Sep 13

Active Travel Tours Consultant for Bike Tours

Bike Tour Consultant

bike riders along river path

e-Bikes on Moselle

Thank you for all the thoughtful emails and direct messages. I know a lot of you have been curious about the reduced number of blog posts this year. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have shifted the focus of the ActiveTravelTours business from tour participants to tour providers. I had numerous consulting requests from bicycle touring companies, so I have been focusing my energies in that direction. And it has been fantastic!!!

Tour Locations, Offerings and Equipment

I have had the great good fortune to work directly with some of the biggest and best bicycle touring companies over the past two years and have helped them in everything from tour marketing to bicycle acquisition. One of the big pushes t

bike tours

Active Travel for Everyone

his past year has been getting American bike tour companies up to pace with European bicycle touring companies. As most of you know, the vast majority of bike tours in Europe offer electric bikes as an option for most of their road and trail tours. This allows active travelers of all ages and ability levels to join tours they might not otherwise have been able to handle. It’s really a win-win situation for the tour providers as well as the tour participants. More diversity means more active travelers, and that’s good for everyone. Even though I am still helping some of the European bike tour companies add more e-bikes to their fleets, the big push is toward helping American active travel tour companies vastly increase their stock in electric bikes. The way things are looking, 2018 is looking like it will be a banner year for American bike touring companies to markedly increase their fleet of e-bikes. Once that happens, you will see a major increase in bicycle tourists. I find it incredibly gratifying to be a part of this new wave of active travel tourism.

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Sep 24

Active Travel Tour Reviews & Information

Still the Best Active Travel Toursbike tours

2017 will be the year of bike tours on Active Travel Tours. In the past, you’ve come to count on for the best and most comprehensive tour reviews for bicycling, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing cross-country skiing and so much more. But we started long ago and became a victim of our own success, so we’re wiping the slate clean and starting over so that our site is easy to navigate and is completely up-to-date with only the very best touring companies. For those of you specifically looking for trail tours (bike trails, hiking trails, etc.) you can still get trail tour reviews on

Bike Tour Reviews in 2017

family bike toursAs part of our reorganization, we are going to focus on specific types of active travel tours each year. This year, our focus will be on guided and self-guided bicycle tours. We will provide you with up-to-date and accurate information about the latest and greatest bike tours worldwide and in your backyard. We’ll provide tour information, links to tour providers and tips/tricks for planning your next bike tour. You have always counted on Active Travel Tours to help you locate the best tour providers, and now we will make the process even easier than before.

We Are Experienced Bicycle Tourists provides the most accurate information about bicycle touring because we are experienced at mountain bike rides on level surfacebike touring worldwide. Whenever possible, we tour with the various bicycle touring companies and get to know the owners and guides. That allows us to write our reviews from first-hand experience. You can depend on our expert touring reviews because we know what it’s like to explore the world on the seat of a bicycle. So we speak from experience when we write our bike tour reviews. In fact, we are in the process of planning our 2017 tours as I write this post, so you will have great bike touring options for 2017. In addition to our blog posts, you will find permanent tour company and bike tour reviews on Active Travel Tours. We look forward to sharing our experiences and knowledge with you, the bike touring community. Enjoy the rest of 2016 and join us again in 2017 for the most comprehensive bike tour reviews on the internet.

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Jul 23

Active Travel Tour Information on

Find the Best Active Travel Tour Information on

couple hiking in southwest region

hiking tours

Active Travel Tours and go together perfectly. Trailsnet is the best trail information website on the website and trail information means information about mountain biking, trail running, trail biking, backpacking, hiking, camping, trail tours and more. For nearly a decade now, Trailsnet has been the best website for information about bike trails, hiking trails, backpacking trails, running trails, equestrian trails and all things trail related. It is also the best active travel tour website with news about international active travel tour companies from mild to wild.

Active Travel or Adventure Travel?

Trailsnet specializes in the active travel niche of adventure travel. Active travel is suitable for all ages and abilities and allows people to see the world at a slower

snowshoers on winter trail

snow sport tours

pace while also providing exercise, fresh air and fitness. Whereas adventure travel websites are more geared toward adrenaline sports, active travel websites such as and Active Travel Tours, provide information about travel options for those who like to visit either trending or out-of-the-way travel destinations while also staying fit and/or traveling at a more relaxed pace. Obviously active travel tours are a much safer alternative to adventure travel tours but are still for the adventurous at heart.

