Adventure Travel can be one of the most exciting and exhilarating ways to travel and see the world. It is full of new palces and cultures and allows you to really immerse yourself in the cultures and communities you visit.
Here are 20 tips for planning your next adventure trip:
- Use the Internet to get information from travel guides; read travel blogs about the places you want to go; chat with travelers who have recently returned from an adventure trip; consult with local authorities; check what travel documents and visas are necessary and book flights and accommodations.
- Plan your route carefully making use of reliable maps. Use terrain maps showing elevation, water crossings, mountains etc. Include in your route where you are going to sleep, plan the distance you want to cover in a day and how long will it take to get from resting point to resting point.
- Make sure you have money in the local currency as most adventure trips are off the beaten track where Traveler's Checks or foreign currency will not be accepted. Take some smaller denominations for tips, baksheesh and the occasional bribe!
- Get your papers in order including detailed maps, passports, visas, insurance policy, camping or other permits. Carry with you photocopies of your passport and I.D. Don't forget to take a list of any medical information (allergies, blood type) in case of emergency.
- When choosing your adventure destination consider parts of the world that are endangered and unlikely to be around much longer, like Greenland's Icebergs or areas with endangered species. See them while they still exist.
- Perhaps one of the most important items for survival is water. Plan to take water and to know where to find water sources along your route.
- Allow for emergency exits, places where you can ditch the trip if something goes wrong. Plan for at least two potential exit points each day where there is access to transport, means of communication or other contact with the world at large.
- Plan the food for your adventure trip, consider how much you can carry, what food will last longest, will you have access to places to buy food along the way and how will you prepare the food. Choose foods by how easy they will be to carry and prepare.
- Pack light, although you need to pack for all events - wet and dry weather etc. Keep clothes to a minimum, in most cases you can wash some clothing along the route or live in the same jeans for a week!
- The necessary equipment for an adventure trip can be expensive but you can buy second-hand, rent or borrow all kinds of specialty equipment and climate specific clothing.
- Always pack emergency items like flares, thermal silver blankets and a first aid kit. Check which emergency drugs might become essential for treating animal and insect bites.
- Get fit before you go on your adventure trip, there is nothing worse than not being able to keep up or having to miss out on an activity because you are unfit.
- Take a solar charger for your mobile phone. These chargers also work for camera batteries and can be purchased online. If you know there won't be service for your phone, consider using a satellite phone, they can be a life saver in an emergency.
- How long you spend on your trip depends on how long you can get away from the "real" world. Calculate the travel time to and from your destination as this takes a chunk out of your trip.
- Go on an adventure trip with someone you get along with and someone of similar fitness level so you are not kept back by others. Consider hooking up with a club or taking a group adventure trip with people who have similar interests.
- If it is your first adventure trip then consider going with an organized group with a guide. Independent travelers might also choose to incorporate an organized activity into their adventure trip.
- Consider taking fast transportation to get you to the focal points of your trip. Spend time on what is really important and not on getting from point A to point B.
- Integrate adventurous activities into your adventure trip. On a trip into the desert be sure to share a night with the Bedouin; in the wilderness include water rafting or in Lapland try ice fishing.
- On an adventure trip try to disconnect from electronic gadgets as much as possible but have a phone in case of emergencies. Look into using an iPhone or smartphone applications to help you along the way - maps, GPS etc.
- Meet the locals and learn about their traditions and way of live. Try to book a home-stay to really get a feel of the local culture.
Most importantly live life to the fullest, take calculated risks and be adventurous.
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