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Traveler profile: A Family’s First Vacation with VBT

Sail Boat

A few weeks ago our President, Gregg Marston, received a wonderful voicemail from Dr. Warren G, who had recently returned from our Tuscany by the Sea vacation, about the amazing time he had on his first trip to Italy. We had a chance to catch up with Warren to hear more about his first VBT experience and his first trip to Europe since he spent a week in Paris in the 1980’s.

hay fields

Warren first learned of VBT while on a vacation to Acadia National Park where he noticed a tour of VBTers cruising Coast Housearound the famed Maine island park and thought to himself “what a great way to see the sights and fully experience the surroundings”.  So he looked up VBT, did some research on our pricing and all the places he could travel with us, and booked his first vacation.  With Warren’s eldest son preparing for his freshman year of college, the summer of 2013 presented itself to be a perfect time for the whole family to join in a new adventure together. So with his wife, three boys and 69 year old mother-in-law in tow, the family set out for the coast of Tuscany.

Family

Warren told us that the food and sights of the region were so amazing that “3 days into the trip I was like ‘alright, where are we going next year’? It was just so great.”  But what really made the trip so memorable for Warren and his family was Bike Route FlowersVBT Trip Leaders Marcello and Angelo, “those two guys in particular were just fantastic. We were with another couple who had been on many VBT trips and they said they had never had guides as good as those two guys.” He added, “Every morning they would teach us local expressions and some of Italy’s most used hand gestures which made interacting with the locals so much easier.”  Warren even mentioned that after every lunch break and pit stop, when the family returned to their bicycles, “all the water bottles on the bikes were refilled with fresh water and even included fresh lemon slices in the bottles.”  He went on to mentionSunflower Field with son that it was the “little things” that VBT does that he was so impressed by, such as detailed trip planning and all the small transfers that he didn’t really think about logistically before going on the trip.

After returning home to New Hampshire, and while browsing the 700+ photos he took, Sunny MeadowWarren says he’s already begun thinking about his next vacation with VBT.  At the moment he is leaning towards The Czech Republic, Germany & Austria bicycling vacation but is also contemplating a return to Italy because of the amazing experience the family had there, a sentiment echoed by Warren’s initial message to Gregg – “Thank you VBT for making my first trip to Italy so unbelievable…you have a superior product, I just loved it.”

VBT Ranks Fourth in Travel + Leisure’s 2013 World’s Best Awards

Travel and Leisure
It’s a huge accomplishment to be ranked among Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best. But to be voted on to the list for four years in a row, and to be named fourth in 2013 out of the hundreds of qualified Tour Operators, is quite an honor for each and every one of our worldwide VBT associates.

For the 18th annual poll, the readers of Travel + Leisure were asked to cast their votes for the hotels, destinations, and companies that define the very best in travel. In the Tour Operator category, readers were asked to assess each operator in six categories: staff/guides, itineraries/destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and value. Out of a highest possible score of 100, VBT scored 94.42 placing it fourth on the list of the World’s Best and only a half of a point out of the first position.

We’re very proud of this distinction and are extremely thankful for our travelers’ continued recognition of our effort to provide great cultural experiences.  The fact that 98% of VBT Travelers say they would travel with us again illustrates the close relationship travelers feel with VBT’s Trip Leaders. And although we’re inspired by the results, there is always room to grow.  Our commitment to offering high quality and excellent experiences at the best value, every step of the way, is stronger than ever.

We’d just like to take a moment to thank our travelers for all of the support that we’ve received and we’ll keep organizing the outstanding bicycling, walking and cross-country ski vacations that you’ve come to expect from VBT!

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