From Tom Hale: How We're Preparing for a New Year of Travel

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A Message From Tom Hale:

If you’ve met me, you know I’m not one for staying at home. Whether I’m in the office, on the trails around my house or exploring the world with Backroads, I love being on the move. And now that so many of us are working from home, I’m also missing the face-to-face collaboration of our Backroads team that has been so integral to our culture over the years. But, cabin fever aside, good things are happening at Backroads. We certainly haven’t let the grass grow under our feet these past few weeks; we’ve been working harder than ever to prepare ourselves for a whole new world of travel. Without a crystal ball, I can’t yet say exactly when we’ll be running trips again (I’m remaining optimistic we’ll be back on the road this summer), but I can tell you this: we’re going to be charging out of the gate just as soon as it’s safe to do so.

While the world has been transformed in big ways, I can confidently say that when this is all said and done, the essence of a Backroads trip will remain unchanged. I say this because, without quite realizing it, we’ve spent the past 40 years crafting our own style of active travel that has now turned out to be more resonant—and necessary—than ever. The sense of journey we find on our trips means that we’re spending our time on quiet back roads, ancient footpaths and stunning solitary landscapes—no packed buses or crowded resorts here. Our guests travel with Backroads because they know they’ll have the flexibility to go their own pace, to adventure with the group or break off and be as independent as they like. A Backroads trip is, at its core, an opportunity to get away from it all. None of that is going to change—because it’s exactly the kind of travel we need now.

That said, it won’t just be business as usual this year. We’ll be waving more and high-fiving less; sharing stories more than clinking cups. We’ve taken a comprehensive look at every aspect of our trips to ensure high standards of safety. Group sizes will be smaller, and we’ve developed new ways to give our guests more personal space on the road and trail, or simply while sitting down to an evening meal. And speaking of meals, plan to enjoy more of our famous Backroads picnics in scenic open-air spaces, and to have more options than ever for dining at your leisure, on your own, or with our customary small groups—albeit with a bit more elbow room.

Despite the new realities we face, I have no doubt that the Backroads magic will be with us when we’re back traveling together again, and even stronger than before. Because after going through these weeks and months of sheltering in place, everything that makes a Backroads trip special is exactly what our bodies and minds are needing in big ways. Freedom to move. Freedom to explore. Shared adventures and face-to-face laughter with the people in our lives who bring us joy and remind us that life can be unbelievably great sometimes. Those days are waiting for us just around the corner, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Backroads community for all your support during this time, and especially to the thousands of our guests who are still booked to travel with us in 2020. We’ll remain hard at work to make sure you get to experience everything you’re looking forward to and more.

As always, our team is here if you have any questions or want to know more about our plans for this summer and beyond. 

I hope to see you out there soon.


Tom Hale

Contact our office at or 800-462-2848. We’re open Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm PT.

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