Austin Adventures

Website: http://www.austinadventures.com

The story of Austin Adventures is really about founder Dan Austin and his passion to create the world’s best active travel company. For a legacy dating back over 40 years, Dan has sharing his love of adventure with each and every guest. Austin Adventures' longtime insider's knowledge and extensive contacts in each destination they visit allow them to offer cultural and artistic experiences and encounters that give their guests a much more in-depth feel for the local people and their way of life.

Many companies may cover the world, but AA focuses solely on The Americas, Africa and Europe. They just want to be the best wherever they go. Itineraries are designed to deliver surprising luxury with an absence of pretension. They have done their research and know the best accommodations in each region to rest and recharge. Whether you dine in a 5 star restaurant or are served campfire-side, you will enjoy the finest local cuisine and wines, artfully prepared and deliciously sinful. You are a VIP with Austin Adventures and they promise to deliver on each traveler’s high standards for luxury, quality and comfort.

Activities and Destinations

BIKE / CULTURAL TOURS Asia / Pacific

    • Europe
      • Austria
      • France
      • Germany
      • Holland
      • Italy

MULTI-SPORT / CULTURAL / NATIONAL PARK TOURS

    • Africa
      • South Africa – Kruger NP
    • Central America
      • Costa Rica – Corcovado and Tortuguero NP
      • Mexico – Baja, Oaxaca and Chiapas
      • Panama
    • US & Canada - Mountain West
      • Alberta – Banff NP
      • Montana – Yellowstone  NP
      • Wyoming – Grand Teton NP
      • South Dakota – Badlands NP
    • US Pacific Coast
      • California – Yosemite NP
      • Oregon – Crater Lake NP
    • US & Canada - Northwest
      • Alaska – Glacier Bay NP & Kenai Fjords NP
      • BC – Okanagan Valley
      • BC – Vancouver Island – Pacific Rim NP
      • BC - Whistler
      • Washington – North Cascades NP
    • US Southwest
      • Arizona – Grand Canyon NP
      • New Mexico
      • Utah – Bryce & Zion NP
    • South America
      • Ecuador – Galapagos NP
      • Peru – Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca

FAMILY MULTI-SPORT / CULTURAL TOURS

  • Alaska
  • Austria
  • Canadian Rockies
  • Costa Rica
  • France (Loire)
  • Galapagos
  • Germany (Mosel)
  • Grand Canyon (Havasu)
  • Holland
  • Panama
  • South Africa
  • Vancouver Island (BC)
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Whistler (BC)

FOOD & WINE / MULTI-SPORT / CULTURAL TOURS

  • France
  • Germany
  • Mexico (Chiapas and Oaxaca)
  • Tuscany
  • Canada (Okanagan Valley)

SAFARI / NATURAL WORLD EXPLORATIONS

  • Galapagos
  • South Africa
  • Zambia

 

 

Austin Adventures’ Factoids on Fall Travel Whet Curiosity for Adventure Vacations into America’s Still-Wild West

BILLINGS, MT, June 17, 2011– Three post-Labor Day escapes offered by award-winning adventure vacations tour operator Austin Adventures http://www.austinlehman.com/ focus on America’s still-wild West. 

To add a little sizzle to their banquet of late summer, early fall offerings, Austin Adventures (ALA), the 37-year-old travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, has forwarded the following experiential and factual nuggets on their post-summer trips to Yellowstone Park, the Black Hills of South Dakota and Utah’s Bryce and Zion National Parks. (See http://www.austinlehman.com/factoids for a full list of fun and curious facts). 

Yellowstone National Park: Did You Know? 

- There are fewer than 1,000 geysers in the whole world and over 500 of them are located within Yellowstone NP making it the highest concentration of geysers on the planet.

- More than 2,400 miles of streams flow through Yellowstone, providing some of the best fly-fishing in the world.

- September is prime time for photographers as cooler air turns aspens gold while enhancing the thermal features of the park. The elk are in rut, bears are foraging to fatten up and mammals start to sport thick winter coats. 

