Meet Jenna, our hiking specialist at Vic's Vacations. Jenna has a passion for hiking and exploring the great outdoors that she simply loves sharing with our clients! Trust us, you don't want Vic planning your trip when hiking boots get involved.
Jenna is a wealth of knowledge in this space and provides multiple layers of support to our hiking clients from identifying the right destination, itinerary, hiking permit details, local spots not to miss and much more!
Q. Why Would I Need Help Planning A Hiking Trip?
There are so many factors that can go into planning a trip that revolves around hiking and outdoor activities. Things like knowing the best time of year to go, what is required for safety, are permits required to enter a National Park or to hike a specific trail, recommended gear and footwear. The list can truly get lengthy in what you need to know to plan a successful trip. Having someone that already knows all of this makes your hiking trip nothing but a trip to look forward to and memories to look back on! Think of it like this: “They plan and all you have to do is pack.”
Knowing the ins and outs of details such as what permits are required for park/trail entrance or what times or how can I take the same trip as someone I saw on Instagram can become easily overwhelming - oftentimes when a permit is required for something it is obtained by applying for the permit on a specific date at MIDNIGHT - why wake up at midnight when your travel agent would do it for you? You can rest assured knowing that I will wake up for you and do all of the work!
Q. What do the itineraries include?
Your itinerary will include all details you need to be successful and all the elements you would want to research/find out prior to your trip. It's just done in a neat and tidy app for you! Check out a sample itinerary here. Note of course all of the tips and details are omitted for sample purposes, but they will be thoroughly there for you on your paid itinerary.
Q. Is Hiking The Only Activity I Can Do On A Trip Like This?
Not even close! Although hiking to beautiful destinations will reward you with instagram worthy views, there is always so much more to do than hit a hiking trail. Oftentimes there are other activities we can look into such as white water rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, jeep tours, slot canyons, sand sledding, helicopter tours, ATV rentals, knowing where all of the good swimming holes are, tubing, hot air balloon rides, scenic tours, bike rentals/bike paths, canyoneering… the activities could honestly be endless. On top of all the extra things beyond hiking there is always somewhere to shop, try a local coffee shop or dinner spot. There are so many ways to adventure!
Q. Am I guaranteed a permit if I apply for one?
There is unfortunately no way to guarantee anything in the permit lotteries for hikes such as Angels Landing and Half Dome. Permit systems have been put in place for hikers safety to limit crowds due to popularity and safety risks. Permits can be applied for months in advance (pre season lottery). If you are not successful in securing a permit through that lottery system you still have one more chance in the Day Before Lottery - which is exactly as it sounds. You apply for a permit the day before your intended hike and will be notified later that night if you secured a permit or not for the following day. As previously stated - there is no way to guarantee you secure a lottery, but I have had success with both lotteries!
Q. How Does This Process Work And What Do You Book For Me?
Everything except flights! Upon our initial communication you will fill out an intake form. What that provides me with is information like how many people will be traveling, your desired budget, where you want to go, what dates you want to go, what your hiking capability is, what activities you wish to do or wish not to do and so on! With that information I will seek more information if necessary and then put together an itinerary for you based on all of the above information. The itinerary will be a day by day format with each day packed full of adventure! Together we will finalize the itinerary to assure all of your vacation wish lists are being being checked and once you love the itinerary and are ready to make it all happen we can wrap up the planning process in two ways - I can then move forward with booking all lodging/hotels, tours and activities, hiking permits, gear rental, etc. for you - OR - I can provide you with links to everything and you can book all of the above yourself. There are different fees for the two options, but you will have me for support and questions along the way regardless of how things are booked!
What are your fees?
$400 for a mapped out itinerary and I will book everything (except flights) for you - or - $200 for a mapped out itinerary with links provided for you to book everything yourself.
If I book for you you will still receive all confirmation emails to the email you provide me with as well as a detailed Google Doc with all of your confirmation/reservations numbers/booking information as well as the cancellation policies outlined. Me booking things for you simply takes the stress away from you so all you have to do is tell me what you want and wait for the confirmation email to arrive in your inbox!
Q. Do I Need To Be Fit To Go On A Hiking Trip?
There is truly a hiking trail and experience for every type of traveler out there! Yes, some trails and destinations will require a lot of physical strength and effort - that's just all there is to it. HOWEVER, there is still so much out there to be seen by your average or even your less than average person. Some trails are paved, easy to access and short in distance (Grand Canyon, Arches National Park) making it the perfect way to get outside and experience some very beautiful places and landscapes while hardly losing your breath. Some trails have you trekking through a river in between narrow slot canyon walls or holding onto chains while you navigate your way across a pathway that is not much wider than your two feet. Sometimes you have to hike your way up in elevation to a flat view point and other times hike down into a slot canyon and walk your way through the sand. I can not express enough how there is something out there for everyone of every physical capability to explore. Families, honeymooners, marathon runners or grandparents - there is a beautiful world out there that you can all experience!
Q. How Many Days Should I Plan For A Trip Like This?
This can be flexible with any schedule! If you are short on time, but REALLY want to get a trip in and are willing to be on the go - we can make a stellar trip out of 3-4 days. However, if you have time on your side and want to be active while still relaxing you can easily spend 7+ days exploring at a slower pace, shopping, relaxing. The number one thing I will always remind you of is the early bird gets the worm! Starting a hiking adventure early in the day will ALWAYS pay off in the end! Starting early means you beat the large crowds giving you better pictures with less people in them, less people on the trail to hike around, chances of getting a parking spot at the trailhead (or a spot on the shuttle bus if you're required to use a shuttle bus instead of driving to the trailhead) beating the heat if adventuring in warm months and being done early means you still have so much time left in your day for anything else you want! With that extra time in your day you can hike more, take a nap, veg in the pool or all of the above! Starting any hiking day early is an absolute MUST in my books. What is early? That can vary based on a factor of things and locations, but in most cases it would mean being on the trail no later than 6:00. Take a headlamp if it is dark when you start - you will not need it for long. If you have little ones or just aren’t capable of being on the trail by 6:00 - then just simply get out there as soon as you can manage!