Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Visiting with Rick Steves

Kerry Hammond reports back from her visit with Rick Steves...

Reading and travel have always gone hand in hand for me. When I am choosing what mystery to read next, I am always drawn in by the ones that take place in exotic locales. If I can read a great book and learn about a different country, I feel like I’m getting two of my favorite things in one. This works equally well with places I’ve visited and places I haven’t. I’ve been to Paris several times, and when I read a mystery set in the city of lights, I pay close attention so that I can spot places I’ve been and sights I’ve seen. When I am reading about a place I’ve never been, it inevitably goes on my “to visit” list. 

When I’m not getting my fix by reading about foreign countries, I am busy planning my next travel adventure. One of my favorite places to travel is Europe, and I am addicted to Rick Steves’ PBS travel show. His Europe Through The Back Door series provides tips for travelers who want to visit Europe on a budget.  He has filmed an episode in just about every European country you can think of, and even has special shows just to provide travel tips. He also publishes a Europe Through The Back Door travel book each year.

This month Rick came to Denver to speak and sign his 2014 travel skills handbook at the Travel Expo. I showed up with his book in hand, and a blank notebook to write down any exciting travel tips.  There were so many people in attendance that Rick adjusted his speaking schedule to accommodate and added another time slot so that everyone was able to get the most out of his tips. He was not only a great speaker, very interesting and knowledgeable, but you could tell how much he loves his job. His enthusiasm was wonderful and he gives tips that you don’t always get from other travel writers, such as the fact that it’s cheaper to get local currency from at ATM rather than use the money change booths. 

So the next time that the mystery you’re reading makes you want to plan a trip, you can check out Rick’s website for travel tips, guided tours, or simply to purchase your Eurail pass. Me, I will keep reading and keep traveling. And I am now happy to say that in addition to all of my signed mystery books, I have my very first signed travel book. 


  1. You always get the good people coming to Denver. No fair.

  2. we went a Basque travel class at Rick Steves headquarters last Saturday and it was great - can't wait for our trip in May!