These days we’ve noticed a gradual but increasing trend away from horizontal holidays towards more active getaways. By no means do we wish to slander the idea of days spent lazing by the pool, book in one hand and cocktail in the other without ever needing to leave your chosen resort, but we do know that many of you are opting for more active holidays. While lethargic beach breaks still remain desirable, many of you are ditching them in favour of something a little more physical as adventure tourism grows rapidly with UK consumers driving this craze. Activity holidays, backpacking, road trips and city breaks are on the rise as we wish to combine adventure, sun, culture and experience in our perfect holiday.
Since worldwide travel has become so accessible, with an abundance of budget airlines offering affordable flights, people, in general, are now far better travelled. In light of what the world can offer to the average holidaymaker on an active, scenic and cultural level, mass tourism now seems unappealing as we quest to indulge in new experiences outside of huge purpose-built holiday resorts. The demand for adventure travel has led to the emergence of hundreds of activities and niche holidays which vary from domestic to short-haul to long-haul, meaning that regardless of your budget, there will be a vacation to suit you.
According to the U.S.-based Adventure Travel Trade Association, active or adventure travel may be any tourist activity, including two of the three components: a physical activity, a cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature. So, what will take your fancy? How will you step outside your comfort zone? Will it be a culture shock or perhaps a physical danger? Whether you want to kayak down the West coast of Scotland, raft the rapids in the Italian Dolomites, bike through the historical divisions of Vietnam, skydive over the Victoria Falls, immerse yourself in Indian markets, experience the wildlife on safari in Africa, swim with whales in Tonga, or simply hike up Snowdon…there is an experience ready and waiting for you.
Now that there is something to suit everyone’s taste within measurable cost, it is becoming hard to resist the lure of these activities, especially in light of society’s emphasis on the value of both experience and a healthy lifestyle. When we come back from holiday, we want to boast about the exciting things we’ve done and the extraordinary sights we’ve seen, and it’s just an added bonus if – when we return – we don’t have to hit the gym to work off one-too-many Pina coladas! The ever present commitment to a healthy lifestyle has now transferred to holidays making adventure travel the perfect combination to offer a holiday feel with periods of relaxation, while remaining exciting, individual and vibrant.
It’s not just the stereotypical adrenaline junkies who are indulging in the thrills and delights of adventure travel (although they certainly are as well)…it is also your average working man or woman who, typically restricted to 28 days holiday a year, want to ensure that every minute away from their daily routine counts. For many, lying on a beach does not offer enough distraction to take their minds off work while the staggering view from an Alpine peak, or the kaleidoscope of coloured corals off the Egyptian coast just might. Experiences like these and the chance to learn new skills guarantee you’ll return from your holiday with more than a suntan, feeling revived and having really achieved something special.
So why relax when you can ‘thrillax’? The term ‘thrillaxing’ has been coined in reference to the idea of being on holiday and away from your desk while also being exposed to the thrills of new experiences. You could just sip a cocktail on a Thai beach and work your way through a long succession of exotic buffets, or you could take yourself off the beaten track and discover your adventurous spirit, crossing cultural divides and knowing that each evening, you will have deserved your dinner.