On Friday evening, I had the opportunity to help out at an event for VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, recently named the No. 3 tour operator in the world by Travel & Leisure. The company has been around since 1971, when a Middlebury college professor became the provider of America's first ever organized biking tours. Located in Bristol, Vermont, VBT has grown to become a global travel company, with a family that spans across five continents.
And all of them had nothing but praise for the company, a rarity in the hospitality and tour industry.
So what makes VBT different? It's the personal touch they bring to each trip, making a group tour feel anything but mass-produced. It's about the individual experience, and each itinerary feels personalized. The website reads: "It starts with our seasoned trip planners, who carefully design unique
itineraries in the world’s most interesting places. They work with our
Trip Leaders to map out the most scenic and exhilarating routes. Then,
they leverage our long-term group buying power with suppliers around
the world, securing wonderful lodgings in top quality hotels where charm
and character are complemented by comfort and convenience. Our air
specialists do the same, working with major carriers to provide the best
flight options at prices you could never match on your own."
Amalfi Coast & Capri tour or the Italian Lakes. However, the Peru tour is certainly tempting, and since I've never been to South America, I might have to pick this tour first.
As much as I would love to go on one of these trips, it's not quite in my budget right now, despite the prices being incredibly reasonable for what you get. But maybe I can reach out to my new friends and negotiate a discount...they are a great connection to have, after all. But I'll most likely stay in touch because of how amazingly friendly and outgoing they are, and those are the kinds of people who know how to run a successful tour company.