Tag Archives: Austin Adventures

Active Adventures and Austin Adventures Unite to Create Global Adventure Travel Company

The merger between Active Adventures of Queensland, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Billings, Montana will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

BILLINGS, MT — United by a powerful belief that travel creates inspiring and life-changing moments, Austin Adventures of Montana and Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand have merged to provide a wider world of opportunities for global travelers. 

The merger will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

“Travel today is not just about choosing a destination. Now more than ever, it’s about how we travel,” says Wendy van Lieshout, CEO of the new merged adventure travel company.

“It’s about precious time together – creating lifetime memories, being inspired, and connecting with the people and environment around us. It’s about feeling you can trust the company you are on that journey with that all the little details will be taken care of to create the best experience possible.”

“To expand our offerings to our loyal customers, it was critical we find a like-minded brand to join forces with. Just like us, Austin Adventures was born out of a deep passion for sharing authentic, curated, and inspirational adventure experiences with their guests.” 

What does the merger mean for travelers? More choice of destinations, dates, and trip styles:

  • 100+ adventure trips available across the globe
  • More departure dates available throughout the year
  • More life-changing experiences – to be able to share with family and friends
  • Two customer service teams in different time zones, providing extended hours to help adventurers find the best trip to suit them

Each brand brings its own specialties and experiences that form an expanded, unified collection of adventure opportunities across the globe. Now, Austin Adventures’ tours will be available for booking on Active Adventures’ website, adding adventures in the USA, Canada, and Central America for both brands, including specific family departures. Active Adventures’ unique hiking, biking, and kayaking experiences in New Zealand, South America, Europe, the Himalayas, and Africa will be available via the Austin Adventures’ website. 

Dan Austin, founder of Austin Adventures, stressed that the homework has been done to make sure the match was a natural fit and would create new opportunities for each company’s loyal guests. “We were founded in different countries, yet our companies have very similar stories. Each business is like a family – now we’ve just created one bigger family!”

Shared features:

  • Skilled local guides who have in-depth knowledge of every destination and years (if not decades) of experience
  • Small group sizes – average of 12-18 travelers per trip with two guides.
  • One-of-a-kind experiences, away from the crowds
  • All-inclusive, multi-day, fully guided, multi-activity adventures in the most stunning adventure travel destinations around the world
  • Authentic, personalized service – taking care of every detail, so guests can just relax and enjoy their vacation
  • Hand-picked accommodations in amazing locations
  • Great food and memorable meals are part of the adventure and experience

The two brands have come together as one global team across New Zealand and the USA, with operational bases around the globe.

“We share the same commitment to putting our guests at the heart of everything we do. We look forward to sharing many more special experiences with our guests and partners,” says van Lieshout.

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. 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 activities showcasing the best of each region. Each of their 100+ trips are crafted to perfection, 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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Austin Adventures Offers Special Incentives, Live Webinar during March ‘Family Appreciation’ Month


For the second year in a row, Austin Adventures, a leading family adventure company, is dedicating the entire month of March to “Family Appreciation,” with special incentives and giveaways, plus an interactive child & parent “Take a National Park Vacation” webinar

BILLINGS, MT –For the second year in a row, Austin Adventures, a leading family adventure company, is dedicating the entire month of March to “Family Appreciation,” with special incentives and giveaways, plus an interactive child & parent “Take a National Park Vacation” webinar that all ages will want to attend.
 
“Between work, school, athletic and social schedules, planning and scheduling a family vacation has never been more challenging, often to the point of missing the opportunity all together to create lasting bonds and memories within the family,” explains Dan Austin, president and founder of the company which has been taking families to national parks and around the globe for 35 years. “Austin Adventures is fully committed to helping anyway we can. Our goal is to take the stress out of vacation planning and then deliver an experience second-to-none.”
 
On Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT Austin Adventures invites kids and parents to a live webinar focused on helping families (especially the kids) with their vacation planning. Anyone considering a small group vacation tour now or in the future is encouraged to attend. For information and to register click here.
 
The seminar will be hosted by Kasey Austin, Outside Magazine 2014 Family Guide of the Year. Making a cameo appearance will be Dan Austin, company visionary and travel industry legend. Together, The Austin Family has set the bar for family adventure travel for decades, so much so, they are often referred to as “the First Family of Adventure Travel”.
 
During this informal and informative webinar focused on the younger generation, Kasey will offer tips and insights on planning and visiting America’s National Parks along with other popular family destinations.
 
As an incentive to register and attend, every family that participates will receive a coupon worth $250 off their next Austin Adventures family vacation. Plus, all participating kids (age 6-12) whose parents end up booking a 2019 family national park adventure will receive a logo-embossed backpack (on Day 1 of the trip) packed full of swag (logo water bottle, trip journal, field guide, hacky sack, stickers and more).
 
