If your idea of the perfect vacation is an endless, white sandy beach, a resort littered with loungers and swim-up bars, and a hammock or two, then allow us to direct you towards any of our more laidback destination guides; your adventure will come when you’re ready. However, if you love nothing more than diving straight into the nearest canyon, scaling the highest peaks or trekking through unchartered jungle, then this is the guide for you. Vacations are a truly personal endeavor, and no two people will ever enjoy the same kinds of things. There’s just something about that whiff of adventure that gets us all excited, though…
Adventurous destinations to be enjoyed
For some, the adventure is in the destination. From the Grand Canyon, the wild peaks of Scotland and the snow-capped mountains of New Zealand or Canada to the rainforests of Costa Rica, the waters surrounding Australia, or the Sahara Desert, some destinations were seemingly put on this earth so that we could enjoy a host of new experiences. The mere names of such places are often enough to inspire adrenalin. For others, the thrill is to be found in the activities that they undertake while they’re on vacation. Perhaps your accommodation is nestled in the midst of a pristine resort, but you’re sure as hell going to find your own adventure as soon as you’ve had your breakfast – whether that’s rock climbing, caving, rafting, mountain biking, hiking or deep sea diving. Adventure is all around us, but preparing for such a vacation is imperative to your enjoyment and safety.
Your top tips and tricks for a safe, enjoyable adventure
It goes without saying that you’re going to need to prepare for your adventure, regardless of where you’re going or what you’ll be doing. Although not exhaustive, the following tips should give you a good place to start…
Do your research
While it’s tempting to tackle your vacation with the same spontaneity that you no doubt booked your tickets, to attempt to do so would be bordering on silly, especially if you’re wandering into the unknown. Research your location, accommodation, and the kinds of activities that are on offer, as well as the things you should be doing in preparation for your trip. You might also want to factor your budget, the climate, any cultural differences, and sights and attractions into the mix. If you’re planning on hiking, what are the popular routes? Apps such as Safety Map Worldwide will enable you to check how safe certain areas are, while travel guides will become invaluable.
Now is the time to get your documents in order, including tickets, boarding passes, insurance and itineraries. Plan your routes wherever possible, and ensure that a friend or family member has the details of where you’ll be staying and what you’re going to be getting up to – just in case. Say you’re likely to be trekking through thick jungle, unchartered forests or a particularly impassable creek – if no one knows where you are, they’ll be unable to organize a search party for you should the worst happen. Translation apps with emergency phrases, a list of local emergency numbers and access to additional money are also likely to come in handy, so get such measures in place before you go. Oh, and try to do a little training for any especially demanding activities.
Dress for the occasion
If you’re likely to be scaling any rock faces during your trip, it’s essential that you’re appropriately dressed for the occasion; shorts, a T-shirt and sandals just won’t cut that kind of adventure. Rock climbing is a particular kind of exploit, and requires the correct clothing and equipment in order to maintain a sense of safety and fun. Compression clothing, including compression gloves, will become especially handy while you’re contorting your body halfway up a mountain; these garments are designed to support your joints and muscles, and regulate your circulation and temperature. Indeed, just about any adventurous activity you can think of will require the right kind of clothing. You can learn a lot about the kit you’ll need from reading reviews and heeding the advice of those who have gone before you.
Remember the essentials
It’s imperative that you have the kind of equipment that you’re likely to need for each leg of your journey. Cyclists must take a puncture repair kit, climbers should take the appropriate safety gear and harnesses, white water rafters must have life jackets, and deep sea divers should ensure they have an appropriate wet suit and breathing apparatus – unless you’ve thoroughly researched where you might be able to hire such things. More generally, you’re likely to need navigational tools, medicine and first aid kits, sun protection and insulation, a means of illuminating your way in the darkness, plenty of water, and a repair kit or tools for the maintenance of your kit. That said, never take any more than you need. Fancy electronics, jewelry and copious amounts of cash should stay firmly put at home.
Above all, prepare to listen to your gut. If a particular activity or location doesn’t feel right, then avoid it. There’s no shame in changing your mind when you get there. While adventure holidays and trips to thrilling destinations are many tourists’ bread and butter, there’s no fun to be found in life-threatening situations, injuries and illness. Prepare properly for your next adventure, and you’re likely to have the time of your life.