Looking for Adventure Know What You're Getting into and Whether You're Up to the Challenge of an Adventure-Travel Vacation

By Cohen, Lori | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 15, 1997 | Go to article overview

Looking for Adventure Know What You're Getting into and Whether You're Up to the Challenge of an Adventure-Travel Vacation


Cohen, Lori, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Lori Cohen Daily Herald Correspondent

If you go:

There are many tour operators who will book an adventure travel trip for you. Most have a variety of trips to locations around the world as well as in our own country. Activities take place on land and sea and can range from walking, hiking or biking to sailing, white-water rafting or horseback riding. You can even take wagon train trips along the same routes the pioneers took out west or do a ranch vacation a la "City Slickers." You name it and someone has probably planned a trip to accommodate your interests.

Some adventure tour operators cater only to women and others to both genders. Among them are:

Wild Women Adventures, 107 N. Main St., Sebastopol, CA 95472, (800) 992-1322; Women's Travel Club, 21401 NE 38th Ave., Aventura, FL 33180, (800) 480-4448; and Rainbow Adventures, 15033 Kelly Canyon Road, Bozeman, MT 59715, (800) 804-8686. All cater to women only.

Sheri Griffith Expeditions, P.O. Box 1324, Moab, UT 84532, (800) 332-2439 does a few trips for women only, a few for families and the rest co-ed.

Backcountry, P.O. Box 4029, Bozeman, MT 59772, (800) 575-1540 offers a variety of adventure vacations for the "average, healthy adult."

- Lori Cohen

The brochure advertised our travel adventure trip to southeast Utah as an "EASY" first-timer adventure with no camping. "Be part of the thrilling activities of a real wild west vacation," encouraged the tour operator. "All right!" exclaimed my buddy, Carol. "Bring on those cowboys." Now since our trip was for women only, and, we weren't going to a ranch, it was not likely that we would be running into cowboys.

But hope springs eternal. That's why we're always looking for new experiences. Travel seems to fill the bill for many of us, and adventure travel adds an excitement that we don't find on a routine vacation.

If this will be your first adventure-travel trip, however, don't be too anxious to sign up for that trip of a lifetime. Before plunking down your hard-earned cash, here are some things to consider.

Instead of preparing for the trip by viewing a brochure filled with glossy photos of the landscape at the places you will visit, get some detailed information on exactly what the trip involves. The nature of adventure travel is that it may include some "roughing it" experiences.

Therefore, rule number one for first-timers as well as old-timers is to ask a lot of questions of the tour operators. Find out exactly what you're going to be doing.

Compare the activities offered by tour companies as well as the prices.

Rule number two - you better get the old "bod" in shape, because most adventure travel trips involve physical activity of some kind. If you're like most people, you probably think you're in pretty good condition. I know I did. After all, I walked a mile each way to and from the train every day. While that's better than nothing, it's not really the same as working out.

Give it some thought. Are you really capable of hiking three miles through sand, over rock, on an uphill slope while carrying a 10-pound backpack? It turned out I wasn't. I made a big mistake because I misjudged my physical condition, and did nothing special to prepare for the trip.

So don't be a candidate for the oxygen tent. If you will be hiking, find out how many miles at a stretch you will be walking and under what conditions. Will you travel at the pace of the fastest person or the slowest person? One could be exhausting, the other boring. What if someone slips and twists an ankle? Is the tour guide prepared to take care of the injury?

The next step is to start working out, preferably sooner than a week before the trip. Even if you think you are in good shape, it won't hurt to head over to a fitness center and use the treadmill. Find out exactly how many miles you can walk in an hour. …

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