Adventure Travel: How to Plan the Ultimate Adventure

Imagine jumping off your own sailboat near Tonga, plunging into the warm ocean water with massive humpback whales that are swimming near your boat. Picture hiking the entire length of the Camino de Santiago and completing your journey in the picturesque cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Visualize the sunshine on your skin as you cycle through vineyards in Tuscany, sipping on wine and enjoying Italian snacks throughout your journey.

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it? Adventure tourism is one of the fastest-growing niches in the travel market, and with good reason. The concept of adventure means a myriad of different things to different people, so there is a good chance that anyone can find the optimum trip. But how do you go about planning for the ultimate adventure?

Summit Summit of Mt. Batur in Bali

Pre-Trip Organization


Admittedly, organization and planning are not my forte, but I appreciate the need for utmost pre-trip preparation. First and foremost, create an excel chart for packing. No, it's not a lot of fun but it truly helps arrange your brain before your flight takes off. Nothing is worse than arriving on your hiking adventure...without your boots!

Additionally, come up with a packing system that works for you. Personally, I know that my undergarments and shoes go in a particular compartment in my suitcase, and my toiletries always stow away inside the front pocket of my luggage. This guarantees easy access at security and peace of mind when I need to find something in a pinch. Simple tricks like this may seem minimal now, but they truly help get you to your adventure feeling psyched and ready to go!

Adventure Travel Iceland Jokulsarlon Lagoon, Iceland. Photo by Will Rochfort

Don't Try to Micromanage


Frequently, travelers are so excited to get out and see everything that they plan their itinerary to a ridiculous level. Sure, you may think that visiting all the sights will lead to amazing memories, but in reality, you stress yourself out and add exhaustion to a supposedly fun trip. Occasionally, it can be healthy to relinquish the reigns of control, and adventure travel is one of these instances! If you are a self-restraint mongrel in your daily life, practice the opposite while enjoying your vacation. You will be amazed at how exciting and refreshing your travels will feel once you allow yourself some time for adventure to happen!

Notre Dame Paris Notre Dame in Paris. Photo by Will Rochfort

Always Say Yes


Please take this expression with a grain of salt, but you get my point! Head into your trip with the idea of saying yes to anything that is thrown your way. Want to try SCUBA diving? Sure. How about tackling a hike that is a few miles farther than you usually go? Of course, why not! Maybe eat that weird food that looks like it has six eyeballs? Yum yum!

Obviously, I'm not suggesting you commit larceny if the opportunity arises. However, as humans, we get so caught up in evaluating every single decision that spontaneity has taken a back seat in favor of logic or fear. Some of the most thrilling adventures occur when you just agree to give something a try. Maybe you'll hate the experience or maybe not....but I am willing to bet that you will walk away with a lifetime of stories to share!

Team Sierra
Heather Balogh
posted by
Heather Balogh
Blogger at Just a Colorado Gal
Heather is a Colorado gal who believes adventure is part of her soul. She seeks adrenaline whenever possible, and can be found peak bagging high altitude summits, backpacking into off-the-grid locales with her pup, skiing powder stashes so deep the snow stings her face, or exploring new cultures in developing countries. (Team Sierra bloggers receive promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post.) Will Rochfort is a Colorado-based writer and photographer who just happens to be married to A Colorado Gal, Heather Balogh. He is a contributing editor for Backpacker Magazine. See more of his work on Instagram.
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