Adventure holidays are enjoying an explosion in popularity right now, and why not? The age when the quality of a holiday could be judged on how sunburnt you got is long over.
People are working longer hours than they were just a few years ago and when it comes the time to take a break they want something more than a swimming pool to lounge by. They want excitement, adventure, and a holiday to remember.
There are plenty of adventures to choose from. Horse riding, trekking, caving, rock climbing, scuba diving, off-piste skiing, tall ship sailing- you can pick any one of those activities and base a holiday on it.
If you’re a keen climber or diver you probably have a good idea of what will happen on the trip and what you’ll need, but these days a most adventure holiday providers are more than happy to cater for those with no experience at all.
The first thing to do is to choose your adventure. If you’re going to be holidaying with another person or a group, remember to keep in mind the needs of everyone in the party. All holidays are supposed to be fun, and while a bit of a challenge can bring with it a huge buzz, someone with a serious fear of heights probably won’t enjoy a rock climbing holiday in the French Alps.
A person with weak knees may struggle with a fortnight spent trekking in South America.
There are plenty of adventures that are perfectly appropriate for the less physically fit. Horse riding and river rafting are two of the best, although gentler walking and cycling holidays can be a great way of getting a fitness hit while having a bit of fun.
If you want to walk, choosing a trekking package where you don’t have to carry your own rucksack will take a lot of the pressure off.
A good tip is to make the time to include a touch of luxury towards the end of your adventure holiday. Add a couple of extra days and use them to relax. Combine a caving holiday with a couple of sight-seeing days or a horse riding adventure with a spa weekend.
That way your tired muscles will have a chance to recover before you head back to work.
You certainly don’t need to be in the peak of fitness to enjoy adventure holidays but you might find that a little extra exercise in the run-up period pays off. For one thing it’ll help prevent second day aches and pains.
Pick a couple of Saturdays in the month before you leave on a trekking holiday and go hill walking, or if you’re going skiing or rock climbing there are indoor venues that can help you develop some basic skills.
It’s not a requirement for beginner-level holidays, but the better your foundations are the more fun you’ll have on holiday because you’ll spend less time learning and more time doing. Besides, a little preparation isn’t a chore.
Think of it more as a way of extending your adventure across a couple of extra weekends.
If you have fun on the big adventure – and if you choose the activity correctly you almost certainly will – don’t stop there. Outdoor sports are a great way to keep fit and there is no reason why an adventure holiday can’t be the start of a long-term passion.
About the author
Jess Spate, the author of “Choosing your first adventure holiday” is a guest travel blogger at Hotels-Fairy.com the best UK hotel price comparison website. She also works part time for a US travel media on the other side of the Atlantic.