Category Archives: Active Travel

Utah’s Arches National Park Introduces Timed-Entry Program for Independent Travelers; Tour Operators Exempted

A new advance-reservation timed-ticket entry program is in effect at Arches National Park, Utah for independent travelers from April  3 through October 3. Tour operators, however, are not restricted. © Laini Miranda/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MOAB, UT – New admission protocols have gone into effect for visitors to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Visitors traveling on their own will have to make advance reservations through Recreation.gov. Under a timed entry system, each registered visitor (an individual, couple, group or family is covered under a single booking) will be assigned a one-hour time slot between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time. They will be able to enter the park anytime during that one-hour window.
 
The new timed-entry program will run from April 3 to Oct. 3, 2022. Reservations will open three months in advance. For example, visitors who hoped to go to the park in April needed to reserve a slot beginning Jan. 3, 2022. There will also be small numbers of last-minute tickets made available every day for the following day, since not everyone is able to plan their visit so far ahead.
 
Another good strategy is to leave the car behind and arrange to visit the park under the guidance of a professional tour operator. 

Moab Adventure Center, the go-to hub for all things adventure in the region, has arranged guided tours throughout the season and is not limited by these new restrictions. This will be a benefit for those who aren’t able to plan their park visit so far in advance.

Visitation grew to new heights in the 2021 season, the busiest year on record. Many people had to wait hours in line before being admitted. Others were turned away altogether and asked to come back the next day.
 
“Overall, we are very excited about the new system, and the changes it will bring. With the new system, the aim is to reduce the lines to get into the park, further enhancing the experience for everyone. The timed-entry system should keep the crowds at a manageable level at each point of interest, as well as parking lots and trailheads, making parking and access much more available and predictable,” said Cort Wright, Moab Adventure Center Manager.
 
The timed entry program does not apply to tour operators who have concessions contracts, such as Moab Adventure Center. The park will continue to accommodate travelers (even that same day) who book a guided tour through Moab Adventure Center. For details see https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-tours and https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park.
 
“If tourists miss getting a reservation or something unexpected comes up, Moab Adventure Center will always be able to get them in as long as we have a scheduled tour operating. We are not required to participate in the reservation process and are not limited by the restrictions placed on the public,” Wright added.
 
Wright recommended the following tours for first-time and repeat visitors to the region: 

“In addition to not having to worry about advance reservations or having to enter the park at an assigned hour, these guided tours have several other benefits. Our guests love the fact that they can sit back and enjoy the ride, taking in every view out the window vs. having to pay attention to roads and traffic. Guests also appreciate learning about the history and geology of the area from an experienced guide. It’s really a great way to see Arches National Park,” Wright explained.
 
Moab Adventure Center (https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/) is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations call 435-259-7019 or 866-904-1163.

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TRIPS by Culture Trip Launches New Immersive, Experiential Tours with Special Deals, Discounts

Experience rural life in Vietnam and cycle through rice fields to experience farm life first hand with TRIPS by Culture © Laini Miranda/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

TRIPS by Culture Trip launched in September to offer multi-day small-group adventures with itineraries that combine immersive activities and distinctive places to stay, and experiences for the young at heart, the off-the-beaten path enthusiast, the culturally curious and those with the belief that “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.  Behind TRIPS by Culture Trip is Culture Trip itself – the travel website and app for booking hand-picked places to stay, unique travel experiences and now also small-group adventures.

To kick off the new year, Culture Trip is also offering special deals and discounts now through January 31, 2022 including a $100 Culture Trip voucher when you book with TRIPS by Culture Trip; a $50 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $200 on a hotel; and a $20 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $100 on an experience. T&Cs apply.

TRIPS by Culture Trip offers over 30 itineraries in some of the world’s most captivating and off-the-grid places across the world.  TRIPS range from four to 13 days, welcoming up to 18 travelers aged 25 and over who can join solo or with friends. With a focus beyond mass-market offerings, TRIPS itineraries often avoid areas of over tourism and aim to put local people at the center; the team is dedicated to avoiding unethical activities or wildlife interactions that aren’t in the best interest of the animals.