On a six-day ALA vacation guests hike, raft, horseback ride and spa through Yellowstone at $2,298 per person double; adult-only departures are Aug. 28, Sept. 4 and 11. The lodgings used are a roster of favorites:Old Faithful Inn dating to 1904, Lake Yellowstone Hotel hearkening to 1891, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, named after nearby steaming limestone terraces; and Chico Hot Springs Resort with mineral hot spring-fed pools and spa services. http://www.austinlehman.com/yellowstone-tours-trips-17.php 

“Fall is my favorite time to travel the Yellowstone backcountry. The weather is usually postcard perfect; the bugs have long gone; there are far less people on the trails; the fishing is great and wildlife viewing is at its peak,” Dan Austin, director. 

Black Hills of South Dakota: Did You Know? 

- The in-progress Crazy Horse mountain carving will be the world’s largest sculpture (563' high, 641' long, carved in the round).

- Mount Rushmore’s Thomas Jefferson was originally started on George Washington's right, but after 18 months Jefferson was dynamited off and carved on the other side.

- September is prime time to bike the George S. Mickelson Trail, a 109-mile abandoned railroad bed with more than 100 converted railroad bridges and four rock tunnels. 

Activities in the Black Hills of South Dakota include biking, hiking, caving and spa time at $1,998 per person double; six-day trip departures are Sept. 4, 11 and 18. Accommodations include the century-plus Franklin Hotel in Deadwood, State Game Lodge made of stone and wood in a ponderosa pine forest, and Red Rock River Resort & Spa, with unique sandstone architecture dating back to 1891. See: http://www.austinlehman.com/black-hills-vacations-trips-79.php 

Bryce and Zion National Parks: Did You Know? 

- At the intersection of three separate ecosystems, Zion has a variety of plants (more than 900 species) not found anywhere else in Utah

- Bryce Canyon National Park has a 7.4 limiting magnitude night sky. In most rural areas of the United States, 2500 stars can be seen on a clear night. At Bryce Canyon, 7500 stars can be seen twinkling in the void.

- # 5 in National Geographic’s ranking of America's Best 100 Adventures is hiking the Narrows of Zion’s Virgin River, a gorge 16 miles long, up to 2000 feet deep, and at times only 20-30 feet wide. With flash floods a concern, the fall is the best time to experience it. 

ALA guests bike and hike through Utah’s Bryce & Zion National Parks at $2,098 per person double; six-day departures are Sept. 18, Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and  9. Overnights are at Seven Wives Inn, Utah's first bed and breakfast and a restored Victorian (the innkeeper's ancestor really did have seven wives), Bryce Canyon Lodge, built in the 1920's with replicas of original hickory furniture, and Zion Park Inn with its Great Room fire place and an outdoor heated pool. See: http://www.austinlehman.com/zion-tours-trips-11.php 

Austin says that the summer 2011 season bookings for his company’s National Parks programs has “exceeded all projections and will be a record setting year for Austin Adventures!” 

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/. 

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Watch Those Fingers and Do Say ‘Bon Jour’: Austin Adventures Posts Etiquette Tips, Foreign Phrases to Help Americans Blend In While On Adventure Tour in Europe

Billings, MT, May 20, 2011– Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, has enhanced its mission to create meaningful cultural interaction while traveling on a Europe Adventure by posting on its website etiquette tips and a few basic phrases in five languages that will help guests break the ice with the locals and feel more comfortable on foreign soil.  

For example, in Italy they recommend that travelers “don’t talk about politics and the Mafia;” in Holland, “don’t discuss your income and possessions or the Dutch Royal Family” and even if you long to tap the middle of your forehead with your index finger – don’t!  It is a sign for “crazy” and considered impolite. 

Fingers are issues elsewhere. The index finger made into a circle with the thumb is verboten in Spain and Germany and it’s probably a good idea to avoid it elsewhere as it’s considered an obscene gesture. Don’t bring up Franco (in Spain) and the Nazis and even though you may drive a Mercedes back home, button your lip because not everyone in Europe can afford to.  But this may be the toughest one of all to get under an American belt. In France they don’t appreciate jokes but do like serious conversation. 

“That being said, the on-line language tips remind us that even though we’ve seen the Eiffel Tower in hundreds of pictures we’re now on someone else’s doorstep and it’s a compliment to our host to extend our most courteous hand by making at least a small effort to say ‘Bon jour’,” says Dan Austin, owner and founder. “It’s also a great way to meet and connect with people who are usually delighted to help you find a secret spot that only the locals know or the best place to eat in town. Your pronunciation doesn't have to be perfect; all that matters is that you are trying and that means a lot to the locals.” 

