April 17, 2009

The Best Family Adventure Vacation we have ever had

"The best family adventure vacation we have ever had."

"In this fast paced world I never get the time to spend with my teenagers. This is an excellent way to stop the clock and have fun with them. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime!"

"My goal was to have a special time with my granddaughter and we did. She does not stop talking about all the things she accomplished! I cannot think of anything I would have liked differently. Keep up the good work!"

Adventure travel outfitters from their clients regularly hear wonderful comments like these. Whether it is on a family rafting vacation, at a dude ranch, or participating in a wildlife expedition, family adventure holidays seem to be some of the most satisfying and rewarding vacations available. What is it about these vacations that make them so memorable and enjoyable? And what planning steps are suggested to families considering an outdoor adventure for their next family vacation to help make that trip impact as those described above?

Family adventure holidays are successful in large part because of the challenges they provide and the camaraderie that results from successfully meeting those challenges. There is nothing like climbing up on a horse for the first time and pulling on the reins to get it to gallop through a mountain meadow, or paddling a bouncing raft through eight-foot waves. Successfully steering your horse or helping paddle a raft through a rapid are what makes family rafting vacations and adventure holidays so rewarding. What a great feeling it is to face a challenge and do well! And, when you do this as a member of a group or team, everyone celebrates! When was the last time your family worked and played together to overcome a common challenge? Simply put, the teamwork required in most adventure activities brings people together, friends, strangers, and families alike.

Of course, it is very important to be as prepared as possible for any adventure travel vacation. Correctly preparing yourself and your family is the first step towards a successful outdoor adventure. The following suggestions may work for your family as you consider and plan your next adventure vacation:

Reading a book on the Salmon River Idaho Choose the Correct Adventure Vacation for your Family Perhaps the most important decision you can make regarding an adventure travel family vacation is which adventure to choose. Trips range from one-day river trips near your hometown to multi-day wildlife safaris in the distant corners of the earth. So how do you choose? Consider asking yourself the following questions to help you decide: Is my family or are most members of my family adventurous? In other words, is our family one that enjoys or would enjoy facing exciting challenges? If you answered no to this, then perhaps adventure travel vacations are not right for you and your family. If you answered yes, then the following questions should further assist you in deciding which adventure travel offerings are best for your family.

Do we or would we like to camp and spend time outdoors? Since most adventure travel holidays involve spending time outdoors and camping, it is important to at least feel comfortable with the idea of sleeping in a tent, being out in the sun all day, etc.

What experience do we have with the activities we are considering? If you have haven't participated in the activity or activities that are the feature of the vacation you are considering (rafting, backpacking, horseback riding, four-wheel driving, etc.), it might be best try the activity on a local and shorter-term basis. For example, a one-day raft trip should indicate to you whether or not your family would enjoy a longer wilderness river trip.

Have we ever traveled overseas as a family on a more typical vacation? Vacations that include creature comforts (such as hotels and restaurants) in a foreign country can often be challenging in their own right, as cultural and schedule differences can cause difficulties. When considering an overseas adventure vacation it is important to know that your family will be able to deal with the cultural and amenities differences of another country, as well as the challenges that adventure activities can provide.

Do the outfitters we are considering have experience running trips with families who have never participated on an adventure travel vacation? This is a very important question to ask the companies you are considering for your adventure vacation. Outfitters with experience have likely developed an approach to guiding trips that help first-timers with all aspects of their adventure, from helping with tent set-up to having extra activities available for children.

What type of elements do we most enjoy or would we most enjoy? In other words, is mine a family of water-loving swimmers, land-loving hikers, or...? This question ultimately decides what type of adventure vacation may be best suited for your family. If you have a family that loves to hike, then consider a backpacking or hiking with pack animals trip. If your family loves water then rafting down a wilderness river may be best. With all of the options now available to families looking for adventure travel, it is a safe bet that you would find many vacations that will prove to be as satisfying and rewarding to you as they were to the folks who were quoted above!

Once you have narrowed down the choices or have selected the adventure vacation that is well suited to your family, consider the following suggestions as a way to best prepare you and your child(ren) for the big adventure.

Involve Your Kids In Planning Getting your child(ren) excited about specific aspects of the trip will help engage them during the trip itself. If you are so inclined, take some time before you travel to show them maps, list animals that may be encountered on your trip, and discuss what type of activities will be included on the trip, etc. Above all else, consider each child's abilities and personality to ensure they have a fun and rewarding adventure without getting in over their heads.

Plan A Trip-Long Project A trip-long project may help your child(ren) enjoy the trip even more, and can provide a valuable record for lifelong memories. One popular option is to buy your child a disposable camera and have them create a photo essay of pictures they've taken. Another good idea is to create a journal for your children to write in each evening at camp. They can write, draw pictures, press flowers and go home with a running record of the trip.

Watch The Weather Once on the trip, watch the weather and heed advice from your guides in order to assure your comfort. As you know, children (especially small ones) are more susceptible to the elements than most adults. Bring lots of waterproof sunscreen and have your child apply it several times a day. However, do not apply sunscreen to your or their forehead. If it drips in your eyes from splashing or perspiration it can sting. Also, have your child wear a hat with a bill. Also, make sure that you have closely followed the gear and clothing requirements before the trip, in order for you and your children to be as comfortable as possible.

Drink Lots Of Water Dehydration may be the biggest hazard on any adventure trip, and the first sign is often a bad mood. Bring water bottles and have your whole family drink lots of fresh water. This is probably the most important thing you can do to ensure everyone has a good time.

Share Activities Most adventure travel outfitters encourage everyone to do as much or as little as they want to in camp and at other times while on the trip. If your children like to participate and lend hands, most outfitters welcome it! When deciding on a trip, find out from potential outfitters exactly how much hands-on participation there can be!

Hopefully, these suggestions inspire you and your family to participate in adventure travel vacations. And, we hope that should your next family vacation be filled with outdoor adventures that you too feel that your holiday was "the most incredible vacation we have ever had!"



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