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What are your opinions of RIck Steves' books/videos?

What are your opinions of RIck Steves' books/videos? Topic: Barcelona research
June 20, 2019 / By June
Question: What are your opinions of the Rick Steves enterprises [books, videos...many shown on PBS]? I like that he's encouraged so many people to find the confidence to travel independently. I like that he steers people away from spending too much of their trip shopping and steers them towards being immersed in their location [staying/eating in local-owned places, seeing the sights, getting to know the people, being adventurous]. However, some folks take his every word as Gospel, as if they no longer must think for themselves.. Every time I hear a sentence begin with "Rick Steves says..." I wanna hurl.. Rick also ignores some great places [like Barcelona's Parc Guell] just because he didn't like them, Opinions are fine but have the courtesy to describe them and let others decide. And [this isn't really his fault], so many people buy his books, that many of those "back door" sites are just mobbed. Cinque Terre is a prime example. in the late 70s, it was amazing. Now it's a zoo. Great answer Conley. To be fair, overall I mostly like his stuff...I met him several years ago; he's a very likeable fellow. My issue about Parc Guell is that he just says "it's a disappointment". To me that's worse than just leaving it out...especially because it's a major sight in BCN and one most people totally enjoy. I've never met anyone who visited and regretted it. Sort of a nitpick on my part, but one I had to mention.
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Best Answers: What are your opinions of RIck Steves' books/videos?

Goldie Goldie | 4 days ago
I agree, I think that a lot of what Rick says is taken a little too seriously, but to me, there are reasons for it. 1) People are lazy. The beauty of Rick Steve's books are that he has done the research and the planning for you. He basically picked out fail safe stops and sites and feeds them to people with a very entertaining and personal style. People don't take the time to read or study and find the places that he doesn't have the desire or information to cover it in all of his books. 2) His style is so creative that it gets in touch with people on a personal level. He gains their confidence by being the average traveler and becoming opinionated. When he gives a positive and straight forward review, people gain his trust and look at it like a "gospel" and will not stray because they are afraid of the fear of disappointment. 3) His information is accessible, his books are easy to read and his videos are enjoyable. Some of those other guidebooks out there read and feel more like a college text book. People want to see and read things that are lively. Rick Steve has given some GREAT advice, but I think that's all it is, advice. I completely agree with you that there are plenty of places that are forgotten or get a bad rap from one person, but that makes them that much more special and unique to those of us who take the time to search them out and don’t have to fight all those short shorts wearing tourists carrying around blue books :) Personally, I like that I know where EVERY Western tourist is going to be that day so I know where and when to avoid them. Great question though, made me think and laugh for a bit.
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Goldie Originally Answered: What are your opinions of RIck Steves' books/videos?
I agree, I think that a lot of what Rick says is taken a little too seriously, but to me, there are reasons for it. 1) People are lazy. The beauty of Rick Steve's books are that he has done the research and the planning for you. He basically picked out fail safe stops and sites and feeds them to people with a very entertaining and personal style. People don't take the time to read or study and find the places that he doesn't have the desire or information to cover it in all of his books. 2) His style is so creative that it gets in touch with people on a personal level. He gains their confidence by being the average traveler and becoming opinionated. When he gives a positive and straight forward review, people gain his trust and look at it like a "gospel" and will not stray because they are afraid of the fear of disappointment. 3) His information is accessible, his books are easy to read and his videos are enjoyable. Some of those other guidebooks out there read and feel more like a college text book. People want to see and read things that are lively. Rick Steve has given some GREAT advice, but I think that's all it is, advice. I completely agree with you that there are plenty of places that are forgotten or get a bad rap from one person, but that makes them that much more special and unique to those of us who take the time to search them out and don’t have to fight all those short shorts wearing tourists carrying around blue books :) Personally, I like that I know where EVERY Western tourist is going to be that day so I know where and when to avoid them. Great question though, made me think and laugh for a bit.
Goldie Originally Answered: What are your opinions of RIck Steves' books/videos?
I like Rick Steves' books and videos a lot. He provides useful and interesting information. There's even more on his website including opinions and alternative suggestions. One reason that people make statements like "Rick Steves says ..." is that the information is reliable. For people who have limited time and are on their first trip to a given destination, there's nothing wrong with hitting the highlights as presented in the popular travel literature. That doesn't mean that there aren't other resources that should be consulted - there are lots of places and things to see and do and no one source covers everything. Here in Italy there's a show on Sundays about local festivals that's very interesting. People's interests and styles vary considerably. I like Parc Guell a lot too, by the way. Many of the best things I've done have been unplanned. I went to Leiden for a food festival, and they happened to be holding dragon boat races on one of the canals. When I went to Seattle, there was a salmon festival in Issaquah that was great - and salmon jumping the dam to get upstream. Nobody can cover everything. Life's too short to worry about what other people's choices are for travel or anything else. It's their business. Enjoy your own travel - I do.

Deven Deven
I like Rick Steves' books and videos a lot. He provides useful and interesting information. There's even more on his website including opinions and alternative suggestions. One reason that people make statements like "Rick Steves says ..." is that the information is reliable. For people who have limited time and are on their first trip to a given destination, there's nothing wrong with hitting the highlights as presented in the popular travel literature. That doesn't mean that there aren't other resources that should be consulted - there are lots of places and things to see and do and no one source covers everything. Here in Italy there's a show on Sundays about local festivals that's very interesting. People's interests and styles vary considerably. I like Parc Guell a lot too, by the way. Many of the best things I've done have been unplanned. I went to Leiden for a food festival, and they happened to be holding dragon boat races on one of the canals. When I went to Seattle, there was a salmon festival in Issaquah that was great - and salmon jumping the dam to get upstream. Nobody can cover everything. Life's too short to worry about what other people's choices are for travel or anything else. It's their business. Enjoy your own travel - I do.
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