"Vacations that fit a healthy lifestyle are popular among baby boomers," says Franklin Wolf, a guide with Bike Riders Tours, a Boston bicycle-tour company. "People 35 to 55 years old are the best customers for biking or hiking vacations. And a fitness-vacation service is ideal as a start-up homebased business, because its weekend and seasonal aspects permit starting up the company while keeping your day job."
To reach customers, place ads in national or regional travel magazines. Begin with a home office and a van (for transporting luggage and weary vacationers); for biking, add state-of-the-art bicycles. Get first-aid and CPR training from the Red Cross and an attorney's advice about liability.
The typical biking vacation covers 15 to 35 miles per day, depending on the terrain and the fitness level of tour participants, while hikers walk five to 15 miles daily. As a tour leader, you should be physically fit and detail-oriented. You should know the terrain, history and cultural background of the area, including restaurants, inns, campgrounds, and local points of interest.