Why a Trail Website Such as Trailsnet?

Trails, trail travel and active travel are quickly becoming the most popular travel option in the world today. People are starting to realize the benefits of maintaining their active lifestyle while traveling.

family of bike riders near trail tunnel

Bike Trail Tours

Of course such active travel has fitness benefits as well as providing unique and affordable vacation options. And trail travel such as that featured on provides a vast array of safe and exhilarating travel options worldwide. Trailsnet feature trail photos and trail travel options such as Cotswold footpaths, U.S. rail trails, Canadian backpacking and European equestrian tours. Trail tours are great for family travel, couples vacations and single travelers. So we encourage you to visit our favorite active travel website,

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Aug 31

Active Travel is Good for Your Heart

Moderate Exercise Good for Heart Heath

mountain bike ride on level surface

moderate bike ride

A recent recent study of the effects of exercise on hearth health finds that moderate exercise is good for your heart. This would mean that active travel getaways such as the Mosel River Bike Tour are heart healthy vacations. The study found that moderate exercise was beneficial to the heart whereas inactivity was unhealthy and higher levels of activity were less healthy.

Active Travel vs Adventure Travel

To take this a step further, active travel tours such as bike trail tours would be better for your heart than competitive or adrenaline tours. Of course both kinds of tours are better than sedentary activities or vacations that just involve sitting in a bus, car or RV all day.

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Jun 23

Tripsite Bike Touring Company Review

Types of Bicycle Tours Offered by

Tripsite Tours offers five basic types of bike tours:castles_day_3_6.179x179

By offering these five different bicycle touring options, Tripsite has pedaling tours for nearly every different level of active traveler. Tripsite works view-from-stokesay-castle-stokesay-shropshire-england-flnickhubbard.179x179with hundreds of different bike touring companies in order to offer a wide selection of bike tours such as the Mosel River Bike Tour. Their prices are the same as the local tour companies that they work with. This arrangement allows you to utilize one company to plan your entire bicycle travel itinerary whether it is one fantastic bike tour or a series of bike tours linked together. Whether you’re into road bike tours or bike trail tours, Tripsite makes it easy to plan your next bicycle tour by offering a well-designed website, exemplary customer service and a wide selection of bike tours.

Tripsite: One of the Best Bike Tour Websites on the Internet

The website is well-designed and easy to navigate. The clean layout and aare.179x179functional navigation capabilities make it incredibly easy to find the right bike tour for your needs. Some of the Tripsite website features that make it a standout in the bike touring industry include:

  • bike tours listed by: type of tour (see above), country, month, difficulty level &/or price range
  • search feature: This important addition to the Tripsite website makes it much easier to find specific tours. For example if you only remember the name of the bike route or one word in the tour name, you can enter it into the search box and voila, you get a list of possible matches for your word/term.bruges-flfaunggsphoto.179x179
  • Tripsite blog: If you’re looking for bicycle touring information, how to prepare for your bike tour or just want to see some beautiful bike tour photos, the Tripsite blog has great articles written by both staff members and Tripsite customers.
  • travel prep: The Tripsite bike tour Travel Prep link provides you with FAQs about bike touring to help you prepare for your upcoming bicycle vacation.
  • chat feature: Another extremely helpful function on the Tripsite website is their chat feature. If you are online during business hours, you will have instant access to one of their helpful associates (real Tripsite employees, not an answering service) who cankoppelpoort-amersfoort-bike-tour-holland-netherlands-wcmultichill.770x350 answer your questions and help you find the ideal bike tour. If you happen to be online sometime other than business hours, you can instantly leave a message, and they’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

What Tripsite Provides Before Your Bike Tour

Even before your tour begins, Tripsite is there to help you prepare for your bicycle holiday. You can contact them via telephone, email or by their online chat feature. They will answer your questions and help you prepare for your cycling trip. Once you have booked your trip, Tripsite will send you a packet of information to help you prepare for your tour. This packet is available via snail mail or by an email attachment, depending on how much time is available before your tour.

