Backroads Trip Leaders: Guest Praise
The following are just a sampling of the hundreds of comments from guests that we receive annually.
I think Backroads' biggest asset is in the quality of your leaders. They are bright, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, confident and inspiring. I would take another trip just to meet two more fantastic individuals.
Rue Richey, from Czech Republic & Austria
This was my sixth Backroads trip and it was as exciting and wonderful as each of my previous trips. I loved the combination of good and varied hikes, history, culture, good food and art that you offered on the Spain trip. Having Carlos as a leader was very special because he grew up in, and therefore understands on a personal level, the region we visited. Gabriel was also very knowledgeable, calm, gracious and attentive. Dylan Reeves (as Van Support) was wonderful too—I spent some one-on-one time with him on a drive back to our lodging and enjoyed his humor and good stories. I don't know how you do it, but your leaders and staff are consistently competent, fun, helpful, mature and just very impressive individuals with whom it is an honor to spend time.
Maureen Fitzgerald, from Spain
As amazing as the locale of this trip is, the guides were totally responsible for my having a '10+' experience. Each stop, each individual, each hotel had a story that enriched my understanding and appreciation for Argentina as a country and as a culture and as a people. Vincent and Kai, with their expertise and passion, have changed me and my relationship to the world. Thanks, guys.
BeeBee Horowitz, from Argentina
A number scale does not even begin to tell the story. We have been on one prior bike trip in Tuscany (with another company) and have been on many guided photo safaris with trackers and guides in Botswana and South Africa over the past 10 years. Suzanne and Lauran set the standard. They are the best guides, and group leaders we have ever dealt with. They worked tirelessly to meet our every need and never gave any indication of how difficult the job is. Like the swans on a lake, there is a grace, stillness and beauty above the waterline while the engine room below is churning to move the bird along. They have excellent knowledge of the language, the culture, the geography, the buildings and landmarks, the food, the shopping and the countryside generally. I enjoyed their enthusiasm, their intelligence, the engagement in the group and in life, their bike skills, their honesty and intimacy and just generally, their participation in my vacation. They are genuine and very concerned that we have the best experience. They are naturals at the hospitality side but they have also obviously been well trained. I commend you. If a guest indicated even the slightest desire for some sort of snack or had an interest in something they were on it and it appeared without fanfare but just like that one grandmother who always seemed to hear a passing comment about what I might be interested in... it just shows up under the Christmas tree or at my birthday. Seriously, these two are really, really good and as I have always said, the guides make or break the experience.
Scott Jackson, from Tuscany
I have to tell you that Jere went over and above any expectation I had for a trip leader. He was so accommodating and flexible. Having a business of my own, I know when someone treats my business as if it were their own and Jere does just that for your company. He has a real gift for making everyone on the trip feel comfortable and special. It was my husband's 60th birthday on this trip and both Lynn and Jere went out of their way to make it so special for him. When Bob and I talk about our very favorite day on the trip it was the day we got rained out and went to Grazietta's house to learn to cook some Italian dishes. That is the day that Jere and Lynn surprised Bob with a gelato birthday cake. It will forever be a favorite memory in any trip that I have ever been on.
And where do I start about Lynn? She felt like a family member or at least I wish she was a member of my family! I guess I will have to book one of her and Jere's trips again to see them so they are not lost in my life. She went out of her way to make everything perfect for everyone. This trip is my favorite trip of all time and it really has to do with Lynn and how wonderful she made me feel.
Karol Gugino, from Tuscany
Difficult to express in words is how much we thought of our leaders. Both Zuzana and Devin are amazing, passionate people. When you combine their attitudes toward taking their jobs very seriously with their phenomenal interpersonal skills, I can seriously say that I would consider myself very fortunate if they were involved in my organization. I sincerely hope that we will be able to have Zu and Devin lead us on future trips.
Dan Ferko, from Hungary/Slovakia/Poland
Paul is a fun, relaxed, enthusiastic leader with exceptional knowledge of the trip and the local haunts. Great to have somebody lead the trip that knew the area so well! Paul's experience shows in everything he does, and no doubt he delivers an untold amount of work out of the view of your guests to make things run so smoothly. Paul has a great read on people and used it throughout to anticipate what we would need and often provided input/insight/information before we even asked. Cool guy. Great agent for Backroads. Paul really embodies the Backroads brand and enables a relaxed, fun, carefree experience for the guests. Most importantly, he did everything possible to make the trip perfect for my wife Michele! I appreciate how hard it is to do his job, and he makes it look easy. Can't imagine how you could do his job better than he does it.
Jack Bartell, from New Zealand
Cannot say enough good things about the leaders both individually and as a REAL team. This was our 4th trip with Backroads and we have never been in the least way disappointed in the leaders. Quite the contrary. They are just fabulous, and these three were no exception. Whoever is responsible for choosing and training leaders should feel really proud. I ran a company—consistent excellence does not happen by chance.
Rick Dowden, from Alsace & Black Forest
Absolutely fantastic. This is our second trip with Backroads and you exceeded our expectations in every way. The opportunity for our family to experience Yellowstone and the Tetons on a family camping trip was something we will never forget. Every aspect of the trip was well planned and beautifully executed. We had a blast. I can't say enough about the Backroads leaders and support people we've met on our trips. The thing that comes across so clearly is that they absolutely love what they're doing and appreciate that no matter how many times they've done this or seen that, for us it's usually a first-time experience and your great folks embrace the opportunity to share that wonder with us.
Joel Kelly, from Yellowstone & Tetons