Traveling with a Group of Like-minded Travelers Forms Bonds that Last a Lifetime

Cape Cod Biking Beach 3

Whenever you’re traveling in the world with a group of folks that you haven’t met before, there may be some anxiousness associated with your anticipation—especially if you are a solo traveler. A few weeks ago we received a Ride to Ostuni, Puglia with VBTwonderful email from Mike and Ann V. with their story about the group of travelers they met while on our Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast ​ biking vacation back in May of 2012. Since then, their group has become great friends and they have even visited each other and planned a new adventure on our Heart of France Bike & Barge vacation almost 2 years to the day of their first meeting. The following is an abbreviated version of the email they sent our President, Gregg Marston:

Dear Gregg,

Several of us were part of the VBT Puglia bike tour, pre-trip Matera, and post-trip Rome in May of 2012.  Recently, we gathered at the Old Manse Inn in Brewster, MA to renew our friendships, bike and explore Cape Cod.  When we were visiting one evening at our Bed and Breakfast, we thought it would be fun to contact you to share how our VBT Puglia trip created active and enduring friendships.

Group dinner is OstuniThe initial friendships created in Italy have led to several other subsequent trips.  First, those of us living in Colorado invited some of the group out to visit since they had never been to our state.  So in October of 2012, four of our fellow travelers joined us for several days to explore Colorado and to spend time learning more about each other and remembering our time together in Italy.  That special time together launched plans for our reunion on Cape Cod this past October.

Furthermore, we are all going on VBT’s Heart of France Bike & Barge vacation this May and all of us are excited about our time together in France and planning our next reunion! Who would have guessed that our 2012 Puglia trip would have been the start of meaningful, rewarding, and lasting friendships among eleven people?

Group Biking in Puglia

A Memorable Adventure to Start VBT’s New Yellowstone & Grand Teton Walking Vacation

Snake River and Tetons

A fun way to start any VBT vacation is the welcome reception we hold at the beginning of each trip. This is a great way to ease in to your vacation and get to know your VBT Trip leaders as well as your fellow travelers. Depending on the destination, these welcome receptions can be anything from cocktails on a hotel terrace overlooking the Tuscan countryside to a dinner on the barge as we float down the Loing River in France, or even a warm-up bike ride followed by drinks in the Bohemian city of Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic.  However, on our new walking vacation—Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness—we embark on our tour with a unique, western flavor…a riverside cookout followed by rafting down the illustrious Snake River in northwest Wyoming.

The first day of this vacation includes several stops en route to Grand Teton National Park, like the famed “Mormon Row”Jackson Lodge of iconic western homesteads—including the famous John Moulton Barn.  We’ll have time to take photos at this beautiful overlook often populated by herds of buffalo and elk, which are very common around these old homesteads. After a stop at the Grand Teton National Park Visitor Center to get our National Park Passport stamped and pick up souvenirs, we check in to our home for the first two days, the Jackson Lake Lodge—the largest and most famous hotel in the park. Early this evening, we’ll transfer to the Snake River for our very special welcome reception.

Oxbow Bend
Snake RaftOur festivities kick off with a fabulous, authentic western cookout on the river banks that features fresh river trout and charbroiled steak. After our meal, we’ll board large rafts for a scenic trip down the Snake River. The Snake is an iconic western river whose headwaters are just north of nearby Jackson Lake. Lucky for us, the views from the Snake’s first 50 miles are some of the most impressive in the river’s 1,000 mile journey before emptying into the Columbia River in eastern Washington. This evening we’ll relax along a beautiful 10 mile stretch of the river with breathtaking panoramic views of the Teton Range—punctuated by the iconic Grand Teton—to the west. After our evening float, we’ll head back to relax at our charming park lodge full of anticipation for the natural discoveries that will come in the days ahead…

To request a catalog or learn more about this vacation or any of our other exciting trips to US National Parks please visit 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.