How you choose to spend your vacation time says a lot about you. Maybe it’s all family, all the time. Others prefer the low-responsibility, high-indulgence experience of a lazy stay at an all-inclusive resort or cruise liner. And then there are those who need to get out there and have an experience.
Adventure holidays are a way to beat back the boredom of the nine-to-five grind. However, unless your idea of a thrill is hopping the next plane out and scrounging for a room with running water and a locking door on short notice, it pays to do a little research ahead of time. There are a lot of different types of adventure holiday, and you’ll want to consider your appetite for roughing it versus luxury accommodations, duration of activity versus refueling time, and location preferences. The perfect adventure holiday awaits.
Most people head south for vacation days, but if you’re not a fan of sweating your way through your holidays, or you’re just looking for something a little different, you might want to look north. Far north. Finland, Norway, and Iceland offer gorgeous, wild scenery and a range of outdoor sport. Wrong continent? Hokkaido gets great snow. Or check out beautiful British Columbia, the Yukon, or Alaska for sea-meets-sky adventures where you can race from the surf to the mountaintops and back again in a single day. Or race dog sleds or quads. Whatever gets you going.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with catching some waves and a tan, either. Puerto Rico’s an ever-popular budget pick, with plenty to do inland in the jungles and mountains. The Maldives, at the opposite end of the spectrum, promise unparalleled luxury with flawless beaches and endless watersports. Looking for something different? Okinawa is off the beaten track for many world travelers but offers sun, sand, and fresh cultural experiences, including traditional ocean sports.
Channel your inner Indie
Did you dream of being a famous archeologist/explorer/adventurer as a kid? Do you know every line of the Indiana Jones films by heart? Live your best life exploring ancient monuments, vibrant jungles, and storied cultures in Peru or Honduras, or Thailand or Cambodia. Get the full Indie experience with a zip line or helicopter tour – just don’t forget to bring your hat (bullwhip and booby traps optional).
Trekking the wilds of the Northern Isles or the Highlands brings you face to face with the mysterious structures of the ancients and the more recent castles and towers of the clans. Enjoy the chance to step through a portal into the past – or go for a very different type of adventure as you follow the Whisky Trail and enjoy a dram or two fresh from the distiller’s hand.
Save the world
Voluntourism blends travel with giving back for a meaningful holiday adventure. Options are available around the world, with focuses that range from health and disaster relief, to home and school building. Focus on getting involved in causes that matter to you, as well as climate or location preferences for the best experience. Some programs include recreational and rest breaks, while others are more focused.
Swim with sharks
Diving is a great, worldwide adventure holiday experience. Head to South Africa to spend some time with the sharks (cage optional), or the Great Barrier Reef to experience one of the great wonders of the world firsthand (before global warming gets it). Arctic diving is an incredible experience for more confident, fearless, and experienced divers with serious equipment, while the northern coasts of North America offer a surprising number of exciting dive sites such as those off BC’s Vancouver Island. Or head south to search storied shipwrecks for buried treasure.
To make sure that you enjoy your adventure and get the most out of the experience, be sure to do a little health and safety prep ahead of time. Get the flu shot and appropriate travel shots or treatments for your destination. Nothing brings down a backcountry trek faster than a round of malaria. Pack for the conditions, with warm clothes for northern climates, and breathable, non-chafing outfits for tropical destinations. For longer adventures, make sure that you have a way to access clean water sources, or purify on the go. Pack compression gear to keep you going when the strain hits old injuries, to compensate for new ones, and to help on long flights. You can find a range of compression clothing options online on the As Seen on TV Store.
Refresh, recharge, and bring home the best stories with one of these adventure holiday locations. Consider your appetite for activity, preference for luxury, and preferred climate or country, and don’t forget to do a little health and safety prep to make sure that you get to experience the adventure that you signed up for.