Austin’s team has thrown in a few notes on local customs as well:  

French:http://www.austinlehman.com/language-tips--pages-523.php#french -- Instead of a 3-course meal that Americans are used to, the French traditionally serve 6 courses. In order, they are: hors d’ oeuvres, fish course, meat course, salad, cheese plate, and dessert. Bread and wine are also staples that are always on the table.

Italian:http://www.austinlehman.com/language-tips--pages-523.php#italian -- Italians take part in La Passeggiata daily. This is a stroll around the town at about 6 p.m. The purpose is to see and be seen and catch up with friends before dinner.

Spanish:http://www.austinlehman.com/language-tips--pages-523.php#spanish – In a bullfight the Matador dedicates the death of the bull to his president or the crowd before performing his faena or “dance with death” when he stands in the arena with his sword letting the bull charge him until he finally kills it. This tradition dates all the way back to 711 A.D.

German:http://www.austinlehman.com/language-tips--pages-523.php#german – Every year for 16-18 days from the end of September to the beginning of October, Germans celebrate Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the largest fair in the world with more than 5 million people in attendance each year.

Dutch:http://www.austinlehman.com/language-tips--pages-523.php#dutch -- Wooden clogs worn by Dutch people of the Netherlands are an iconic symbol of their culture used for Dutch dancing or worn by farmers. They keep feet warm in the winter, cool in the summer, have good support, and absorb perspiration. 

For more helpful travel planning resources please see: http://www.austinlehman.com/travel-planning-resources-pages-490.php. 

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/

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Austin Adventures to Donate $200 to Wheels of Change In Name of Each Client Who Books a Biking Tour in May

 Billings, MT, May 5, 2011 – Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, is honoring National Bike Month with a $200 donation to Wheels of Change, a non-profit charity, in the name of each person booking one of their dedicated biking tours during the month of May. 

Wheels of Change provides donated bicycles to underprivileged African communities. Donations will help defer the cost of shipping 400 bikes, parts and tools.  Through a community effort, ALA has collected the bikes and will pack them for shipment on Mothers’ Day weekend. Collection of bikes, parts and tools began shortly after last year’s spring shipment of bikes to Ngoma, a remote village in the far eastern corner of Namibia. This year’s shipment will go to Nairobi, Kenya.  

Active cyclists wanting to put their trip fee toward a worthwhile cause are encouraged to book their bike vacation now. Some of ALA’s most popular biking tours in 2011 include: 

>South Dakota: Black Hills to Mount Rushmore- http://www.austinlehman.com/black-hills-vacations-trips-79.php

>France: Provence- http://www.austinlehman.com/france-bike-tour-trips-59.php

>Germany: Romantic Road- http://www.austinlehman.com/europe-bike-trips-trips-77.php

>Holland/Belgium: Brussels to Gent- http://www.austinlehman.com/holland-biking-tours-trips-73.php

>Italy: Tuscany- http://www.austinlehman.com/tuscany-bike-tours-trips-61.php

>Switzerland/Germany: Lake Constance to Zurich- http://www.austinlehman.com/switzerland-vacations-trips-74.php 

Dan Austin, owner and founder of ALA, said that a bike, that can change a life in a poor country, remains financially out of reach for millions. Wheels of Change helps empower people through improved mobility and access to food and water, employment, healthcare, education and social opportunities.  

For example, a healthcare worker can visit up to four times more clients by biking instead of walking; girls are 70 percent more likely to attend school if their household owns a bicycle; in 60 minutes biking can cover three times the distance of walking; a person biking can carry five times more than while walking.  

“The efforts of this organization will allow us to make a positive impact on the people who need it the most,” Austin said.  

The May shipment of bikes to Nairobi marks the first official initiative of the just-established nonprofit, Africa-based organization Wheels of Change founded by Michael Linke (http://www.benbikes.org.za/namibia/) and represented in Billings by Austin. Linke has helped establish 26 up and running bikes shops throughout Namibia, including the Billings-supported shop in Ngoma.  

About Wheels of Change

Austin said that Wheels of Change is taking an assertive role and expanding geographically to other African countries as well as adding new programs. One initiative allows solar lights to be shipped and sold at the bike shops. Another project is helping a young Namibia woman establish a bike tour company offering guided day trips to Katutura, the township area of Windhoek.  

