I am a big fan of travel programs on public television. The ones that I follow the most are “Rick Steves’ Europe”, “Bert Wolf: Travels & Traditions” and “Rudy Maxa’s World.”

Currently, “Rick Steves’ Europe” is on at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on WYCC, Channel 20 and at 5 p.m. Saturdays on WTTW, Channel 11 in Chicago. Currently, “Rudy Maxa’s World” is on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. on WYCC. For those of you reading from outside Chicago, the programs are on most public television stations in the United States.

All three are quality programs with each having its own advantages. I would give “Rick Steves’ Europe” a slight edge because of one simple thing he and his producers do. When they are in Europe to produce new shows, they film only in good weather. Because of that the cities and areas they are in have an even more spectacular look to them..

Another advantage to the show is that Steves goes off the beaten path, like his tours do, and tries to stay away most of the time from the common tourist areas. You learn new things watching.

The only limit to his program is it stays in Europe. But that’s understandable. Europe is Steves’s speciality and he’s been showing it to tours and TV audiences and writing about it for over 30 years. He has though done a program about Iran and is currently working on shows about Palestine and Israel.

The advantage of the Maxa and Wolf programs is that they take you all over the world. One week you might see Burt Wolf in Hong Kong and the next week the episode is about Springfield, IL.. Both programs show how you can experience a particular city or area if you are willing to spend a lot of money which is fun to watch.

Bolth the Steves and Wolf programs post scripts of their episodes on their respective websites, ricksteves.com and burtwolf.com, if you want to double check something you might have missed.

These shows are great if you are planning a trip or if you just want to learn about a place you haven’t been to before and hope to go someday.


Until next time. . .