Category Archives: Travel

Adventure Travel Expert!

I recently had a chance to talk to Chris Ronneseth of Trek Holidays (see interview preview) who gave me a good overview of adventure travel, an area of travel I definitely would like to explore sooner than later…

1. Tell us how you got into the adventure travel business.

I grew up around travel. My father, Allan Ronneseth founded the company in 1972 and with a passion to see the world in a different way than the norm, we had the opportunity to travel to countries that were considered exotic at that time and to some extent still are today. Venturing out on my own traveling while attending University I became more and more passionate about the world beyond North America. With a degree in marketing, I ventured off first to New York and later to Toronto working in sales and marketing for technology companies during the tech boom. Having learned the skill of sales in an industry outside of travel but backed with an upbringing rooted in adventure travel, I made the progression to heading up sales in Eastern Canada for the family business where I now provide support to our network of travel agents across Eastern Canada as well as compiling our monthly newsletter on adventure travel trends.

2. What countries have you traveled to?

Africa: Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Egypt, Morocco

Europe: UK, Greenland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria

Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong

South Pacific: Australia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji

Americas: Canadian High Arctic, USA, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands,

Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia

3. Please share with us your top three travel memories of all times.

A. Peru -The last descent into Machu Picchu on the famed Inca Trail from the Sun Gate after seeing sunrise over the site, being the first to enter the site at daybreak and having a feeling of peace, harmony and strong magic in the air.

B. Vietnam – Travelling the countryside of Vietnam by motorbike and stumbling upon a hidden and seldom visited Buddhist Monastery resulting in a three-hour visit with a young Buddhist monk learning and understanding each other’s ways.

C. Namibia – Skydiving at sunset at Swakopmund on the coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets the blood-red sand dunes for as far as the eye can see. One of the most tranquil moments of my life.

4. What is adventure travel and how has it evolved over the last few decades?

Adventure travel used to mean high adventure back when the company was founded in the seventies, it was time when the ‘hippie-trail’ was hot and buses used to travel across Asia from London to Kathmandu with itineraries that were largely invented along the way. Today it is about the small group experience and about experiencing a destination rather than simply seeing it. It is about participation and understanding of cultures, history and customs and being able to take that experience away as enrichment to your daily life.

5. Who goes on your adventure travel tours and why? What is the age, gender, nationality and income level of the people that go on your tours?

Adventure travel is largely about the passion to do it. For this reason it crosses boundaries of age, gender and income since the common goal of the travelers is the experience regardless of their life at home. However the largest demographic for us and the most important growth demographic is the baby-boomers who have experienced the traditional beach vacation several times over and now have the time and disposable income to travel to more exotic destinations. Nationality is generally made up of largely English-speaking nations with the makeup in order of numbers being Brits, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, Americans, some mainland Europe, some Latin American countries and the odd Asian traveler.

We offer more than 120 countries worldwide generally just about everywhere. However countries currently deemed to be unsafe for travel (eg. Iraq, Afghanistan) are not included but we expect they will be in the years to come as the situation stabilizes.

7. What type of accommodation is offered?

We offer generally speaking anything from 2 star budget accommodation to 6 star lodge experiences in Africa and everything in between. However what is common to all places we stay is that they must be clean, comfortable, centrally-located and most important have character that is reflective of the destination.

8. How do these tours work for single travellers? Do you provide a travel-mate matching service? What happens if I prefer single accommodation?

Our tours are designed with single travellers in mind. In fact 50% of all our travellers come by themselves. We match people up of the same gender and like age to share and avoid charging them a supplement. If clients prefer their own room, we can do this on approximately 60% of the tours, usually the more upmarket ones, but at a rate that is fair and affordable.

9. What about meals?

Depending on the trip we generally include breakfasts and some dinners but almost never lunch as many people like to be out at midday making their own discoveries. However when trekking or in the countryside or where alternatives do not exist we will always include meals.

10. What are the unique benefits of adventure tours as compared to other types of travel?

A sense of achievement, quality of experience, traveling with a small group of just ten people on average, generally better value than comparable bus tours, camaraderie with individuals that share a passion for this type of travel.

