Backroads Values and How They Impact Your Adventure Vacation

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Tom Hale on Backroads Mallorca Biking tripThe other day a guest asked me how we’re able to hire such amazing leaders with such consistently exemplary values. He then asked whether we specifically recruited for values. Which prompted me to review the criteria we use to screen leaders. Guess what? No “values” were listed. Plenty of leadership, guest service, judgment, motivation, teamwork, ability to connect with guests, active lifestyle and mechanical inclination type criteria. And about 40 sub-criteria. But no values.

Then it dawned on me. Values are so ingrained in Backroads that it’s inherently how we look at everything, but especially in how we treat people. Honesty, integrity and treating people with respect regardless of who they are and where they come from all matter to me and they matter to Backroads. As in, they mean EVERYTHING.

These values matter, and we’re proud of it. We think you’ll see that they matter to you too.

Guests rate our trip leaders 9.8 out of 10 on post-trip surveys. They send me quotes like, “Our guides made it the best vacation of my life!” (Dawn B., Alaska Hiking) every day.

All our leaders are employees of Backroads — we don’t hire third-party contractors as many other outfitters do. Which means our leaders know our values, are commited to our quality standards and are empowered to make your vacation the best it can be.

I invite you to meet some of our leaders and read comments readers have posted on my blogs. And I encourage you to post your experiences with Backroads leaders so others can understand the difference. Because everyone deserves the best vacation ever!

Backroads Trip Leader Vincent Soyer jokes with locals in Myanmar (Burma)Backroads Trip Leader Fabio Marzi with guests and their custom titanium bikes, Tuscany, italy

Backroads Trip Leaders Matt Alan and Angela Rice-Tierney with local children in Myanmar (Burma)

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Tom Hale

Tom Hale

Founder and President at Backroads
A native of Moraga, California, Tom Hale possesses a passion for two seemingly divergent interests—business and back roads—which he has powered into the world's most successful active travel company, Backroads. It was the back roads that first attracted him, as a competitive runner at Campolindo High School (where he still holds the two-mile record at 8:57.2) and at the University of Oregon, where he was a teammate of legendary runner Steve Prefontaine. Armed with a Masters in Environmental Planning from UCLA, Hale was six months into an environmental planning position in Las Vegas when the back roads called again—big time. A middle-of-the-night inspiration to start a bike touring company motivated him to pedal 5,000 miles alone through the West, all the while formulating plans for his new business. Settling in Berkeley, Hale washed fondue pots by night and built his fledgling travel company by day. In true entrepreneurial fashion, he did it all—designed the itineraries, maintained the bikes, led the trips, produced the catalog.
Tom Hale

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