Why You Should Take an Adventure Vacation

Surfer Wave Sunset

What you see when you close your eyes and imagine your dream vacation is different for everyone. Some see sandy beaches and tropical landscapes. Others see a new location rich with art and history, or maybe fine dining and city lights. In truth, each of these vacations accomplishes something different. Some vacation options offer time away; others are to relax; and others are to have fun. A relaxing vacation is intended to accomplish something different than an adventure vacation. However, an adventure vacation might be just what you need.

Vacations themselves are really important for your emotional well-being. They offer a break from reality and some time for fun. However, some vacations have the potential to negatively impact your health and fitness regimen; adventure vacations are different.

Why Vacations Are Important

Vacations are important because they offer balance. Vacations offer a break from stresses and complacency and offer excitement and adventure. When you’re working to keep yourself healthy, it’s important to pay attention to your mental health and happiness as well as your physical health and fitness. Don’t run yourself ragged with work and a gym routine; keep yourself fresh and relaxed. If you’re feeling fatigued and run down, take a vacation and have a fresh start. You deserve a break, and a vacation is a great way to give yourself that in order to keep your mind in a healthy place.

How Vacation Can Negatively Impact Your Fitness

Vacations are important for the balance of your life and your mental health, but vacations can also derail your health and fitness goals. They tend to involve a lot of eating out, relaxing, and spending time away from the gym. Some indulge in more drinks, more local cuisine, and fewer workout opportunities. In most cases, it’s totally fine to have cheat days and splurge on your vacation. In others, the negative impact on a health and fitness schedule can make it harder to get back on track and can be harmful for any fitness events or goals. This is why an adventure vacation can offer a compromise.

Hiker Cliff Mountain

How Adventure Vacations Are Different

Unlike a normal vacation, an adventure vacation helps to keep you active while offering all of the perks a vacation should. You can still relax, have fun, and get a break from life while also focusing on staying active and eating right. An adventure vacation is basically the best of both worlds in that it allows you to work on your mental health and physical health at the same time. Instead of planning a vacation full of beach lounging and cheat days, plan a vacation with mountain biking and surfing. Adventure vacations are like normal vacations, except they are a whole lot more exciting and keep you more active.

The Importance of Planning

It’s important to take the time and plan your adventure vacation in order to make sure it doesn’t derail any of your health and fitness goals. Without a plan, it’s a lot easier to order unhealthy food and stay by the pool. Take the time to plan this vacation around something exciting and active you’ve always wanted to do. Think about going somewhere with world-famous hiking, travel for a marathon you’ve always wanted to run, or use this adventure to try kitesurfing. Plan your lodging, meals, and travel in a way that is conducive to your health and fitness goals. Even better, try something new and camp for a few nights, road trip instead of flying, and bring plenty of your own food for healthy snacking.

Think about making an itinerary for each day so that you leave nothing up to chance. Make a plan for each night’s stay, each meal, each day’s activity, and how you’ll be active for each day. If you won’t have access to an activity or a gym, learn ways to incorporate strength training into your day without a gym. This doesn’t mean you can’t have any spontaneous adventures along the way; it just helps to keep your adventure vacation in line with your health goals.

Woman Snowboarding

Adventure Vacation Ideas

Your adventure vacation may depend on the time of year you’re planning to travel or where you’d like to go, but there are endless ideas no matter where you’d like to travel. Think about an adventure you’ve been dying to have and go do it, but if you’re looking for some inspiration, there are plenty of adventure vacation ideas for each type of terrain.

By Land

If you’re wanting to stick to dry land and enjoy being in the great outdoors, there are plenty of options for an epic adventure. You can go backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, or running. Just be sure you do your research or plan on utilizing a guide if you’re doing something you’ve never done before. Learn some first-aid skills to help yourself if something goes wrong. Many of these adventures involve dangerous locations away from cell service, so survival and first-aid knowledge is a must.

By Sea

The ocean/lake/river sports available are some of the most intense — and also the most dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. For that reason, always prioritize safety first. For many water sports, it’s important to wear the right kind of gear to avoid hypothermia no matter what time of year it is. You can always utilize a guide in order to stay as safe as possible. You can try whitewater rafting, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing, etc. for your water adventure. Each one is a blast while also being a great workout.

On the Road

Though many machine-driven adventures may seem like they won’t offer the active adventure that some other options will, you can still incorporate them into your adventure vacation. Many off-roading options allow you to get to some locations that are hard to get to with a normal vehicle. You might try four-wheeling to a backpacking checkpoint, snowmobiling to a snowshoe spot, or riding a dune buggy to a sand surfing destination. Just be sure you pack the necessary items for your travel before taking it on the road and spending time in remote locations.

In the Snow

Snow sports are a blast and tend to work muscles you didn’t even know you had. You can take an adventure vacation to snowboard, ski, snowshoe, cross-country ski, hike, or backpack. Because snow sports take place in cold temperatures, it’s important to dress warm and know some winter survival skills to keep yourself safe. As always, utilize a guide if you are new to a sport or an area. Otherwise, a snow-filled adventure is one you can’t replicate.

Each person’s idea of the perfect vacation may not be the same, but everyone is sort of looking for the same things from a vacation. We look for a break, a way to recharge, and some excitement. A vacation is so beneficial to our mental health, but the downside is that we tend to splurge on food and limit our activity. Sometimes that’s okay, but other times it can really derail your fitness goals. A compromise is to take an adventure vacation. As long as you make a plan to focus on your health, you can have the best of both worlds. After all, life can always use more adventure.

Brooke Faulkner is a writer, professional ponderer, and proud momma of two from the Pacific Northwest. When she's not at her desk, she's likely to be found zipping around on her old ATV. You can follow her through the buttons below.