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Meet Melissa: VBT’s Traveler of the Month for January 2014

Melissa Door web

A few weeks ago our President, Gregg Marston, received a lovely email from one of our travelers thanking him and saying how much she enjoyed our trips. We thought it would be nice to hear more from her about which vacations she has been on over the years and where she is off to next. One of our favorite things about providing excellent active vacations all over the world is hearing about all the different places our guests have traveled with us and the unique experiences they have had along the way. We are happy to introduce you to Melissa S. from Florida. Melissa has been a traveler with VBT since 2007 and has been on three types of VBT active vacations: Biking, Walking and Cross-Country Skiing! We asked her some question about her travels with us over the years.
Banff SKi with VBT
You traveled on biking, walking and cross-country skiing tours with VBT, does the destination outweigh the type of activity or do you enjoy all three modes of active travel?
I love all 3 types of travel, especially the way VBT puts it all together. However, the location always compliments the activity and its seems to flow perfectly the entire trip whether I was biking in Tuscany,  cross-country skiing the Canadian Rockies or walking in Machu Picchu.

You’ve been on multiple vacations with VBT, what has been your favorite travel destination with us so far?
Really, that is like asking a mother in front of her children which one is the favorite. I loved them all really and there is something special that I take away from each trip like hot air ballooning in California, dog sledding the Canadian Rockies—yes I did the mushing—and entering Machu Picchu at sunrise via the sun gate, my God what a view! I just can’t say, too hard to pick!

Bike FittingWhat is your favorite part of a walking or skiing vacation with VBT that is different from the experience of a bicycling vacation?
The chance to slow down a bit and maybe take more of the scenery in and do different things than you normally do biking, like dog sledding or sleigh riding. Most of the biking vacations aren’t in places where it snows nor has the best hiking so those trips give you a great alternative. And if you can do them all with one awesome group like VBT, why not?

In your email to Gregg you said you’ve referred many people to VBT. If someone is not sure of which type of vacation to take—biking, walking, or skiing—what would your advice be to them regarding which to take?
I would always start with a biking or a walking trip as that is what most people like to do. Anyone can walk if in decent shape—I went to Peru with an 80-year-old man who did Wanapuc above Machu Picchu no problem!

Where are you off to next?
This May I’m off to walk the Amalfi Coast. I love to travel so when I get the time off from work I choose VBT and know they’ll make my bucket list come true.

spain biking group web

Top 5 Vacations for Multi-time VBT Travelers in 2013

Provence Biking

If you’re like many of our travelers and enjoy going on a vacation with VBT year after year, you might like to know that we are constantly refining vacations with the help of traveler feedback, offering new cultural experiences, and developing new vacations—we’ve announced 16 new tours for 2014. If your biggest decision is where to go next, than this is the perfect list for you. If you click on each tour name you will be taken to that tour’s webpage where you can find traveler reviews, photos, daily itineraries and everything you’ll need to make your choice.

CZ Bikers1.) The Czech Republic, Germany & Austria bicycling vacation with departures from May–October Journey through Central Europe and experience the uniqueness of three distinct countries on one amazing itinerary. Highlights of this vacation include a guided tour of historic Cesky Krumlov—a UNESCO World Heritage Site, experiencing Czech daily life over lunch in the home of a local family, learning about Bavarian culture from the owners of a local tavern, viewing the Neuberg Fortress during a riverside picnic, and exploring two scenic marvels of Austria: the Danube’s Schlögener Schlinge and the Wachau Valley.

Sicily Church2.) Sicily: Biking the Southern Coastal Villages​ vacation with departures from March–June and September–November
Pedal back in time on a Mediterranean island that was courted by the Greeks, refined by the Romans and influenced by the Moors to develop its own distinct, Italian flavor. Highlights of this vacation include a guided tour of a historic chocolate making factory in Modica, exploring the baroque palaces of Noto and Ragusa Ibla, preparing Sicilian delicacies with a local chef, and cooling off with a swim in the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.


Dolomites Italy Biking 3.) Italy: Cycling the Dolomite Valleys​ vacation with departures from May–October
Easy cycling and breathtakingly dramatic alpine scenery are combined on this one-of-a-kind journey through the valleys of the Dolomite mountains of northern Italy. Highlights of this tour include relaxing in the treatment baths and wellness facilities of Terme Merano, a visit to the home valley of the secluded Ladin people, a picnic on the shores of Lake Calalzo, exploring the Duomo della Collegiata—the oldest monastery in the Dolomites—and a delicious barbecue prepared by a local host.

Puglia Pax4.) Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast biking vacation with departures from April–June and September–November
Explore a quieter part of the Italian coast, where local life moves at the gentle pace of the lapping sea. Highlights of this vacation include exploring the iconic trulli homes of Alberobello with a local specialist, stays at masserie, a home-hosted lunch and olive oil tasting with a local family, and cycling along the dramatic Adriatic Seacoast to the town of Porto Badisco—famous for its azure waters and prehistoric Cervi Grottoes.

Pont-du-Gard Provence5.) Provence: The Alpilles biking vacation with departures from April–June and August–October
Join us as we ride past rolling hills blanketed with vineyards that date back to ancient Rome in this magical corner of France. Highlights of this vacation include guided tours of St. Rémy and Avignon, a private walking tour of scenes that inspired van Gogh, a home-cooked dinner with a renowned pastry chef and a stop at the famous Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These are just a few examples of the amazing vacations that our most frequent travelers went on in the past year. To request a full catalog with all of our vacations please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868, available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST.

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