Vacations are meant to take you away from your everyday life. What better way to escape your regular routine than to plan an adventure vacation? With a little research and planning, you can find an adventure vacation package that balances your need for excitement with your fitness and experience levels.
Types of Adventure Vacations
Adventure vacations are usually defined by the type of physical activity involved. Common activities for adventure vacations are hiking, mountain climbing, white water rafting, biking, horseback riding, wildlife and nature viewing, and camping. There are also a number of adventure vacation packages which offer you the opportunity to participate in a combination of these activities. Adventure vacation packages also often include cultural excursions which allow you to immerse yourself in the traditions and customs of the countries you visit.
Adventure vacations can also be categorized by your experience level or by your traveling companions. There are now a number of adventure vacation packages which are planned exclusively for women. These adventure packages are geared toward allowing women to travel all over the world together and stretch their wings while ensuring their comfort and safety.
Other adventure vacation packages are designed for those with little or no experience doing certain activities. Have you always dreamed of learning to kayak? Alternatively, perhaps you have longed to spend days help with thesis writing to your sister or in the saddle working on a cattle ranch,despite never getting on a horse before? Many adventure vacation outfitters understand the needs of a beginner, and plan trips that allow you to learn the ropes while ensuring you have a fun-filled vacation. On these trips, you will find guides who are willing to work with you no matter what your level of experience.
Family adventure vacation packages are also growing in popularity. In the past, families traveling with children often steered away from adventure vacations because they were concerned about the ability of their children to handle the difficulty level of the physical activity involved. Companies offering adventure vacation packages are now recognizing the need to create trips which all family members can enjoy. It is now fairly easy to find adventure vacations which take into account the limitations and interests of young children.
Best Destinations for Adventure Vacations
There is not one good place to take an adventure vacation. If you ask ten experienced travelers about the best place to go, you are likely to get ten different answers. You may find your dream adventure vacation as close as a short car ride away or as far away as the other side of the world.
Many vacationers start with an activity such as white water rafting or wildlife viewing in mind, and then research the best places to participate in these adventures. The best destination for different activities may also change from season to season. This is why it is so important to do your homework carefully before booking an adventure vacation package. Nothing is worse than planning an exciting trip, only to find you are visiting a destination in the middle of hurricane season.
Another way to choose the destination that is perfect for your adventure vacation is to make a list of places you would love to see. People are often surprised at how many places adventure packages can take them. Best of all, many of these trips are designed to give you a taste of a destination’s culture and still offer opportunities to participate in exciting activities, giving vacationers the best of both worlds. For example, several tour companies offer adventure vacation packages to California wine country. Vacationers can trek from one inn to another, sampling fine foods and excellent wines along the way. These packages often include activities other than hiking as well, such as kayaking and horseback riding.
What to Look for in Adventure Vacation Packages
When you begin your vacation planning, you are bound to find hundreds of places offering adventure vacation packages. Narrowing the choices down can seem like a daunting task. There are a number of things to keep in mind which can help you decide which adventure vacation package is the best for you.
One of the first things to consider when you are trying to decide on an adventure vacation package is the experience level of the trip guides. On a normal vacation, an inexperienced guide may get you lost or not be able to answer all of your questions about a destination. On an adventure vacation, the guide’s experience is a much more serious issue. Adventure sports come with a certain level of danger, and you will want to be sure your guide is qualified to handle any and all eventualities. Before you hike into the wilderness or brave white water rapids, find out what makes your guide capable of leading the way. Guides should be certified when applicable, and have a plan in case someone becomes ill or injured. First aid certification is something you also may want in your guide.
Price is another consideration. Do not jump at the first interesting trip to catch your eye. Many travel outfitters offer similar adventure vacation packages. Shop around to make sure you get the best deal possible. Before you book an adventure vacation, be sure to check the fine print. You may think a company is offering a fabulous deal, but it is important to look at what is included in the package price. For example, some adventure vacation packages are all-inclusive, and cover the cost of everything from air fare and hotel stays to meals and equipment rentals. Other packages may offer some of these things, but leave out others. The costs of things such as renting equipment, meals, or transportation can end up adding a bundle onto the price of your package.
Finally, get some references before booking an adventure vacation package. Nothing can clue you in about what to expect on a trip better than the experiences of other travelers. Search the web to find out what other travelers have to say or ask friends who have taken similar trips. You may also want to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the tour company you are considering has any complaints filed against it.
Image Credits: Adventure Vacation from everst/Shutterstock