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Rick Steves

Dickinson, North...
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Rick Steves

Just curious as to why the people in here dislike Rick Steves'suggestions so much? I bought his guidebook and picked the towns to stay at using it, but have used TA for all the other stuff. Just curious is all!

Dickinson, North...
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31. Re: Rick Steves

You don't need to buy another one. Just use the one you have for basic guidelines, and use this board for any other questions. If it looks interesting to you, go see it. Or ask about it on here. The guide book helped me pick out my bases on my trip, from there I came on here and starting getting more detailed ideas of where to go and whatnot.

Mansfield, Texas
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32. Re: Rick Steves

Bogeyjim- I've been planning for about 9-10 months now, for my upcoming trip in September. I have several guide books, Frommers, Lonely Planet Ireland, and DK Eyewitness Backroads Ireland. I'll admit for trips in the past I have used RS as one of several for a location, but never the only. (And I'll agree he can be kind of condescending. Not someone I'd enjoy chatting with.) More importantly, I'm always addicted to TA during each planning process. Without even needed to post questions mostly, as so much info is already there!

All that being said, I personally would recommend the Eyewitness Backroads book. It's a bit thinner than the norm, but has GREAT info on somewhat off the beaten path drives and sites. Some info is typical, other I've only seen mentioned here (such as in Sarnia G' s wonderful instructions/tips/articles, as well as several others). It seems to give good ideas on how you can incorporate seeing several sites in one drive, helping you coordinate. Can also break them up, say if you just want to do one part of a listed drive. It's the one I'll be taking with me, along with my OSI atlas and my GPS (hopefully not a "Crazy Aunt Lucy," as put by Heather D in her new trip report today, LOL).

For this book, or any others, check it out on Amazon, a used book store close by, or Barnes and Noble. I like it better when I can get an actual feel for and eyeball on the book to see what's best for me. Happy planning! :-)

Edited: 07 July 2014, 05:44
Arvada, Colorado
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33. Re: Rick Steves

Personally, I love Rick Steves and his guidebooks are my favorite. He updates all of them every year, so the information is not as out-of-date as most guidebooks. He certainly has his own personality, and that shows in his books and television programmes, but that shouldn't be something negative.

Rick says right up front that his books are not intended to be comprehensive. He talks about his favorites, which are usually off the path beaten so thoroughly by the big tour companies, who tend to favor the attractions where their drivers get kickbacks from the local merchants. So he prefers Dingle over the much more crowded Ring of Kerry. Both are beautiful, but he has his reasons for preferring one over the other, and he mentions them in the descriptions.

And seriously, criticizing him because so many people take his advice? He finds out of the way gems and they get more crowded because he recommends them. Isn't that like calling him too successful in what he does?

Dublin, Ireland
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for Austria
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34. Re: Rick Steves

do you not think that it is the people and the country that he writes about, who would have the best idea if what he says is acceptable or not?

Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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35. Re: Rick Steves

DorasCuil is a travel agent.

"criticizing him because so many people take his advice?" He can still be wrong, even if everyone follows him slavishly like sheep.

Rick Steves has become a cult. He is a charismatic leader who has followers slavishly adhering to everything he says. Anything that does not adhere to the Steves propaganda is dismissed.

Even his "family" parties each year for his guides hint to people being the chosen few.

Going into a long piece about cults would be off-topic but people should google "cults" and compare and contrast them with the "Rick Steves Phenomenon". There will be a lot of similarities.

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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36. Re: Rick Steves

I like travel writers who have an opinion. So many of them just talk up places, but don't tell you if they feel something is overrated or too expensive. There is more value to a source which tells you what they believe to be the most interesting.

Sure he has bias. So do all of us. One of the things I like about Tripadvisor is that we can quickly see what things someone making a post or review has said about other places and weight their bias when using their advice.

I think the most positive thing which Steves does, is encourage people to get out of their comfort zone. Some of the very best travel experiences I have had, have been when I was a little bit outside my own comfort zone.

Edited: 18 July 2014, 13:51
Limerick, Ireland
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for Limerick, Killarney
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37. Re: Rick Steves

Lighthouselover too - Rick Steves is NOT encouraging people to get out of their comfort zone. He's encouraging people to follow what he believes is the right way to travel.

Lightblue alluded to the "Rue Cler" phenomenon in Paris. The place is full of people with their head in Rick Steves books thinking that this is the "real" Paris when in fact it is not.

People are not going out of their comfort zones, they are sticking to a narrowly guided path and rarely straying from it.

There is a link on this thread to the contemptuous piece on "O'Leary's Bike Hire". Rick Steves is about pushing Rick Steves. Nothing more, nothing less. In his own mind he has developed god-like characteristics.

Dublin, Ireland
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for Austria
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38. Re: Rick Steves

and dont forget his "advice" to visitors to ireland, to break the law!!!!!!

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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39. Re: Rick Steves

Kindly point us to a source that says that is illegal.

Moosup, Connecticut
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40. Re: Rick Steves

Bean A, you are a valued contributor to this forum with fantastic advice, but RS seems to have ruffled your feathers and I wonder why.

Soooo, Just curious.... "Anything that does not adhere to the Steves propaganda is dismissed " What would be an example of his propaganda and subsequent dismissal?

" Even his "family" parties each year for his guides hint to people being the chosen few. " When , where does this occur? Who is invited and not invited?

PBS here in the states carries his travelogues which are very popular. Michael Palin, Anthony Bourdain , Samantha Brown are also travel guru's who present(ed) interesting perspectives on international travel. All are geared towards marketing tourism. Obviously, they have succeeded. Tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the economy of the Republic of Ireland, with over 6.2 million people visiting the country..

Advice from a variety of sources-biased or not,indifferent or informed,self serving or altruistic contributes to the overall experience. So if a few are dogmatic in their approach in following a media persona's travel advice,at least they are contributing to the economy and go away happy.

Edited: 18 July 2014, 15:04