Vacations that include walking, hiking, cycling, and other physical activities are more popular than ever. In addition to daily exercise, they allow you to become immersed in urban destinations or tour places that are off-the-beaten path. While seeing the world and making new friends, an active vacation can help you stay fit while also burning excess calories from vacation dinners and drinks.

Although you can create your own active vacation, enlisting the expertise of an adventure company can, in some cases, save time and money and help ensure your experience is optimal. The good news is that active-travel companies provide options to satisfy almost everyone, including kids. Today’s active-travel tours are designed for intense, moderate, and beginner fitness levels as well as singles, couples, families, private groups, and budget-conscious travelers.

Because active-travel companies can differ significantly in quality, cost, and activity level, be sure to:

  • Choose a reliable, vetted touring company
    • Read reviews, request references, and speak with former clients
    • Ensure the hosts/guides are specialists in the activity and region
  • Choose a tour that satisfies your interests and fitness goals
    • Although certain destinations may be ideal for cycling,
      they may offer limited walking/hiking and vice versa
    • Ensure that the activity level is aligned with your abilities and goal
      • Activities that are easy or too difficult for your fitness level can be disappointing, and activities that are too difficult may increase your risk of injury
      • Activities at high altitude often require special preparation, including medication
  • Compare costs with touring companies of similar quality and offerings
    to get the best value for your dollars
  • Confirm that the touring company organizes logistics and has confirmed that its planned routes are viable
  • Confirm equipment and sustenance the company will provide, 
    including bicycles, trekking poles, camping equipment, food/water,
    and insect repellant

    • Ask for a list of what you will need each day
  • Research hotels the touring company uses
    • Read reviews and ask for references from former clients
  • Consider multisport options that combine walking, hiking, cycling, rafting/canoeing/kayaking
    • In addition to being more interesting, varying your activities can help
      prevent overuse injuries and fatigue

If you prefer staying close to home when you vacation, you can still be active. Visit a waterpark, county park or national park, local hiking trail, lake, river, or the beach to keep moving. Depending on where you live, try walking tours of a nearby city. Search online or visit your local library for books that include walking tours of New York Philadelphia, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Chicago. In addition to thoughtful routes, books of walking tours often include historical information for perspective on your surroundings.

Whether your idea of an active vacation means intense activity from sunup until sundown or leisurely walks that include breaks for snacks, lunch, and cultural tours, there are travel options sure to keep you moving and fit!

See your Summit Medical Group Oregon Travel Medicine practitioner
to protect and maintain your health
during international, national, and regional travel.


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