If reading a romantic novel while sipping a cool daiquiri on a warm beach is your idea of a perfect vacation, then this article may not be for you. Adventure travel is for those who seek heart-pumping expeditions. Adventure tourism has gained traction in the last few years as the rich tire of the same repetitive activities in different locales.
Instead, some are choosing to jump outside of their comfort zones by exploring new activities in remote destinations. Adventures vary from the more risky and physically demanding, to the leisurely and learning based. Which one is right for you?
Are you a foodie who is happiest when experimenting with unique culinary creations? If so, a gourmet tour in a far-off location might be your speed. These outings do not typically involve vigorous or dangerous acts as they are educational in nature. Does sailing on an ancient junk rig in Vietnam to experience fresh oysters and squid, or trekking to high altitudes in Peru in search of the best ceviche and wild boar, sounds good? If distant locations and exotic foods appeal, then gastronomic explorations may be for you.
A safari trip could be a walking, driving or working tour. You’ll travel through the African plains with experienced escorts. This is a learning opportunity with some potentially hazardous elements depending on the type of trip you plan. Lions, elephants, buffalos and hippos can be dangerous, but a driving tour with an experienced operator will be less risky than a more hands-on expedition. A tour where you assist in animal conservation projects could be an exciting and rewarding adventure.
Bungee jumping involves flinging yourself off of a giant structure that is usually fixed (like a bridge) while attached to a flexible cord. It sounds crazy, but this is one of the most popular and thrilling activities for adventure travelers. The feeling as the cord stretches on and on, and then recoils, is what bungee jumpers seek. This adrenaline-charged activity made its commercial start in New Zealand, and that is still a top destination for bungee jumpers around the globe.
Spelunking or caving involves the exploration of rough, non-commercial caves. This can be a dangerous activity with many risks such as fatigue, falling rocks and flooding. Falling is also a concern. While it can be an individual sport, it’s smart to venture out with others for safety and social reasons. South Africa, Mexico and the United States have some of the best cave systems in the world. But if cave diving is what attracts you, navigating through caves that are at least partially filled with water, head to the clear waters of the Mediterranean Islands.
Today’s wealthy seek experiences over luxuries. For example, according to Forbes, roughly 20% of private jet travelers take at minimum of one experiential trip per year. The price of those adventure travel experiences varies widely. A 10-day excursion might run around $6,000, but you can also swim with sharks in Mexico for $2,500 or jump off of a plane in Nepal (as part of a skydive/trek tour) for $21,000. What would you like to explore?