Our team has taken great care to design highly active itineraries with the right balance of down time, and most importantly that facilitate a community for younger travelers to travel deeply and responsibly with their peers, said Justin Wood, senior manager of adventure travel at REI. For example, on our nine-day Colombia trip, guests will feel like archeologists by trekking with a private chef and discovering a lost city older than Machu Picchu and with far less visitors. We bike Medellin, hike in the world's highest coastal mountain range, meet tribal leaders, and enjoy some well-deserved downtime at the photo famous Tayrona National Park.
While many features of the Under 35 collection remain true to REI's other award-winning trips, the new offerings include more freedom and flexibility (for example, choose your own adventure afternoons with a hike, bike ride or culinary tour; optional morning yoga; cooking classes or nightlife activities) and are designed for a cost-conscious customer with more modest accommodations. Most importantly, as with every REI adventure travel trip, there will never be unexpected requests for additional fees or guide payment during an adventure.
Full itinerary detail, activity ratings, pricing and packing lists for REI's Under 35 trips are at www.rei.com/adventures/under35. Trips are
Colombia Explorer - Medellin, Lost City Trek, Tayrona Beaches | Under 35
Peru Multisport - Machu Picchu to Rainbow Mountain | Under 35
Backpacking Joshua Tree | Under 35
Great Smoky Mountains - Hops, Hikes & Rafting | Under 35
Sonoran Desert Stars - Hike, Camp, MTB, Repeat | Under 35
Wild Whistler Backpacking | Under 35
Amalfi Coast & Sicily - Hike, Eat, Summit | Under 35
Greek Islands Wanderer - Hike, Feast, Explore | Under 35
Vietnam Multisport - Spectacular Spelunking | Under 35
The collection was designed through a cooperative approach between REI's travel leaders and a fleet of experts - an REI member advisory travel panel, employees, past travelers and members between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. Today, nearly 20 percent of all REI members are in this age range. In recent years, the co-op's travel company has served a growing number of guests who are in this group through its core trip offerings.
Closer to home, REI also recently announced a major expansion of its used gear and rental programs, designed to appeal to a younger demographic of cost- and sustainability-conscious consumers - a growing number of whom say they would rather rent than own products. The co-op will roll out and test new rental and re-commerce options throughout 2019, including a pilot bike trade-in program and adding snowshoe, ski, snowboard, fully equipped camping and backpacking kit and more rental options in 115 stores across the country.