Skip to main content

The Art of Finding a Great Hotel

The difficulty of finding a great hotel, one that meets everyone’s needs, is a pain that all travelers have felt. Yet our trip design manager, Meagan, tells us that booking the perfect hotel doesn’t have to cause headaches and anxiety. Today she shares her secrets on where to look and what questions to ask in order to get it right the first time.

“Whenever I am traveling (especially to a new destination) and I need a place to stay, I simply start by asking my friends. There is nothing quite as relevant and dependable as a strong personal recommendation. I’m lucky since most of my friends are in the travel industry and their word of mouth carries some serious weight.

Inle hotel on Trek Travel Myanmar bike tripsIf I can’t find a place I love based on what my pals have to say, I look to my favorite travel publications to see what nods they give hotels in the area that I’m planning to travel. Afar, Travel & Leisure, and the NY Times, as well as websites such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Relais Chateau, are all great places to look. I also check out online reviews, blogs and booking sites (such as Trip Advisor) to see how different hotels rank in the area.

Once I settle on a few options, I like to dig into the exact location on a map. Is it within walking distance to all of the attractions I would like to visit? And more importantly for me personally, what kind of restaurants are nearby? The hotel website is my next reference—I look at the rooms and room types to decide what best suits me. I look for super detailed information about the hotel breakfast and coffee options. If they don’t have great coffee I am not going! It’s sometimes nice to have tasty dining options on site and entertainment as well, even if it is just a cozy lounge or terrace with a view to enjoy a beverage.

Amorosa Hotel on Trek Travel's Bike Ride Across ItalyOf course, the amenities and services are important to keep in mind. Does the hotel have a sauna, mini bar, bike rental or fitness center? I look around the hotel site for special offers and sometimes (gasp!) even pick up the phone to see if I can talk to the friendly reservation department about getting the best room available at the best price or complimentary valet, breakfast or another perk.

After all that, I just kick back and imagine myself on vacation! If I am lucky, I won’t spend too much time at the hotel because I will be out riding my bike or exploring.”

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, Meagan! 

A Painting in Prague

When my husband and I were planning our fifth Trek Travel vacation, we knew exactly where to go to celebrate this milestone. So together with our 23 year old daughter and my 78 year old father-in-law, we signed up for the Prague to Vienna vacation.

This trip was especially meaningful for us because my family has a historical connection to the great Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. My great grandfather was a diplomat and art patron who helped introduce Mucha to America, and commissioned him to paint a portrait of my grandmother which now hangs in the National Gallery in Prague. Of course it was a priority for us to see the painting, so we arranged to arrive in Prague two days before the start of our Trek Travel trip.
The colorful Czech village on the Trek Travel's Prague to Vienna bike tour.
This is when Trek Travel went the extra mile.

We contacted the trip designer to see if she could help us make the most out of our time in Prague. She put us in touch with a local tour guide who became our resource for all things Czech. Not only did he get us into the National Gallery, and made sure we would be able to photograph the portrait of my grandmother, but he also knew the Mucha family and was able to arrange a visit with Mucha’s daughter-in-law. She graciously gave us a tour of her family home, which was full of original artworks, and talked to us about Mucha’s life and work. This was an amazing experience we never would have found on our own!
Trek Travel guests share stories of their Prague to Vienna cycling vacation
The rest of the trip was equally grand, with beautiful scenery, great bicycling, fabulous food, wine and beer, and lots of quality family time. The chance to see the Czech Republic as it emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, and to hear about that transition from locals, was quite amazing. The guides were adept at dealing with changing circumstances, from finding a fabulous restaurant with a private room for lunch when rain would have made picnicking difficult, to arranging for travel by riverboat on the Danube when the weather was a bit wet for a few of us “fair weather” riders. Especially for my father-in-law, who does not ride a bike, this cruise became his favorite part of the trip!

For myself and my family, it was these experiences not on the itinerary that became the highlights of our trip. We still reminisce about that serendipitous meeting and unexpected wow’s many years later.

– Peggy Timmerman
Trek Travel guests cycling in Czech Republic and Austria

Great Service in Zion

Two cyclists ride through rock strata in the Utah canyonlands

This originally debuted on cycleutah’s blog after going on a Trek Travel Bryce and Zion bike tour in May. Thanks for sharing Bob!

