Meet the VBT Family
The personal touch - from home to your destination
We’re with you on every step of your journey. A friendly, knowledgeable voice on the other end of the toll-free line … a skilled mechanic to fine tune the fit of your bike seat and handlebars … an insightful Trip Leader who arranges an unforgettable dinner of local specialties at a village bistro in Provence … a creative Tour Consultant who helps you smoothly combine two Italy trips into a seamless—and money-saving—adventure. Every one of us at VBT is devoted to the abundant joy and fulfillment that travel brings—and to helping you make your travel dreams come true with clarity, precision, and, most of all, pleasure.
Forty three years of travel expertise
In 1971, a Middlebury College professor decided to turn his private passion for cycling Vermont’s back roads into an experience that others could share: America’s first organized bicycle tours. He set up shop in Bristol, Vermont, and soon afterwards the growing Vermont Bicycle Touring began offering bicycle tours in Europe.
Bristol is still our home, but we now offer a full active-vacation repertoire that includes 55 VBT Bicycling, Bike & Barge, Walking, and Cross-Country Skiing Vacations on five continents. But no matter how far afield we roam, we never stray too far from our Vermont roots. These include a reverence for the great outdoors, a tradition of neighborliness (extended around the world), and a commitment to unbeatable value and quality.
It’s all about the people
With a world of choice for the active traveler, we are confident that when you travel with VBT you will experience the best quality vacation at the best possible value. From the moment you make your first phone call with us, all of us are dedicated to smoothing your path, enabling cultural discoveries, and making your travel dreams a vivid reality.
With a combined 63 years of history at VBT, the extraordinary wife and husband team of Janet Chill and Gerry Slager embody our shared commitment to making your travel experience a life-changing event and an enduring memory.
Janet has worked as a Trip Leader, in sales, customer service, and as a product manager, among many other roles. Now in document services, Janet prepares the comprehensive pre-trip information packets that each VBT traveler receives. “I touch the packets every day, and I think, ‘Oh, they’re going to Croatia! They’re going to Thailand!’ ” she says. “I feel like I’m a part of it, that I’m going with them in spirit. I came here because I love cycling and traveling, and I still do. All of your senses are enhanced. Sharing that with so many people is wonderful. You can see it in their faces. They get that glow.”
Gerry is cut from the same cloth. “It’s not a job, it’s a passion,” he says. Gerry has worked as a Trip Leader, regional technical coordinator, bike and van mechanic, and many other assignments since 1978. He even made the metal sculpture of the high wheeler that adorns the side of the big yellow barn here at our headquarters in Bristol, Vermont. Like Janet, he is devoted to VBT travelers. “It’s giving them something they’ll always remember,” he says. “And I’m having a great time, too. I feel like I’m sharing a wonderful experience with friends. We can see why people come back year after year.”
“We felt like family more than guests at each of our hotels. Our guides became friends, offering encouragement, good humor and tips for finding GOD (Gelato Of the Day) which made for great camaraderie with our fellow travelers!”
VBT Traveler—Tuscan Coast
Keeping it "green" at home & around the world: a way of life at VBT
Our home is in the Green Mountain State, and we’re proud that Vermont leads the nation in state-wide efforts to protect our beautiful natural resources, find sustainable energy alternatives, and leave the places where we hike, bike, ski, and swim clean and undisturbed. It’s an approach to life we take with us wherever we go. We tread lightly when we travel. We show respect for local people and their traditions. And we partner with smaller, community- and family-based lodgings and eating places to help support local economies.
Shake Hands with the World™ Foundation
By establishing the Shake Hands with the World™ foundation, Gregg and Caroline Marston give back to the places VBT visits by supporting humanitarian and charitable initiatives, including the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Local Motion, The Prouty (a ride and walk to support cancer research), and the Vermont-based Kelly Brush Foundation, which raises money for spinal-cord injury research. VBT’s new partnership with Xanterra Parks & Resorts® has enhanced our commitment to slowing global warming, preserving natural resources, and protecting our environment.