

TexScott, you are being rather insulting to your fellow-travellers aren't you? Not everyone is a museum goer or High Tea drinker, some just want to see places that are very different than their home city and state or country. Everyone has to make that first trip, and may not need or want the high-brow guidebooks, they can be rather "stuffy" don't you think. I can give my opinion too, right here!

Edited: 21 January 2013, 21:54