BL-If you think about it, we are all in the service business. What ever you do for a living you are serving someone. Over the years I have kept a keen eye out for excellent service because it helps me get better.

Our three guides from Trek Travel exuded really great service these past 6 days. Dave, Lisa and Matt were the consummate professionals and their theme of fun and flexible worked to perfection! Every morning we had a pre-ride briefing of what to expect on the ride and also details about our stops, lunch and our final destination. All the little details from a proper bike fit, air in the tires, snacks for energy, water bottles filled and of course that big pull into the wind were all handled with great expertise. And the picnic lunches, the fabulous dinners and excellent hotels…all were first class!

The best part for me was that all three were really nice people with great stories (right Matt) about their adventures around the world. These three have worked all three major cycling tours (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a Espana), New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Costa Rica and on and on. Their passion is travel and adventure and being of service to us amateur cyclist.

bikesGood job guys…you are the best ever!


Guest Blogger Bob Joy on Friendships on a bike tour

Last week I was driving in Vero Beach, Florida and passed a cyclist wearing the distinctive Trek Travel jersey. Unfortunately, she was riding in the opposite direction and I didn’t have time to turn around to catch up with her. It would have been fun to learn what trips she had been on. It got me to thinking about all the great experiences I have had with Trek Travel over the years and all the fascinating people I have met. I continue to stay in touch with many of them, even though they are scattered throughout the U.S. and Canada. I have stayed in touch with several of the guides, too, and enjoy seeing their posts and photos from around the globe.

What is it about a Trek Travel bike trip that can form enduring friendships among such a diverse group of strangers? Certainly, the common interest in cycling makes for easy conversation. I think the opportunity to be “in the moment” and clear our minds of daily clutter is the biggest factor. In this connected age, we rarely get the opportunity to unplug our devices and “go off the grid” for awhile. It is amazing how much we see and experience when we do. This shared experience of discovering new places and talking about them over cocktails and dinner can lead to lasting friendships.

During orientation on one of my trips to the Tour de France the guides challenged us to avoid telling the other guests what we did for a living. In France, they said it is considered gauche to ask a new acquaintance, “What do you do?”

There were three benefits to this unusual request. Since we couldn’t talk about work, we were able to forget about it for a few days. Without the crutch of superficial conversation, we got to know each other in more meaningful ways. And it made for an interesting after-dinner contest near the end of our trip when we were challenged to guess each other’s occupations. The school teacher and the owner of a fleet of ships were surprised to find that they had enjoyed riding together. Maybe the real benefit of a Trek Travel bike tour is that you can meet interesting people without the usual filters of age, income, and status.

Ride Camp, A Poem. By past guest H. Susan Freireich

Here at Trek Travel, we pride ourselves on the training of our guides. They are truly our best asset and at the end of the day, make Trek Travel who we are. So it’s always great to hear past guests tell us their favorite guide story or have them share their pictures with us. One of our guests, Susan, took it a step further and wrote a poem about her guides from her Solvang Ride Camp in October. Greg and Matt are awesome guys and both super fit on the bike. They always make sure their guests are having the best time on their bike tours.

RIDE CAMP (for Matt Lyon and Greg Lyeki)

That cold foggy morn’
onto Mission we did roll.
Has it been just six days
since Big Fig* was our goal?
That fog hung low,
the temperature, too.
Some wore jackets,
arm warmers, and packed extra GU.

Matt led the pack,
and away they did fly.
Greg drove the truck,
and yelled “Good work!” as he passed me by.

The weather turned hot,
“a record,” they said.
Still, we rode Foxen, Alisos, Cat,
Drum, and Happy Canyons before bed.

Matt and Greg, Greg and Matt
switched roles each day to help us through
those steep, steep climbs. “It’s nothing,”
they said,  “We love what we do.”

“We’re here for you,”
Your wish is our command.
They brought us lunch and cold drinks,
even sagged us to flatter ground.

It’s been a great week,
Ride. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
But YOU are who made it
The Experience That Can’t Be Beat.

