Travel: Great View, Less Sweat

By Brad Tuttle (Tuttle is an associate editor with Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel.) | Jun 28, 2004

"Last summer, Rona Maynard and Paul Jones knew they wanted to hike British Columbia's Gulf Islands. They just weren't eager to sleep in cramped tents, lug heavy gear and eat Chef Boyardee out of a can. So the Toronto couple, both in their early 50s, signed up with Randonnee Tours (1800 242 18 25,, which advertises a "balanced approach to travel."

For $1,660 per person for six nights, they got everything they needed: meticulous trail guides, three-course breakfasts, rooms at cozy B&Bs, and private water taxis between the islands. "We're busy people who travel to relax," says Maynard. "And dealing with ferry schedules is not our idea of relaxation."

Randonnee and other companies have discovered that travelers will happily pay extra to skip any hardship associated with the great outdoors. Once upon a time, adventure travel meant roughing it and dealing with what nature threw your way--thunderbursts, bunions, an encounter with an unfriendly moose after the sun went down.

Today, it's Backcountry Lite: you can still venture into the heart of Alaska, just as long as you're back by dusk, and the Zinfandel's really delightful."



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