Creating great walking and cycling adventures doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of research and work behind the scenes by talented product managers to make your trip! To explain how great tours are developed, we’ve interviewed Claire, a member of our team based in Boulder, Colorado.
Hi Claire, you’ve been a Macs Product Manager for almost six months. How does somebody get into the role of Product Manager and can you tell me a bit about your background and how you found yourself at Macs Adventure?
My love for travel started at a young age when my family did annual family trips to Oaxaca, Mexico. Upon graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in international business, I worked various jobs in Germany, Portugal, Costa Rica, West Africa, Montana – the list goes on.
It was the five years I worked as a road bike guide, however, that really paved my current path. I learned the ins and outs of what makes a good tour and how to manage (and predict) guest expectations. I truly didn’t know that my passion for travel could become a long-term career, but here I am, and I couldn’t be happier. My vision for the new product range for Macs Adventure North America is ambitious, and I’m always looking for people who are interested in trying my new itineraries!
Sounds like you are, quite literally, a professional traveler. What’s been your favorite part about working at Macs so far?
First and foremost – the people! The company culture here is unbeatable, and it’s no surprise that Macs attracts such an amazing crew. Having free range to be adventure leaders is also one of my favorite things. As a “professional traveler” (your words), the inspiration, vision, and goals are big! In relation to our mission and the energetic support from management, I’m excited to aim high and create tours that inspire our customers.
You just created your first trip, congrats! You designed a fantastic biking trip in Northern California’s wine country. Can you give a bit of insight into what goes into getting a trip researched, tested, and launched?
A lot of meticulous planning and research! We want each tour to be perfect for our customers. We select the best routes in the region (both in terms of scenery and logistics), quaint and welcoming accommodations, and all the nuts and bolts that make a trip work – bike rentals, luggage transfers, and extra services along the way.
Creating relationships! For example, finding that one luggage transfer partner in Sonoma was a home run. Not only was I able to check something off my list, but an actual reliable and trustworthy relationship was formed. I can leave a region with full faith that our customers are in good hands from start to finish.
I enjoy creating itineraries that facilitate flexible and independent travel. It’s a reflection of how I like to travel: this way, I’m free from groups and tight schedules, can go at my own pace and can enjoy a less mainstream experience. When an opportunity arises, you don’t have to rush it or brush it off.
Getting a full line of trips designed for the US and Canada is one of the core reasons Macs has opened up a North American Headquarters in Boulder, CO. Not only are we going to have trips in some of the US and Canada’s most iconic and beautiful places, but we also have plans to develop trips in Central and South America.
Can you talk about a few destinations that really excite you?
Ecuador will always have a place in my heart. Having spent many months living in the region, I’m all too familiar with this amazing country. I feel confident and excited to share a South America and Central America tour range that will fit in with what a lot of our customers are looking for in independent and active worldwide travel.
Finally, how do you plan on celebrating that first booking on your new California trip? With a glass of fine pinot noir perhaps?
You called it! Being a huge foodie and wine connoisseur, it is not uncommon to find me with a delicious California Pinot Noir or Zinfandel in hand. Who will join me?