Provider: Adventures in Good Company
Price: from $1,475
Good value and a focus on the needs of the individual define travel with Adventures in Good Company. Marian Marbury, a veteran wilderness guide who founded the company in 1999, says that besides having one of the most robust schedules of adventure trips offered by a women-only tour operator (more than 40 annually), Adventures in Good Company sets itself apart from the competition by its focus on the quality of each participant's experience.
"Our belief is that groups are strongest when individual needs are met," says Marbury. "As a result, instead of asking everyone to 'go along' with the group, we ask what individuals want and then try to provide that as much as possible." Past trip participants agree. "[My guide] engaged all the different participant personalities, incorporated our different physical abilities, and ensured each person met their individual goals for the trip and no one felt held back or a hindrance to the group," says Colorado resident Ellen MacDonald of her experience on an Adventures in Good Company Alaska trip, one of several vacations she's taken with them.
Because of its size, Adventures in Good Company is able to run trips to more off-the-beaten path destinations including hidden gems like Bulgaria. Their nine-day trip promises a fascinating look at this mountainous, little-visited European nation still undergoing the transition from communism to capitalism. "For the most part, the environment has not been despoiled and the mountains are incredibly beautiful," says Marbury. You'll get the chance to climb the country's highest peak, visit ancient monasteries, and experience life in traditional villages.
Adventures in Good Company's next Bulgaria trip departs in July 2008. You'll receive a $100 discount if you book by January 12, 2008. The price covers accommodations, all meals, ground transportation, activities and entrance fees, guides, and some gratuities. Airfare to the trip start point, Sofia, Bulgaria, is extra. July 2008 fares from New York to Sofia start at $723 plus taxes on Alitalia.