Last updated August 25, 2023
In the last several years, people have pursued wellness trips to a much greater extent. With a desire to be healthier and more active, travelers increasingly seek wellness destinations to meet their needs, and many of these trips involve or revolve around outdoor adventure travel.
An outdoor vacation not only offers an array of wellness activities but also allows you to re-experience nature and natural surroundings in a meaningful way.
Likewise, outdoor adventure vacations offer the chance to explore spiritual, mental and emotional wellness as well as physical health.
Outdoor adventure travel often includes new and unusual locations that might otherwise never be explored. Likewise, you can choose from a number of different activities. This naturally includes hiking, trail running, camping and cycling – but it can also involve unique activities like forest bathing, meditation, yoga and rock climbing.
With so many offerings and benefits, it’s no surprise outdoor adventure travel is so popular. Before you choose your next outdoor vacation, there are some important bits of information you should consider.
Outdoor adventure travel requires some preparation, and planning for the unexpected is essential. Doing so can make all the difference and help ensure your outdoor vacation is a positive wellness experience. With this in mind, the following are some important tips to consider before you go.
1. Physical Preparation
Like many wellness retreats, some level of physical fitness will be required. This is especially true for outdoor adventure travel since you will likely be engaging in new (to you) outdoor activities. Therefore, knowing what to expect from a fitness standpoint is important.
Preparing yourself in advance with exercise like strength training is strongly encouraged. This can make the difference between a great outdoor vacation and a miserable one (trust us).
2. Packing Smart
Like most trips, knowing what to pack is a key to good planning. This is particularly true for outdoor adventure travel. Because the activities you will enjoy may not be routine ones, you should know specific essentials to take.
This may include proper rain gear, sunscreen, backpacks and other specialized items. In addition, be sure to pack light and be environmentally conscious. By researching your outdoor vacation and reading others’ comments, you can usually identify the best items to bring.
3. Survival Skills
Nature and the outdoors are beautiful and wonderful in many ways. But at the same time, they can be challenging. Unexpected situations can develop, and if they do, you should be prepared to handle them.
This doesn’t mean you have to complete survival skills training, but you should know some basics. Besides having a first aid kit, you should know essential skills in securing food, shelter and protection. Learning this type of information ahead of time is never a bad idea.
4. Know Your Terrain
Naturally, you will want to know the landscape where your outdoor adventure travel will take place. This will dictate which shoes, clothes and other items you will need in addition to fitness preparations.
But at the same time, knowing your terrain also refers to the types of wildlife, fauna and flora you might encounter. Different outdoor vacations will likely expose you to different species in all of these areas. And by knowing this ahead of time, you can better prepare for these experiences.
5. Know the Culture
Many outdoor adventure travel excursions will take you to new and exciting places. In some instances, your outdoor vacation may immerse you in new cultures as well. As a result, you will likely encounter different customs and novel culinary offerings.
Different areas will also have different political environments and social issues to be aware of. To ensure a safe and pleasant vacation, you should consider learning about these cultural nuances in advance. This can also help you be better prepared for anything you might experience.
6. Create/Share Your Itinerary
In terms of personal safety, you could also consider creating your own itinerary. This is especially important if you are pursuing your outdoor adventure travel alone.
Creating a schedule and sharing it with a close friend or family member is simply a good idea. And if traveling with a group on your outdoor vacation, a schedule helps keep everyone on the same page.
In both cases, a pre-planned itinerary can keep the unwanted surprises to a minimum.
7. Pay Attention to Weather
As you might imagine, watching the weather is pretty important when on an outdoor vacation. A sudden downpour or lightning storm can dramatically change your plans for the day, and of course, you may not want to encounter inclement weather in the middle of some special activity.
Lastly, paying attention to the weather for nearly all outdoor adventure travel experiences naturally helps you know what to pack.
8. Be Eco-Friendly
For every type of wellness travel experience, it’s important to be environmentally conscious. But for outdoor adventure travel, in particular, eco-friendly practices are essential.
Leaving no footprint behind, your destination should be left in the same condition as it was upon your arrival. From the items you pack to the activities you enjoy, having an eco-friendly attitude is a valued attribute. It will better ensure the experience will be around for adventure travelers to enjoy long into the future.
9. Research Guides and Outfitters
If your outdoor adventure travel requires you to have a guide or outfitter, research is key. The range of quality and service among such guides varies tremendously. Reading reviews, studying fine-print and speaking directly with staff can determine if your needs will be met.
Likewise, this will allow you to compare prices and amenities to help you make your decision. Not all travel guides are the same no matter what type of adventure travel you seek, so it’s a good idea to find one that will be able to make your outdoor vacation an enjoyable one.
10. Consider Travel Insurance
As a final consideration, you may also want to consider obtaining travel insurance for your outdoor adventure travel. An outdoor vacation is notably subject to variations in the weather.
Likewise, like all trips, destination-specific changes may affect your travel plans. Given this, paying a bit extra to protect your investment might be worth it. Evaluating the pros and cons of travel insurance for your specific trip is never a bad idea (and in some cases, insurance may be required).
A Little Planning Goes a Long Way
If you’ve read this far you certainly understand that when it comes to outdoor adventure travel, you should always do your best to be prepared.
Because the unexpected is much more likely to occur with outdoor vacations, proper planning is key. Preparing for the worst-case scenario in advance can save you many headaches and help keep you safe.
With these outdoor adventure travel tips you will be much more likely to have an incredibly empowering experience.