“With everyone looking for that vacation or escape in 2022, here are some trips that many will never experience in their lifetime because, well, they didn’t know they could.”  Check these out:

●      Stay with a Bedouin Family in Jordan & sleep under the stars in the Valley of the Moon

Wild camping under the stars and staying with a Bedouin family in the breathtaking Wadi Rum — also known as the Valley of the Moon and as filming location for Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker — is an unforgettable experience. On this trip, travelers also learn how to make Arabic coffee, cook a traditional meal with local Bedouins, milk camels and help shepherds herd their goats in the sunrise. Treks through rust-colored mountains, street food tours in Amman, and visits to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra through a back door to avoid the crowds are also part of this itinerary. 9-day trip from $2,599*      per person

●      Explore Casablanca’s design with a local architect & stargaze with an astrologer

Before exploring the tangerine dunes of the Sahara’s Erg Chebbi, bedding down in a desert camp in a Berber-style tent with a canopy of twinkling stars above, and stargazing in the desert with local astrologer Astro Hamid, travelers get to explore Casablanca’s diverse and historically significant architecture together with a local architect. 13-day trip from $2,809*      per person

●  Experience rural life in Vietnam & cook with a gastronomy artisan

A trip to Mai Chau is unforgettable — a lush valley lined with rice paddies between forested mountains, inhabited by several ethnic groups in the Hoa Binh province. Here, the group will cycle through rice fields to a White Thai village to experience farm life first hand — including collecting food for buffalos and feeding them, while learning about the history and culture of the White Thai ethnic group, named after their white clothes. The trip also takes travelers to Hue where they will get to learn about the flavors and techniques behind the local cuisine through a market visit and cooking class with gastronomy artisan Ms. Huy12-day trip from $1,609* per person

●  Immerse yourself into Sri Lankan wildlife and culture & learn the ancient dances

This epic 12-day ‘Treasure Island’ adventure avoids the usual tourist areas for a glimpse of real Sri Lankan culture. Travelers get to visit a quieter, lesser-known side of Yala National Park — reducing the impact on the wildlife and environment. The park has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world with plenty of elephants, monkeys, and crocodiles. Equally memorable will be seeing herds of wild elephants in Minneriya National Park, visiting a rural village school to learn about Sri Lankan education, and attending a dancing school in Lankathilaka, where a generational dancing master will teach the ancient art of dance in his own backyard. 12-day trip from $2,039* per person

● Learn taiko drumming and aikido & witness sumo wrestling training in Japan

As part of the ‘Japan Rising’ 12-day journey through the land of the rising sun, travelers get to learn from a local aikido expert this Japanese martial art that involves breathing, stretching and self-defense techniques. They also can witness sumo wrestling training to learn about the centuries old history of this traditional sport, and test their rhythm over a taiko drum — played in traditional performing arts and festivals in Japan — with a local expert instructor. 12-day trip from $4,239* per person

Naturally, TRIPS by Culture Trip has an extremely flexible and generous cancellation plan in place should Covid restrictions change your plans      , including rebooking for free up to 48 hours before departure and if TRIPS by Culture Trip cannot change your booking dates, they will refund the booking.  

To learn more and book TRIPS by Culture Trip, visit culturetrip.com/trips or call 678-967-4965.  

* Prices include the Local Insider; activities; accommodation based on two people sharing, with single occupancy available with a supplement; transport throughout the trip and a range of meals

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Jeopardy! And Lindblad Expeditions Launch ‘Explore Alaska Sweepstakes’

Set to take place weekdays January 17-28, 2022, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes will award 10 lucky winners and their guests an 8-day small ship adventure exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness aboard Lindblad Expeditions. Alaska, Katmai National Park (photo supplied by Lindblad Expeditions).

NEW YORK — JEOPARDY!and Lindblad Expeditions have teamed up again for a viewer promotion: set to take place weekdays January 17-28, 2022, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes will award 10 lucky winners and their guests an 8-day small ship adventure exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness.

Winners will discover iconic, wild Alaska on an expedition aboard one of Lindblad’s 100-guest sister ships, National Geographic Quest or National Geographic Ventureaccompanied by a team of naturalists, certified photo instructors, an undersea specialist and a wellness instructor. 

Nimble expedition ships will take guests into a land of mist-shrouded fjords, tidewater glaciers, and islands teeming with wildlife, where the bears forage, bald eagles soar, and whales spectacularly breach. They’ll Zodiac cruise amongst electric blue icebergs, kayak along the coast, witness calving glaciers in Glacier Bay National Park, and even explore the vibrant marine world through the lens of an undersea specialist.

