WAI Four Tour Types
Classic Curated Tour
With help from local experts and walking guides, these itineraries are hand-crafted with extensive on-site planning by WAI tour planners. This style of travel makes up the majority of our schedule.
Our objective when planning Classic Curated Tours is to capture the essence of a destination—the history, culture, and natural wonders unique to that part of the world. We then build activities and walks that take us inside these characteristics.
These tours are educational, but they are also interactive and immersive; walking gets us off the bus and penetrates local cultures to not only see but touch, smell, and feel these special spaces.
Local walking guides amplify the experience by sharing insights into the magic of that particular location.
Walking Adventures International was birthed in the late 1980s. You may know the story of how my father George began taking Americans to Europe to walk with local walking clubs. These clubs were part of a worldwide network started in Central Europe. Since the organization had a Germanic origin, the name adopted was “volkssport,” translated as “sport of the people.”
A Volkssport Tour streamlines the tour-planning process and focuses more on walks and less on sightseeing. The objectives are to offer more walking, to offer more Volkssport stamps (a record of walks Volkswalkers keep in a passport-like walking book), and to keep the price lower. Primary differences between Curated Classic and Volkssport Tours:
- Walks offered are hosted by clubs, not planned by WAI staff. Usually, they are self-guided walks using club-provided maps and directions.
- The tour itinerary is focused more on local club walks and less on sightseeing and cultural activities.
- Itineraries tend to be paced faster, offering walks in more locales.
- Though extensive work is done by in-office, no on-site planning is done by WAI tour planners.
- Volkssport Tours tend to be limited to the US. International tours generally follow the Classic Curated model.
- A larger number of walkers are accepted on Volkssport Tours. During 2021, however, the maximum for all tours is 18 travelers.
For 2021, we plan to offer three Volkssport Tours, Great Lakes & AVA Convention, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Arizona County Seat Challenge.
A self-guided tour provides the independent traveler the opportunity to benefit from all of the research, creativity, and on-the-ground planning that goes into the traditional guided Walking Adventures. These Classic Curated Tours are the result of painstaking, wide-ranging, on-the-ground exploration that orchestrates a minute-by-minute and hour-by-hour itinerary. The focus is to identify the essence of the destination.
All that we create to share on our guided Classic Curated Tours is converted into a Self-Guided program that do-it-yourself travelers can follow. A detailed itinerary for each day of the trip provides an action-packed schedule complete with walk directions and maps, suggested activities, maximized routing for the day, and recommended hotels used for our guided groups.
Travelers are on their own to get to the starting point and rent a car, or drive from home.
The WAI Self-Guided Tour package then provides the following:
- Proposed itinerary for the day
- Routing from point A to point B throughout the day (Google map links)
- Suggested walk(s) for the day accompanied by detailed walk directions and map
- A GPX file of the walks allowing real-time routing using GPS signals on a smart phone
- Suggested stops and photo ops along the driving route
- Activities to consider along the driving route
- Commentary sheets highlighting topics of historical, cultural, or natural/scientific interest
- Hotel recommendations used for WAI group tours
- Hotel bookings priced upon quotes received from hotels for dates requested by the traveler
This Self-Guided form of travel allows these unique attributes:
- control the pace of your day and speed at which you walk
- benefit from in-depth planning conducted by WAI field planners who pull all the pieces together
- adjust the itinerary to match your tastes and priorities
- stop when and where you choose for photo ops and convenience breaks
- enjoy the drive without the need for Covid-19 mitigation procedures
Some destinations and certain itineraries lend themselves more to this concept than others. We’ve already developed the Utah Self-Guided Tour in 2020, which will be updated to be the first Self-Guided Tour available in 2021. Stay tuned for more updates as we present Hawaii followed by domestic destinations such as Route 66, Colorado by Train, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Smoky Mountains, and others.
Faith Heritage Tours are a new style of travel incubated during tours in Israel and Turkey (Seven Churches of the Revelation) over the past 15 years. The new concept, however, will likely be broader in scope, including destinations over a wide geographic range. In a world moving increasingly in a secular direction based upon a random, self-evolving view of the universe, itineraries explored on Faith-Heritage Tours will assume a God-centered universe and share evidence and reminders of that conviction throughout our itinerary.