Up to 400 bicycles can be loaded into one shipping container, along with tools and spare parts. The shipping container itself becomes a Bicycle Empowerment Centre (BEC) which in turn becomes a source of employment and revenue. A center provides refurbished bicycles free of charge to, among others, healthcare outreach volunteers and school children. Income from bike-related activities goes to assisting a sustainable business model while creating local jobs. Profits are reinvested in other community projects such as growing food for AIDS orphans, making micro loans to foster small enterprises, purchasing school uniforms, and paying school fees for disadvantaged children.  

Linke, Austin and others will be launching fundraising projects in the near future to help cover some of the cost associated with establishing BEC’s and adding additional services and products.  

People are invited to follow the progress on Austin Adventures’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/austinlehmanadventures. May is National Bike Month: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/index.php, with May 16-20 Bike to Work Week and May 20 Bike to Work Day. 

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/. 

# # #

Austin Adventures Offers Three Peru Tours Encompassing Machu Picchu Celebrating 100th Anniversary of Rediscovery by Yale Archaeologist

Billings, MT, May 2, 2011 – Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, offers three itineraries to Peru encompassing Machu Picchu that is celebrating 100 years since its 1911 rediscovery by Yale University archeologist Hiram Bingham.  

“Just like the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu trips top the bucket lists of ‘must do’,” says Dan Austin, ALA’s founder and owner, adding that on July 7, 2007, Machu Picchu was named among the new seven wonders of the world, drawing up to 2,000 people daily and with visitor numbers growing at 6 percent annually.  

Austin expects that because of the anniversary and planned observances surrounding the July event, space on these Peru tours will sell out quickly. 

The three adventures consist of two multi-sport cultural tours that span nine days. The third is a seven-day trekking/cultural program suited for intermediate to advanced hikers. 

The nine-day Peru | Machu Picchu Multi Sport Adventure http://www.austinlehman.com/machu-picchu-trips-trips-12.php is ALA’s most popular itinerary. The nearly all-inclusive, per person double occupancy rate (including internal air) is $3,998 ($1,280 single supplement) with departures Apr. 30-May 8, June 11-June 19, July 16-July 24, Aug. 13-Aug. 21 and Oct. 2-Oct. 16.  This upscale trip focuses on the Sacred Valley with splashing on Class II and III rapids, hiking the Inca Trail, planting a tree as part of the United Nations “Plant for the Planet” campaign, visits to Indian markets and more. 

The second nine-day program, Peru | Amazon to Machu Picchu Adventure http://www.austinlehman.com/machu-picchu-vacations-trips-99.php explores both sides of the Andes. The nearly all-inclusive, per person double occupancy rate (including internal air) is $4,198 ($1,980 single supplement). Scheduling of this program is arranged on a custom basis with two or more persons. The first three nights are aboard a small ship that plies the waters through a segment of the Amazon rain forest, with on-water and land safari experiences, sunrise over Machu Picchu and an historical immersion into how and why the Incas accomplished what they did. 

The seven-day Peru| Salkantay Lodge to Lodge http://www.austinlehman.com/machu-picchu-lodge-to-lodge-trips-54.php trip features a less-traveled alternative to the Inca Trail. The nearly all-inclusive per person double occupancy rate is $2,850 ($1,425 single supplement).  Scheduling of this program is arranged on a custom basis with two or more persons. This is a lodge-to-lodge journey along the Salkantay Valley to Machu Picchu, an exclusive and highly scenic route that traverses bamboo forests, avocado orchards and coffee plantations en route to Llactapata pass for jaw-dropping views (that most never see) of Machu Picchu from the Southwest. A visit with an Andean family and dip in a natural hot spring are included. 

Austin underscores that each itinerary’s accommodations and dining experiences are selected as part of the cultural immersion.  

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/. 

# # # 

Austin Adventures Sees Double-Digit Growth In Multi-Generational (3G) Family Adventures

Suggests Questions 3G Families Should Ask Tour Operators Before Booking   

Billings, MT, Apr. 25, 2011 – Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, reports an explosion in multi-generational or “3G” (three generations of same family)  travel.  