To enter the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes, viewers are invited to tune-in to JEOPARDY! every weekday and enter the daily Final Jeopardy! category on the sweepstakes entry webpage here (which will be live on Monday). Then, they will be entered for a chance to win an expedition for two exploring authentic Alaskan coastal wilderness from the unique vantage of a small ship. Each winner and their guest will receive round-trip coach-class air transportation from the winner’s closest major gateway airport, $1,000 US spending cash, as well as all shipboard accommodations, meals (excluding alcoholic beverages), and activities for travel valid in 2022 or 2023. Check local listings for JEOPARDY! show times and stations.

The promotion is an outgrowth of a 17-year collaborative relationship between JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic to enlighten, engage, and excite viewers and travelers. Partners since 2005, Lindblad Expeditions’ fleet has served as a platform to take the late Alex Trebek and the JEOPARDY! Clue Crew all over the world, resulting in hundreds of clues in some of the planet’s wildest and most inspirational places including Antarctica, Galápagos, Baja & the Sea of Cortez, the high Arctic, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the wild fjords of Southeast Alaska, and many more. 

For more information visit us at www.expeditions.com.

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VISITED Travel App Helps Travelers Keep Track of Where They’ve Been, Where to Go

Got the travel bug? The travel app VISITED can help you keep track and plan where to go next. Is Venice on the list? © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

The mobile app development company, Arriving in High Heels Corporation, based in Toronto, Canada (arrivinginhighheels.com) has launched three new features in its VISITED travel app that are specifically designed to motivate travelers to find new experiences and help the travel industry recover from the stay-at-home coronavirus pandemic.

“People are ready to travel again and VISITED is ready to get them excited about new opportunities and destinations,” Founder and CEO Anna Kayfitz said,  No other travel app has these three features.

The new features are Inspiration, Lists, and City Maps. Together they highlight those places not necessarily popular but worth a trip, as well as well-known tourist attractions. They allow travelers to swipe photos of famous and not so famous places to add to their own picture database of destinations they have experienced or want to visit. VISITED has over 1.2 million users.

For individual travelers, the VISITED Inspiration feature tracks personal travel stats, such as percentage of the world visited, number of countries and cities visited, as well as regions on a personal wish-list. The List feature names capitals of the world, wonders of the world, and art museums. Museums and other attractions are constantly added to provide even greater options to choose from. The City Maps feature is invaluable in planning upcoming itineraries.

The app enables travelers to keep personal stats on the number of countries visited, percentage  of the world or country seen by region, how you rank against other world travelers, number of cities visited, percentage of the world that you WANT to see vs. where you are in your travel journey.

For the travel industry, the VISITED app’s features present a sponsoring opportunity for hospitality related companies, “because we know where the users have been and where they want to go,” Kayfitz said. “This is also an opportunity to showcase travel products and destinations without losing the focus of the user.”

She is looking forward to seeing a resurgence in travel. “In the meantime, users can start planning their trips with VISITED, discovering places to go, things to do, and sites to see domestically and internationally.”

Kayfritz is the founder of Arriving In High Heels, a mobile app company, which she started 2014 and incorporated in 2017 converted it to a corporation. The company, now known as Arriving in High Heels Corporation, and has 3 apps including Visited, to help keep track of your travels;  X-Walk Fitness app, a Nordic walking app that tracks progress and lists the top 25 famous hikes and Pay-off Debt app that helps people get out of debt faster.

All her app ideas came from a personal need for them, Kayfitz said.

The idea for Visited, for example, “started while I was flying back from South Africa with my husband (then boyfriend, Brian). I would use a little notebook and make a list of all the countries I visited and places I still wanted to visit. When I could not remember a few smaller islands such as Curacao, I became frustrated and spent the enter long haul flight trying to remember the islands we had visited. Brian had mentioned there has to be an app for that. When we could not find one, Brian, who is an app developer decided to make one for me for my personal use. We launched it in iOS only. When we started seeing downloads coming in, we knew we had something. So, we slowly began working on it to make it the app it is today. We currently have 1.2 million plus users and are growing.