“I had so much fun sharing my passion for our National Parks last year, I couldn’t wait to do it all again this year. Sharing the parks with the next generation of adventurer really is my passion. I am looking forward to sharing what we know and have learned from our 35+ years of taking families deep into our national parks,” said Kasey Austin.
 
“Dan and I will draw from our own experiences and help families with real time information that can assist them in making the most of a park vacation, whether with us or on their own. There will be a follow-up email survey as well as ample time for questions and answers.”
 
The webinar will help Austin Adventures kick-off their second annual “Family Appreciation” Month. Dedicated to celebrating and encouraging family vacations worldwide, this observance comes on the heels of the company’s 2nd wildly successful “Alumni Appreciation” month held in December, 2018. Throughout the month there will be dedicated e-newsletters and blogs on family travel, special incentives, travel agent promotions and for extended families, an offer of a free trip for one guest in groups of ten or more booked.
 
To assist in vacation planning, Austin Adventures also offers a free Insider’s Guide to Planning the Perfect Family Adventure. See: https://www.austinadventures.com/free-family-travel-guide/.
 
Austin Adventures has led the field when it comes to family adventures (twice being acknowledged by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the #1 Tour and Family Tour Operator in the World). For 2019, there are over 40 family adventures planned across the globe. Here is a sampling of some of the more popular National Park itineraries on the current Austin Adventures roster. All adult rates are per person, double occupancy.
 
Grand Canyon National Park: 6-days/5-nights from $2,998; children from $2,398.
 
Alaska- Kenai Fjords National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,698; children from $3,328.
 
Bryce & Zion National Parks: 6 days/5 nights from $2,798; children from $2,518.
 
Yellowstone National Park:  6 days/5 nights from $2,898; children from $2,318.
 
Grand Teton National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,298; children from $2,968.
 
Yosemite National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,698; children from $2,958.
 
Glacier National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,298; children from $2,638.
 
South Dakota – Black Hills (Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monuments / Wind Cave NP): 6 days/5 nights from $2,898; children from $2,318.
 
Banff to Jasper National Parks 6 days/5 nights from $3,098; children from $2,478.
 
For more information and trip availability, call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of Austin Adventures’ 2019 trips, cruises and distinctive accommodations on seven continents visit: http://www.austinadventures.com. To access the 2019 digital catalog or order a print copy, go to: https://www.austinadventures.com/request-catalog/.
 

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Veteran Tour Operator Advises that Government Shutdown Should Not Halt Vacation Plans

Yosemite National Park. The National Park Service is struggling to keep parks open during the government shutdown. Austin Adventures is advising vacationers to make their bookings (spaces fill up) because an experienced tour operator can adapt the itinerary © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

BILLINGS, MT – Jan. 17, 2019 – An experienced tour operator expects and prepares for the unexpected. A nimble tour company embraces the unexpected and sees opportunity in alternative planning.

As America’s government shutdown continues to set a record for longevity, Austin Adventures has seen a rise in consumer anxiety during a time many travelers are usually looking to book their spring and summer vacations. Since national parks are a primary focus for the company it is understandable that people are nervous and even holding off on making their vacation plans.

“First and foremost, this latest government shutdown should NOT shut down your vacation plans,” says Dan Austin, founder and director of Montana-based Austin Adventures. “Talking with both alumni travelers and prospective clients on the phone my first advice is to not panic and worry. We’ve seen this before and all will be OK.”

Austin points to a previous 17-day government shutdown in the fall of 2013. “Our itinerary had us visiting Bryce Canyon National Park but it was closed. Unknown to the guests, we had a contingency plan in place to instead visit and explore nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park, an equally awesome geological wonder 20 miles to the east. Many guests said that it was the unexpected highlight of their trip,” explains Austin.

Many of the company’s adventures in and around National Parks of the West take place during the spring, summer and fall. While these trips—other than nervousness in the marketplace—have not been directly impacted by the shutdown, Austin believes that the likelihood of the political impasse dragging on into their spring season is unlikely. However, if need be, they are ready to react should the situation warrant it.

This government shutdown has been a bit different than those in the past. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, “The Department of the Interior directed its staff, including National Park Service staff, to keep national parks as accessible as possible while still obeying the law. This means that approximately a third of our national park sites are completely closed, including places like presidential homes, museums and cultural sites with buildings that can be locked. Gates at many other park sites remain open, but few if any staff are on hand to protect visitors and park resources, and many visitor centers and restrooms remained locked and roads are closed due to weather.”

Austin points out that many parks remain partially open. While this may be good for the public and the gateway communities that rely on park visitors for their livelihood, it also poses certain risks such as the unlawful use of park resources like off-limits camping, harassment of wildlife, off-road driving, trash and vandalism.