For the fourth consecutive year, ALA reports mid-double digit growth in 3G trips both in pre-set, small-group and custom departures. Seventy-five percent of its custom exclusives are 3G bookings, mostly requesting national park trips, an ALA specialty.  

“Our Yellowstone National Park family adventures are sold out for 2011 and we’re now taking bookings for 2012,” said Dan Austin, founder and owner. He added that family programs to other national parks such as Yosemite, Glacier, Bryce & Zion and Grand Teton still offer good space this season.  

Austin suggests that 3G families and their travel consultants explore together the various options and ask the following questions of the tour operator “to assure that meeting the complex needs of three generations surpasses all expectations.”  

Accommodations

-Are the accommodations family-friendly (i.e. meeting needs of both adults and kids)?

-Are there children’s menus and safe places where children can roam when parents are socializing, reading on the porch, or sipping wine by the fire?

-Is there a place to swim?

-Does the itinerary allow parents to enjoy their own quiet meal if desired knowing children are being cared for, fed and entertained? (ALA ends its Yellowstone programs at Chico Hot Springs Resort where adults dine by candlelight while their kids have pizza by the pool.)  

Pre-set Departures, Group Size and Guides

-Will the group be big enough to allow interaction between multiple families with kids the same age, yet small enough to allow intimate and personalized attention and service from the staff and guides? (ALA says that a maximum of 18 on a family trip is the preferred number.)

-Are guest rosters on pre-set family departures arranged insofar as possible with families who have children of similar ages? (Austin said his company does its best to match up three or four like-minded families with children of similar ages on the same departure.)

-What is the guest to guide ratio? (ALA recommends a six guests per one guide maximum so that everyone gets individualized attention.)

-What are the guides’ qualifications? Summer break teachers experienced in working with young children can be the best, says Austin.  

Equipment and Transportation

-What kinds of equipment are used for activities and how is the equipment adapted for 3G use?  For example, Austin’s team offers kid-size mountain bikes and even tag-along kiddy carriers on all trips and new high tech electric bikes on all European trips.

-What kind of transportation is used from Point A to Point B on a trip?

-How is luggage stored and moved?

-Do the guides offer any ongoing dialog and/or fun games to help pass time en route? 

Flexibility and Age-Appropriate Activities

-How flexible is the itinerary if someone wishes to veer from the day’s planned events?

-Are there age-appropriate activities? Ask if the itinerary is flexible to accommodate, if necessary, individual programs for a range of guests 7 to 70 years old.  Austin cites a Montana trip where guides spontaneously set up an easy half-day horseback ride for grandparents who otherwise would have sat on the porch as younger family members did an intensive hike.  

ALA’s 3G experience is in line with industry-wide statistics, said Austin, noting that 3G trips have recently been identified as top trends by mainstream travel companies such as Virtuoso and American Express Travel. Austin cites U.S. Travel Association research that notes that 30 percent of U.S. adult leisure travelers vacation with children or grandchildren along. TripAdvisor reported this year that 92 percent of families with children surveyed last year planned to travel in 2011, up from 88 percent who did so last year. There’s also more international travel by families (predicted to be up 5% from 2010) because so many of today’s parents are becoming more and more world travel savvy and operators such as Austin Adventures are developing family-focused programs abroad.   

Austin said that in addition to national park trips the 2011 season is beginning to fill up and that people who want to travel with one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Tour Operators in the World should consider booking their plans now.  

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee.  

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/ 

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Top Travel Blogs: Austin Adventures Announces Its First Official List of Best Travel Bloggers of 2011

Billings, MT, April 10, 2011– Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, pays close attention to top travel blogs. The company recently announced their first annual top blogger list to honor deserving bloggers and to provide travelers with another resource when searching for advice and adventure. 

On April 7 the company posted on its adventure travel blog its list of the Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalists. From this list, the experts at Austin Adventures picked their top 10 favorite blogs and awarded these bloggers with the honor of Top 10 Best Travel Blog Finalist. On April 8, the company announced this list on its adventure travel blog. 

The travel company’s staff applied specific criteria while reading through hundreds of travel-related blogs to come up with 125 of the world’s best travel blogs. They looked for such things as readability, unique content, honesty, integrity, accompanying content such as video and photos, useful links and posting frequency. 