“My travel industry experience did not really impact the development of the app. I was always into travel. My parents would always visit new places while I was growing up and that started my interest in travel. When I had the chance at 18 to go abroad with a friend, we went on a tour to London, Paris, Rome, and that’s when the travel bug bit me.”

The Visited app, she said, “has opened my eyes to new destinations especially with the inspiration section of the app. Gathering the hundreds of photos that are currently in the app, it made me realize how much more of the world there is to see. It has also motivated me to check off even more countries I want to visit.”

Prior to developing Visited, she said, “I would discover new places by browsing the web, travel brochures, reading magazines and even talking to other travelers while abroad. I kept track of my travels and things I wanted to see in a journal. I hate to write, so it was just a simple continuing list or a drawn map of all the places I have visited. I used to love to check off top destinations, lists found in magazines, blogs to see what percentage I have seen. This is what we hoped to capture in our app. We also added the top 10 countries to visit based on where you live to inspire people to travel to easy to reach/popular destinations.”

The app doesn’t replace guidebooks, she maintained. “It is a complimentary app to these books. Guidebooks offer a way into a destination with detailed explanations, and insightful information while we offer a macro approach to travel to simply tick off places you want   to travel or have already visited.

“As an analyst I always start by asking the questions of why and so what? Since Visited was designed for my personal use at the beginning, I wanted the app to answer the following questions:

  • How many countries have I seen?
  • Many of our copy-cat competitor apps show you what percentage of the world you have seen. However, what use is that? I do not want to visit every country in the world although for some that may be their goal. However, I wanted to know what percentage of the world I WANT to visit and what percentage I have seen. So, we have included the metric that answers those two questions.
  • We also added the top 10 locations for people to visit from their home country. This allows users to discover easily accessible countries. This was done to inspire additional travel. For example, if Canada is their home country, Canadians will find plenty to see in destinations easy to visit in Canada. This answers the question what sites can I visit in my home country?
  • We also have a rank of how you compare to other international travelers.
  • We now allow users to count the UK as 4 countries vs 1, so., we now have the options for you to select it as 4 or 1. This will help answer the question how I count the number of countries I have visited.

“The app is designed to show your progress and to inspire you to complete your journeys.”

As to who the Visited app can benefit, she says, “Anyone that likes to travel regardless of their style of travel. They can be a once-a-year family trip traveler, a backpacker or someone who has rented an RV to visit every state. They will all benefit from using our app to keep track of their trips and get inspired to visit new locations. We find that it is a good reminder of all the places that you have been to, to make yourself feel better especially during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why we added the list feature that lets you check of all the art museums, world wonders, and other lists to help keep up travel moral during the pandemic.”

Users can use the app to share their trips, by clicking an icon that pops up with all the different ways you can share – text, email, print, download as PDF, as well as via social media you have installed such as WhatsApp, Instagram.

Visited now has 1.2 plus million users. XWalk and Pay Off Debt are niche apps that were launched in the past 2 years; the number of users has been growing.

Travel apps have taken off with people getting back to traveling once again. According to Sensor Travel Apps 2021 report, U.S. Travel Apps surpassed 85 million downloads, growing 128%.

How to use Visited:

  • Download the app for free via App Store or Google Play Store
  • Sign up – with email – (email is required because this is a unique identifier to keep track of the data that the user has select that way if they change phones, they will always be able to get back to the selection).
  • Input where you live, countries visited and countries you wish to visit
  • The map will display the selections. You can then click on each country to see additional information such as regions and cities, and input notes for that destination.
  • If you click on cities (Paid Feature) you can select different cities by tapping on the country.
  • You can see on the) dashboard the top countries you visited, how you rank against other international travelers as well as the top 10 countries that are most visited from the country you live in.
  • You can swipe to see photos of places and add them to your wish or been list.
  • You can click on experiences and see the different lists such as capitals of the world, art museums or world wonders, etc. In addition, you can also see the percentage of the world you have visited. You can also tap on experiences (such as hiking, skiing) and can select all the countries you have been to and doing that activity. For example, if you select: Canada, the US, and Switzerland for skiing it will display the 3 countries where you skied. You can also select where you want to ski.

The app can be downloaded for free on iOS from the App Store and on Android from Google (due to copy-cats, the app is called Visited with the blue world icon and a yellow pin).

