5 Reasons to Join a Walking Tour as a Solo Traveler

By Matt Thompson, Brand Manager for Country Walkers

1. Meet Like-Minded People

When you choose to experience the world on foot, you’re making a conscious decision to travel authentically. Your traveling companions will share your passion for experiencing a destination up close, at a slower pace that allows you to really connect with the local culture. Whether you’re spending time together on the trail, in a cooking class led by a local, or over a delicious meal at the end of the day, you’ll find many opportunities to create meaningful bonds. You may start out as a solo traveler, but you’ll end up with whole group of newfound friends. Many of our guests form lifelong friendships on tour, and choose to travel together again on subsequent adventures.

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2. Don’t Worry About Planning

Traveling on your own can mean not having anyone to share the burden of travel planning with. Rather than spend your time researching and booking hotels, transportation, and attractions, join a walking tour that handles all the details for you. You can simply show up at the airport and then relax in the knowledge that you have an expertly planned itinerary awaiting you. You’ll avoid the headaches that often come in the planning stages weeks and months before a trip, and return truly refreshed and invigorated.

3. Travel Your Own Way

Striking out on your own allows you to make spur-of-the-moment decisions independent of concern for a traveling partner’s desires. Do you want to skip the day’s walk and enjoy the spa instead? Go ahead! Feeling energetic and want to choose the extra walking option? You don’t have to check in with your companion to see how they’re feeling first! Linger at an art gallery, relax quietly on the beach with a good book, skip attractions that don’t interest you—you can travel according to your own wishes and whims. Walk at your own pace, and make your own unique discoveries along the way.

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4. Just Be Yourself

At home, we often fall into roles designated by others or by ourselves. Whether the role is “mother,” “boss,” “husband,” or one of countless others, travel allows you to shed your usual day-to-day and be whoever you want to be. Give yourself opportunities to enjoy your own company and rediscover your own personal joys—from a solitary moment on a peaceful stretch of the trail to an engaging conversation with a traveling companion over a glass of wine at the end of the day.

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5. Venture Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Traveling far from home in an unfamiliar culture where you don’t speak the language can be daunting. By joining a walking tour, you’ll have guides who are familiar with the lay of the land. You won’t need to worry about negotiating taxi rates in a foreign tongue or getting lost in an unknown city. Your guides will also provide insight and perspective that you wouldn’t have access to on your own, allowing you to connect with your destination on a deeper level. Walking tours make it easier to venture to destinations you might not be comfortable traveling to on your own.

 

Country Walkers began with a simple idea: explore the world actively, passionately, and with a commitment to authentically engaging with local cultures. With this guiding principle, the company launched in 1979 from an old barn in Vermont and soon expanded from local to international destinations. Today, Country Walkers is recognized as one of the leading providers of walking adventures worldwide. Matt Thompson serves as Brand Manager and has been with the company for five years.


5 Reasons Why Multi-generational Travel is Good for Families

By Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, President of Collette 

Growing up, travel was always a significant part of my life. And that’s not just because it was the family business. I came to understand that travel was one of the ways that my family could be together to make memories, share stories and laughs, and to reflect. Being connected to this industry both as a professional and a traveler over the course of my life, here are the top reasons why I believe multi-generational travel is good for families.

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1. Traveling unites families

People’s lives are busy, and sometimes we unintentionally lose sight of what’s important. My parents also knew this, and I think that was why they made it a tradition to plan a family trip at least once a year. And every time we’ve come together for those vacations over the years – whether it was to Ireland or Scotland or the national parks – I’ve been reminded of my roots and what really matters in life. That’s why I’m such a big proponent of multigenerational travel. It gives you an opportunity to push pause and appreciate the world around you with the ones you love.

2. Traveling with family is more economical

Guided travel – whether it’s multigenerational ­or not– isn’t just cost effective, it’s time effective, too. Trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules for something as simple as a family dinner is often a feat in itself. Planning a trip takes a lot of time, and that’s a precious commodity when you have a bigger family like I do. That’s why guided travel makes so much sense. All the logistics are taken care of for you and your family. You have a tour manager by your side who can be that destination expert for you. Plus, when you go on a guided tour, you get special access to sites because you’re in a group. All of those factors add to the value of guided travel.

3. Travel forges lasting memories

My first international trip to Germany with my family is one of my fondest travel memories. We were on a guided tour, taking the bus with Collette guests. I remember we actually sang for the passengers, which I’m sure was a treat for them! On the trip, we spent a day exploring the salt mines in the Bavarian Alps, traveling deep underground through what seemed like never-ending tunnels. We also attended the Oberammergau Passion Play, a once-in-a-decade performance put on by all the villagers in this tiny Bavarian hamlet. That was my first memory of really getting out there and seeing the world, and I’ll never forget it.

4.Travel helps you bond with people you don’t get a chance to see on a daily basis

My kids are finally getting to an age where it’s easier to take them to places other than Disney. This year, we’ll be going to some of the Christmas markets in Europe and maybe the Canadian Rockies, too. It will be a great opportunity for my kids to see how people live in other parts of the world. If my parents decide to come along, they’ll get some extra special time with their grandchildren. In the end, it’s all about being with family and sharing those special travel moments – together.

5. Traveling with family allows you to see the world through the eyes of others

In each period of your life, you see the world through your own unique lens. Being fortunate enough to travel as a child, teen, and now an adult – I’m able to look back and reflect on how those travels shaped my view of the world. And now, as a parent, I’m given the opportunity to help my children experience traveling to new destinations for the first time.  The innocence that kids have is inspiring, and being able to introduce them to new parts of the world is an invaluable gift.

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Jaclyn Leibl-Cote is the President of Collette and has close to 15 years of experience in the travel industry. Jaclyn spent many years designing product and managing tours in regions including the United States and Australia. She loves taking trips with her husband and three children, combining her two greatest passions.