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Meet Eileen and Naran: VBT’s Travelers of the Month for October 2013

eileen and naran

Usually we like to highlight some of our frequent travelers in the VBT Traveler of the Month series and check in to see what exciting new adventures they’ve been on. However last week, our friends at Agriturismo Montebelli—one the fabulous accommodations on our Tuscan Coast bicycling vacation—passed along a video of first-time VBT travelers, Eileen C. and Naran B., who took their first active vacation as an anniversary celebration.  Since there’s no better way to hear about a VBT vacation than from our travelers themselves, enjoy this short interview with Eileen and Naran from under an oak tree in Tuscany.

While the video covers the great time they were having on the vacation itself, we thought some of you might like to know Naran on beachhow they decided a VBT vacation was the perfect anniversary present to each other. Here’s what Naran had to say…

…About how they decided to celebrate their anniversary:
With our 30th anniversary approaching, we considered a variety of ways to celebrate, from parties, to gifts, to a number of different types of vacations. I’d heard good things about bike tours, and the more we considered it, the more we liked the idea of seeing some beautiful countryside, out of the crowds, with good food and wine, and getting some fun exercise in the process.

…About how they chose VBT:
We found out about VBT from the retired chairman of my company, who has been on a couple of your tours and highly recommended you. Since we are not much more than novice cyclists the variety of biking skill levels, your customer support services, and the cultural events in your tours made VBT sound like a good fit.

ruins 2…About how they chose which vacation to go on:
The most appealing areas to us seemed to be Italy, Austria or Croatia. We’ve been to the major cities of Italy before, but hadn’t really spent any time in the countryside. The reviews of both your Italian and Croatian tours sounded terrific. In the end, the timing and availability of the Tuscan Coast tour were the final factors.

To learn more about VBT’s Italian vacations please click HERE.

Meet Barbara B: VBT’s Traveler of the Month for September 2013

Iconic Rome
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. We’d like to introduce you to September’s VBT Traveler of the Month, Barbara from Kansas City, who recently returned from her 6th VBT vacation! Barbara and her husband Ken traveled on our Amalfi Coast & Capri Walking Vacation where they  had another fabulous vacation. We had a chance to talk with Barbara about her VBT experiences over the years.

You recently returned from the Amalfi Coast, have you been anywhere else in Italy with VBT?
This was our first VBT trip to Italy. We chose the Amalfi Coast because we knew it would be beautiful and we chose VBTBeautiful vista crop because of our past experiences with the company. VBT trips always featured great rides and walks, spectacular scenery, fabulous hotels and inns, delicious meals, interesting and fun fellow travelers AND knowledgeable, attentive, caring, competent leaders. We needed these leadership qualities this trip because I stepped in a hole on Capri and broke my ankle! I’m grateful that I was in good hands with our Trip Leader Marcello, who guided my husband to a pharmacy where they were able to get crutches and medicine. Marcello helped Ken talk with the trip insurance company and also made intricate arrangements to get me to the next hotel.

Oh no! What about the vacation was so special for you considering your unfortunate immobility?
Touring the pasta factory
Our Trip Leaders Vincenzo and Marcello were amazing. They arranged hotel rooms with magnificent views.   Marcello always made sure I had an office chair with wheels so that I could easily get around the hotel. My husband was so sure that I was well taken care of that he was able to continue on the walks. He brought back lots of photos. So I had a vicarious experience!!  Our leaders made sure I had the opportunity to participate in activities. They even arranged a chair with wheels and the use of a tiny elevator so I could tour the pasta factory and have lunch there.

You’ve been on six vacations with VBT, where else did you go? What was your favorite place to travel?
We started going on trips long before cell phones were in everyone’s hands!!  Our first trip Ken and I ready for a wonderful hikeeditwas in Vermont where we were going to a wedding and wanted to do a bicycle trip. Our next and so far, our favorite was in Provence, we did a Bordeaux trip and the Cape Cod trip. The most exotic was the Vietnam trip. All trips were exceptional. 

So you’ve been on both bicycling and walking vacations. Was there anything different about the two?
All of our previous trips have been on a bicycle and this was our first walking trip. I don’t think there is much difference between a bicycling or walking trip.  To me, the difference is feet on the ground versus feet on the pedals. Same great leaders. Same exciting tours, lodging, food and fellow travelers.

That’s good to hear. So, where are you off to next?
 Ummm.  Where shall we go next??  Bike and Barge sounds like our next VBT adventure.