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Vermont Adaptive Opens Center at Sugarbush; Bern Contributes Helmets

More than 400 volunteers serve Vermont Adaptive clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three winter programming locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided state-wide.

Vermont Adaptive Sports Center, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing year-round sports and recreational programs for people with disabilities regardless of ability to pay, has just opened a $2.5 million, 4,000-square foot center at Mount Ellen at Sugarbush Resort, in Warren Vermont.

Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three winter programming locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided state-wide.

Also, Bern Helmets, respected internationally for its proprietary street-inspired bike, snow, and action sports helmets, has partnered with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. Between last year and 2022, Bern will have contributed more than 300 helmets in a variety of sizes and styles for snow and bike activities in Vermont for participants with Vermont Adaptive.

Helmets are divided between the new adaptive sports facility in Sugarbush, opening Dec. 10, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports’ traveling bike fleet and some were given directly to Vermont Adaptive participants. The traveling mountain bike fleet is used by participants all over Vermont and accesses many of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association Chapters’ trails. The traveling fleet is made up of a variety of different mountain bikes that serve those with diverse abilities. Additional helmets were gifted to participants directly to adhere to safety protocols during Winter Programming in 2021.

“Our relationship with Bern is critical to our programs,” said Jeff Alexander, director of strategic partnerships and business development for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. “Their donation of helmets enables athletes to ski, ride and bike in safety and in style. Many participants don’t own their equipment; being able to provide best- in- class equipment breaks down one of many barriers to getting outside and playing.”

“Supporting Vermont Adaptive’s mission is consistent with Bern’s DNA,” said Mickey Russell, social media manager. “We’re proud to support their year-round programming efforts in order to help people of all abilities experience the outdoors. This is just one of many ways we hope to get more people outside.”

In addition to sports, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports year round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical and emotional behavioral disabilities.

For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

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Tourissimo Unveils NEW Cycling Tour Exploring Prosecco Wine Region of Italy

Veneto, Italy: the landscape vineyards in “Duca Di Dolle” farmstead. Tourissimo, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy.

(Bridgewater, MA) — Tourissimo, a leader in active travel to Italy, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy. Guests will learn about the ancient origins of wine making and how the reputation and qualities of the wine have evolved throughout the centuries. The cycling is just as varied and dramatic as the Vento region’s history, ranging from a challenging climb up Mount Grappa to the hilly terrain of Prosecco.

The tour includes multiple wine tastings, dining at a MICHELIN-starred restaurant, exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, overnighting at 4 and 5-star hotels, and cycling one of Italy’s most beautiful regions. Prices start at $4,695 per person double. Venice is only one hour away and makes for a great add-on to the tour.

“For the Prosecco wine lover, this is an absolute dream vacation,” said Tourissimo Co-Founder and Managing Director, Beppe Salerno. “The tour is rich in history, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular with panoramic vistas and patchwork landscape of steep terraced hills, woodlands, and meadows. The cycling is absolutely amazing, and the food, wine, and accommodations are as good as it gets.” 

The Prosecco area is wedged between mountains and the plain before the Adriatic Sea. It is extremely hilly, with grapes growing at 150 to 1,600 ft above sea level. A route between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene has been named the Strada del Prosecco (“Prosecco Wine Route”), and it’s the perfect riding playground for wine lovers. 

The landscape is characterized by ‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni – small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces – forests, small villages and farmland. Since the 17th century, the use of ciglioni has created a particular chequerboard landscape consisting of rows of vines parallel and vertical to the slopes. 

“One goal with this tour, in addition to cycling some of the most beautiful terrain in Italy, is to educate guests about why a Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a superior product, why it is worth spending more for a quality sparkling wine,” said Salerno. “Because DOCG producers—with the limited growing area, lower yields and extremely high cost of production—can not compete with DOC on price, more and more of them are seeking to explore the particularities of their diverse growing area and long viticultural tradition, and find new ways of expressing them in their wines.”