11. What type of activities are offered in your tours?

Sightseeing is a major part of every tour but beyond that we want to include as many cultural experiences as possible such as homestays with local families, village visits, etc. We also have many optional activities available such rafting, sailing, jeep safaris, day treks, etc.

12. Is there such a thing as adventure tours for families?

We now have tours built especially for families to travel with other families where children are age six and up. There is a large demographic of ‘late-starter’ families who never had children until in their 30s. Many of these people traveled with us in their 20s or backpacked independently and now want to give that experience to their children. They are not interested in introducing them to the ‘coca-cola’ culture pervasive in today’s society. These have been met with great success.

13. Please share with us practical advice for someone who’s never tried adventure travel.

Safety is a state of mind. Most people who elect not to travel to exotic destinations do so because of a fear for their safety while in the destination. If you heed the advice of your tour leader and be practical almost any destination in the world can provide a safe, secure and memorable experience. Where we have had problems with safety it has almost always been a disregard for common sense and advice. Don’t be afraid of experiencing other cultures, you will almost always find that your curiosity will be the best guide though it all and that same curiosity will be reciprocated by the people we meet along the way. It is about learning and understanding other people as much as they need to understand us. It really does shrink the world. Our second biggest problem would be dehydration, when traveling to hot, dry countries or where activity is involved such as trekking ensure you drink lots of water!

14. How much time do you travel yourself these days?

Generally 5 or 6 weeks a year. It is imperative to my sales knowledge and experience and I owe it to my customers to be the expert in what we do! All of our employees are given wonderful travel opportunities which goes straight to our company motto: Expert advice from those who have been there!

15. Where are you going next?

I plan this year on escorting a trip back to Egypt in April, to South Africa in May to experience some of our new properties we work with and to hopefully take a side trip to Mozambique. Later in the year I plan to make my way to Turkey and the Patagonian outdoors In Chile & Argentina.

Adventure Travel

Do you want to add a little adventure to your
life? Do you want to be engaged in something you
have never done before? The unique information
here will help you to considering a vacation that
will bring memories and expierences that will
last a lifetime.

Believe it, adventure travel is for every kind of
people. Youngsters who want to get excited by
travelling through Alaska with a dog sled or
other risky activities and elder couple who
define a hot air balloon ride as adventurous.

Thus, if you engage in adventure travel, you will
meet individuals from all walks of life–and
ironically, this is a form of adventure in and of
itself.

When considering adventure travel versus regular
travel you will find that adventure travel has
much more to offer than regular travel. During
your adventure travel there is always a tour
operator with much experience and knowledge and
know how to effectively handle the situations
that you are engaging in. Conversely, adventure
travel is frequently jam packed with activities
for you to engage in; especially activities that
match the theme of whatever adventure tour you
have selected. Thus, in terms of guaranteed
activity–guarantee activities during regular
travel is limited to none while adventure travel
aims to fulfill its name: a trip loaded to the
brim with adventure!

First, before you begin making adventure travel
plans, you must consider how much physical
activity you would like to engage in. For
instance, do you want to simply travel the world
and see exotic places which entails a relatively
low physical impact or do you want to hike or
rock climb? An equally important aspect to
learning how to plan for adventure travel is
learning how to comparatively shop around for
great prices on adventure tour plans.Remember
that price does not necessarily equate to quality
and just because you get a discount on an
adventure travel tour doesn’t mean that you will
appreciate the tour operator!

In short, there is a form of adventure travel for
everyone–even you! All you have to do is
determine what the words unique and adventure
means to you. Once you have defined what
adventure means to you, you can plan an adventure
trip that you will remember for the rest of your
life! In fact, you will even have stories to tell
your friends and family!

Adventure Travel Vacation

If you are a rookie to the world of adventure travel vacation, then you will need to learn how to plan for adventure travel!
It is very important that you understand the basics of adventure travel before you actually engage in adventure travel vacation. Why? Due to the fact that adventure travel sometimes involves risk taking, you should be familiar with how to plan for adventure travel, for your own safety as well as the safety of others.

The following five adventure travel vacation tips will help you to enjoy your trip!

