5 Ways the DRA Curates Your Dude Ranch Travel Experience
We are often asked how we The Dude Ranchers' Association can help you, the potential guest, with the planning stages of your dude ranch vacation. Below are five real ways that either the DRA website or the DRA office can help! Please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or need any help.
The DRA’s advanced search capabilities eliminate the stress of having to research and compare hundreds of ranches individually. With the click of a button, you’re able to refine your search by selecting the activities and amenities on your vacation wishlist. Or, if you’re looking for a ranch in a specific geographic area, you can narrow your search by state/province, or even proximity to National Parks.
Personalized help is important to the DRA both on and off the ranch. If you’re still stumped as to which ranch is the best fit for you, the DRA wants to hear about it. They have a toll-free number staffed with experts that are knowledgeable about each one of their distinct member ranches. They’re available to talk through any and all questions you may have. Warning: they may even offer an unsolicited tip or two!
Dude Ranch Experts
If it’s your first time (on a dude ranch), you’re sure to have a list of questions and concerns about just how this whole guest ranch vacation is going to play out. What should I wear? Do I need to know how to ride before I get there? What kind of food will there be? Will there be plenty for my kids (and me) to do? From riding and ranch offerings, to travel insurance and what to pack, the DRA is your go-to source for dude ranch insider information.
Get a Second Opinion
There’s an entire section on the DRA’s website dedicated to what other people have to say about us! This section features accounts from national and regional travel writers and bloggers who have visited a DRA-accredited ranch to see what it’s all about for themselves, providing you with unbiased, second opinions, and answers to many of the same questions you may have.
Experience the ‘Best of the West’
The DRA has been preserving, protecting and promoting dude ranches and the Western way of life since it was founded in 1926. All of its' member ranches are required to uphold the highest quality and standards within the industry (membership is actually a two-year process!), so you and your family can rest easy knowing that a trip to one of the DRA’s member ranches will be filled with authentic, Western hospitality and the six core principles that haven’t changed for nearly a decade:
- Horses are central to any dude ranch experience.
- There must be adequate stock, tack, facilities and trails for the riding program.
- All will be well cared for.
- Attention will be paid to horse and rider safety.
- Hats symbolize the special emphasis on Western atmosphere and appearance.
- A genuine friendly Western welcome with staff, food, accommodations, facilities and activities to authenticate it.
- Dude ranch vacations began as long stays where relationships developed and guests had an exclusive and complete ranch experience.
- Dude ranch guests will be on an American plan.
- Even amidst today’s pressures for quick visits and short vacations, ranches should encourage week-long stays (6 or 7 nights.)
- Regular multi-day dude ranch guests should not be significantly or adversely affected by any non-dude ranch business.
- You are at least as good as you advertise, if not better.
- You operate your business with integrity.
- You have a heart for developing friendships with your guests and demonstrate it in your action.
A Little History about the Dude Ranchers' Association:
The first official meeting of the Dude Ranchers’ Association was held on September 27th and 28th, 1926. Ranchers, railroad officials and national park officials attended the two-day event to discuss the five objectives set forth:
1. Establish cooperation among ranchers and railroad officials.
2. Discuss the transportation and proper care of guests.
3. Create advertising and publicity for the Association.
4. Standardize practices.
5. Create an efficient sales organization.
Having agreed to all five objectives, the ranchers added a sixth - the organized protection of fish and game. Read more here!
No matter what kind of Western dude ranch vacation you are looking for, the Dude Ranchers' Association can help! Contact them today at 307-587-2339 or firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning the trip of a lifetime!
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