What Tripsite Provides On your Bicycle Tour

Tripsite starts by connecting you with the appropriate tour company. Then they provide you with an overview of the tour that includes:tulips-windmill-holland-netherlands-tulip-bike-boat-tour-nlboardoftourism.179x179

  • arrival information with helpful suggestions for getting to your first hotel (& a Google map link)
  • what to expect when you get to your first hotel
  • an introductory packet with information about:
    • your tour accommodations
    • meals
    • your tour bicycle
    • route description
    • route difficulty level
    • luggage transfer/transportation details

Other Bike Tour Services Offered by Tripsite

In addition to helping you plan awesome bike tours, Tripsite also offers these services:

  • group tours & charters – Be the hit of your bicycle club or community by asking Tripsite to help you plan a group tour or bike & boat charter.
  • bike trip insurance – Tripsite works with World Nomads to offer bicycle trip insurance for your next tour.
  • bike tour contests & giveaways – Your bicycle vacation photos or blog-posts can help you win great prizes with Tripsite.
  • complimentary bike tour gifts – Tripsite bike jersey anyone? What a great souvenir for remembering your bike tour of a lifetime.

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Jun 21

Tour Company Review: Velociped Tours

logo for velociped bike toursVelociped Bike Tours

Velocip is a German-based bicycle touring company that has been in business since 1988. They offer both guided tours and self-guided bike tours. (They call their self-guided tours “Individual Bike Tours.”) Velociped also offers both bike trail tours as well as road bike tours. Most of their tours are in Europe, but they also have tours in Hawaii, New Zealand, Cuba and Vietnam. Bicycle tourists have two options for booking tours with Velociped. They can book directly on the Velociped website or they can book through a bicycle touring company such as

Touring the Moselle River

Touring the Moselle River

Velociped Self-Guided Bike Tours

One of Velociped’s bike touring specialties is self-guided tours such as the Mosel River Bike Tour in Germany. They do an excellent job of bridging the gap between guided bike tours and on-your-own bike tours. These self-guided tours provide touring bicyclists with bikes, lodging, touring guide books and luggage transfer. And they provide these services at a price that is not too much more than you might pay if you planned your own bike trip. Of course it helps that they’ve been in this business for well over two decades and have built up a strong relationship with local hotel operators.

Advantages of a Velociped Self-Guided Bicycle Tour

bike on trail through vineyards in Europe

Cycle Through Vineyards

So why go with a tour company rather than plan and organize your own bike tour? Well, as stated above, these self-guided tours are probably about the same cost as what it would cost you to plan your own pedaling tour. Plus, it saves you a lot of hassle. In addition, since Velociped has been doing this bike-tour-thing for quite awhile, they have the system down. They provide you with the following tour essentials:

  • a sturdy, comfortable bike – Their bikes are usually 21-speed touring bikes with a comfortable seat and handlebars. The bikes are in good shape and are usually less than a year old.
  • pannier – Velociped provides you with a water-resistant pannier for holding your daily touring gear such as a rain jacket, lunch/snacks, camera, etc.

