Rick Steves is a well-known author of European travel books. I have been using his guidebooks for at least 10 years and find them to be among the best of the many books available.
When I first started using Rick’s guidebooks he was much less well known than he is today. Ten 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. I still highly recommend this book for anyone going to Europe for the first time.
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 or enjoying a cold beer alongside the canals of Amsterdam.
Rick Steves advocates smart, independent travel. Along with his guidebooks he is also the host, writer and producer of the public television series Rick Steves Europe.
Rick Steves 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 self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door, in 1980. He has also written 12 country guidebooks, nine city and regional guides, six phrase books, and co-authored Europe 101: History and Art for Travelers.
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. In 1976, he started a business called Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD),
which has since grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 70 full-time employees.
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.
Rick Steves is not for everyone. One of the reasons there are so many different travel books is that not every style is right for everyone. Look at one of Rick Steves books and see if he offers the best advice for you.