“The Savvy Path to Breathtaking Travel, Without the Hassle”
“Less Planning, More Experiencing”
“A Journey of a Thousand Smiles Begins With a Single Click”
These are some of the taglines that express the essence of the new travel website, StrideTravel.com, where I worked for more than a year as Content Director. (My job is now in the capable hands of Content Coordinator Samantha Scott, who, together with co-founders Gavin Delany and Jared Alster, comprise a formidable team.)
In practical terms, Stride aspires to be — and in many ways already is — the best place on the Web to survey the wealth of multi-day, pre-planned trips that are now available from hundreds of travel suppliers around the world.
“Pre-planned trips” may encompass guided group or private tours as well as independent journeys that are custom designed by a tour operator. These pre-planned trips may include anything from African safaris to easy-going walking tours of Tuscany, climbing and trekking expeditions in the Himalayas to culinary tours of Peru, biking trips in Greece to rafting trips through Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
Stride also extensively covers small-ship and river cruises around the world.
These are active, adventurous vacations — with adventurous broadly defined as most anything that goes beyond simply lying on a beach at a resort for a week. Not that Stride has anything against that, but its focus is on highlighting trips that produce memorable, “brag-worthy” experiences (actual bragging to friends and family is optional, depending on their tolerance). Nor does Stride cover day tours — some other sites do that very well. Most trips and tours on the site run for at least a week and often more.
I first got involved with Stride because we knew baby boomers would be some of the most active users of the site. Boomers, I’ve found, are very open to taking guided tours and other kinds of pre-planned trips — especially if they have compelling itineraries, comfortable accommodations, authentic dining, top-flight guides, educational elements, and, in many cases, tour operators who subscribe to sustainable travel and giving back to the communities they visit.
One key to such trips, of course, is that they do indeed take the hassle out of planning your travels — someone else arranges all the transportation, hotel bookings, museum admissions, walking trails and the like.
And, as a bonus, tours can actually save you money, since tour operators can make special deals with lodgings, restaurants, attractions — all those things that can drain your wallet quickly as you travel. Some offer fares that are virtually all-inclusive, so all you need to carry is pocket change for souvenirs and other personal items.
The editorial and technical team at Stride, which spans the world, has worked hard to make the site as accessible and attractive as possible to boomers and younger people alike.
If you go to Stride’s Antarctica page you’ll find out what you need to know about traveling to the White Continent — from which I recently returned and can highly recommend to any adventurous traveler. Then you can peruse several different Antarctica trip options, comparing itineraries and prices offered by different operators and cruise lines.
As the site grows, Stride will add more and more customer and expert reviews to help you choose.
If you go to Stride’s Danube River page, you can read all about river cruises there, and then compare and contrast a number of Danube River trips.
Or maybe you’re looking for an African safari. Stride offers tips on which regions — East Africa, southern Africa, central Africa, Madagascar — are strongest for viewing different types of wildlife, and then introduce you to dozens of possible options. But there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed — you can filter your selections by trip type (guided group tour? private guided trip?) trip style (budget? luxury?), countries visited, and other factors.
As with any ambitious new website, Stride remains a work in progress. While Stride has been busy putting some “finishing touches” on the site, a project like this will never actually be finished. It will continue to grow and change, partially based on customer feedback.
If you encounter any technical glitches or difficulties navigating the site, the Stride team would appreciate hearing about that, too — since it’s only recently completed its public launch, the folks at Stride are eager to hear what you like or may not like about the site, so that they can deliver the smoothest customer experience possible.
Right now, Stride covers dozens of key destinations around the world with thousands of tours and trips that are available to visit them, and that number will continue to grow.
So I hope you’ll stop by StrideTravel.com soon and take a look around. The site has lots of fascinating destination ideas, hundreds of beautiful images — including many by our award-winning Photography Director, Dennis Cox — a blog with a number of useful posts, helpful information about travel suppliers and tour operators around the world (and adding more every day), and, of course, detailed info on the trips themselves.
And while you’re there, please write a review of a tour operator or a specific trip, or comment on a blog post if you’d like. It would be most appreciated.