“This is where national park travel with a professional tour company can be the best alternative,” points out Austin. “Our veteran guides are naturalists who don’t pass a chewing gum wrapper without picking it up. If a trailhead is closed due to fire damage or aggressive wildlife sightings, we have another option in place. I feel confident that if we are faced with such partial park closures in the future, our groups will adhere to the highest code of back country ethics with our guides sharing and setting positive examples for all.”

“We remain confident the shutdown will end soon, and the parks will get back to their mission established with our first National Park back in 1872: ‘For the enjoyment and betterment of the people’,” Austin said. “Without getting political, the current situation is unfortunate and unnecessary. The only people it is hurting right now are the government employees furloughed and the small businesses in and around our National Parks. But it has also got the public worried about how it might affect their vacation plans.”

The fact remains, suggests Austin, that booking a National Park vacation now may be a great way to put the unrest of our country out of mind. It is more positive to anticipate breathtaking views, stronger family bonds, and invigorating adventure instead.

Lemons really can be made into lemonade. An enthusiastic travel partner of the positive lifestyle brand, Life is Good, Austin Adventures is committed to living out their 10 Super Powers. In the case of dealing with a government shutdown, creativity, openness, humor and optimism have come in handy.

For the sake of the communities, businesses and furloughed National Park Service employees that contribute greatly to the ethos of national parks in the West, Austin Adventures hopes for a swift resolution to this most recent government shutdown.

But in the meantime, the company is open for business and ready to help travelers explore some of America’s most precious parcels of public land.

For more information, questions and trip availability, call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of Austin Adventures’ 2019 trips, cruises and distinctive accommodations on seven continents visit www.austinadventures.com.

To access the 2019 digital catalog or order a print copy, go to www.austinadventures.com/request-catalog/.

Austin Adventures is a Travel + Leisure Magazine World’s Best Award Winner and a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator.

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Austin Adventures Expands Grand Canyon Offerings, Special Perks to Honor National Park Service Centennial

Austin Adventures is inviting guests to “Go Grand” with them, offering perks and special surprises on all of their Grand Canyon tour departures in 2019 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

BILLINGS, MT – After six million years the Grand Canyon and its liquid heartbeat, the Colorado River, have more than a few stories to tell. But it was the National Park Service one century ago that began registering and interpreting these stories for some six million domestic and international visitors annually.

The official Grand Canyon National Park centennial takes place on Feb. 26, 2019. And Austin Adventures, a leading active travel company that frequents the cream of America’s iconic parks of the West, is inviting  guests to “Go Grand” with them, offering perks and special surprises on all of their Grand Canyon tour departures in 2019.

To mark and help celebrate the Grand Canyon’s Centennial:

Each trip will feature an educational element  – the most exciting and interesting places to explore and it cultural and natural history – introduced by expert guides knowledgeable in the geology of the Grand Canyon. Local walk-on experts will interact with groups as situations allow. Specific attention will be paid to the amazing geography but also to the significant history of the people, including the 21 traditional associated tribes calling the Grand Canyon their home.

Austin Adventures’ logo day packs will be gifted to kids ages 12 and under who are guests on a tour. Each pack is full of Grand Canyon memorabilia, keepsakes and educational material such as a field guide, map and activity book.

Adults will have $100 donated in their name by Austin Adventures to the Grand Canyon Conservancy that is the official, nonprofit partner of the park (https://www.grandcanyon.org/)

Extra educational elements will be woven into a visit to the South Rim in conjunction with Grand Canyon Conservancy.

“There is no question as to why the Grand Canyon is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the natural world. A must-see on everyone’s bucket list, we at Austin Adventures have been sharing the “big ditch” with adventure seekers for over two decades,” adds Dan Austin, company founder and president. “You really need to do more than just view it from an overlook, you must journey inside and experience it to really understand its magnitude and magnificence!”

In 2019 there will be nine departures of Austin Adventures’ Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park Vacation (up from seven in 2018). Of these, seven trip dates are family-focused and two are for adults-only.  Six-day family departures are March 17, 24; June 30; July 7, 14, 21, 28. The rates are $2,998 for adults and $2,398 to $2,698 for children in shared accommodations. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/arizona-family-grand-canyon/.

Six-day adult-only departures are in the fall when kids are back in school, Sept. 22 and 29. The rate is $2,998 ($580 single supplement). See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/grand-canyon-vacation-tour/.

And in the spirit of celebration, Austin Adventures is also introducing a new-for-2019 program; Arizona/Utah: Grand Canyon to Bryce & Zion. This expertly crafted 8-day journey wraps together three national parks using Las Vegas as the gateway.  Guests journey into the mysterious depths of the Grand Canyon, hike through the stone forest hoodoos and spires of Bryce and navigate the world-renowned Narrows of Zion Park. The per person rate is $3,598 ($680 single supplement). Departures in 2019 are May 5-12, May 15-22 and May 25-June 1. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/grand-canyon-bryce-zion-2/

For more information, questions and trip availability, call 1.800.575.1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of Austin Adventures’ 2019 trips, cruises and distinctive accommodations on seven continents please visit http://www.austinadventures.com.

Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent over 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. They have been acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure Magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Awards along with other national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures has perfected the art of creating itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, incredible guides and exhilarating activities, all while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution, all backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee. Austin Adventures is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator.

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Austin Adventures Weaves In and Out of Yellowstone on Montana Multisport Vacation Journey

Austin Adventures is offering a carefully crafted, six-day Montana Vacation Package that focuses on adventures inside and outside of Yellowstone National Park.

BILLINGS, MT– A vast Yellowstone eco-system spanning Wyoming, Idaho and Montana is a world of wonder lost to most visitors whose eyes are only on one prize — Yellowstone National Park.  Austin Adventures, a pioneer in active, multisport travel for adults and families, is offering a carefully crafted, six-day Montana Vacation Package from $2,698 per adult that focuses on adventures outside of Yellowstone National Park while dipping inside park boundaries for such must-sees as Old Faithful. Adult-only trip departures in 2018 are July 1 and 22, Aug. 26, Sept. 2 and 9. A version designed just for families (with youth pricing) is offered June 10, 17 and 24, July 8, 15 and 29, Aug. 5, 12 and 19. The host city is Bozeman, MT.

An extra advantage to guests on this itinerary is that they will be touring with the leading provider of best-in-class travel in this region, stretching from river-carved Gallatin Canyon and mountainous Paradise Valley to Old Faithful and beyond. This is the wild, wild West where Austin Adventures’ staff live, work and play. The company’s in-depth knowledge of the surprises buried in this home turf equate to unparalleled opportunities for active travelers to open their senses in this still untamed world.

Guests on this active itinerary will…

  • Hike two to six miles on easy to difficult terrain including a trek to a U-shaped glacial cirque in Big Sky’s secluded backcountry and a hike full of surprises to the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
  • Horseback Ride with a bona fide, fourth generation Montana cowboy into the Absaroka Mountains with viewpoints overlooking all of Paradise Valley and the Gallatin Mountain Range (no experience necessary).
  • Raft Class II-III rapids through postcard-perfect canyons and ranchlands on the Yellowstone River (no experience required).
  • Tour Hayden Valley in search of elk, bison, wolf and bear, utilizing scopes and binoculars when necessary to view these animals from a safe distance.
  • Soak in the soothing natural waters of historic Chico Hot Springs Resort after a day spent wandering through the wilds of Montana.
  • Zip line across the Gallatin River in the land where the movie A River Runs Through It was filmed.

At 22 million acres, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is 10 times the size of Yellowstone Park. Austin Adventures’ Montana Vacation explores the northern portion of this spectacular region in detail while also hitting many of the iconic highlights of Yellowstone National Park: Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin, home to the largest collection of geysers in the world, Grand Canyon and the Lower Falls of Yellowstone, Yellowstone Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs and much more.

The rate includes five nights accommodation; all meals (except one on-own dinner); services of fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners; use of activity-related equipment; vehicle support and land transportation; Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle and luggage tags; luggage service; pre-departure and packing information and incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.

Accommodations include Chico Hot Springs Resort, home to one of Montana’s best restaurants, tucked into the foothills of the Absaroka Mountains. Here guests can luxuriate in Chico’s hot spring-fed pools in the midst of one of the most “Montana” landscapes imaginable. Guests also experience a 110-year-old homestead, 320 Ranch, reshaped with cowboy comforts as a Montana guest ranch. And near the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Canyon Lodge and Cabins provide rustic accommodations that allow guests to step back from technology and embrace togetherness in the country’s first national park.

For details see https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/montana-big-sky-yellowstone-paradise-valley (adult-focused itinerary) and https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/montana-family-vacation/ (family-focused).

Austin Adventures also offers these other northern Rockies trips.
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/wyoming-family-yellowstoneteton/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/yellowstone-family-vacations/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/montana-wyoming-western-adventure/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/glacier-park-vacations-tour/

Contact Austin Adventures at 800-575-1540, email info@austinadventures.com or visit www.austinadventures.com.

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Austin Adventures and Life is Good® Team Up to Launch Life is Good Vacations

Austin Adventures, a leader in active multisport adventure vacations for families and adults worldwide, is teaming up with Life is Good, a Boston-based apparel brand dedicated to spreading the power of optimism, to launch Life is Good Vacations.

Billings, MT – Austin Adventures, a leader in active multisport adventure vacations for families and adults worldwide, is teaming up with Life is Good, a Boston-based apparel brand dedicated to spreading the power of optimism, to launch Life is Good Vacations.

This new trip series will be uniquely designed to align adventure with a journey of self-discovery, allowing guests to connect with others and the outdoors through a refreshed, positive outlook. Life is Good Vacations are available to book now for travel dates starting in June 2018. (For more info Click Here.)

Life is Good has devoted 24 years to celebrating life’s simple pleasures through positive art and messaging. With the launch of Life is Good Vacations, people can now experience those simple joys while in the beauty of an incredible destination of their choice.

“These trips provide an unforgettable combo of pure outdoor fun, deep unplugged connections and true adventure,” says John Jacobs, Life is Good co-founder. “They’re a spectacular way to recharge and get a fresh perspective on the good that’s around us.”

Life is Good Vacations by Austin Adventures will kick off with a trip to Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, complete with biking, hiking, rafting, and horseback riding. Travelers will savor the destination’s local cuisine, explore its hidden gems under the direction of expert guides, and enjoy its natural wonders without the stress of planning.

“The concept of ‘adventure’ is deeply engrained in the ethos of our company. We believe that every destination we visit is equipped with its own unique experience. With this partnership, we now have an incredible opportunity to translate Life is Good’s love for nature into the actual landscapes where active individuals and families want to travel,” says Dan Austin, Austin Adventures founder.

This season, vacations include both family and adult-only trips in groups of 12 or less to:

To learn more and to book, visit lifeisgood.com.

The Life is Good Company is a $100 million apparel brand dedicated to spreading the power of optimism through positive art and messaging. The company donates 10 percent of its net profits to help kids in need through the Life is Good Kids Foundation. To date, the foundation has positively impacted 8,000 childcare providers who care for over 1 million kids every year, many of whom are facing early childhood trauma. Life is Good® is a registered trademark of The Life is Good Company. Visit LifeisGood.com for more details, and follow Life is Good on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. Acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Award plus many more national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures creates itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, top guides and exhilarating activities, while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution. All are backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee.

For more information, trip listings, detailed itineraries and trip availability contact http://www.austinadventures.com, call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com.

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Austin Adventures Introduces Multisport European Adventure Vacations; Book before Mar 1 for Free Pre-Tour Hotel Stay

On Austin Adventures’ multisport European Vacations, you get to experience the activities that each destination is best known for, such as kayaking in Croatia.

BILLINGS, MT –A new trend is afoot. What for many years was the mainstay of adventure travel in Europe, the traditional bike tour no longer offers enough variety and satisfaction for active American travelers. Tours that can offer a combination of experiences and activities are now the hot ticket.

Decades ago, Austin Adventures helped pioneer the concept of multisport travel in North America. They have witnessed this evolution and, in 2018, have fully embraced European tours with much more than only cycling.

“While pedal tours are a great way to see a country, they do have their limits. The ‘perfect’ bike ride isn’t necessarily convenient or available every day,” explains Dan Austin, visionary President and Founder of Austin Adventures. “With multisport travel you can hand-pick the best of the best. Each day we focus on the perfect activity to pursue, be it biking, hiking, paddling or whatever.”

For example, Austin Adventures selects activities that each destination is best known for. “You wouldn’t want to miss kayaking in Croatia or hiking in the Dolomites, would you? Don’t get us wrong; we love cycling but we also love the excitement and flexibility multisport gives us and the experiences and memories it provides for our guests,” adds Austin.

And for 2018, to rest up for an active week in Europe, Austin Adventures is offering a complimentary hotel stay in the gateway city the night before a trip.  This means a free hotel stay at a company-recommended accommodation in, among others, Paris or Amsterdam. The only condition is that the adventure trip is booked before March 1, 2018. See: https://www.austinadventures.com/special-offer-europe-pre-trip-hotel/

So, what has driven this evolution in the company’s European itineraries? Austin points to its loyal trip alumni (representing some 70 percent of annual sales). They bird-dogged Austin’s team for new ways to experience Europe beyond the company’s time-tested and popular bike tours.

The result is an enhanced and expanded roster of Europe Multisport Adventures – Beyond Bike Touring that draws on underutilized – certainly by Americans – coastal waters and lakes for kayaking, compelling alpine regions begging for hikers and more.

Austin Adventures’ deep experience in Europe – over 30 years – means that active travelers can now nibble on Europe as the locals do – taking the time off a trail and over lunch to observe, for example, how the French slice their cheeses, how Germans pour beer and how a Croatian guide’s family lives.

Austin Adventures’ Director of European Operations, Adam Beecham, wants guests to explore Europe like a European, by revolutionizing the way Americans view adventure travel. This is accomplished by incorporating physical, mental and social elements into each adventure. He also wants to dig into Europe’s highly specialized cultures with visits, for example, to futuristic greenhouses in Holland, organic wine producers in France, places where German precision and engineering are showcased, local craft breweries in Belgium and to Italian kitchens for making homemade pasta.

