About Us

Hi, we're Howard and Barb Boyle, new retirees from a small town in North Carolina. The first item on our bucket list was a trip to Europe. We've enjoyed traveling around the good ole USA but never could take enough time off from our jobs to visit Europe. The Rick Steves' 21-day tour was a great introduction to many of the countries of Europe. We initially thought of touring Europe on our own, but the planning alone was overwhelming. Routes, reservations, renting a car--we wanted an adventure, not a headache. We decided that the Rick Steves' tour would be a stress-free, time-saving, economical way to enjoy our first trip to Europe.


    • Check with your bank's debit card policy. To avoid paying our local bank's foreign exchange fees and transaction fees, we found a debit card without those fees. We used cash for everything so we wouldn't have any suprises on our credit card bill when we got back home. Just using cash was not a burden because all tickets, passes and 1/2 of the dinners were pre-paid.
    • Contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know where and when you will be traveling.
    • Don't be afraid to pack light. There were plenty of opportunities to do laundry at almost every stop if needed--either a laundromat or laundry service. There was a great laundry service in Cinque Terre.
    • Leave your hair dryer at home.
    • Plan to use 2 adapters at night to recharge your equipment.
    • Always watch out for bikes and scooters when biking or crossing the street. They're everywhere and go fast.
    • Be sure to grab your hotel's business card and tuck it in your money belt.

Wish We Had

While we were able to check email using our hotel's Wi-Fi, we missed not being able to use our smartphone, especially Google maps when we got lost. We missed a road coming back from the beach in Haarlem and our Paris map was not very detailed. We wasted a lot of time and energy getting back on track. Next time we'd get a SIM card or international roaming plan and be able to see exactly where we were.

First Destination  - Haarlem
Trip Activities
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