    bike riders on mosel river trail

    Beautiful Mosel River Trail

  • bike repair kit – You probably won’t need to use it, but it’s nice to have a bike repair kit when you’re traveling all day for multiple days.
  • bike lock – This gives you peace of mind so that you feel comfortable going into restaurants or going on side tours and leaving your bicycle parked outside.
  • lodging – Velociped provides you with comfortable lodging. Be forewarned that the lodging, although fairly close to your bike route/trail, is not always as close as you’d like. But this is understandable considering all of the specific criteria that the lodging must meet. First of all, it has to be in the affordable range, and often times trailside accommodations aren’t very affordable. Secondly, it has to be comfortable. Although you will not always (maybe never in some countries) get a room with air conditioning, you will likely get a clean and comfortable room for the night. (See “Tips for Touring in Europe” post.) Tour companies must also find hotels that provide bicycle storage. Many hotels just don’t have room for such luxuries. And finally, they must find hotels that provide breakfast since this is usually included in most self-guided tours.
  • luggage transfer – I can’t even imagine going on one of these marathon tours while schlepping around all of my own luggage. First of all, that would be a lot of stuff, therefore quite heavy and cumbersome. Secondly, I’d have to constantly be worried about leaving my bike for fear of losing not only the bike, but everything else that I need for the tour. And finally, I would have to pack in a much more spartan fashion. No thanks!! This service alone makes the self-guided touring service worthwhile.
  • touring books & maps – I saved this one for last because it’s much more important and valuable than most people would realize. The touring literature that is provided by Velociped is exceptional. In most cases, they provide you with two essential touring publications. One is a guide to the trail or route you will be taking. It includes maps and a mile-by-mile description of the route. For example, in the case of the Moselle River Bike Trail, they provide you with a wonderful bike line publication entitled Moselle River Trail: From Metz to the Rhine. This book comes complete with a series of day-to-day maps, colorful photos, a thorough description of the route and even GPS Tracks that allow you to follow the route with your GPS-enabled device. Plus, you also get another tour book published by Velociped. This one has general bike touring information, specific directions to your daily lodging facility as well as detailed descriptions of some of the main towns & sites you will be visiting. Unlike travel guides you might purchase at a bookstore or online, these guides are specifically tailored to your bike tour and your bicycling itinerary.

Book Your Tour Directly Through Velociped or…

You have two choices when it comes to booking your bike tour. You can book directly through the Velociped website or you can utilize the services of a cycling vacation company such as Tripsite. You will get the same wonderful services described above no matter which option you choose. You will also pay the exact same price either way. However, I have found that it’s nice to have the added convenience of a bicycle touring specialist such as Tripsite to provide an added level of assistance when planning tours. Tripsite has a well-designed website and dedicated staff who can help you with your travel plans. This is especially helpful if you’re planning multiple bike tours in one trip. But either way you go, booking a tour with Velociped or Tripsite is a great first start in planning your dream bicycle tour.

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May 26

Bike Tour Consolidators

One Website, Multiple Touring Companies

bike tour on bike trail

Bike Tour in France

Say you want to embark on a Moselle River Bike Path Tour. You can search for bike touring companies on the internet, and you will easily find hundreds of different companies. Locating a company is easy. Deciding which tour company to use is more difficult. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could sort through all the different companies and find the best ones? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could book multiple tours using just one company? It would certainly take a lot of the hassle out of planning your active travel vacation.

What is an Active Travel Tour Consolidator?

Fortunately you can use just one tour consolidator to find and book bike tours with many different tour companies. These tour consolidators have already done all the hard work of finding local active travel tour companies and consolidating them into a single website so that you can search for the ideal bike tours or hiking tours all with one-stop-shopping. And fortunately, you don’t pay any extra for this service. The major active travel tour consolidators charge the exact same price for the tours they advertise as the individual tour companies that they feature. I will use the bike tours on as an example of how tour consolidators work.

Hundreds of Bike Tours on One Website

bike tour details

Easy Website Navigation

So here’s how it works: You want to go on a bike tour. You have a general idea of where you want to go and a vague idea of what type of bike touring experience you’d like. For example, you may want a self-guided bike tour in Germany. The Tripsite website allows you to choose your tours by the following categories:

  • type of tour (i.e. guided tour, self-guided tour, bike & barge, etc.)
  • location of tour (by country)
  • month of tour
  • level of difficulty
  • price range


Who Offers the Actual Bike Tours?

The actual bike tours are offered by local bike tour companies. The bike tour consolidators act as the point of contact between you and the local tour companies. Once again, they do not charge you extra for this service. They usually make a small commission off of each tour, and that is paid by the actual tour company, not you. Basically, everyone benefits from this business model. The bike tour consolidator is responsible for finding great bike tour companies, compiling these companies all in one location and then helping you, the bike tour customer, book an ideal bike tour. This allows the actual bike tour providers to focus on organizing the best bike tours and not have to spend lots of time and money on marketing, web design and the rest of the administrivia that goes along with the business.

What Makes a Good Bike Tour Consolidator?