1. You must consider how much physical activity you would like to engage in. Do you want to simply travel the world and see exotic places which entails a relatively low physical impact or do you want to hike climb? The word adventure means something different to everyone, so if you are not truly physically inclined or you would not enjoy yourself engaging in activities that demand a lot of physical exertion, you will want to bear such a fact in mind when you are planning your adventure travel vacation.

2. You will need to decide how much you want to really do while you adventure travel. For instance, do you just want to engage in site seeing one area of one country or do you want to see several countries in several days? Conversely, do you want to simply enjoy the culture of the places you visit or do you want an adventure travel plan that is jam packed with an assortment of activities? Considering what kind of activities you like is imperative to establishing an adventure travel plan that will ensure that you enjoy yourself!

3. Learn to comparatively shop around for great prices on adventure tour plans. You should spend a few days or weeks researching different adventure tour companies and their operators. You’ll find the best prices and the best tour operators for you. Remember that price does not necessarily equate to quality and just because you get a discount on an adventure travel vacation tour doesn’t mean a lot if the quality of the tour operator is bad.

4. Work within your budget! Don’t set your mind on a tour that you know you cannot possibly afford. Rather, determine your budget before hand and stick too it! Besides, you can always plan a more expensive adventure tour when you have the funds to do so.

5. Get a written copy of the tour operator’s terms and conditions. In fact, you can probably have each company mail you a copy of their policy. After receiving a copy of each company’s policy, review the policies carefully. In doing so, you will be able to find the best deal for you and you will also familiarize yourself with all of the policies. Be sure that you give a close review to the refund policies the company has in the event that you are unhappy with your final selection.

Outdoor Adventure Travel

Outdoor adventure travel is catching on in a big way and there is a darn fine reason for it too. There are few trips that can be taken that are better than outdoor adventure travel ones. When you are starting to get into adventure travel you have a multitude of choices to choose from and they are all as great as the next one.

Outdoor adventure travel does not have to mean traveling far away or overseas. You can probably find plenty of outdoor adventure travel right in your own area or at least near to it. Your budget does not have to put a damper on real good outdoor adventure travel. Just take some time to look around and what surrounds you and you will probably find all kinds of great and exciting things to do.

If you are having trouble finding some good ideas for your outdoor adventure travel consider talking to your local travel bureau. The thing is that we live in our hometowns and cities with no real idea of what is all around us. Since it is home we take it for granted, most of us don’t bother to investigate all that there really s to do. So check it out, chances are that you will be pleasantly surprised at all of the great outdoor adventure travel ideas that are out there available to you right now as you read.

You can also check the internet for all kind of great outdoor adventure travel ideas. You can take trips all over the world for your outdoor adventure travel if you have the money. These days you don’t even have to have a lot of money, there are hundreds of great travel deals on all year round. No matter what season it is there is a great outdoor adventure travel idea that you can take advantage for a great price, all you have to do is find it. Start looking into outdoor adventure travel on the internet today and you will find out all kinds of great tips to help you save money while you are out adventuring.

Your outdoor adventure travel can consist of all kinds of different activities. For many people outdoor adventure travel trips for skiing are a great way to get the adrenaline pumping. Skiing is fun and it is great exercise and it is full of fast paced action once you get off of the bunny hill! If you like to try things a little more daring then you can always go rock climbing or bungee jumping. They too are loads of fun and thrills. Even hiking and camping on some fantastic mountain trails is a great way to experience outdoor adventure travel.

Adventure Travel In Australia

Adventure travel developed as a segment of the tourism market during the latter half of the 20th century out of the more general traditional notion of outdoor recreation. Adventure travel differs from from earlier forms of outdoor recreation, however, in that it offers travelers greater opportunities to experience specific physical activities (eg. rock climbing, diving, snow-boarding, kayaking, abseiling) that involve greater levels of skill and, within acceptable limits, risk. With traditional outdoor recreation, the primary attraction is the specific setting: with adventure travel, however, travelers are attracted primarily by the activities offered. Adventure travel is therefore primarily associated with travel products where the primary purpose is to engage in activity and participatory experience rather than the more passive sightseeing associated with traditional outdoor tourism.