“Our revamped trips to Europe will be more sustainable, involve more local experts and cultural exchanges while taking in the best of each culture, all with their signature Austin Adventures service on a silver platter,” Beecham promises.

Following are a sampling of Austin Adventures’ 2018 multi-sport European itineraries:
(note: dates with * designate family-focused departures)

  • Holland to Germany – Amsterdam to Aachen is a 7-day program from $2,998 per person double ($480 single supplement; $2,698 children) rolling from Amsterdam in 2018 on May 13, June 10*, July 1* and 22*, Aug. 26 and Sept. 2. Activities include guided walks through the Dutch landscape of heath fields, tulips and woodlands and over the cobblestones in medieval centers including Maastricht; cycling up to 30 miles a day on designated bike paths; and learning how to blokart (sailing across a sandy beach on wheels). See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/hollandgermany-amsterdam-aachen/
  • Spain – Barcelona & Catalonia is a 7-day program from $3,998 per person double ($680 single supplement) departing Barcelona in 2018 on April 22, May 13, June 3, Sept. 9 and 30 to explore Catalonia’s treasures from the Pyrenees to Costa Brava and on to the Mediterranean. Hot air ballooning (optional), kayaking, eating cava served with coca de llardons (a Catalan cake) aboard a short flight, walking, swimming, rowing, boating, biking, snorkeling and overnighting in a medieval castle embellish this food-and-wine-sated itinerary. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/spain-catalonia/
  • Croatia – Dalmatian Coast is a 6-day program from $3,498 per person double ($680 single supplement; $3,148 children) with 2018 departures along the dramatic Adriatic coastline from Split to Dubrovnik on May 6, June 10 and 17*, July 1*, 8* and 22*, Aug. 12* and 19, Sept. 2 and 23 and Oct. 7. Once the realm of the Romans and the Venetians, ruins and palaces and an evolving and remarkable cuisine reflect a colorful past just across the sea from mainland Italy. Activities include sea kayaking, tastings at vineyards, hiking, biking, beaching in buggies (beach) and (optional) walking the wall around Medieval Dubrovnik after climbing many steps. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/croatia-dalmatian-coast/
  • Italy – South Tyrol and The Dolomites is a 6-day hiking and biking program departing Verona (Italy) from $3,398 per person double ($680 single supplement) with 2018 trips scheduled May 13, June 10, July 1 and Sept. 23. This is a region in Europe coveted for its mountain-driven beauty, wines and cuisine.  See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/italy-south-tyrol-and-the-dolomites/
  • France – Provence is a 7-day hiking, biking and kayaking adventure out of Avignon from $3,898 per person double ($880 single) on 2018 summer and fall departures (TBA).  Roman ruins, lavender fields forever, markets and castles mingle with wine tastings and regional fare. See  https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/france-provence/
  • Austria – Alps to Salzburg is a 7-day program from $3,698 per person double ($780 single; $3,328 children) with 2018 departures June 17 and 24*, July 15 and 22*, Aug. 5*, 12* and 19 and Sept. 2. Munich is the gateway to Salzburg, the home of Mozart, hiking, biking, rafting, spelunking and (optional) paragliding in this alpine playground with time enough for apfel strudel and beer. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/austria-alps-salzburg/

Order Austin Adventures’ catalog ONLINE, call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of 2018 trips that is frequently updated beyond the print catalog visit http://www.austinadventures.com.
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Austin Adventures Adds Wilderness Glamping in Costa Rica To Growing Lineup of Upscale Multisport Tours

Costa Rica: Chiquita Glamping & Pacuare River Raft vacation is the latest of over 30 “online-only” trips featured on Austin Adventures’ award-winning website.

BILLINGS, MT –The best of all worlds, including creature comforts while glamping in the wilderness, come seamlessly together on Austin Adventures’ new 8 day/7 night Costa Rica: Chiquita Glamping & Pacuare River Raft vacation. This is the latest of over 30 “online-only” trips featured on its award-winning website: https://www.austinadventures.com/.
With its newest Costa Rica program, year-round departures are flexible and may be arranged when it best fits participant’s own schedule, on a space-available basis. The per person double rate (based on a party of four or more) is from $3,998 for the core experience. Options exist to customize the itinerary to the guests’ wishes.

This luxury trip, without a lofty price tag, brings curious travelers to a country on the forefront of land and wildlife conservation. Over 25 percent of the country has been protected by the establishment of preserves, sanctuaries, refuges, and national parks. Costa Rica also offers one of the most biodiverse places in the world, Carara National Park located in the transition zone between Costa Rica’s wet southeast and hotter, drier northwest. The adventure begins here as guests explore the river basin of the River Tárcoles, which hosts one of the largest remaining populations of wild scarlet macaws in the country.

