What is Adventure Travel?

An adventure holiday may not be what you think it is. Is it long-distance trekking through gorges and mountain ranges? Yes it is. Is it kayaking down whitewater rapids? Hell yes (and so fun by the way!) Is it jumping out of a plane? Sure. Bungee jumping? Yup.

people riding on yellow kayak

Is it travelling independently with no guide? I say yes. Is it exploring the globe seeking out of the beaten path treasures? Again, I say yes.

I believe that adventure travel is anything that gets you out of your comfort zone, and makes you feel alive. You don’t have to take your life into your own hands. It doesn’t have to be extreme. Adventure means something different to everyone and that’s a beautiful thing.

person holding cup with body of water background

And I’m not the only one who thinks this. The Adventure Travel Trade Association, defines adventure tourism as, a tourist activity that includes a physical activity, a cultural exchange, or activities in nature. So see, you don’t have to go scuba diving with sharks to be an adventure traveler (but that definitely qualifies!)

man diving underwater with sharks

Adventure holidays are about connecting with a new culture, or a new landscape, and being physically active at the same time. Here are a few ideas for your next trip:

woman spreading her hands white standing on mountain cliff

Day Hiking

This is how I got my start. And still something I include in the majority of my trips. Getting out using only the power of your own two feet allows you to slow down and to enjoy more aspects of your surroundings. Day hikes are a great option for many people as you can be clear on the level of difficulty and you don't need a lot of specialized gear. They will often give you a fantastic view of the city or town you are staying in, plus the surrounding area. Typically these are easier to do on your own without having to hire a guide or join a group as well.

people walking beside the mountain


Traveling on foot through remote locations has always been at the core of adventure travel. Backing along the Pacific Crest Trail, trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, or just heading out on a backcountry adventure closer to home, this is an stellar way to explore any destination. No matter where you go, you'll like find a variety of hiking and trekking tours, or self-guided options if that's your preference. Many of these will involve overnight camping which just adds more adventure to the mix!

woman riding fat bike running on road with black and white foal during daytime

Cycling/Mountain Biking

These are another popular option for adventure holidays. Being on a bike allows you to cover more ground at a faster pace than on foot, while at the same time still feeling connected with the landscape, culture and people there. Mountain biking offers a similar experience, but typically you will be traversing more remote, off the beaten path destinations. Plus of course, it's more challenging then road biking. Again you will find options to ride just about everywhere nowadays.

red canoe boat


Canoeing and kayaking tips give you access to lakes, rivers and even oceans. This can be serene such as paddling the Greek Isles, or a bit more crazy in taking on whitewater rapids. For these type of adventure tours, travelers should have some experience paddling as these types of journeys can be strenuous and dangerous depending on the type of water involved. Whitewater in particular can be treacherous. Both flat water and whitewater are great fun!

person walking on snow


These types of adventure holidays require more skill than simply trekking in the mountains and tend to be more technical. They require the use of ropes, ice axes, crampons and other specialized equipment. As well, altitude can often play a larger role in this type of adventure. This type of adventure tour can take place on every continent, but you should only embark if you have the necessary skills and experience to do so and are with a certified mountain guide.

two pairs of red and green skis near mountain covered by snow at daytime


Snow is not my fav, but it may be your thing. Skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing offer prime experiences for travelers who don't mind colder weather. The range includes everything from resort and backcountry skiing, to cross-country and snowshoe traverses too. Once again, these type of adventure holidays are found around the globe...even Antarctica!

white SUV on top of rocky hill viewing mountain under blue and white skies


Want to get off the beaten path and explore remote parts of the world without using your own personal man (or woman or other) power, then exploring by motorized vehicle aka overlanding is for you. Typically these type of adventure tours are done in 4x4 vehicles and you will be taken off-road and into the wilderness. Camping is typically a part of the whole experience, with only the occasional jaunt into passing towns to refuel and restock. You think you can do it on you own?! There are independent options too. Experience and confidence a must.

wildebeest on open field


Like seriously...who doesn't have safari on their bucket list?! Safari is the Swahili word for "journey" and it's widely considered one of the first forms of adventure travel. Traditionally you may associate safari with Africa, but now you can find safaris all over the world. Of course the African safari remains a great option for spotting wildlife in its natural wildlife! But there are penguin safaris, and in my home province - polar bear safaris, and many other types. These types of adventure holidays are great for a wide variety of ages and types from women traveling alone to multi-gen families. If you love animals you can't go wrong!

raft boat on body of water surrounded with trees


If it's not obvious - a multisport holiday combines two or more adventure activities. For example, hiking and biking and paddling allow you to both stay very active plus experience a wide variety of aspects of a place. Once again they work around the globe and you can plan for any season. Being in good physical condition is a requirement.

white boat surrounded by floating ice


I took a small ship adventure cruise and it was one of my favorite trips ever. I'm constantly extolling the virtues of this type of adventure vacation. While mine was on the Snake and Colombia Rivers of Washington and Oregon, options are available in Alaska, Antarctica, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Galapagos, among other places. Hiking, kayaking, jetboating, and wildlife spotting are pretty much guaranteed. I even did a bike and wine much fun! Small-ships are intimate and typically casual experiences. Just go I say!

woman sitting on cliff overlooking body of water near mountains during daytime

So there you have overview on adventure travel. I hope you found it helpful. For my women traveling alone out there who have the urge to adventure but no one to do it with...let me put your mind at ease. There are a number of different adventure tours out there to suit your individual needs. It's just a matter of finding a match.

Send me a message at and tell me which type of adventure holiday you'd like to try next. I have certified with a number of different adventure tour companies and guarantee I can match you with an epic experience!

Still not sure if adventure travel is for you? Take my fun little quiz and find out: