Join the VBT Family
We’re here for you—all throughout your journey
From your first enquiring phone call or visit to our website, each one of us in the VBT family is devoted to making your active travel dreams become a life-changing experience. We’re with you on every step of your journey: a helpful voice on the other end of the phone … an adjustment to your bike’s gear shift …a Trip Leader who knows just the right café.
45 years of Experience in Active Travel
Back in 1971, a Middlebury College professor turned his passion for cycling Vermont’s winding back roads into an experience that others could share. He established America’s first organized bicycle tours, setting up shop in the lovely rural town of Bristol, Vermont. It wasn’t long before Vermont Bicycle Touring started to offer bicycle tours in Europe. Bristol is still our home, but we now offer an exciting roster of active vacations that include over 50 VBT Bicycling, Barge & Sail, and Walking Vacations. No matter how far we roam, we will never stray from our Vermont roots. These include a reverence for the great outdoors, a tradition of neighborliness that extends around the world, and a commitment to unbeatable value and quality.
Our people make the difference
How does your experience on a VBT vacation affect travelers who follow in your footsteps? How do you know that your feedback—both suggestions and criticisms—are reaching the people best equipped to make the necessary changes to our itineraries?
“The primary consideration is a location that has a lot to offer the inquisitive traveler,” said Chris Skilling, VBT’s Vice President of Worldwide Product. “We want our travelers to have opportunities for unique and incredible local discoveries. It also has to be a good value—that’s essential.”
Working with an international team of four Product Directors, Skilling carefully studies the ingredients that make successful vacations popular and effective year after year, including VBT’s signature cultural-immersion experiences, memorable accommodations, included restaurant meals, pacing, and many other factors. These help form the guidelines by which success is judged and improvements are made.
“Our traveler evaluations are central to how we make changes to our vacations,” Skilling said. “Every Trip Leader makes a full evaluation, too, after each departure. We study all of these very carefully.”
You’ll notice on the Traveler Reviews section of each vacation on our website that frank complaints and suggestions for improvement from our travelers are addressed by VBT’s marketing associates, who work closely with Skilling and his team.
“No one in the active-travel business does a better job than VBT at listening to our travelers,” Skilling said. “It’s very rewarding to make our vacations authentic and exciting in that unique VBT way.”
Shake Hands with the World™ Foundation
By establishing the Shake Hands with the World™ foundation, Gregg and Caroline Marston give back to the places VBT visits by supporting humanitarian and charitable initiatives, including the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Local Motion, The Prouty (a ride and walk to support cancer research), and the Vermont-based Kelly Brush Foundation, which raises money for spinal-cord injury research. VBT is a founding sponsor of the Vermont Gran Fondo, an exciting bike race of up to 104 miles through a series of spectacular gaps among the Green Mountains. Proceeds from this beloved annual event enhance bicycling in Addison County (VBT’s home) through programs, education, infrastructure, and equipment. VBT’s new partnership with Xanterra Parks & Resorts® has enhanced our commitment to slowing global warming, preserving natural resources, and protecting our environment.
Keeping it “Green” at Home & Around the World is a Way of Life at VBT
Our home is in the Green Mountain State, and we’re proud that Vermont leads the nation in state-wide efforts to protect our beautiful natural resources, finds sustainable energy alternatives, and leaves the places where we bike, walk, and swim clean and undisturbed. It’s an approach to life we at VBT take with us wherever we go. We tread lightly. We show respect for local people and their traditions. And we partner with smaller, community – and family-based lodgings and restaurants to help support local economies.