Guests then journey by boat to Isla Chiquita Glamping Resort, far off the usual tourist track. Home for three pampered nights, each large platform tent accommodation is equipped with a king bed, day bed lounger, private shower and bathroom with double sinks, and spacious lounging deck with stunning ocean views.  From this isolated island, guests visit Curú National Wildlife Refuge with pristine beaches and abundant wildlife while gliding through the still waters of a protected bay in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard, watching tropical birds soar overhead. One morning guests transfer to Tortuga Island where white sands contrast with brilliant Caribbean blue waters. Snorkeling is popular here, as guests marvel at surprisingly colorful crabs and lobsters as well as vibrant tropical fish.

A local flight back to mainland beckons guests to engage in the premier whitewater rafting adventure in Costa Rica – on the Pacuare River (rated by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 river trips in the world).  Here they visit the Cabecar Indian village and meet with the largest indigenous tribe in Costa Rica. A family of the community shares traditions they have used for centuries.  After zip lining comes more rafting, leading to the deluxe, eco-sensitive Pacuare Lodge, accessible only by whitewater raft. Located at the center of a series of over 1.2 million acres of wildlife reserves, the lodge is both secluded and beautiful. Guests may opt to dine 60 feet above the forest floor in a platform built on the branches of a century-old Kapok tree. This lodge enjoys National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World status.

After two nights at the lodge and a final morning on the river, guests are transferred back to San José for a last overnight at Hotel Grano de Oro, a “Tropical Victorian” house which features a world-class restaurant. Airport transfers are offered the next morning.

For more information please see https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/costa-rica-isla-chiquita-pacuare-lodge/.

This is one of multiple programs Austin Adventures offers in Costa Rica where it has enjoyed relationships with top tourism purveyors for over 15 years.

“Costa Rica has always been our top selling international destination,” says Dan Austin, Founder and President of Austin Adventures. “We’re always on the lookout and open to what our well-established in-country contacts have to share when it comes to new, unusual and cutting-edge adventure opportunities. Together, we look for experiences away from the usual tourist track and crowds. The key is developing tour itineraries that appeal and captivate our brand of intrepid travelers.”

In the print version of its catalog, Austin Adventures features 65 separate destinations representing over 100 published tour options with over 40 also offered as a Family-Focused version. The website also showcases over 30 additional trips and destinations (not included in the catalog) outlining core itineraries that can be customized upon customer request. These online-only programs include, in addition to the Costa Rica vacation:
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/arizona-havasupai/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/ireland-kerry-county/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/ireland-family-kerry-county/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/scotland-family-scottish-highlands/
https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/scotland-scottish-highlands/

To help plan, Austin Adventures’ 2018 catalog is available upon request. Order ONLINE or call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of 2018 trips that is frequently updated visit http://www.austinadventures.com.

 

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Austin Adventures Facilitates Vacations in America’s Over-Popular National Parks

Hiking up the Mist Trail alongside Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park. National parks are ideal for summer family vacations, so much so, they are overrun. Tour operator like Austin Adventures not only has hotel space, but can facilitate the visit to minimize crowds © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Last year, a record setting 331 million people visited a national park in the U.S.  2015 had earlier set the record at 307 million visitors. Over the last two years there has been a 13 percent visitor increase overall. This is a trend that experts say is here to stay.

The good news is that more and more people are enjoying America’s “best idea.” The downside is that roads, pull-overs and entrance stations are more crowded than ever, parking is hard to find, campgrounds are booked full by noon, restaurant reservations are difficult to secure and for those waiting too long to book lodging, there’s no room left at the inn.

Because vacation time is too precious for such factors as frustration and anxiety, advance vacation planning that includes putting a professional tour operator in charge of the logistics can help buy peace of mind and a better overall experience.

“When a national park is in the equation, a good tour company can give you the kind of quality park vacation that just might not be possible on your own,” said Dan Austin, President of Austin Adventures, a leader in family-focused, multisport vacations here and abroad.

Austin’s company offers a good reason of why one should consider a tour operator for a national park vacation. “We have stayed ahead of the growth curve by adding capacity and trip departures. We also work hard to block the best rooms inside a park, a year or more in advance.” This is an investment (and risk) to the tour operator, having to secure everything so far into the future. But in Austin Adventures’ case, it has been a winning strategy.

Where an individual or family may find frustration going it on their own, booking through an operator can make the process pain-free. A tour operator has the rooms, the restaurant reservations and sightseeing logistics all worked out. They alleviate parking woes by dropping guests off at a trailhead and picking them up at a different spot later. They can also avoid the masses because they know where the crowds aren’t as well as the best times to be there (on Austin’s Yellowstone Park trips they often avoid the crowds at Old Faithful by visiting at sunrise – a short walk from their lodge).

“Guests benefit from our expertise, ‘insider’s knowledge and long-standing park connections,” Austin said.

