Advice on Choosing Your Adventure and How Best to Prepare For it
- Finding your reasons for going on an adventure
So, you want to go on an adventure? We don’t blame you! But, whilst you’re not alone in hankering after fantastic experiences, fresh perspective and some fabulous memories, you are an individual, with your own unique history, tastes and goals. As such, taking time to consider your reasons for booking a trip of this sort can help you work out which one is best. Is your focus a particular challenge (like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro), or are you more keen on an education in fitness and nutrition (whilst frolicking abroad)? Maybe you really want to learn how to cook Indian (or Thai, or Mexican), food, whilst in its homeland…
- Choosing the type of adventure that’s perfect for you
Once you’ve worked out what you’d like the content of your adventure to be, it’s time to consider the type. Do you want to build a bespoke trip, just for you (and your loved-ones, perhaps)? Or would you prefer to join a group of other, like-minded folk? Maybe you’d like to be led by an expert; maybe you can only take two weeks, or perhaps you’ve got three months… We’re not saying you can’t find a trip that ticks all the boxes, just that you need to know, first, which boxes you’d like ticked.
- Selecting the ideal destination for your adventure
This is a fairly obvious one – choosing where to go – but it can sometimes be trickier than it sounds. Obviously the type of adventure, and its content (as above) will to some extent determine which destination you choose, but there are other elements to consider. Try to ensure the ratio of travel time to holiday time is appropriate for you (ie. if you’re someone who suffers badly from jet-lag, don’t go to Australia for a week) and check up on local laws and customs (eg. homosexuality laws) that might affect you, so you’re making an informed choice when you book.
- Second-guessing problems before they arise
In terms of specific locations you’ll be staying in, again, think ahead. If you need to keep in touch with family members, for example, ask questions about whether there are wifi links or phones before you arrive; if you have any special dietary requirements (or similar), let the resort / hotel / guesthouse know in advance. Simple things, but easy to forget.
- Finances and travel insurance
Finances are one area where a little planning goes a long way. Make sure you’ve got necessary funds in the right account, and tell your bank and mobile phone company you’re heading off on an adventure, and for how long. If you need to budget, work out what you can afford, daily, before you go. Then there’s travel insurance – searching comparison websites (like moneysupermarket.com, gocompare.com and confused.com) can help you make big savings, though some companies can take care of this for you, covering you against all the specific activities involved in the particular trip you’ve chosen.
- Preparing your body
Different adventures place different demands on your body. If you’re heading off on a sport related adventure, then it’s particularly important to be fit and healthy before you go. Research your options: some adventure travel companies offer Personal Training in advance of the trip, or advice on how to prepare yourself.
- Vaccines, immunisations and particulars
On a more mundane note, ensure you’ve got all your vaccinations sorted (visit your local surgery, or see fitfortravel.nhs.uk for more information), and any specific medications (malaria tablets, for example) or other things (like contact lenses) that you need. Also, be organised about sorting out any specific kit (like walking boots and pole, sleeping bag), that you might require for your adventure. Nobody wants to be rushing around airport shops searching for a breathable, lightweight jacket, half asleep, with their flight being called…
- Making the most of your adventure
And finally… It’s called adventure travel for a reason; these kind of trips are special, and take time and money (not to mention a sense of adventure) to organise. Granted, we can’t always plan for every eventuality but we can take precautions to ensure that the more obvious things don’t spoil our trip. For example, the chances are that the office / your workplace (whatever’s applicable to you), can survive without you, so explain that you’d rather not receive emails or calls unless it’s urgent. Sure, it’s a bit tedious but, honestly, getting all your ducks in a row will make your adventure less stressful and more fulfilling in the long run. All that is left after that, is calibrating your mind. Choose to dive right in. Envisage yourself saying yes to opportunities; doing things that scare you; having the time of your life. Your adventure awaits, and now it’s time to take it on!