Tour Highlights:

  • Walking the walls of medieval Cittadella
  • Exploring the hills of Prosecco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Having coffee in Piazza degli Scacchi in Marostica  
  • Cycling along rolling roads surrounded by vineyards
  • Experiencing a Grappa tasting at a famous grappa produce
  • Soaking up the village of Asolo      
  • Enjoying multiple wine tastings at Prosecco Superiore DOCG producers  
  • Picnicing at mulino della Croda
  • Learning Monte Grappa WWI history and visiting the memorial-museum

What’s Included:

  • Two professional tour guides throughout the program
  • All accommodations in 4-star hotels (one 5-star)
  • All breakfasts, all lunches, and all dinners
  • Wine and beer with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops
  • Two wine tastings
  • Logistical support during the tour and luggage transfer
  • Guided tour of Bassano and grappa tasting
  • Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
  • Bianchi bike rental
  • GPS navigation and maps

For more information, visit https://www.tourissimo.travel/bike-tour-prosecco.

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Austin & Active Adventures Cyber Weekend Sale Saves $500 on Trips

Dan Austin expects Yellowstone National Park itineraries to sell out early. Travelers can take advantage of $500 off trips during the tour company’s Cyber Weekend sale © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

BILLINGS, MT– Recently merged Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Montana, USA have announced a holiday offer for the travel-starved this Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
 
From Friday, Nov. 26 through Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, this special offer saves travelers $500 (per person) on trips priced over $3,500 that are sold and operated exclusively by either travel brand. This booking offer for departures now through the 2022 season is valid through phone and/or online reservations. (Note: This offer excludes Australia hiking adventures and cannot be combined with other promotions, discounts or offers.)
 
In designing what has turned into Active Adventures and Austin Adventures’ biggest sale ever, Dan Austin, Founder of Austin Adventures, focused on these conditions:

  • Widespread hunger for the spiritual healing an adventure vacation in nature can bring,
  • The release of pent-up desire to travel again in the wake of the worldwide pandemic,
  • The general expectation that 2022 trips will fill quickly now that people are feeling better about travel domestically and abroad.

Due to earlier than usual interest and bookings, Austin expects the following itineraries to be best sellers:

Active Adventures programs anticipated to be highly popular and sell fast include:

Interested travelers can reserve a spot and take advantage of these special savings by calling 800-575-1540.
 
With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive, small-group adventures in the most breath-taking regions of the world. Their teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand-picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining and unique activities showcasing the best of each region.
 
Each of their 100+ trips are crafted, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com

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Grab a BOGO Deal from TRIPS by Culture Trip During Holiday Sale

Vietnam is one of the destinations offered by Culture Trip © Dave E. Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

TRIPS by Culture Trip is offering a BOGO deal from Nov. 22-Dec. 3, 2021: book a spot on one of their trips and bring someone along for free to places like Scotland, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Italy, Nepal and 20 more destinations.

Travel must take place before May 31, 2022 (the Iceland itinerary in Jan. 2022 is excluded).  All trips available are on a first booked, first served basis. Space is limited and certain conditions apply.

TRIPS by Culture Trip are unique small-group adventures that help people experience extraordinary destinations in unexpected ways, together with other culturally curious travelers. Curated by travel experts and led by Local Insiders, the multi-day adventures offer itineraries that combine immersive activities, hyper-local experiences and unique places to stay. Thoughtfully planned with ample free time to unwind or explore, the itineraries offer the right balance of exploration, action, and relaxation.
 
Some of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are part of TRIPS by Culture Trip and can be enjoyed with this Black Friday deal:

Welcome to the Jungle: Exploring Northern Thailand
10-day trip from $1,599* per person; based on departures 20 February and 14 April 2022
Watch the sunrise over the highest mountain in Thailand and feed elephants in a sanctuary during this 10-day adventure. Take in Chiang Mai, Pai and the Doi Inthanon National Park and float through a 5,466 ft. cave and watch the sunset over the scenic Pai Canyon. In between jungle trekking and waterfall swims, enjoy a slice of slow living at a geothermal hot springs and savor local Thai delicacies. This off-the-beaten-track journey will showcase an authentic side of the former Lanna Kingdom.

From the Amalfi Coast to Puglia: the Complete Southern Italy Tour
10-day trip from $2,029* per person; based on departures 2 April and 7 May 2022
Discover cliff top villages, secluded beaches and authentic Italian cuisine on this journey across southern Italy. Sample street food in Naples, cruise along the Amalfi Coast on a private boat tour, uncover the secrets of Altamura bread at Il Frantoio and explore the ancient hilltop town of Matera, featured in the latest James Bond movieRound off the trip by relaxing on the secluded beaches of Polignano a Mare and explore the Salento peninsula.

Riches and Ruins: Wine, Dine and Step Back in Time in Rural Georgia
9-day trip from $1,369* per person; based on departures 5 May 2022
Whether hiking in the Caucasus Mountains or whipping up a feast from a farmer’s market, this nine-day journey yields an immersive Georgian experience. Begin in the Old Quarter of Tbilisi and visit UNESCO World Heritage sites at nearby Mtskheta. See the ancient wine-making – and drinking – before exploring Lagodekhi National Park. The spectacular Truso Gorge, a hike up to Gergeti Church and a ramble beyond remote Juta village showcase the best of the High Caucasus. 

La Vida Local in Mexico City
5-day trip from $1,209* per person; based on departures 10 February, 17 March and 14 April 2022
Climb ancient temples in Teotihuacán, watch lucha libre wrestlers in action and toss back mezcal shots on a five-day trip to Mexico City. Stay at the artsy Cadillac Hotel near Roma, before hitting the streets on a walking tour of the Condesa district. Enjoy sizzling meat tacos in Roma, visit Frida Kahlo’s house, then sing with the mariachis floating along the Xochimilco canals.
 
TRIPS by Culture Trip offers over 30 itineraries in some of the world’s most captivating and off-the-grid places, with new itineraries added regularly. TRIPS range from four to 13 days, welcoming a maximum of up to 18 travelers aged 25 and over who can join solo or with friends. With a focus beyond mass-market offerings, the itineraries often put local people at the center and avoid areas of over-tourism as well as unethical activities or wildlife interactions that aren’t in the best interest of the animals.
 
TRIPS by Culture Trip offers its Ultimate COVID Booking Guarantee, so if COVID regulations change a customer’s plans, they can rebook for free (valid for bookings made by Nov. 30, 2021 for travel before Feb. 28, 2022). For bookings outside these dates, no change or cancellation fees are imposed and customers can get a full refund should they need to postpone or cancel a trip up to 30 days prior to departure. All trips have COVID safety measures in place.

Full terms and conditions can be found at:  https://theculturetrip.com/bookable/booking-terms-and-conditions/

To book a TRIPS by Culture Trip Black Friday deal visit culturetrip.com/trips or contact tripssupport@theculturetrip.com or +1 (678) 967-4965

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EF Go Ahead Tours Discounts Bucket List Worthy Trips this Holiday Season

Solo travelers get a holiday discount on EF Go Ahead Tours:  Get 16% off Portugal for Solo Travelers © Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

EF Go Ahead Tours, a leading provider of immersive, small group travel, is running its Black Friday sale through Nov. 26 offering steep 2021 discounts on 2022 and 2023 “bucket list” itineraries, likely the lowest these future tours will ever be, with prices locked in and flexible payment plans available. Get up to $600 off per person /$1,200 off per couple — with many of the most in-demand itineraries discounted by 20% or more.

From Nov. 12-18: A focus on UK & Ireland:  Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland 15% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,779; A Week in Ireland: Dublin, Cork & Galway 27% off / $600 off, discounted at $1,599; Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland 15% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,819.

From Nov. 19-25: Bucket List Worthy to Iceland, Egypt Kenya, Costa Rica, Galapagos such as Egypt & the Nile 20% off / $600 off, discounted at $2,399; A Week in Egypt: Giza, Nile River Cruise & Cairo 19% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,159; Kenya Wildlife Safari 4/8/22 departure. 13% off / $600 off, discounted at $3,919.

Black Friday: Nov. 26: “Special Lightning Deals!” with the best of what’s left! Plus up to $600 off on worldwide tours plus a doorbuster on Black Friday day!

Traveling solo within group travel is discounted too. Get an extra $100 off for private rooms on top of the sales, which could equate to a free single room.  Just one of many examples of a bucket list solo trip: Portugal for Solo Travelers 16% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,539.

Let EF Go Ahead experts navigate travel and health & safety guidelinesand plan with fully refundable trips with no change fees Only $99 down secures a spot when you enroll in AutoPay. Book before November 30th and if you have to change plans, receive a refund of all money paid for that tour, including the deposit, through February 1, 2022. Change tour date or destination without a rebooking fee up until the Final Payment Date. EF offers Covid Care Promise, a comprehensive offering that supports travelers, at no additional expense through unforeseen on-tour quarantines or hospitalizations. 

EF Go Ahead Tours, 800, 590-1161, www.goaheadtours.com

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G Adventures Offers Up to 30% Off More than 500 Tours During Biggest Sale of the Year

Tour the dunes from atop a camel for an authentic way to experience the Sahara, explore high-walled kasbahs and wander the labyrinthine alleys of Fès and Marrakech on G Adventures Morocco Kasbahs and Desert trip and get 20% off when booking during the holiday sale © Dave E. Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

G Adventures is offering up to 30 percent off on more than 500 tours departing before October 31, 2022 with its biggest sale of the year, from November 10 through December 3, 2021. With the launch of the Cyber Sale, the small group adventure operator and community tourism pioneer is rewarding travelers who are eager to get back out there with discounts on more than 500 itineraries across the company’s selection of Active, Classic, Active, Marine, Family, Local Living and 18-to-30-Somethings travel styles.

Tours that are on sale and depart before March 31, 2022 offer travelers up to 30 percent off, with additional departures before October 31, 2022 featuring savings of up to 20 percent off the original price. 

Ben Perlo, managing director for G Adventures in the US and Latin America, says the sale provides an added incentive for travelers at a time when the conditions are just right for booking for holiday travel and beyond. 

“Our most recent consumer research panel* tells us that 72 percent of respondents plan to take an international vacation by mid-2022 but of those people only 44 percent have actually booked, so there’s still a lot of pent-up demand that is yet to be realized.

“This year’s Cyber Sale has some of the biggest discounts we’ve ever offered, giving people the added incentive they need to book. And with our flexible Book with Confidence policy still in place, allowing travelers to cancel and rebook their tour with no added cost, plus our Vaccinated-Only and Travel Ready tour options, travelers can feel confident about their next vacation knowing that we have their health and safety top of mind,” says Perlo.

Also, here’s a pro tip: with supply chains being strained worldwide, why not bypass the mail system and stuff your loved one’s stocking with the gift of travel? No need to hit refresh on a tracking number, and givers and recipients alike will feel good knowing that each G Adventures trip helps support local communities that rely on tourism. 

Departures and options are subject to availability, and travelers are encouraged to take advantage of the deals as soon as they go live to secure their desired trip option and departure date. Sample itineraries in this year’s Cyber Sale** include:

  • Machu Picchu Adventure – This eight-day Classic style adventure starts and ends in Lima and offers all of the access, culture and can’t-miss sights in a short amount of time. Explore Cusco and the surrounding hills, take the train up to Machu Picchu, wander through markets and museums and immerse yourself in cultures past and present. This tour starts at USD $979pp** (30% off the regular starting price of $1399pp). 
  • Colombia Express –  Save 30% on this action-packed nine-day Classic trip that starts in Bogota and ends in Cartagena. Tour beaches, coffee regions, and metropolitan cities, check out the resurgence of culture, art, and food in Bogotá and Medellín, dive deep into the Caribbean vibe in Cartagena, and enjoy the Latin-Caribbean fusion of the local cuisine. Pricing starts at USD $1434pp (that is 30% off the regular starting price of $2049pp).
  • Costa Rica Active Adventure – Starting and ending in San Jose, this 13-day Active style trip packs in the adventure with biking, trekking, kayaking, ziplining and horseback riding. After landing in San José, embark on four days of exploration around Monteverde and Arenal Volcano. Raft down the mighty Pacuare River before crossing over to our remote rainforest lodge, surrounded on all sides by the thick, enveloping jungle. Travelers end the journey by heading down to the beach at Puerto Viejo. Pricing starts at USD $1439pp (that is 20% off the regular starting price of $1799pp).
  • Morocco Kasbahs and Desert – Starting in Casablanca and ending in Marrakech, this short-but-sweet eight-day Classic tour offers up a great combination of Morocco’s must-see highlights and a little free time for travelers to explore on their own. Tour the dunes from atop a camel for an authentic way to experience the Sahara, explore high-walled kasbahs and wander the labyrinthine alleys of Fès and Marrakech. Sale pricing starts at just USD $679pp (that is 20% off the regular starting price of $849pp).

For more information or to book, visit www.gadventures.com/cyber-sale/

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