It made sense in late 2011 when Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), a motorhome owners group based in Cincinnati, Ohio, teamed up with Fantasy RV Tours to launch the FMCA Tour Connection program.
The Tour Connection offers FMCA member-only RV caravans, rallies, and cruises at discounted rates, and also provides FMCA members discounts on other Fantasy RV Tour events, according to a news release.
“These tours are even more popular than what we — Fantasy RV Tours and FMCA — expected,” said Nel Filliger, Fantasy RV Tours founder. “Members like traveling with the FMCA family and receiving the extra discounts with FMCA Tour Connection.”
By May, four of the six remaining 2012 RV tours (Calgary Stampede, Western National Parks, Polar Bear Express, and Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta) already were sold out. Filliger added that great interest is being shown in caravans and tours slated for 2013 and beyond, including a 2014 tour to Australia and New Zealand. “This trip is at the top of most people’s bucket list,” she said. “It will sell out and we’ll have a waiting list.”
The inaugural excursion of the Tour Connection program took place in Washington, D.C., this past April. Fantasy RV Tours staff welcomed 50 FMCA member families to the nation’s capital for a week of fun and sight-seeing adventures in which they received personalized attention from the staff and tour guides.
At night, FMCA members stayed in their motorhomes at a campground near Washington. During the day, they toured an array of sites in and around the city, including the U.S. Capitol and the National Cathedral; the U.S. Naval Academy and Fort McHenry; Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial; and museums of their own choosing along the National Mall.
The consensus among those who participated in the inaugural Tour Connection rally was that the event was an overwhelming success. “Traveling with an experienced wagon master and guide made this area live,” said Thomas and Gayle Williams of Merritt Island, Fla. “Every single event was a treat. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, efficient, and dependable. The planning that went into this rally was quite evident and it ran like a well-oiled machine.”
Brad and Sandra Lynch of Seattle, Wash., said, “It was organized so well; how could you not like anything? The staff was marvelous and we made some friends with the FMCA Tour Connection that we will have for years to come.”
Because of the popularity of the Tour Connection among FMCA members, Fantasy RV Tours has increased the variety of itineraries available. In addition to the interest shown in the RV caravans and tours, cruises are offered too; Filliger noted that more than 200 FMCA members already have booked cruises to Alaska or the Caribbean.