The travel industry has evolved considerably since the 1970s. Changes include sociodemographic shifts which have seen a growth both the disposable income and available leisure time of many travelers. Travelers generally have become more discerning, have more travel experience, and have come to enjoy the benefits of cheaper, more convenient transport and other technological advances. As a result, substantial changes occurred in the demand for international travel products. The 1990s saw rapid growth in the evolution of specific segments of the tourism market including ecotourism, nature tourism and other special interest tourism which catered for the new breed of sophisticated traveler with both the means and the will to travel.

While travel costs will always remain a significant factor in decision-making for most travelers, the notion of tourist satisfaction is today of increasing importance. Increasingly, travel products must provide something other than simple value for money to attract tourists pursuing deeper, more satisfying purposes. In short, new patterns in travel choices have emerged to accommodate a much greater spectrum of travel interests, activities and experiences. Adventure travel today is increasingly the travel mode of choice for sophisticated travellers seeking to experience a holiday rather than simply sit in a tour bus passively sightseeing.

The increasing interest of many travellers in actively experiencing their holiday has also been matched with a rapid expansion in the range and quality of travel-related equipment available, extending the capability of tour operators to deliver more diversified adventure travel products. Australia has been at the forefront of these developments, and adventure travel is now one of the fastest-growing travel market segments in that country. Continuing to grow in their scope and appeal, it appears today that the variety and availability of adventure travel products for a broad spectrum of abilities and interests and abilities is almost limitless.

In Australia, the notion of adventure in travel is inextricably linked to that of the Outback. This means that true adventure travel is more likely to be found away from the comfortable, urban east coast, and in particular away from the area located south of the Brisbane-Adelaide line where over 80% of Australians live in urban and suburban settings oblivious to the geographic, climatic and cultural realities of the majority of the Australian continent. High on the list of authentic Australian outback adventure travel destinations therefore are Central Australia and the Northern Territory, far north and western Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. The island of Tasmania also provides many exciting opportunities for adventure travel in unique wilderness areas.

Quality outback adventure tours in Australia are characterized by many factors, including the use of four-wheel-drive vehicles rather than buses, access to spectacular remote sites, provision of challenging adventure activities, and active hands-on participation in daily routines. The use of 4×4 vehicles typically allows tour operators to access more remote, difficult and spectacular country. By encouraging active participation in daily routines such as cooking, cleaning, setting camp and packing up, adventure tours engage travelers in the complete outdoor adventure experience rather than simply waiting on passive participants hand and foot.

Advice And Tips For Finding The Best Adventure

If you are in the mood for something a little more wild and daring, why not consider planning an adventurous vacation? Travel to exotic locations worldwide, and pursue the trip of your dreams. Take a ride on an elephant in Thailand, or travel on horseback to gorgeous remote mountain destinations. Of course, this type of vacation is not for everyone, so if you’re looking for rest and relaxation, adventure travel probably is not for you.

Not to say you will not get any rest on your trip, but the accommodations will be simple and less than you would experience at a five star resort. It is definitely a trade off to experience this type of outdoor recreation, which is usually far removed from popular thoroughfares. Be one with nature and do something different to get away.

Adventure travel is very exciting, and there are risks associated especially when travel to overseas destinations is involved. Travel sites are abundant online which specialize in world class adventure travel experiences at affordable prices. Adventure seekers can choose from over two thousand vacations including hiking and biking trips, cultural tours, African safaris, Antarctic expedition cruises, Everest base camp treks, a Nile cruise, Mongolian wilderness adventure, or hiking Machu Picchu. The possibilities are endless because there is a huge selection of active and adventurous vacations worldwide.

Comprehensive guides to adventure travel can be found all over the internet, just type in adventure travel guide into a search engine and away you go. These online adventure travel guides are a great resource for adventure travel and outdoor recreation with information on top destinations, national parks, outdoor gear, hiking, and kayaking. For family adventures, you just add family to your adventure travel search query and you will find many travel sites featuring dude ranches, whitewater rafting, houseboat rentals, bicycle tours, horse pack trips and trail rides, dog sledding vacations, wildlife viewing tours, and wagon trains, just to name a few popular adventures.