Here’s what you should look for in a good bike tour consolidator:

  • A well designed website that is easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye
  • The ability to search for bike tours using a range of criteria
  • The ability to perform a general search using keywords. (a search function on the website)
  • A company that is easy to contact using multiple modes of communication
    • live-chat (This is a great tool for getting information, especially in the early stages of your search.)
    • toll-free phone number
    • email and/or contact button/page
  • A company that offers numerous different types of bike tours in a wide variety of locations
  • Good customer service (You can usually tell, with your first contact, whether or not the company provides good service. Do they answer your questions? If the person can’t answer your question, are they willing and able to contact someone else in the company who can?)

Bike Tour Consolidator Reviews

In future Active Travel Tour blog-posts, I’ll review a number of active travel tour consolidators. Of course I’ll also review the local tour companies that actually provide the bike tours, hiking tours, canoe trips, snowshoe excursions and more. If you’re interested in specific touring companies, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll see what I can find out.


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May 01

Active Travel Tour Reviews

Finding the Best Active Travel Tours for Your Needs

If you’re looking for a great bike tour or a memorable hiking vacation can be difficult. The good news is that there are a lot of great active travel tour companies out there. But finding the right one isn’t always so simple. When searching for the right tour provider, here are some questions you should ask:paddle-group

  • Does the tour company provide the kind of tour you’re looking for?
  • Do they provide tours that match your level of activity?
  • What services do they provide while you are on tour?
  • Do they provide a quality tour at a reasonable price?
  • Which tour companies provide the best customer service before, during and after your tour?

What Types of Active Travel Tour Companies Will We Review?

Active travel tour companies provide a wide variety of tour packages based on consumer interests and needs. Some different tour activities include bike tours, hiking tours, kayak tours, canoe tours, snowshoe tours and more. And many tour companies offer a variety of activities within their menu of tour options. But ActiveTravelTours will begin by separating the active travel vacation providers into three main categories:

  • small and/or local tour companies – These are the tour providers that often start as mom & pop businesses and remain small, offering a handful of tours in their own country and possibly surrounding countries.
  • large tour companies – These are the big-name companies that often have hundreds of tours around the world. These companies have large advertising budgets and, as a result, are usually quite well known to active travelers.
  • tour consolidators – Tour consolidators do not actually run tours but contract with (usually small/local) companies. By offering tours from a wide variety of different tour companies, consolidators are able to provide numerous tours from all over the world.

What to Expect From Active Travel Tour Company Reviews

A representative from ActiveTravelTours will actually participate in tours from the companies being reviewed. In some cases, we will provide guest reviews in order to cover as many tour companies as possible. After completing a bike tour, hiking tour or other active travel tour, we will provide our visitors and subscribers with a thorough review of both the individual tours and the tour company. We will base our reviews on company-provided information and our own experience on tour. We will share important facts about the company and their tours as well as opinions about our experience on the tours. We will review both guided and self-guided tours as well as specialty tours such as bike-and-barge tours, trail tours and family tours. And finally, we will provide information about the nuts-and-bolts of touring such as helpfulness of guides, quality of equipment, comfort of accommodations and caliber of the meals.

So if you are looking for bike tours, hiking tours, kayak tours, nordic ski tours, snowshoe tours or any other type of active travel tours, you’ll want to check before planning your vacation.

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Feb 06

Florida Trails Tour

Florida Trails Our Latest Active Travel Destination

I don’t know about where you live, but it’s awfully cold here today. Wouldn’t it be nice to escape to somewhere warm where we could ride some beautiful trails in shorts and a t-shirt? I’m thinking a Florida vacation sounds good about now. A long, scenic trail is just what the doctor ordered. A nice mix of typical Florida beaches & theme parks and some of the best bike trails in America would be the ideal spring, winter or fall vacation.

What Personal Transportation Vehicle would you take on a Florida trail if you had your druthers? You can take the poll below or the one located on the Florida Trails Tour page:

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Feb 06

Active Travel Tour Survey

Best Active Travel Tour?

If you haven’t noticed yet, we have a new active travel tour choice poll over in the right-hand sidebar. Please take a moment to vote and let us know your tour preference. You can take the poll directly in today’s blog-post (below) or in the sidebar.

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