2015 Travel Trends - Ranch Vacations tick all the boxes of this year's travel trends
Ranch vacations come in all forms and guises, and no single dude ranch, working ranch or guest ranch is the same as the next. Some ranches are better suited to couples; others to families; while some are perfect for single travellers.
Maybe you’re a foodie, health junkie or yoga bunny? Love horseback riding or totally non-horsey but still looking to immerse yourself in cowboy culture? Or perhaps you’re looking for somewhere extra special for that special celebration. Whatever it is you’re looking for ranch vacations are a destination to suit every need and taste.
Solo Travelers - Travelling on your own can be a truly rewarding and fulfilling and experience – a journey of self-discovery and the chance to meet other like-minded free spirits. Badger Creek Ranch in Colorado is working ranch taking no more than four to six guests at a time, making it popular with single travelers. Bonanza Creek in Montana takes only a small number of guests and regularly runs adults-only and experienced rider weeks, with riding and relaxing the main focus of the ranch. Adventurers will love Estancia Ranquilco in Neuquen, Argentina, where you can embark on pack trips into the Andes in small groups.
Cultural - True western cowboy culture can be found immersed at several ‘ranching first’ destinations, many with a long history of ranching dating back several generations. For an authentic experience, head to Double Rafter Cattle Drives in Wyoming, Burnt Well Guest ranch in New Mexico, or Chico Basin Ranch in Colorado.
Exceptional Value for your Dollar - Whatever your budget, there’s a ranch that’ll offer exceptional value for your money. If you’re watching the pennies, budget ranch vacations don’t come better than Texas Ranch Life in Texas offers flexible packages, so you can tailor your vacation to your budget. If you don’t mind investing a little more, your money will go a long way at Free Rein Ranch in BC, Canada. And for those looking to blow the budget, Echo Valley Ranch and Spa is the place to splash your cash for a luxury ranch vacation.
Unwind from Everyday Life - Rinse out the stresses of work and unwind from everyday life, at a ranch that lets you escape from reality. Ranch vacations don’t get more stress-free than luxury glamping at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, USA, or the Swiss-Mexican hospitality at Rancho Las Cascadas, complete with infinity pool, hot tub and waterfall views.
Health - Health, or internal sustainability as we call it, is becoming more and more important to more and more people, and while some see going on vacation as a chance to overindulge, it can actually be a health boost. What if you could find a ranch vacation where health was a focus? Look no further than Echo Valley Ranch and Spa in BC, Canada, which will cater for any special diets; Vista Verde in Colorado, which offers invigorating yoga and swimming; or Free Rein Ranch in BC, Canada, where you can treat your body to wholesome meals made from ingredients sourced within 100 miles. And, The Lodge and Spa at Brush Creek Ranch focuses on a 'Cirle of Sustainability' encompassing both your personal health and wellness while connecting with the land.
Hobbies and Interests with Travel - Why not combine your hobbies and interests with your travel endeavours? Sports fanatics will love.Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge in Montana, which offers a host of outdoor activities including watersports on the lake. Film buffs should head to Majestic Dude Ranch in Colorado, which holds weekly movie nights;. and photography and art lovers can indulge their passion on special artists’ weeks and photography workshops at Zapata Ranch in Colorado, with Bison and sand dunes to inspire their masterpieces.
Personalized for you - Why conform to someone else’s idea of a vacation – what if your ranch trip was personalized for you, individually tailored to your exact wishes and requirements? That’s exactly what you can expect at Sweet Grass Ranch in Montana, where your schedule will be based on how you want to spend your vacation. And at New Zealand’s Beaumont High Country Experience, a maximum of 6 guests makes for an intimate experience allowing you to choose exactly what you want to do and when you want to do it.
Special Occasions - That special occasion – whether it’s a birthday, wedding, honeymoon, anniversary – or divorce?! – then a ranch is the perfect place to celebrate. Voted #2 Hotel & Resort in the World, #1 Resort in the USA and #1 Dude Ranch in the USA by Conde Nast Traveler, Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming is ideal for weddings and can cater for up to 100 guests. And for any occasion, Florida’s BG Equestrian Resort allows groups of guests to hire parts or even the whole of the ranch.
Ladies - It’s true – girls just wanna have fun, and there’s no better place to spend time with your girlfriends than on a ranch. Several ranches run special ladies-only special week – such as Free Rein in BC, Canada, and Rancho Los Banos, in Mexico.
Gentlemen - And the guys needn’t feel left out. Try High Lonesome Ranch in Colorado for big game hunting and McGinnis Meadows in Montana for fishing and hunting excursions. If the men are looking to get stuck into some real ranch work alongside the wranglers, ranches such as Chico Basin in Colorado and Rowse’s 1+1 in Nebraska allow guests (and not just men!) to get stuck in to ranch work.
Foodies - For foodies out there, there are endless ways to satisfy your creative culinary side. For a truly sweet excursion, look to Wyoming for The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch’s famous chocolate clinics. Or if you just want to dine on incredible food, Top50 recommends Triple Creek Ranch in Montana, and Latigo Ranch in Colorado, where the food alone is a reason to stay.
Education - Why not take the chance to exercise your mind as well as your body on a ranch vacation? Education is at the fore at sister ranches Zapata and Chico Basin, Colorado, under their Ranchlands programme, which operates educational programmes where children and adults can learn about ranching culture, business and conservation.
Everyday Exceptional - But the best thing about a ranch vacation is that even the most inexpensive and authentic working ranches offer 5-star hospitality and experiences - this really is everyday exceptional! From working ranches such as Rowse’s 1+1 in Nebraska, to guest ranches such as Tod Mountain Ranch in BC, Canada, to luxury ranches like Colorado’s C Lazy U Ranch, which prides itself on its signature ‘5 spur’ service - all offer their own brand of excellence.