Many guests we work with are international travelers who often choose to hire a tour guide as someone to act as a translator, a navigator, a walking encyclopedia, a safety net, an “in” with the locals, and a trustworthy resource in-country.
COVID-19 has of course changed the world as we know it and most international travel has been put on hold for the time being.
Without foreign travel being an option, we’re seeing more interest than ever in domestic travel here in the good ole’ United States, especially in our national parks. (Did you know Yellowstone National Park broke its September & October visitor records this year?!)
So, if you hire a guide to travel with you internationally, why wouldn’t you do the same here in the United States?
There are 5 major reasons why touring with our guides in and around America’s national parks is the best decision you can make for a vacation – all with a signature Austin twist. An Austin Adventures tour guide will:
1... keep your safety as his or her number one priority.
There’s no question that traveling during this new era of COVID-19 is a risk. Our team works with each individual traveler before your trip ever begins to determine if traveling is the right choice for you at this time. If you commit to going on vacation, your safety in the field is our guides’ number one priority. From increased disinfecting efforts to social distancing protocol to flexible booking and cancellation policies, we’ve got your back and want to make you feel as comfortable as possible while on vacation.
2... help you escape the crowds.
It’s a fact that national parks are crowded – they’re America’s classic travel destinations…and even more so now that COVID-19 has limited our international travel scope. But you don’t want just an in-and-out look amidst the crowds at the famous sights; you want an insider’s view to places that don’t exist in the guidebooks.
It only makes sense to have a tour guide at your disposal who knows all the secret spots, the off-the-beaten-path trails, and the places that only the “locals” know about.
A good example: In Yellowstone National Park, most tourists show up to the Upper Geyser Basin, spend 20 minutes trying to find parking, sit down at the bleachers surrounding Old Faithful to watch an eruption, and then walk back to their car alongside hundreds of other tourists to drive on to the next attraction.
Our guides lead our small groups on “the back way” hike through the Upper Geyser Basin stopping at off-the-grid hot springs along the trail. We arrive to Old Faithful just in time to watch an eruption and then spend the night at the Old Faithful Inn, with plenty of time to explore the area “after hours.”
3... ensure you use your time as efficiently as possible.
There is no way to pull off one of our trips yourself that will allow you to run it as smoothly as an expert tour guide will. We don’t mean to offend; this is just a reality! The key to a worry-free vacation is all about the guides and their behind-the-scenes magic. With 6 guests to 1 guide on our trips, you’ll always have a guide hiking, biking, rafting, or horseback riding alongside you, while in the background their guide partner is making lunch, confirming tomorrow’s reservations, running luggage, and grabbing keys in advance from your hotel to ensure a stress-free vacation for you and yours!
4... make sure you’re well-fed.
Say bye-bye to your cooler of soggy sandwiches and the chance of running out of water on the trail! On an Austin Adventures trip to the national parks, let’s just say, you’ll never go hungry.
Breakfasts are typically eaten at your hotel in the morning. Picnics and trail lunches are an elaborate affair prepared by our guide team who put a ton of time and effort into grocery shopping, preparation, and presentation (and yes, we can handle all kinds of dietary restrictions…including your 7-year-old’s picky eating!) Dinners are typically eaten at top-rated local restaurants or your hotel’s dining room, with no restrictions as to what you can pick off the menu.
If that’s not enough for you, the trailside snacks delivered on a silver platter – part of our WOW Factor – along with a basket full of healthy goodies in the van at all times, will hold you over until the next meal time.
5... help you create memories that will last far beyond the trip itself.
There’s a reason why our loyal alumni guests travel with us over and over again to different national parks all across the United States. When you combine ease of planning with an amazing time on vacation, you just can’t beat an Austin Adventures vacation experience from start to finish.
All that’s on your plate to do is dig into the experiences and make memories that make you laugh and reminisce about over the dinner table for years to come. With a knowledgeable office staff and top notch guide team doing all the work for you to reward your hard-earned vacation time (the hotel coordination, the activity planning, the driving, the meal prep, the safety briefings, and the time management), it leaves you time to relish the best part about going on vacation: actually sitting back and enjoying yourself.
We promise that by the end of your time spent on your Austin Adventures tour, you’ll understand our motto: “The Toughest Part is Going Home.”