Active Holiday vacations are the opposite of sitting in a car driving past sights or lying on the beach.
They may involve hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing or some other activity, but the point is that you’re actively doing things.
The challenge for many is finding a fun family activities that everyone in the party can enjoy without breaking your budget or a bone.
Here are 6 ideas and tips for an active vacation.
Best Destination For Active Holiday Vacations
First, decide what activities you want to enjoy.
Then you can choose a destination that supports it.
If you enjoy physical activity, the odds are that you’ll have to leave the city, though this doesn’t mean you can’t stop to see the cultural sights and enjoy dinner in a fine restaurant at some point.
Ideally, you want to select a destination that combines your interests with the sports you want to enjoy.
For example, you could pick a city by the water that offers the cuisine and history you enjoy along with the sports you want to try.
You may even be able to combine interests with activities such as going on a walking tour of the city.
Determine Your Budget
Active vacations range from cheap camping vacations in the hills near your home to international adventures.
Determine your budget, because this will determine how much you can afford to spend on a plane or train tickets or how long you can stay at the destination.
Once you know the budget, you can plan your itinerary from hotels to activities.
For example, you’ll know that your budget doesn’t allow you to buy or rent scuba diving gear and lessons, but it may allow parasailing and fishing excursions for the whole family.
Talk to Your Doctor
Before you go on an active vacation, talk to your doctor.
Ask what you’ll need to properly prepare, whether it is travel medicine or a stash of your prescription medication.
Discuss your current state of health.
Ask the doctor what level of activity they think you’re capable of.
Know now if you’re prone to heat exhaustion or altitude sickness.
This is essential for anyone who has been sedentary, takes maintenance medication, or is over the age of 55.
Learn how you can make up for medical issues.
For example, if you have bad balance or will be climbing steep hills, learn how to use Nordic walking poles.
Know what accommodations outfitters or travel agents need to take into account if you’re not planning the trip yourself.
Plan Activities That Match Everyone’s Fitness Level
Don’t plan on hiking a long trail if you can’t walk to the corner store.
Nor should you choose an activity that one or more members of the group can’t do.
Consider activities that everyone can enjoy.
For example, you could invest in some very high quality inflatable SUPs, or stand up paddle boards.
They’re easy to learn how to use.
Paddle boarding is something you can do no matter your skill level, and you can go at your own pace.
A side benefit of paddle boards is that you can take them across saltwater or freshwater, in calm waters or mild waves.
You could use the boards to explore, fish or practice yoga.
This gives everyone something to do, whereas not everyone will be in good enough shape to go whitewater rafting or mountain climbing.
However, you can come up with a variety of activities so that would-be mountain bikers and hikers are both enjoying the mountains in their own way.
If you’re hitting the sea shore, your group could go canoeing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Get in Better Shape
Your current fitness level should determine your planned activities.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do better.
Before you take that week long hike, start walking long distances again.
If you plan on going hiking, start carrying a pack.
Go for regular walks every day.
Start swimming and bike riding to get in better shape.
Don’t push yourself too much, however.
Just go long enough to build up your cardiovascular capacity and your endurance.
Try to go a little longer and harder each day, but stop if you feel pain or lightheartedness.
This ensures you can enjoy the activities on your vacation without being exhausted at the end of the day.
If you’re traveling to colder climates, you’ll need warm gear like a compression jacket and gloves, in addition to several layers of clothes.
This includes leggings to wear under your pants as well as a long-sleeved shirt or jacket under your compression jacket.
Create a list of things to pack weeks in advance, and pack them at least one week before you depart.
That gives you time to find missing essentials or buy things you lack.
For things you have to use prior to your departure like reading glasses and cosmetic bags, pack them first thing in the morning before you leave so that you don’t forget them.
Whether you’re traveling in hot or cold conditions, wear a hat with a brim.
This can prevent your scalp from being sunburned.
Also, don’t forget sunscreen, and take shoes that will handle the abuse.
For example, you need running or hiking shoes if you’re going to be on your feet a lot.
Note that you’ll want to break in hiking shoes before you actually go hiking.
Take at least one pair of nice walking shoes so that you don’t have to wear hiking boots into a restaurant.
Choose undergarments that will be comfortable during physical exertion.
This means women wearing sports bras that are supportive and quick drying.
Moisture wicking shirts and shorts will do more than save you from unsightly sweat patches; they’ll help you stay cool and comfortable.
Active holiday vacations are a much more enjoyable experience than waiting in line at the museum or competing for space to lie on the beach.
However, they take more work to get right.
Follow our advice so that you’ll get the most out of your adventure.