VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Recent Reviews

Wonderful tour!

5.0 January 2017
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
What a wonderful experience! We were sad to finish our Montargis to Paris bike and barge trip. Anxious to go on another one

Tour VBT Walking and Bicycling Vacations Company Reviews

Very pleased!

5.0 January 2017
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Brian and I are in the middle of a pedal bike trip covering Charleston and Beaufort, SC and Savannah, GA with VBT - we couldn't be more pleased with the experience! Our guides Van and Sarah are just the best. We feel as if we are discovering the USA - I have never been in this part of our world and we are both looking forward to coming back some day - great scenery, food and people!
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Tour VBT Walking and Bicycling Vacations Company Reviews

Organized, Worry-Free, and Fun for All

5.0 August 2016
Q
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I would recommend a VBT tour to anyone who wants to explore without the worry and tedium of planning. You just wake up, eat the delicious breakfast your B&B provided, and head out for your ride in the countryside followed by dinner and often a surprise.

Biking with them was wonderful. One person would ride out in front and mark the trails and the other would follow the group in a van so if your chain broke, you were covered!

Many evenings involved a surprise musical or cultural activity: beloved singers who haven't made a CD yet, award winning dancers that lived locally, drinks crafted as if by a leprechaun. They also have a policy of hiring locals as tour guides, so you can copy them and feel cool at the pub.

It's worth noting how accommodating and supportive they were. Vegetarian? They got you covered. Can only ride about 5 miles before you're exhausted? Well then they'll pick you up in the van, and next thing you know you get a private tour of the Burren and are learning all about hurling.

All in all, it was a great experience.
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Tour VBT Walking and Bicycling Vacations Company Reviews

Fun in Japan

5.0 November 2018
JCO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Excellent

5.0 July 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.
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Really superb trip--highly recommended!

5.0 July 2017
TT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).

But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.

Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.

The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.

There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.

Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.

And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."

Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)

I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.

I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
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Tours 4 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 350 $ 399
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
Known For
  • Cycling
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Volunteering
Headquarters Bristol, Vermont, USA San Diego, California
Year Established 1971 2004
Solo Friendly N/A No single supplement
Tour Languages English
Top Trips
Similar Companies
Countries
About VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations

VBT Bicycling and Walking offers cycling and walking vacations around the world. The company was established over 40 years ago, so has lots of experience serving active travelers. It is based in Vermont, USA. It also promises lower prices than other cycling tour companies without sacrificing quality. Most everything is included in the price, except for a few meals -- and that includes use of a customized bike on cycling tours or walking poles on walking tours, and special packages including international airfare.

What Makes Them Stand Out?

VBT is all about value. They offer many standard inclusions that some other tour operators do not, such as meals, airport transfers, and a special 5% ‘credit’ to use on a future VBT tour. They are also cycling and walking specialists, with tons of experience leading groups all over the world.

Who Travels With Them?

VBT attracts active travelers of all ages, but tend to focus on the adult 50+ market. As they are located in the US, groups are frequently comprised of American travelers. Focusing on value means you will likely travel with a group of like-minded companions who are more concerned with seeing the sights and breaking a bit of a sweat, than dining at the fanciest restaurants.

Where Do They Operate?

VBT sells tours that explore six continents. Some of their most well-known and sought after destinations include Italy, New Zealand, and France. More exotic cycling and walking tours can be found in Peru and Vietnam.

Why Travel with Them?

Both cyclists and walkers travel at their own pace during the day, but local trip leaders and support vans are always available, and some guided sightseeing is included. Trips are rated easy to moderate -- nothing too strenuous -- and walking or biking is usually limited to two to six hours a day. Routes and custom maps are all planned out. Another great feature on some trips is the use of e-bikes - bikes with an electronic assist to help you power up any hills you might encounter on the route. Overall, VBT has been doing these types of tours for more than 40 years, and they seem to have it down to a science.

About Discover Corps

San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.

What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?

They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.

With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.

Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?

These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.

The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.

Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.

Top Destinations

Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Discover Corps Travel Style

Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.

Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?

If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.

Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.

“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.

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