Top 5 Healthy Reasons to Take an Active Travel Vacation in 2015

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Studies Show That Active Travel is No Longer a Luxury, but a Necessity for a Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

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As the leader in active travel, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations has successfully operated bicycling and walking tours throughout the world for over 44 years, creating culturally immersive experiences for American travelers. With numerous studies showcasing the health benefits of an active vacation, VBT President Gregg Marston, an avid cyclist, walker and traveler, has compiled a list of the top five healthy reasons to book a trip that will benefit your mind, body and spirit.

1.    Social Health – According to the Global Coalition on Aging, group travel builds social ties, which studies have suggested helps nurture interest in life-long learning. With a small-group design, VBT tours deliver authentic personal interactions. Whether it’s enjoying a picnic lunch at the home of a Spanish family on the way to Cordoba or the warm encounters with local families during home-hosted lunches and dinners, group travelers share wonderful memories that will linger long after returning home.

2.    Brain Health – According to Dr. Paul Nussbaum, Ph.D., ABPP, travel promotes brain health and builds brain resilience. Preventive Medicine found that people who cycled frequently benefitted from improved mental well-being. While traveling with VBT, learning experiences are endless from a private cooking class at one of Hoi An’s most popular restaurants to guided tours with local experts in Cesky Krumlov and Pompeii, wine tastings in Bordeaux, and demonstrations with artisans on the Croatian island of Brač.

3.    Lowering Health Risks – Active travel is proven to lower many health risks such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, depression levels and more, according to the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Furthermore, staying active and traveling throughout life has physical, cognitive and social benefits that lead to a healthier aging process according to the US Travel Association. Offering an easy-to-moderate pace, each VBT traveler can create their own activity level with the flexibility to stop along the way to enjoy a glass of wine against a backdrop of rolling hills of Tuscany or the swaying Cypress trees in Provence.

4.    Spirituality – Beyond the excitement of new discoveries, travel offers the opportunity to enrich and transform one’s perspective. A stroll along verdant gardens in Capri, a peek into the historic chapels in Bellano or a bike ride along Lake Champlain opens the mind, exhilarates the senses and refreshes the spirit immeasurably.

5.    Necessity over Luxury – Nearly half of Americans agree that travel is not a luxury, but a necessity according to TravelEffect.com. Plus, surveys from the Global Coalition on Aging show that after being on a vacation for a day or two, 89 percent of people are able to leave the stressors of work behind and relax. That’s a major reason why 98.6 percent of VBT’s guests plan to travel again with VBT due to the fulfilling experiences they enjoyed during their active vacation.

In addition to numerous health benefits, VBT travelers will be fully immersed in their destination. All VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations are led by local Trip Leaders who provide insight into the region’s customs and traditions, as well as help facilitate authentic cultural experiences. Continually recognized as the best value in active travel, VBT’s tour prices include all accommodations, use of custom bicycles or walking poles, many meals, two expert local trip leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and on-tour vehicle support.

Travelers looking to reach healthy goals on vacation can save up to $300 on select departures by using the code VBT1505 when booking now until February 6. To request a catalog or reserve a VBT active vacation, visit http://www.vbt.com or call 877-395-5290.

About VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations
VBT offers 49 deluxe, small-group bicycling and walking tours in 25 different countries, including destinations throughout Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, South Africa, and the United States. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities and on-tour vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes roundtrip international airfare from over 30 U.S. cities and select Canadian cities for all overseas vacations. In 2014, VBT was rated by the readers of Travel + Leisure among the “World’s Best Tour Operators” for the fifth consecutive year. http://www.vbt.com.

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GiAnna Wyatt
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