Tour operators know the area, inside and outside the park, as well as the best places to stay, eat, view wildlife, etc. They have highly trained guides who are focused on customer service, safety and security, as well as having fun, said Rick Hoeninghausen, Director of Sales & Marketing for Yellowstone National Park Lodges.

Quality tour operators often build in special touches that enhance the experience for their guests. For example, Austin Adventures will surprise their guests with fresh made ice cream and fruit parfaits served along the hiking trail.

Some of Austin Adventures’ most popular National Park family itineraries include Yellowstone Family Adventure, Yosemite National Park Multisport, Grand Canyon Family Vacation & Tour, and the Bryce and Zion National Park Tour in Utah. For information on all of the company’s National Park adventures, see: http://www.austinadventures.com/national-park-vacations/

Based in Billings, MT, Austin Adventures has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, pre-set and custom-designed small group tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. In 2013, Austin Adventures joined the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings that includes operations in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Crater Lake, Glacier, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park; and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also owns and operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel in Williams, Ariz., the Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., Windstar Cruises, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Country Walkers and Austin Adventures.

For information on Austin Adventures, www.austinadventures.com, call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com.

 

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Family Adventure Tour Operator Invites Kids to Join April 16 Webinar on National Parks

Austin Adventures will engage youngsters and parents in a 45-minute webinar on Saturday, April 16, on the wonders of our National Parks and why they are so important to our national spirit and identity.
Austin Adventures will engage youngsters and parents in a 45-minute webinar on Saturday, April 16, on the wonders of our National Parks and why they are so important to our national spirit and identity.

Billings, MT– In honor of National Parks Week April 16-24, award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures will engage youngsters and parents in a 45-minute webinar on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at Noon EDT. The wonders of our National Parks will be discussed along with why they are so important to our national spirit and identity.

Kasey Austin, Outside Magazine’s Family Guide of the Year (2014) and V.P. of Operations, will be leading this informative, interactive webinar. Kids can whet their adventure appetites learning about incredible park wildlife, ecosystems, and some unusual history of some of our most iconic National Parks.

The purpose of the webinar is, said Dan Austin, Austin Adventures’ founding director, “to make visiting our National Parks a fun and enticing learning experience. We’ll share our insights on how families can make the most of a park vacation allowing plenty of time for questions and comments.”

Austin Adventures, an active travel company offering family adventure vacations  on seven continents, is inviting both kids and parents to join this free webinar on Saturday, April 16 at Noon EST. The first 25 attendees to sign up will be awarded with an Austin Adventures’ goody bag plus their family will also receive a $250 trip voucher good for any 2016 Austin Adventure.

In addition, for families with a 4th grade student aboard, as advocates of the National Park Foundation’s Every Kid in the Park initiative, Austin Adventures is waiving trip fees for all 4th graders traveling on any National Park adventure with them in 2016. (See www.austinadventures.com/find-your-park/, offer subject to certain conditions)

To register for the online webinar, go to:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3197329609788822273.

Nearly a dozen National Park trips are on Austin Adventures’ current 2016 schedule. All adult rates are per person, double occupancy.

Grand Canyon National Park: 6-days/5-nights from $2,798; children from $2,238.
Kenai Fiords National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,498; children from $2,798.
Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks:  6 days/5 nights from $2,498; children from $1,998.
Yellowstone National Park:  6 days/5 nights from $2,498; children from $1,998.
Grand Teton National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $2,998; children from $2,398.
Yosemite National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,298; children from $2,638.
Glacier National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $2,898.
Arches & Canyonlands National Parks: 6 days /5 nights from $2,698; children from $2,158.
South Dakota – Black Hills (Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monuments / Wind Cave NP): 6 days/5 nights from $2,498; children from $1,998.
California – Death Valley National Park: 5 days/4 nights from $2,598.
Oregon – Crater Lake National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $2,798.

To receive print and or digital copies of the 2016 Family Adventures and Adult Adventures catalogs, please go to: www/austinadventures.com/request-catalog/ . For more information about Austin Adventures programs in National Parks please see: http://www.austinadventures.com/national-park-vacations/. To inquire about destinations and trips or to make reservations please call (800) 575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com.

Based in Billings, MT, Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman Adventures) has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a provider of scheduled small group tours and customized trips to all seven continents. Austin Adventures is a proud member of the Xanterra Parks & Resorts® portfolio of experiential leisure offerings that includes operations in Grand CanyonYellowstoneZionCrater LakeGlacierRocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National MemorialFurnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park; and five Ohio State Park Lodges as well as the Geneva Marina at Ohio’s Geneva State Park. Xanterra Parks & Resorts also owns and operates Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel in Williams, Ariz., the Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., Windstar CruisesVBT Bicycling and Walking VacationsCountry Walkers and Austin Adventures.

 

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