You’re an adrenaline junkie or a foodie. You’re a naturalist or a photographer. You’re constantly seeking adventure in everything you do but especially so while traveling.
Here is your 2016 guide to adventure travel, from choosing your destination to having the right apps on your smartphone.
Decide on the Type of Adventure You Seek
Adventure comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. It can be found in tasting exotic and unique dishes from around the world, scaling the Patagonian mountains in Argentina or surfing the beaches of Bali, Indonesia. Sometimes, adventure is found in simply boarding the plane to a new country or driving to a new state.
Adventure travel means something different for every individual and it’s your job to sort out what that means for you. If you need some inspiration or would like to be part of a larger group, look into guided adventures and active vacations through outdoor companies. In the end, adventure travel is all about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, whatever that may mean for you.
Pick Your Destination
For some, deciding the type of adventure comes first and for others, choosing the destination is more important. If there is not a specifical place you’ve been dying to visit, look into 2016’s trending adventure destinations. According to CNN, the Arctic is a trending destination where you’ll be surrounded by beautiful extreme and remote landscapes in Greenway, Norway and Iceland. CNN also predicts Georgia will be a happening spot for 2016 travel as well as Madagascar, Gabon and Iran.
Expect the Best But Prepare for the Worse
Adventure travel is unpredictable and extreme at times. And at other times, it’s rewarding and life-changing. The best advice is to expect the best and prepare for the worst. Start with pre-trip preparations. Save your money in case of emergencies abroad that require more funds than you budgeted for. Do a lot of gear research beforehand and invest in the best products to ensure your safety and comfort while traveling. This doesn’t mean you need to pack a lot; on the contrary, adventure travel is always easier as a minimalist. Visit a travel clinic for any vaccinations or advice specialized to your destination.
Physically prepare yourself for your adventure. If your adventure is wine tasting in Mendoza, Argentina, you’ll need to be prepared differently than if you’re backpacking the Inca Trail to Macchu Piccu. During your trip, get advice from other travelers, locals and the local tourism office. Stay informed on current political events in your destination and always make sure someone back home knows where you are and how to reach you.
Take Advantage of Technology
Thanks to technology, adventure travel is a little less stressful and a lot safer. Don’t rely on buying safety tech such as a personal locator beacon or a satellite phone at your destination. Don’t even rely on your tour company to provide it for you. Instead, be self-sufficient and prepared. Make sure to unlock your smartphone before reaching your destination, so you can use a prepaid local SIM card. Download adventure apps to your smartphone for first aid and survival guidance as well as information about knots, surf conditions and star charts.
Let go of your inhibitions and dive into the local culture head first, tasting the dishes, listening to their music, dancing their dances and speaking their language. Try to release the tourist mentality and really let your spirit roam wild and free. But don’t just stop there, the best thing about adventure travel is taking everything you’ve absorbed and applying it to every part of your everyday life.