If someone mentions adventure travel and your first thought is “No way, that’s not for me” this article is for YOU. Are you accustomed to luxury travel and not willing to compromise? You may be surprised at the adventure tour options. Are you concerned about being physically up to the challenge? Don’t be; there is an adventure tour for every fitness level. Adventure is a state of mind and is about immersing yourself in your destination as much as any physical effort.
What is an Adventure Tour?
An adventure tour is an organized tour that has put together all the logistics for you – transportation, accommodations, and activities – taking the burden of planning every minute detail of your trip off your shoulders. Research shows consumers make an average of 40,000 decisions per trip, so considering an adventure tour drastically reduces that burden. It may be fully escorted or it may have plenty of free time and optional activities. Your guide is an expert in the local culture and activities, giving you an insider perspective and access that you wouldn’t have on your own.
What are Adventure Activities?
Adventure includes anything that draws people outside their comfort zones to provide authentic and memorable experiences. An adventure tour can span anything from adrenaline-pumping whitewater kayaking to physically strenuous rock climbing. Or it can also mean sedate walking trips and cultural interactions with locals. Risk elements run the full scale from tranquil to spine-tingling and physical requirements range from handicapped accessible to Ironman fitness. The possibilities are endless!
Beyond traditional “adrenaline adventure” like cycling, climbing, sailing, surfing, and spelunking, adventure tours also include experiential adventure such as:
- Volunteering planting trees
- Cooking classes in a local home
- Camel safari into the desert
- Birdwatching in a natural habitat
- Work with animal rescue or monitoring turtle nests
- Helping with the crush at a vineyard
- Hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye perspective
Why Choose an Adventure Tour?
Adventure travel often takes place in nature and therefore, is necessarily linked to responsible tourism. Today’s sophisticated traveler wants to make a difference when they vacation, so travel that reduces environmental impact or sustains the local community resonates with that desire. An adventure tour offers new perspectives and fosters respect for the local culture and natural beauty.
From a somewhat less altruistic position, adventure tours let you see things at your own pace and really immerse yourself in the surroundings. Since adventure tours are typically small groups they allow you to meet like-minded people while avoiding tourist traps and crowds. You get to challenge yourself and celebrate your strengths (and maybe shortcomings!).
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, to discover your own mettle, or need a new perspective, adventure tours can provide. If you want to conquer a feat, a fear, or just plain boredom, adventure is the answer.
How to Pick an Adventure Tour
Now that you know that adventure tours cover a broad range of experiences, how do you choose the right one for you? First, pick the activities that you want to do. From super active to low-physical demands, there are all kinds of adventure tours for every interest. Maybe a walking trip in France that dines in Michelin-starred restaurants is for you and swimming with whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez is for someone else.
Next, you want to make sure that the activities on the tour are compatible with your own skill and fitness level. I’m a cyclist and can comfortably ride 100 kilometers (62 miles) – flat kilometers. But add in significant altitude and that distance would be challenging for me. You know your limits best, so be willing to push yourself, but not too far for comfort and safety.
Understand the style of the trip and look for one that matches your own preferred travel style. If you normally stay in luxury hotels, ask your travel advisor for an adventure tour that uses the best properties – don’t worry, there are plenty. For example, you can enjoy a rustic Montana wilderness adventure with trail rides and fly-fishing, combined with the extreme comfort of luxury glamping at the Resort at Paws Up. Your adventure tour doesn’t have to mean backpacking or lack of comfort.
The most important factor is that the adventure tour you decide on feeds your dreams, builds your confidence, and grows your connection with nature and culture. Then you’ve found the perfect adventure. That may be different from someone else’s perfect adventure and that’s OK. Adventure is a personal endeavor; adventure tours enable your personal adventure.
For assistance in finding your perfect adventure tour, get in touch with the expert vacation advisors at Covington.