H. Susan Freireich                      

*Mt. Figueroa


Want to go on a Ride Camp? Check out our Mallorca, Solvang or Greenville Ride Camps on our website today!

Prague to Vienna: Breaking Down Borders

Well, it used to be the main event – the differences between the Czech Republic and Austria are palpable but what truly punctuated the experience between the two was crossing the border by bicycle. A moment where passports were checked and stamped; people really felt like they were changing countries because they were! Well, no more. What was once an official checkpoint for our guests, following our “last” lunch in Nove Hrady en route to Weitra and all things Austrian, had become somewhat of a non-event a short time following the entry of the Czech Republic into the European Union and the end to controlled boundaries. Border patrol huts, a road with a line across it and approaching speed limits reducing down to 30 km/hour …and tumbleweeds.

A few years of tossing some ideas around (with little more than photo moments at the country signs being the result) have come and gone with my co-guides and myself. Until this year when Lacey Bartels, my fresh-faced co-guide with a fresh perspective decided that we were going to resurrect the crossing! No sooner had the decision been made then we found ourselves in an army surplus shop in Cesky Krumlov. Who knew? After 4 years working here I had never noticed this shop until this day. For a surprisingly nominal amount we were able to piece together a fairly convincing border guard outfit [from the waist up, at any rate]. Well, it was a Czech army jacket and we were playing an Austrian guard…but these are minor details, right?

Plan in place: the guide driving the van that day feigning necessary logistics. We must go ahead and prepare the border patrol for our group crossing. Instructions: everyone must have their passport ready and travel as a group to expedite the process.

I was first to experiment with our Customs and Immigration Theatre. I drove like a demon to the then unpopulated border. The original structure still in place, I quickly changed into the ‘official’ outfit and waited. In the meantime, outsiders had gathered. I must admit at this point I am feeling a tad foolish, having realized that I am making a mockery of their now defunct system. However, here come the riders…and every theatre needs an audience, I suppose.

As instructed, and led in by Lacey, they arrive as a group. I jump out from my hiding spot and yell ‘Halt’ with arm raised. I actually had them fooled for a moment. Just a moment but it was fun while it lasted. Hiding behind the aviator sunglasses provided by Lacey certainly helped.  I demanded to see passports, and asked a few questions in a way that would have made my public school drama teacher proud, if not the Austrian national guard. The group tuned in quickly and, while laughing, played along. Same time next week, our roles were reversed and Lacey fine-tuned the experience. She was certainly far stricter–not everyone was allowed to cross. They would be forever enjoying beer for breakfast and would not be allowed to cycle to those hills so very much alive with the sound of music…. Well, not really. But it was fun to pretend.

And so, success! A border crossing to remember!

Prague border Prague border

Stephanies Favorite, Dom Vincent from the Beaune region of France

On our Burgundy bike trip, we visit Pierre and Nicole’s cellar, L’Ange Gardien,  in the heart of the charming town of Beaune.  Their vines are mainly planted on the ‘Côte de Beaune’ and spread over the following areas: Auxey-Duresses, Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune, Ladoix-Serrigny, Meursault, Pommard, Savigny-les Beaune.

Our wine tasting there is one of the most fun and laughter-filled I’ve ever enjoyed and includes many spectacular wines.  Their best, however, in my opinion, is the Dom Vincent.  Yes, it’s a play on Dom Perignon!  Dom Vincent is a crémant, another term for sparkling wine, and a regional specialty.  At L’Ange Gardien, they have both a white and rosé variety, both of which are amazing.  The white features very delicate bubbles, light citrus aromas, and a pale yellow color.  The rosé’s color is just beautiful, deep and dark pink, and also features the light and delicate bubbles.

Either can be paired with their most delicious Créme de Cassis (black current liquor) to make a ‘Kir‘ (the traditional Burgundian cocktail).  The shining deep red color and fruity smell explode into a velvety smoothness on your palate.  And yes, it can very much be enjoyed on its own too.


If a date is marked as Private, it is reserved for a private group.

Looking to travel with a small group or looking for a custom date?
Call our trip consultants at 866-464-8735

What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.


Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.


These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.


On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of Explorer and Luxury hotels. Rest assured, no matter which hotel level you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

Classic - Reserve:

Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discover:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.


Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself