01 July 2013 - Dan Browne
Adventure holidays are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they fun and exciting, but they provide a great chance for family members to bond whilst moving out of their comfort zones.
Whether it's a trip centred around kayaking, cycling, river rafting, hiking or trekking, the whole family is sure to have a great time! However, there are a few things you'll need to prepare/make sure you have packed to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.
Pack the appropriate attire
Unlike a beach holiday, for which all you need is a few pairs of shorts and t-shirts, with an activity holiday, you'll have to tick quite a few things off the list. Do consider what type of activities you'll be doing before spending too much, though.
For example, if you're off on a hiking trip, a pair of sturdy walking boots will see you through. After all, it won't be easy climbing mountains or navigating the woods in a pair of flip-flops! Make sure you pack some hard-wearing socks, too, which should keep your feet well-insulated and prevent rubbing/blisters forming. If you're heading out on a canoe, you should invest in some specialist waterproof footwear; likewise, if you're planning a cycling trip, pick up some flexible, high-quality trainers.
Once you have the footwear sorted, think about the rest of your clothing. If you're heading out white water rafting, waterproof clothing will be essential - as will lightweight fleeces or sweaters, which will keep you warm, but help to avoid over-heating. If you're thinking of canoeing in a hot country, supportive, comfortable swimwear might be useful, or if it's a trekking vacation you've got planned, light and versatile clothing is essential. Whatever you do and wherever you're going, don't forget your sunglasses! This will avoid any eye damage and stop you squinting.
Don't forget the first aid kit
Sure, activity holidays are really exciting. But there's always the potential for injury. That shouldn't put you off though, it just means you need to carry a fully-equipped first aid kit with you. You may want to stock this with more generic items (like plasters, bandages, antiseptic cream, painkillers etc.), but depending on your trip, more specific treatments could be included as well. For information on the medical risks and how you can conquer them, visit your GP or local nurse, who will also be able to advise you on any vaccinations you need prior to travel.
You can buy pre-made first aid kits from most pharmacies, which you can personalise for your needs - or you can start from scratch and make your own.
Insurance is vital
If you follow all the instructions given and safety protocol issued on your trip, then you should avoid any accidents. However, they can happen to anyone, so make sure you have a solid travel insurance policy in place before jetting off.
There are plenty of generic policies out there, but for an adventure holiday, a niche policy is probably best. Sports-specific insurance is ideal for those planning an activity holiday, as these cover not only potential medical expenses and cancellation, but also any kit you take with you - which, as you probably know, is likely worth a lot. If you plan on taking more than one activity-based trip throughout the year, an annual policy might prove more cost-effective; one-off trips should be covered by a one-off policy.
Pack your camera
After all that preparation, don't forget that one vital piece of equipment - your
camera! You'll definitely want to capture the amazing time you had and all the fun, family memories, so whatever you do - don't forget your camera!
Consider purchasing a waterproof camera if you're planning to spend a lot of time in a kayak or canoe. Or, if you aren't too worried about the quality of your photos, take a few disposable cameras instead of your prized SLR or digital camera.
All in all, there are a few things you need to think of before jetting off on your adventure holiday. However if you put in the prep work, you'll have an even better holiday - so don't skimp on it.
Main Photo – Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Family_Fun.jpg