Adventure Travel

Adventure travel often conjures up images of mountain climbing, whitewater rafting, scuba diving and four wheel driving. While these are certainly activities associated with adventure travel, adventure travel may involve something as sedate as a wine tasting tour in Bordeaux, France. Adventure travel is simply to go above and beyond one’s normal known area, seeking out experiences which are unfamiliar. The travel destination may be as close as a few kilometers from your home, or it can be thousands of kilometers away in an exotic location in Africa or Asia.

Maybe it has to do with the stressful and fast-paced lives we are leading, that adventure travel has become one of the fasting growing segments of the travel industry. More and more travelers are abandoning the usual beach resorts, and are actively seeking new experiences in their travels. These trips often bring significant personal discovery, development of new skills and knowledge and cross-cultural experiences.

Adventure travel is not for everyone. It is for an individual with the thirst for new experience, one who dares to forsake the well-trodden path. Health and age may restrict the traveler to less-strenuous activities, but that does not stop the traveler from other forms of adventure travel.

It is undeniable that some adventure travel activities carry additional risk. Trekking across the desert is definitely more dangerous than planting yourself under an umbrella at the beach. As in most travel situations, having adequate planning and practicing common sense will go a long way in minimizing risk.

An adventure travel need not be expensive. In most cases, you would not be staying in five star hotels, eating in fancy restaurants and taking limousine rides. Instead, you would probably be staying in guesthouses, eating at local food stalls and taking public transport. These usually more than help to hold the line on the total cost.

Tips to Adventure Travel

Are you planning your next vocation and thinking of taking an adventure travel tour instead of traditional beach – resort type of vocation? You are not alone, many people these days prefer active, adventurous style of travel. And the best way to have a safe adventure is to go for adventure travel in a small group.

Small group adventures travel is a fast growing industry and for a good reason. There are many definite advantages to having a guided adventure vocation in a small group:

– you can get more attention from the tour guide
– there is a great variety of small group adventures available even to rare and not tourist popular destinations
– if the group is not large the tour can be better customized to your needs
– often traveling in a small group is cheaper than participating in a conventional tour, because only a few people need accommodation, so it doesn’t have to be a big hotel
– tours are less formal and you have more freedom, yet a safety of having a guide, in case you need help

These tips will help you to get the most from your vocation

1. Decide what kind of adventure you are looking for. Adventure vocation is a broad term – for some it means exploring the wildness of Alaska or the jungles of Amazon, while others want a guided tour to Paris or Sydney. Not all adventures require you to be in a top physical shape. Some tours involve a lot of hiking, but not all – you can still see a lot of interesting and exciting things without accosting yourself. Find out in advance how difficult your tour is going to be.

2. Do you want to explore just one country in depth or would you rather see a lot of different things in different countries? This question might sound silly, but it actually is important. Since most adventure vocation tours are 7-14 days long, you can’t expect to see a lot of places and to spend a long time in each of them. More places and countries doesn’t necessarily mean better vocation, you might just become exhausted and overwhelmed by too many things to see.

3. Are you after a family adventure or you preferring only a company of adult travelers? As adventurous traveling gains its popularity, many companies offer family friendly adventure tours. These are usually light tours with many activities to interest children. So, if you plan to go with kids, search for family adventures. On the other hand, if you don’t want children as members of your group, make sure to ask your travel agent, if families with kids go for this type of tour.

4. Spend several hours researching adventure travel companies and comparing adventure tours they offer – that will save you a lot of money and frustration. If you do your research online, and you should, read what other people who took the tour you like have to say. Most traveling companies put testimonials online. You can also search adventure forums, where people share their real experiences.

5. Adventure travel doesn’t have to be very expensive, especially if we are talking about traveling in small groups. Search around and find a tour that suits your budget. In traveling industry expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best. Compare what activities the tours offer and what kind of accommodation is included. It is possible to find great adventure tours at reasonable prices.

Adventure Travel

Despite much negative talk about what seems to be a now overused word, ‘recession’, the adventure travel and luxury travel sectors are fast growing segments of the travel market. Regardless of this I think many travel agents are still unsure how to approach this growing market. The term ‘adventure holiday’ cries out for a personal service. After all my perfect adventure might be your hell! The concept of personal service is further complicated since many potential travellers often don’t really know what they want out of an adventure travel experience. The solution? Know what adventure travel really is, search out what you want to do and dare I say it – ‘be your own travel agent’!

