Adventure Travel Redefined

Remember when you had to camp out in the jungle searching for your own food to be considered an adventurer? Not anymore! Tour operators have realized that virtually everyone likes a little activity and adventure, and yet not everyone prefers to completely ?rough it?. The result – adventure travel redefined and separated into two categories – hard adventure and soft adventure.

Hard adventure consists of the more intense activities which require some special skill and/or equipment. These activities are not for everyone, though generally have devoted enthusiasts who pursue them at every opportunity. Soft adventure, on the other hand, consists of less intense activities that don?t necessarily require special skills or equipment. In the travel industry, this is often referred to as active travel. These kinds of trips certainly keep you moving, but may also include some sightseeing, relaxation and cultural pursuits. Soft adventure is becoming more popular with families and groups, as it can generally be enjoyed by anyone in decent health without too much difficulty.


Not sure which is for you? This quiz might help you decide:

1. My favorite activities include:
a. walking, biking (light to moderate intensity), light hiking, snorkeling
b. canoeing, kayaking, rafting, moderate intensity biking or hiking, ecotourism, SCUBA
c. rock climbing, extreme sports (sky diving, hangliding, base jumping, etc), intense hiking/trekking or biking.

2. I generally prefer my adventures/activities to last:
a. one to two hours at a time
b. about a half day (3-5 hours) at a time
c. a full day or multiple days at a time

3. When I travel, it usually consists of:
a. Guided large group tours or cruises
b. Independent travel with a few half or full day guided excursions
c. Completely independent travel or small group when required for activities

4. I generally travel with (or prefer to travel with):
a. A large family or group of friends of varying health/athletic abilities
b. A family or group with similar activity preferences, health and athletic abilities
c. Myself, or perhaps one other person, both with good health/athletic ability

If you answered mostly (a), soft adventure will probably suit you best. You can always work with your tour guide/host to add in a more intense activity if you want to kick up your adventure a bit.

If you answered mostly (b), you could probably go either way. If with a group, you may choose to do a soft adventure, and plan some more intense day excursions for those who want a little more activity. If you choose hard adventure, work with your travel planner and tour operator to determine the level of activity that is right for you.

If you chose mostly (c), you may be ready for a full-blown hard-adventure vacation!

Bike share program

*Each person is different, and before going on any type of active or adventure vacation, it?s best to consult your doctor to make sure you are in good health enough for your trip. It?s also necessary in the case of most hard adventure and some soft adventure to work with your local adventure outfitter to ensure that you have all of the appropriate equipment.


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