Biking in the San Juan Islands. Hiking and biking in Bryce and Zion national parks. Biking part of the Natchez Trace, a route from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Biking in France's Loire Valley.
Maybe life's too hectic sometimes to take off for a full week but you can grab a long weekend here or there. Or maybe it's easier for "newbie" solo travelers to go on a short vacation if they don't feel like they'll be "stuck" for a whole week.
I envision these offerings as trips you can tack on to one end or another of a business trip. Or as a way for a solo traveler to enjoy the company of strangers for a few days and then wander off on his or her own, feeling comfortably familiar by then with the destination.
I seem to recall that when VBT Bicycling Vacations was called Vermont Biking Tours (or something like that), they also offered biking weekends in Vermont. I don't see those shorter tours on its Web site now. Perhaps it didn't work as a business model or just wasn't as popular as week-long vacations. We'll have to see how Backroads experiment works out.
The problem for me with the Backroads trips is the price. A three-day weekend of biking in Banff and Lake Louise, in the Canadian Rockies, costs $1,598. Another $500 for the single supplement. Plus travel to and from the starting point.
As soon as I find a sugar daddy, I'll be heading right out on one of these...
Some people clearly are happy, or at least willing, to spend the money for
luxury travel and top-notch accommodations. Backroads has been around nearly 30 years.
SOMEONE'S paying to go on those trips.
I, for one, think it's a great idea to offer shorter trips. I hope other less expensive tour operators follow in Backroads footsteps. Or bike path.