You’ve made up your mind: you’re going on that trip you’ve been fantasising about for ages – and you’re definitely trying a new extreme sport while you’re there.
If you’re ready to go on holiday and you want it to be filled with adventure, you might need to do some extra planning before you go, but here’s a list to help you remember everything.
1. BOOK YOUR AIRPORT PARKING IN ADVANCE
Although most of us start looking into flights and accommodation long before our trip, very few remember to take care of the smaller details, such as airport parking. However, as with flights or activity tickets, booking your space at the airport in advance can help you to save a lot of money and to relax before your flight.
Nowadays, you can use dedicated airport parking comparison sites, such as Looking4Parking.com, to discover great deals and to book a secure space within minutes, whether you prefer a Meet & Greet or a Park & Ride service. Usually, the earlier you book the more you can save – even up to 60% in many cases.
2. CREATE A SCHEDULE AND PRE-BOOK YOUR MAIN ACTIVITIES
If you want to fill your days with bungee jumping, river rafting or scuba diving, it’s better to book all of these activities in advance. Not only are you more likely to find great deals, but this way you can ensure that you’ll get to do the activity you want on the day you want to do it.
Create a ‘holiday calendar’ in advance to make sure every day of your holiday includes something special (but make sure to allow for a few relaxed days here and there, too). For many, ‘being on holiday’ means not having to stick to a strict schedule; however, picking an adrenaline-fuelled holiday allows little space for last-minute decisions.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR VACCINATIONS ARE UP TO DATE
If you’re planning a trip outside the UK, you may have to get vaccinated before you set off. Depending on which part of the world you’re travelling to, you may have to protect yourself against serious diseases or infections, such as yellow fever or meningitis.
Visit your GP at least three months before your holiday to find out if your jabs are up to date and to see if you will have to get any extra jabs before you go. For more information online, the NHS offers useful advice on its site.
4. PURCHASE THE RIGHT TRAVEL INSURANCE
Before embarking on your new adventure, make sure you’ve purchased the right travel insurance policy. There are different types of travel insurance available, so take the time to compare offers and to read what is covered in each case – it could save you from big hassle and hefty bills should something go wrong.
Depending on the details of your holiday, you may want to check for things like coverage of medical bills, repatriation to your home country in case you are severely injured, or anything else you would want in a worst-case scenario.
5. DO A BACKGROUND CHECK ON THE COMPANIES THAT OFFER ACTIVITIES
Before deciding which company (or companies) to go with when planning your activities, spend a bit of time researching their safety records and reading their customers’ reviews. For many of these businesses, you should be able to access this information online easily. When risking your neck at a new extreme sport or a safari, it’s important to choose a provider that will not only make you feel safe, but ensure that you are safe.
6. DO A TEST RUN
Once you’ve picked your holiday activities, it’s time for a test drive. Go for a hike close to home with your real backpack, visit the river you’ll be rafting down, or book an indoor climbing session. These preparation steps will give you a taste of what’s coming up and the confidence to dive into your activity when the time comes. This way, you will be better prepared to face the challenges that may arise while you’re away.
7 PACK EVERYTHING YOU’LL NEED…AND NOTHING ELSE
We’re all guilty of packing more things than we actually need for our holiday. If you’re backpacking across New Zealand or off to a safari in South Africa, though, you may want to avoid any unnecessary load and common mistakes like making room in your bag for all your specialised equipment…then forgetting the sunscreen.
Think about your destination and the types of activities you’ll be undertaking. Will you need sunscreen and bug repellent? Will you have access to electricity and clean water? Should you carry a first aid kit with you?
Will you be moving around a lot? Pack everything you think you will need, then try carrying it around for a day. If your bag is too heavy for you to haul on a test day, it’s time to thin out.
8. GET YOUR TRAVEL MONEY IN ADVANCE
You’ve worked hard to save for your trip, so you want to make sure you spend your money on the things you like and not on card fees and international transfer costs. Don’t wait until you get to the airport to buy foreign currency – the fees at the airport’s ATM or bureau de change are usually higher. Beware of hefty transaction fees when using your debit and credit cards abroad, too.
Do some research into prepaid travel cards, which can save you the hassle of carrying too much cash on you and can help you stick to your budget. Don’t neglect to buy some currency in advance, though, to ensure you have enough cash on you to cover initial or small expenses while you’re away.
9. SHARE YOUR PLANS WITH A FRIEND
It can be tempting to cut ties with everything and everyone during your holiday, but you may want to keep the communication port open when you’re away on an adventure. It could be your Mum or Dad, or it could be one of your friends – as long as you share your trip and contact details with them and agree on specific dates for your calls, you can feel safer knowing that they will be looking after you, even from the other side of the planet.
Don’t just share your contact details and the address of where you’ll be staying with them, but also your itinerary, your schedule of activities, and the details of the companies you’ve signed up with.
10. PLAN TIME TO RECOVER FROM JET LAG
If you’re flying to a country in a different time zone you might experience jet lag at the beginning of your trip. Allow yourself time to relax and adjust before diving into any intense or challenging activities. It might be hard to resist, but make sure you book your big event a few days after your arrival – you want to enjoy it, not just go through it on auto-pilot, right?
Adventure-filled trips can be a bit more demanding in terms of preparation than beach holidays, but the reward is unparalleled. Start organising your holiday months in advance, take care of even the smallest details and plan for the worst-case scenario. This way you can make sure you make the most of this experience. As soon as you’re back, you’ll be ready to plan the next one!