Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door – Guide Book Review

Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door – Guide Book Review

Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door 2015: The Travel Skills Handbook Review
Rick Steves’ popular Europe Through the Back Door has been revised and updated.  This is the perfect gift for novice travelers as well as experienced travelers.

Rick Steves is a well-known author of travel books. I have been using his guidebooks for at least 15 years and find them to be among the best of the many books available.  His humor can be a little snarky and he is not one to keep his opinions to himself even those that have nothing to do with travel.  That is what makes his books the perfect companion for those of us that travel, his books are very much like the people we travel with.

When I first started using Rick’s guidebooks he was much less well known than he is today. Fifteen years ago it was possible to visit places he recommended without seeing hoards of other Americans. Unfortunately his popularity has grown to the point where one mention by him and people start to flock to what were once out of the way areas.

Nevertheless, I still recommend his books for the common sense advice that they provide. Before traveling to Europe for the first time in a long time I read “Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door” and found the advice invaluable.

His books are particularly useful for those of us who like to travel independently or who limit their group travel to long weekends followed by independent travel. His philosophy of becoming “temporary locals” when you travel is one that I heartily embrace. To me there is nothing better than standing in a crowded bar in Italy enjoying an espresso with the locals or drinking a glass of wine with lunch at an outdoor café in France in the midst of people who live nearby.

Rick Steves advocates smart, independent travel.  His books provide information on where to save money and where it is worth spending a few extra dollars. He will recommend cheap, inexpensive and moderately priced hotels.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, “I realized I didn’t need my parents to travel!”. He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. Rick Steves is a dedicated traveler. I remember him saying once, and I am paraphrasing here, that if you are a dedicated traveler then you will drive an older car and do without the newest gadgets to fund your trips.

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