As recognition for their excellence, the Top 125 bloggers will have the opportunity to present on their blogs a trip giveaway for two on any Austin Adventures Adventure of their choice (at a capped credit of $5,000). Options include cycling tours, hiking trips, multi-sport adventures, family adventures and rafting trips (82 different itineraries spanning 28 countries worldwide). 

Followers of these Top 125 blogs must go to the Austin Adventures giveaway page, which only these select bloggers have access to, and enter their name, email address and the name or URL of the specific blog they read in order to enter the contest. The promotion will run from now through 11:59 p.m. on May 19, 2011. Winners will be announced on Austin Adventures’ blog the next day. 

“We're excited to share these bloggers with the world,” said Dan Austin, founder and owner. “Each blog provides the most fascinating, up-to-date content on travel tips, destinations (such as Yellowstone tours), active travel, family adventures and the everyday life of a traveler. These blogs are imaginative, fun, original and poignant; reaching to the heart of what traveling is all about: discovery, adventure and finding yourself.”  

The Top 125 Semi-Finalists and the Top 10 Finalists are also invited to place a custom-designed award badge on their blog.   

“These bloggers are truly the best in the blogosphere, providing beautifully written travel posts that highlight their expert knowledge, undeniable passion, cultural insight and unique, personal experiences,” said Austin.  

Austin Adventures’ Top 10 blogs are (in random order):

http://ellenbarone.com

http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/

http://www.jthetravelauthority.com/

http://travelogged.com

http://almostfearless.com

http://theplanetd.com

http://www.wildjunket.com/

http://www.amateurtraveler.com

http://www.motherofalltrips.com

http://mantripping.com 

To view the complete list of Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalists, please go to Austin Adventures’ Blog. 

About Austin Adventures   

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/

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Austin Adventures Brings Award-Winning Multi-Sport Concept For First Time to Europe on Weeklong Austria Vacation

Billings, MT, Apr. 8, 2011 – Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tours standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, takes multi-sport travel to higher levels on its Austria Vacation: Alps to Salzburg program offering biking, hiking, a cultural walking tour and optional paragliding, glacier skiing and caving.  

This is the first time that the Austin Adventures’ multi-sport formula so popular in the United States is being applied to a Europe adventure tour, said Dan Austin, founder and owner. 

“People are hungry to take on challenges they can share around the water cooler or cocktail party when they get home,” Austin said. 

This 8 day / 7 night adventure is from $3,498 per person double occupancy ($780 single supplement) with departures June 4-11, July 23-30 and Aug. 27-Sept. 3. See: http://www.austinlehman.com/austria---alps-to-salzburg-trips-56.php 

The Austria vacation begins in Zell am See, a popular spa town, with a four-night stay at the landmark and lakefront Grand Hotel. Daily cycling takes in, among others, the mountains and  villages of the Salzach Valley, an area designated by a late industrialist who in 1918, inspired by Yellowstone National Park, bought the surrounding peaks and presented the mountains to an Austrian conservationists’ club, thereby turning this de-facto into the first Austrian national park. 

Children and adults will enjoy Europe’s longest summer toboggan run near the imposing rock faces of the Steinernes Meer. One day is a cable car journey from Zell am See to Schmittenhöhe (6,447 ft) followed by a “Sound of Music”-style hilltop hike. Optional activities include a paraglide tandem flight or skiing on the glacier of Kitzsteinhorn Mountain. 

A cycle tour to Werfen reveals Burg Hohenwerfen, an 11th century fortress and the world’s largest cave system at Eisriesenwelt. Lodging is at the 13th century Hotel Obauer with, notes Austin, “undoubtedly Austria’s best restaurant.” 

The bike tour continues to Salzburg for an optional evening at the lively beer garden of the Augustinian Cloister where monks brew beer according to centuries-old recipes. An expert guide reveals this City of Mozart allowing time for shopping and on-own sightseeing. Lodging is at Hotel Auersperg with a rooftop terrace. 

“For clients who may be intimidated at the thought of various biking tours through the mountains, we offer a new electric bike option for a $25 per day up charge,” noted Austin. 

He said the 2011 season is beginning to fill up and that people who want to travel with one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Tour Operators in the World should consider booking their plans now. 

