I'm excited to announce that REI Adventures is offering 17 new trips for 2011. There’s something for everyone: lodge-to-lodge trekking in Nepal’s Khumbu region, family backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountains, small-boat cruising and activities in Alaska’s Inside Passage and cycling in the Pyrenees. In fact, 11 of the new trips are bike tours.
All of these great destinations remind me of why I'm in the travel business. Reason #1: I love travel, and I love to talk about it. And my coworkers at REI Adventures are just as passionate about it as I am. It is very cool to design itineraries that allow our members to experience the thrills of cycling the hills of Tuscany or hiking into the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch.
So how do all of these trips come together?
It's quite a process. Before promoting and marketing a new trip, REI Adventures’ program managers spend almost two years “talking” about each destination and itinerary. We share ideas about regions and activities that we think would make for a memorable adventure.
Many hours are then spent delving into travel books, speaking with contacts, researching accommodations and deciding how we can explore a particular locale in a unique, active way. Can we bike there? Would the itinerary be more interesting if we hike or paddle? Ultimately, we travel to the destination itself, meet with local contacts and talk their ears off about the trip. I guess this is why I'm in the business—always planning the next trip or at least contemplating one.
Would you like to talk about your next trip? We’d love to hear about it!