“So, me and my buddies went on this road trip …”
Few phrases captivate an audience quite like those 10 simple words. Since the days of Odysseus, there is no type of journey that is more revelatory, definitive, or downright hilarious than one that involves a couple of friends, an open mind, and the stops, for better or worse, between “Point A” and “Point B.”
Now Roadies, a new adventure company, is taking that basic concept of the road trip and elevating it for those of us who still want the thrill of the open road, but also crave a little luxury, a sober driver, and the curation of events along the way. Rather than hitting the road in your grandmother’s old Buick Celebrity for a wild ride though backcountry Arkansas with fifty bucks, a half a bottle of vodka, and a dusty atlas, Roadies takes you on a carefully planned, seven-day journey through the great American Southwest stopping everywhere awesome between Las Vegas and San Diego.
“Some of my best memories were going with friends and hitting the road,” says Roadies co-founder Lee Roth. “There’s just something magical about the road trip and I thought about how can we take that magic and create an experience that would mirror the magic without the pain of driving all day and the pain of planning for weeks.”
Roadies coaches sleep up to 11 and are outfitted with flat screen televisions as well as sleep pods (also with their own televisions), Wi-Fi, books, and a stocked kitchen. Most of the driving is done at night, so each day, guests wake up in a new city with an itinerary customized to ensure the most epic stops ever. In addition, Roadies partners with iconic hotels that allow Roadies guests access to their pools, gyms, and other hotel facilities while in each destination city.
Each trip comes with a “Tour Manager.” The Tour Manager is tasked with planning out daily activities, which range from finding the perfect place to watch a sunrise over the Grand Canyon to ensuring dinner reservations at a base city’s coolest restaurants. For additional charges, guests can add excursions — perhaps a surf lesson in San Diego or a bike ride up the coast might be of interest. With a visit to Palm Springs, guests can partake in a cannabis tour or a hot air balloon ride. If getting stoned or floating around in a hot air balloon don’t get you high enough, you have the option of taking a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon for an extra $299.
While Roadies experiences are well planned, that sense of freedom that comes with the open road is also important. “While we have curated experiences in every market — our guests are free to do whatever they’d like,” says co-founder Mark Wills. “If they wanted to go to a museum that’s not on our itinerary, they can do that. If they want to hang out with friends they know who live in the area, they can do that too.”
“We ultimately want to create experience that open minds and allow you to see the world differently,” adds Wills. “Experiences that inspire books to be written, paintings to be painted or ideas generated for new start-ups. Our vision is to build experiences that enlighten minds, broaden perspectives and create a lifetime of stories.”