About Austin Adventures  

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/ 

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Austin Adventures Adds Three New Family Adventures to Address Demand for Interest in Exploring National Parks

New National Park Vacations in Yosemite, Bryce / Zion and Arches Designed for Active Families with Children Ages 7 and Up 

Billings, MT, March 25, 2011 – Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tour standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, has launched three new family adventures to National Parks this year. The trips embrace “the best of” Yosemite, Bryce / Zion and Arches National Parks. 

National Park vacations have always been a major part of our offerings,” said Dan Austin, founding director, noting that his company first began offering trips into Yellowstone decades ago. “Year after year it’s our Yellowstone Park vacation packages that outsell all others; however we have seen interest in all of our National Park vacations grow at an astounding rate.” 

Following are details on the three new National Park vacations for families with children ages seven and up. All are six-day / five-night itineraries.

 Yosemite Family Vacation

http://www.austinlehman.com/trips/yosemite_national_park_family/34.php offers departures July 10-15, July 17-22, July 31-Aug. 5 and Aug. 7-1. The per person double rate is $2,398 ($780 single supplement); and from $1,918 to $2,158 for children. For 2011, Austin Adventures’ Preserve a Park Program recipient will be Yosemite National Park, with $100 per guest booked on all Yosemite vacations going to the Yosemite Conservancy. This California adventure gets up close and personal with a 2,425-foot waterfall, a soaring 8,842-foot granite dome, a 3,000-year-old, 300-foot-tall Giant Sequoia tree, with hiking, rock climbing, swimming and rappelling to complete action-packed days. 

Utah’s Bryce/Zion Family Vacation

http://www.austinlehman.com/trips/utah_family__bryce_zion/86.php offers departures June 26-July 1, July 3-8 and Aug. 21-26. The per person double rate is $1,998 ($580 single supplement); and from $1,598 to $1,798 for children. Guests hike past waterfalls, natural springs and hanging gardens in Zion's Virgin River Narrows, ranked one of America's best adventures by National Geographic, ramble streamside in Kolob Canyon beneath sheer, 1,600-foot sandstone walls, take a sunset bike ride through Snow Canyon State Park and hike the magical hoodoo rock formations of Bryce’s Peek-a-Boo and Queens Garden trails. 

Arches to Moab Family Vacation

http://www.austinlehman.com/trips//81.php offers departures June 12-17 and June 19-25, with additional adult departures May 29-June 3, June 5-10, Aug. 28-Sept. 2 and Sept. 4-9. The per person rate double is $2,398 ($680 single supplement); and from $1,198 to $2,158 for children. This trip includes biking into Colorado National Monument’s burnt-orange sheer-walled canyons, rafting Westwater Canyon of the Colorado River beneath ancient granite walls dating back over 1.7 billion years, and studying petroglyphs and rituals of Fremont, Anasazi and Navajo communities of hundreds of years past. 

Austin noted that in addition to high demand for Yellowstone vacation packages this year, demand for his Glacier National Park tours is also above average with a 35 percent increase in early season bookings. 

“It is clear the national parks of the West continue to be those iconic destinations on everyone’s wish list,” he said, adding that the “Canadian Rockies are experiencing a comeback this year as well.” He attributed this interest in great part to the documentary work of Ken Burns ("America's Best Idea") and has announced plans to add a Yellowstone Luxury Safari Camp & Lodge trip in 2012 and National Parks of the Northeast in 2013.  

Austin noted that because the 2011 season is filling up, people who want to travel with one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Tour Operators in the World should consider booking their plans now. 

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/. 

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Austin Adventures Announces New Staff Hires, Social Media Consultant As Result of Two Years of Double-Digit Growth in Adventure Tours

Billings, MT, Mar. 23, 2011– Leading adventure tours operator Austin Adventures (ALA), the active travel company setting the standard for adventure travel companies in Yellowstone National Park, Europe, Africa and beyond, reports double-digit growth for two consecutive years, prompting a spate of new hires. 

Dan Austin, Austin Adventures http://www.austinlehman.com/ owner, said that thanks to the fact that “our name continues to be associated with the best adventure travel companies in the business, it’s easier and easier to recruit exceptional help. With sales up significantly two years running, we have been adding depth to our already amazing and proven staff. This includes outside consultants and new staff hires.” 

