Travel blog

Return to Travel

Posted by Diana Cowgill on Jul 13, 2021 10:00:00 AM


YMT Guests at Mammoth Lakes California Golden California Tour

Our domestic tours have resumed operations, and travelers are thrilled to be on the road again! YMT Vacations welcomed guests back in May, more than a year after the travel industry shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

These trips were just what we hoped for. They were joyful, fun, exciting, enriching, and safe. After so many difficult months of coronavirus restrictions, our first guests enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to travel. They were finally ready to take a vacation and to embrace the opportunity to build real memories after the restrictions of 2020.

Our Guests Had a Great Time

YMT Guests at Mount Rushmore Rocky Mountains and Black HIlls

Photo Credit: Ed Selznick

When we asked our Tour Directors to share their experiences from the road in 2021, the reports were unanimous: we’re back, baby! Guests had the same questions they did before COVID, and the camaraderie and fast friendships that are the hallmark of YMT tours developed just as quickly as before.

Our groups received incredibly warm welcomes from local businesses. Many of the places that we visit rely on tourism, and the return of happy travelers was something they had really been looking forward to. Our tour directors took plenty of pictures and reported back to us all the good, challenging, and memorable experiences from their first trips back. Here are a few examples:

Historic Route 66

Route 66 Tucumcari Road Sign

Photo Credit: Daniel Hernandez

Our Historic Route 66 tour includes stops at vintage roadside attractions and iconic American sights from Chicago to the Santa Monica Pier. Our guests particularly loved taking quirky pictures at the World’s 2nd Largest Rocking Chair, and with Buck Atom, the 21-foot-tall Muffler Man dressed as an astronaut. Here are a few of our other highlights:

YMT Guest Route 66 Tour Winslow AZ Standin on the Corner

Photo Credit: Daniel Hernandez

Guests enjoyed listening to “Taking It Easy” by the Eagles during a stop in Winslow, Arizona where they “stood on the corner” just like in the song. The group sang along and posed for photos with the Glenn Frey statue at Standin' on the Corner Park.

YMT Guests Route 66 Tour Galena Kansas Cars

Photo Credit: Daniel Hernandez

The return stop to Cars on the Route, the old gas station that inspired Pixar’s Cars, was very special. Guests were immediately reminded of their grandchildren when they saw the old trucks with big cartoon eyes parked in front of the vintage gas station. Before the group left, the owner of the shop came onto the bus to give a speech expressing her appreciation.

YMT Guests at Grand Canyon National Park AZ

Photo Credit: Daniel Hernandez (Condor not included)

On the way to the Grand Canyon, our tour director played a documentary including a section on the incredibly rare California condors that live in the park. During the stop at Bright Angel Lodge, guests saw one of the massive birds soaring through the canyon.

Golden California National Parks Tour

YMT Guests at General Sherman Tree Golden California Tour

Photo Credit: Liz Stuckey

This tour visits four incredible National Parks, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Our group was one of the first back at many of the incredible destinations they saw.

YMT Tour Bus at Sequoia National Park Golden California Tour

Photo Credit: Liz Stuckey

The YMT bus was the first motorcoach to visit Sequoia National Park since the shutdown.

YMT Guests with Elvis Impersonator Las Vegas NV Golden California Tour

Photo Credit: Liz Stuckey

Elvis shook his hips over to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign to pose for pictures with our guests.

El Capitan Yosemite National Park Golden California Tour

Photo Credit: Liz Stuckey (Bear not included)

Travelers saw a black bear at Yosemite National Park (from a safe distance!). The official report from our tour directors Liz and Cassandra was of it making it's way back into the woods.

Rocky Mountains & Black Hills National Parks Tour

YMT Guests on Rocky Mountains and Black Hills Tour

Photo Credit: Cassandra Ashley

One of our wildest tours, this itinerary takes guests through some of America’s most gorgeous scenery. Travelers enjoyed free time and included activities everywhere from national parks to spectacular national monuments, along with some of the “Old West’s” most charming towns and museums.

Rocky Mountains and Black Hills Tour Buffalo

Photo Credit: Cassandra Ashley

Guests saw moose, elk, deer, buffalo, and more animals at Rocky Mountains National Park.

YMT Guests at Old Failthful Geyser Rocky Mountains Tour

Photo Credit: Cassandra Ashley

The hotel in Rapid City hosted a beer and wine reception for YMT guests, while the hotel in Yellowstone provided everything guests needed to make s’mores—including a crackling fire.

YMT Guests Just Engaged on Rocky Mountains & Black Hills Tour

Photo Credit: Ed Selznick

Two guests got engaged in Yellowstone! Congratulations Scott and Candace! Everyone at YMT wishes you a lifetime filled with happiness.

We Appreciate Our Guests’ Patience

Travel requires flexibility and patience. That is especially true now, as facilities and destinations are slowly reopening. Many businesses, including hotels and restaurants, are understaffed. Fewer people are allowed into certain indoor museums and dining rooms due to lowered capacity limits.

Finally, because of the pent-up demand for travel, popular destinations like Las Vegas can be crowded. These elements can lead to longer wait times, unexpected itinerary changes, and service below what we would normally expect. We appreciate your patience during the tourism and hospitality industry’s time of transition!

We Have More Tours to Look Forward to This Summer!

YMT Guests from Ohio Alaska Discovery Tour

Photo Credit: Nick Stramp

In addition to the tours we’ve highlighted here, the rest of this summer and fall will be even busier. We have more than 30 YMT departures expected from now through September. We are also looking forward to resuming our international tours as more destinations re-open to North American travelers.

Do you want to get back to traveling? There’s still room on many of our 2021 tours! To learn more or to make your reservation to join us, call your travel agent or 1-888-756-9072.

New call-to-action


Topics: Planning a Vacation