REI Adventures offers winter weekend getaways

Looking to add a little activity and adventure back into your weekends now that the football season is officially over? Then REI Adventures may have exactly what you need. The company, which is the travel arm of the REI gear stores, has introduced several new winter weekend getaways that will get you out playing in the snow this February and March.

These excursions are short – most are just three or four days in length – but pack plenty of activity into the itinerary. Local guides lead groups of active outdoor enthusiasts into some of the more remote, and beautiful winter playgrounds in the U.S., giving them the opportunity to visit those locations at a time when crowds are non-existent.

Amongst the new trips for 2012 is a three day snowshoeing excursion into the Adirondack Mountains, where travelers will stay in a rustic log-cabin while spending a long weekend hiking some of the more scenic trails in the region. Similarly, REI offers a four day snowshoeing trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during which visitors will trek past frozen waterfalls and visit caves along the shores of Lake Superior. And for those looking for something even more adventurous and active, there is a three day escape to the Catskills to do some ice climbing.

These short, but active trips are proof positive that we don’t have to stay inside all winter waiting for the warm weather to arrive. REI Adventures will give you a reason to dig out your warm clothes and boots and head outside for some much-needed winter fun.

REI Adventures announces new options for 2012

REI Adventures, the travel subsidiary of outdoor gear retailer REI, has announced a host of new options for travelers looking to for a once in a lifetime experience in 2012. The new trips expand an already impressive array of adventure travel opportunities that deftly mix active excursions with culture, history, and fine cuisine.

Among the new itineraries for 2012 is a guided hike along an ancient route between Umbria and Rome that was once used by Christian pilgrims. The trek takes hikers through idyllic Italian countrysides, putting the art, architecture, and history of that country on display. Those looking to rough it a bit more, may want to check out the option to visit an EcoCamp in the heart of Chile’s Patagonia region, while families looking for a unique escape should consider the Machu Picchu Adventure. REI didn’t forget about the active traveler either, as the new trips include options to go snowshoeing in the Adirondacks, ice climbing in the Catskills, or hiking through Yosemite. To learn more about these trips, or review all of the other new options for 2012, click here.

Of course, if you’re going on trip like one of these, you’ll invariably need some new gear as well. To help you shop for that equipment, REI is currently offering a $50 gift card to anyone who signs up for one of these new 2012 trips before December 31st of this year. This is your opportunity to not only go on the trip that you’ve always dreamed of, but also get some free gear too!

Whether you like to hike, backpack, cycle, climb, or paddle, REI Adventures has a trip that will satisfy your wanderlust. Obviously 2011 is quickly coming to an end, and it is never too early to start planning for next year.

[Photo courtesy REI Adventures]

REI Adventures offers great national park summer escapes

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, and the summer travel season is officially upon us, many travelers will be planning their annual escapes. For more than a few, that will mean a summertime visit to one of America’s national parks, which continue to be favorite destinations amongst travelers everywhere.

With this in mind, REI Adventures, the travel arm of the popular gear stores, has put together a host of great itineraries for travelers looking to visit a national park this year, without having to deal with the hassle of planning for it themselves. The company offers 20 unique trips to some of the best national parks in the U.S. system, including Alaska’s Glacier Bay, Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, and more.

While these trips do indeed offer the classic national park experience, such as backpacking the Grand Canyon or kayaking in Yellowstone, there are a number of them that are unique and adventurous. For example, REI offers a four-day cycling tour of Death Valley, as well as backcountry climbing in Joshua Tree. There is even an option for a family-centric trip through Great Smokey Mountains, the most popular national park of them all.

These tours vary in degree of difficulty and scheduled activities, but they all offer a great national park adventure. So instead of stressing over your summertime plans, let REI Adventures take care of all the details for you. Then, when you’re ready to go, you can simply enjoy the trip, while someone else takes care of the rest.

View the full list of available itineraries here.

REI Adventures offers members 25% discount on select trips

In 2011, REI Adventures, the travel arm of outdoor gear retailer REI, is celebrating its 25th year of offering great outdoor and active journeys to adventure travelers. To commemorate the occasion, they’re passing on a substantial discount to members of the REI Co-Op, giving them 25% off some of their most classic trips.

In all, there are seven trips that the discount is being applied to. Those trips include a classic safari in Tanzania, a trek to Everest Base Camp, cycling in the Loire Valley of France, trekking the Tour Du Mont Blanc, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, backpacking in Fitz Roy and Paine in Patagonia, and exploring the Alaskan wilderness on foot and kayak. Each of these trips is considered to be one of REI Adventures’ signature vacations, offering some of the most amazing and memorable experiences for any traveler.

As mentioned, to take advantage of the 25% discount, you must be an REI member. Becoming a member is simple however, and it offers more benefits than just the discount on these trips. There is a one time fee of $20 for the membership, but it entitles you to take part in special events at REI stores, increased discounts on gear items, and a yearly dividend that is based on the items you purchased. That dividend can then be spent on new gear in the store as well. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast at all, then the membership usually more than pays for itself in the first year alone.

Members always receive a discount on REI Adventures trips, but the additional 25% savings is on top of that already discounted price. For instance, the African Safari normally costs non-members $4075. Members get the same trip for $3699, but if you take advantage of the added discount, you can visit the Serengeti for just $2775. Not a bad deal at all.

Dates for the discounted trips are limited, so you’ll want to take advantage of them as soon as possible. To get more details on these adventures and the dates when they are available, click here.

REI delivers new adventures for 2011

REI Adventures, the travel arm of the popular outdoor gear retailer, has announced a number of new adventure travel offerings for 2011, opening up a host of new destinations and exotic locations.

The company has offered a wide variety of adventure experiences in the past, allowing travelers to trek, backpack, and cruise their way to remote corners of the globe. But new for this year are ten cycling adventures, allowing the active traveler an opportunity to see some amazing places while on the back of a bike. Amongst those trips are a 12 day journey from Saigon to Angkor Wat and a six day ride that challenges riders to conquer the slopes of the Pyrenees in France.

Other new offerings include two Alaskan cruises to go whale watching along the Eastern and Western Coves, a seven day backpacking trip through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and a four day bike ride through Death Valley. REI has also added a new trek through the Himalaya with a lodge to lodge hike to Mt. Everest that is about as luxurious as you can get in the Khumbu Valley.

With these new offerings, REI Adventures now has more than 140 different trips in their catalog, with adventures on each of the seven continents. As you might expect from REI, their travel philosophy is an environmentally friendly one, offering up trips that are carbon neutral. They also take sustainability very seriously, patronizing local guides, lodges, and restaurants when ever possible.

Each of these new trips is ready to book now, with plenty of departures available through 2011. It’s never too early to start thinking about your 2011 travel plans.