Adventure touring can really test your mettle, whether you are traveling on your own or with your family. Part of the fun of an adventure tour is the inherent danger of the activity – but that’s no reason to be foolish. There are ways that you can reduce dangers and increase the fun quotient. These are five top tips to get the most out of your adventure tour.
1. Follow the Boy Scout motto – be prepared by planning ahead.
There’s an old saying – measure twice, cut once. When you plan ahead, you’ll be prepared for most of the mishaps that can happen on a wild outdoor adventure. One of the best ways to be prepared is to book your tour with a reputable and experienced tour company. A responsible adventure tour agent will provide you with all the information that you need to prepare yourself properly for the tour you book through them. If they don’t provide information like a list of documents and items you should bring with you, ask. If they don’t have one to offer, you might reconsider booking a tour through them.
Extra: You’ll need the basic documents, of course – passport, travel visa and return tickets – but as international security increases around the world, you may require additional documentation to cross some borders. Other documents you may need to present include vaccination certificates and proof that you have booked accommodation. If you are traveling with children, most travel agents strongly suggest that you bring proof that you have legal custody of the children.
2. Bring your own first aid kit.
Along with any prescription medication, you should also bring along any medications and medical supplies that you are likely to need – especially if you’re picky about brands. You won’t find any nearby pharmacies when you’re out in the middle of the Amazon highlands – or the Appalachian trails. If you’re on an organized adventure tour, your tour guide should have a first aid kit and basic medical supplies, but it never hurts to be sure you have the things you need with you. Especially in a foreign country, there is no guarantee that your favorite brand of painkiller will be available.
Extra: An ounce of prevention, says the old adage, and it’s doubly true when you’re vacationing away from “civilization”. Bug spray and sunscreen are a must, as are enough cleaning solution for contacts, or an extra pair of eyeglasses. Pack along your favored brand of pain reliever, a wrap-around bandage and an ice pack.
3. Check health and travel alerts.
If you’re traveling overseas, do yourself a favor and keep up to date on the health and travel alerts issued by the U.S. State Department. Informed travel is safe travel. There are many things that might affect your safety on an adventure trip – besides the dangers you are looking forward to braving. Extreme weather conditions, the political climate and health alerts can all make a difference in your planning. Be aware, and keep yourself informed so that you know what you may be facing.
Extra: You can research your trip and sign up for notifications about travel and safety alerts at allsafetravel.com. The site tracks safety, health and weather alerts issued by governments around the world to provide accurate information that is up to the minute for your destination.
4. Check in with your health insurance.
Are you covered if you break your leg in Nepal? Trip and travel insurance is a must when you’re traveling, but be sure that you know what will be covered. Your trip insurance should cover more than just treatment for an illness or accident. Look for repatriation coverage, and be sure that your policy covers you for any activities that you plan on doing. Many travel and trip policies specifically exclude extreme sports like whitewater rafting and rock climbing, or even skiing.
Extra: Bring along written prescriptions for all medications that you take regularly and keep them separate from your medications themselves. Check with your travel agent about riders on standard travel and trip insurance to extend coverage beyond the standard coverage.
5. Take what you bring and leave what you find.
In other words – leave nothing behind. It’s basic hiking advice. Eco-tours and other adventure tour agencies emphasize the importance of preserving and protecting the environment. Make a point of cleaning up after yourself when you stop and camp. If you bring it in with you, take it out when you leave, and if you find it on the trail, leave it there.
Extra: The best souvenirs to bring home with you are photos and memories. There’s no better use for extra weight allowance than extra batteries for your video or digital camera.