There are a lot of choices out there in the big world of adventure travel. For the last 25 years, Austin Adventures has focused on crafting the very best adventures for our guests. It’s what we love, it’s what we’re good at, and over the years it has set us apart from any other tour operator.
Today we’ll be diving into 7 key points that not only guide the company, but stand alone as reasons why our guests continue their own adventures with us year after year.
#1 Award-Winning Adventures.
We all agree it isn’t the awards that make our trips great. You won’t see us carrying them around or your guides wearing them around their necks. Even though we’ve baked it into every adventure, it’s not something you’ll see or feel until you’re on the plane heading home. For us, the real awards happen a decade later when you’re still telling the stories of how your guide surprised you with a hot towel after a long, dusty hike, or the way we took you in to Old Faithful the back way so that you didn’t have to deal with the crowds.
At the end of the day, we don’t want to be the tour operator with the most awards. Our eyes are fixed on creating new experiences and adventures worthy of our loyal guests.—and if that gets us a few awards, so be it.
#2 Pampered Small Groups
Cramming a bunch of people onto a bus and having a single guide drone on over a loud-speaker doesn’t sound like much of an experience to us. Amazing stories don’t come from being lead around like a herd either.
Real experiences come from having small, flexible groups where guides can spend time with each guest, and everyone feels taken care of. We’ve found that groups of less than twelve (eighteen for families) is the perfect amount to give everyone their own individual experience. It also makes it easy to pamper and spoil. And isn’t that the point of treating yourself to a vacation?
#3 Thrilling “Wow” Moments
You may not see them coming, but one the secrets of our success are all the surprises we hide along the way. Nothing feels better than having a guide whip out a full-sized birthday cake on the rim of the Grand Canyon with all that wonder (and a few new friends) around you on that very special day. It’s a guide pulling out a blow-torch and glazing Crème brûlée on the side of the trail just when you’re feeling like a few extra calories would be nice. It’s the difference between walking in the front door with everyone else, and getting to take the back way that only the experts know to miss all the crowds.
#4 Expert Local Guides
By default, most guides are nothing short of heroes. They tramp through rugged outdoor landscapes getting you safely from point A to point B. They know when and where to spot bison or wolves. They know which berries to eat. They help you understand the history of the oldest distillery in the world (it’s in Ireland, by the way). But like so many other things, merely being heroic isn’t enough.
Austin Adventure guides take it to the next level. They’re travel and adventure junkies by nature. They love the places they guide and they LOVE sharing it with their guests. They strive to make it meaningful to each individual; taking the time to understand what each guest expects on their own personal adventure, and then making it happen. They’ll be your back-up, your personal assistant, and even your very own cheerleader when the adventure goes outside your comfort-zone.
#5 Finest Lodging and Cuisine
We approach lodging and cuisine not as “a thing that you do after the day’s adventures,” but as a natural extension of the day’s activities. We work with local chefs and restaurants to create regional cuisine that is both gourmet and has the local flair you expect when you’re traveling. Whether it’s a thick Montana steak in Paradise Valley, or Phnom Phen’s “gourmet street food” that started a world-wide culinary revolution, we seek out the very best local foods to truly immerse you in local culture. Likewise, lodging is something we take personally. We have long-standing relationships with our national parks, which equates to being able to put our guests up in sought-after national park accommodations including The Crater Lake Inn and historic Yellowstone hotels. When you’re touring Yellowstone, you never have to leave the park just to go to sleep. Aside from unique national park accommodations, we also work with the most beautiful, sustainable, and friendly lodging on al of our trips to ensure that your stay is more than comfortable, it’s an experience in itself.
#6 Guaranteed Departures
We leave when we say we’re going to. One of the biggest problems for any tour operator is to create a great trip only to cancel it because the trip didn’t fill. We solved that issue by simply guaranteeing that every trip runs as scheduled. Rest assured, if you book it, you’re going. Get ready for a great time.
# 7 100% Money Back Guarantee
We may well be the only tour operator that has a 100% money back guarantee. We build trips we know you’re going to love. If we nail everything listed above, you will come home feeling like you’ve had the perfect vacation. And that, to us, is the greatest award we can get.