So, what exactly is adventure travel?

There is still a preconceived idea that adventure holidays are solely about high impact active experiences such as battling white water rapids, rock climbing or abseiling down a cliff face. This may be true to a point but adventure travel goes much deeper than this and can encompass a huge range of options with a cultural, wildlife and more easy going flavour.

Adventure travels involve exploration or travel to remote and more exotic destinations as opposed to an experience exclusively for the adrenaline junkie. If you intentionally step outside the box and choose to go further afield, deliberately looking for new experiences in otherwise unfamiliar off-the-beaten track territories then adventure travel is in your heart.

Many would wrongly associate adventure travels with ‘roughing it’ when in reality it can be about distinctive accommodation and surroundings that reflect the locality and culture, something that is comfortable and character driven as opposed to opulent style and luxury.

Adventure travel can offer rest and relaxation, stimulation and variety, inspiration and well earned treats as well as high quality and safe expedition environments for family trips.

So why is the adventure travel market expanding?

  • Escapism is a key factor! More and more people who are dissatisfied with their current situation and negatively affected by the economic downturn are looking for travel experiences that will inspire and invigorate them. Adventure travel is certainly personally rewarding and time spent in nature is a remedy for dissatisfaction, frustration and boredom.
  • Another reason also linked to the economic climate is that adventure travel can now combine with activities and voluntary work in local community projects. This, together with the group one often travels with on an adventure travel experience can provide an opportunity to develop social experiences, new skills and knowledge which can relate to an individual’s career often providing travellers with a competitive edge on their return.

And so to the final question – if travel agents are failing to provide the kind of personal service required for such an experience then how should you go about an adventure travel experience?

  • The first thing you could do is practise. Allow yourself to go out and get lost! You’ll be surprised what you’ll find out there when you don’t plan anything.
  • You can subscribe to outdoor adventure magazines and subscriber based newsletters to get a feel of what is out there, how it all works and what would suit you.
  • The most effective tool you have is the web. There is so much information out there in cyber space on the big wide world and how you can explore it! The whole point of ‘adventure’ travel is to have an ‘adventure’ so you could take the bull by the horns and plan your own adventure holiday by using the growing number of information portals (like the Best of Zambia) that aim to give you everything you need to provide yourself with your own personal service.
  • Finally, if that thought is way too scary then there are a number of top quality adventure travel tour operators who can help you – and they are not your standard high street travel agents who usually only provide off the shelf, over done and commercialised experiences.

Adventure Travel Agents Provide Great

Adventure travel agents make any travel possible and help you to enjoy your travel even more. Traveling is a way of exploring and experiencing what a particular place can offer, and all the things that can be really adventurous. However, travel will not be successful without adventure travel agents.

Planning to have an adventure travel can be confusing and time consuming. That’s why it is important to hire a travel agent. Looking for an expert agent that specializes in adventure travel is important for the success of your travel. They are the ones who will help you in making your plan for your adventure. The agent will not only arrange the various means of transportation but they may be able also to let you save money with special fares, early bookings, accommodation deals, and travel advisories. Not only that, there are also great benefits that you can get when you use a travel agent such as:

* Save Money- agents will really get great savings. With the strong relationships of the travel suppliers and the advancement in technology for computer reservations allow travel agents to access the most up-to-date details on how to get you the best deals and value.

* Travelers Advocate- your best interests are their priority. There are societies of travel agents in America that have a long-standing record on fighting for their clients’ rights, and every travel agent is required to stick to the strict Code of Ethics.

* Convenience- adventure travel agents really provide convenience for their customers. They are the ones that will provide all the things that you need for your travel. They mostly offer one-stop shopping travel arrangements.

* Great Service- agents are knowledgeable and active in their service. The travel agents are well educated and trained in order for them to offer the highest quality of service to the costumer.

With these benefits, your adventure will definitely be exciting and successful. Your personal agent will really work for you and will do everything just to provide you with your travel needs. An adventure travel agent is absolutely the best travel partner that you can have.