We all like to think that we have an adventurous side, but if put to the test are we up for the challenge?
That depends on what the challenge is, doesn’t it? What exactly is adventure travel?
Wikipedia defines it as “Adventure travel is a type of tourism, involving exploration or travel to remote, exotic and possibly hostile areas…Adventure tourism gains much of its excitement by allowing its participants to step outside of their comfort zone. This may be from experiencing culture shock or through the performance of acts that require significant effort and involve some degree of risk (real or perceived) and/or physical danger. This may include activities such as mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, mountain biking, rafting, zip-lining and rock climbing. Some obscure forms of adventure travel include disaster and ghetto tourism. Other rising forms of adventure travel include social and jungle tourism.
On Adventure Travel 101 site, it is defined as “Adventure Travel is travel where one stretches beyond their normal boundaries; seeking
out experiences that are new and unfamiliar.
On www.wilderdom.com it is said to be “Adventure travel is to intentionally go beyond one’s normal known area, seeking out experiences which are unfamiliar. Adventure travel often refers to people who pay adventure activity companies to provide specific kinds of adventure experiences e.g., bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, canyoning, scuba diving, 4-wheel driving, and so on.”
Okay, enough said. You get the idea. What you should know is that there are degrees of adventure travel.
Most companies offer “soft adventure” travel, which means you won’t be roughing it.
To the contrary, you’ll probably be pampered. Lots of “yuppies” like soft adventures, which is
why this is a $220 billion dollar industry (just in the U.S.).
As stated, there are degrees. For example, an African safari is considered adventure travel.
But there is a huge difference in how this can be achieved, from staying in the posh William Holden Safari Club in
East Africa (with nothing more taxing than game drives) to participatory
camping in Botswana (that include hardcore whitewater rafting and hiking).
Adventure travel is addictive and exciting, but I would like to share a few words of wisdom:
*Check out the company or outfitter thoroughly
before booking. Make sure they’re reputable and have been in business for at
least 3 – 5 years.
*Make sure you understand what you’re signing up
for. Are you staying in a tented camp or is it participatory camping? Is there
walking or hiking involved? If you have dietary restrictions or suffer motion
sickness or have other concerns, is the experience still feasible? If rafting,
it a scenic ride on a lazy river or Class IV rapids?
* You need to be in fairly good health to tackle
adventurous activities. Be advised that medical facilities are limited in these
places and situations. If you have a medical condition, you should consult your
*Bring essentials, such as batteries, medications,
the right clothes and gear, and all travel documents. Keep them in a safe
place. Some folks feel better to always have their passports on them but if you’re
going cave tubing, it is not advisable to bring your passport, even if you have
a waterproof fanny pack.
*Be flexible. Things happen with adventure travel,
which is why you are considered adventurous to do doing it, so you have to have
the right attitude. Let me share a few examples with you that I have personally
experienced: jeep getting stuck in mud while on safari, getting stranded in
Morocco, missing the cruise ship during a Belize eco-outing, getting bitten by a
spider in Costa del Sol and later having to get it biopsied, getting bitten by
chiggers in South America, and having a tiger circle my tent in Nepal.
These things may sound negative to you, but they were interesting experiences
and made for great stories to share! Besides, I’m an extreme adventure gal.
These things don’t happen on most soft adventures. But whatever happens, just have
a good time (and take lots of photos to show everyone back home as proof of
For more information on adventure travel, see The Encyclopedia of Cheap Travel: Save Up to 90% on Lodging, Flights, Tours, Cruises, and More!
A good general resource is www.tripadvisor.com
A good place to find the right clothes for any trip is www.urbanoutfitters.com