A Boulder advertising agency, SmartClick Adworks http://www.smartclickadworks.com/, has been appointed to consult and lead SEO and social media initiatives. This online social media and search engine marketing company will work on natural search engine optimization and paid search marketing programs for Austin Adventures.  Search engine optimization programs will not only include link building, and landing page optimization, but also a blog outreach campaign, partnering with past travelers and influential travel bloggers to create increased brand awareness in the online space.  Paid search marketing will focus on Google advertising, to supplement ongoing natural search engine optimization efforts. 

“We’re honored to be working with Austin Adventures,” says Glen Spencer, President of SmartClick AdWorks. “For years, we’ve admired the strong consumer brand they’ve built, and our goal now is to make ALA ubiquitous on the web.” 

New staff hires for the Billings-based adventure tours operator include Jonathan Burnham who will serve as webmaster and marketing assistant. His video/photographer skills will also be utilized on the website. 

Kristen Donisthorpe is a new administrative assistant who brings a marketing and communications background to the table. Another new administrative assistant, Kendra Wehmeyer, will support sales team and client communications outreach. 

Mindy Vanderhoof is new to the team as adventure tours consultant, having spent well over a decade globetrotting through 35 countries. 

Austin noted that the 2011 season is beginning to fill up and that people who want to travel with one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Tour Operators in the World should consider booking their plans now. 

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee. 

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/

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Austin Adventures Introduces Electric Bicycle Option on All European Biking Tours

‘World’s Best’ Tour Operator Again Breaks New Ground For Guest Enjoyment of International Cycling Adventures  

Billings, MT,Mar. 8, 2011 – Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting adventure tour standards in Yellowstone National Park, Europe, Africa and beyond, announces that it is charging up its European biking tours this year by being one of the first US tour operators to introduce electric bicycles as an option on all of its European cycle tours.  

This move has already made a difference for business. One New York couple who have taken 54 Austin Adventures biking vacations were ready to hang up their helmets until they learned that electric bikes would now be an option. They’ve just booked three more adventures this summer. Tour alumni Patty and Brian Hohner always had a Tuscany biking adventure on their bucket list but they were intimidated by the hills. Once they heard about e-bikes they immediately signed up. 

The company’s cycling tour veteran and director of European operations, Ron van Dijk, explained that e-bikes can enhance an experience and widen the appeal to travelers who were once intimidated by cycling hill terrain or moderate distances.  

“With e-bikes now anyone, regardless of age, strength or ability, will be able to take on even the most strenuous tour itinerary,” said van Dijk.  Over his 40 years in the industry he has witnessed many changes in the way bicycles have been used in European vacations, from the use of increasingly lighter touring bikes and gears moving from 10 to 27 gears, as well as high-tech brakes and now, battery-powered bikes.  

“Electric bikes, originally the rage of bike commuters, are quickly becoming the next major evolution in recreational cycling, with Austin Adventures leading the way in Europe by offing an e-bike option to guests on all of their multi-day cycle tours,” said Dan Austin, founder and owner.  

Essentially e-bikes level the playing field, Austin said. Couples can cycle together without fear of leaving a companion in the dust. For the first time the arm chair/casual cyclist thinking of an Italy bike tour can do a challenging trip like Tuscany without fearing long ascents. The bikes are ideal for multi-generational groups and families. 

The use of e-bikes has grown in popularity with European commuters over the past several years; statistics show that there has been an 83 percent increase worldwide e-bike use since 2007.  

Austin Adventures will use the latest model Diamant electric bikes with Trek Ride+™ technology. This is a lightweight aluminum frame bike with a lithium ion battery-operated motor that when engaged boosts a rider’s natural human power, enabling him/her to pedal with less effort farther and faster. When the course gets steep and a rider is ready for extra power, the rider hits a button and selects an assist level I to IV and continues pedaling. At day’s end batteries are removed and charged for tomorrow’s ride.  

Those opting for an environmentally friendly e-bike option will be assessed $25 per day per e-bike on European itineraries. Plans call for adding the same service on US itineraries in the near future.  

Austin noted that the 2011 season is beginning to fill up and that people who want to travel with one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Tour Operators in the World should consider booking their plans now.  

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, with a 37-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents, has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Trips are limited to 12 guests (18 on family departures) and feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee.  

For free 2011 catalog call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/ 

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