A vacation used to mean a quiet week on the beach or a leisurely tour of an old world monument. But people have been visiting beaches and monuments for a long time now – and savvy tourists have started to realize that the world offers far more exciting travel destinations.
Forget the humdrum cruise-and-snapshot traveling of the past – today’s vacations are about extreme sports, jungle hikes, mountain treks, and glacier exploration. Sound exciting? That’s just a start. If you’re itching for an adventure, check out these links:
Choose Your Own Adventure
OARS – Whitewater Rafting: For whitewater rafting both in the U.S. and internationally, OARS provides a vast amount of vacation information and tour possibilities. If you are willing to join an OARS expedition, you can enjoy some of the most ferocious whitewater rafting you’ve ever experienced, while letting the guides plan, cook, and clean out the boats.
Mountain Climbing Adventures: This site is part explanation, part guide, giving you everything you need to arrange a mountain scaling expedition of your own. No tiny cliffs here – try Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, and Aconcagua instead.
Web Ecoist – Extreme Caving: From underwater caves to remote mines, this handy article gives you the basics of adventurous spelunking. It includes advice on planning, safety, lighting, equipment, and the many other key components of successful cave exploration in the wild places of the world.
Ski Central – Extreme Skiing: This is a full collection of sites, guides, equipment, and tips for extreme skiers. From hooking you up with camps and tours to teaching you more about snow kiting or heliskiing, it’s an ideal stop for winter adventures.
All The Sea: Deep Sea Diving: This site includes a vast amount of general information on the ocean, with articles like this one scattered throughout – little columns on diving and extreme ocean sports. The article includes several useful links for training and guides, too.
Extreme Horizon: Beginner’s Guide to Essential Surfing Equipment: In order to surf at some of the best spots around the world, you need good gear as well as good waves. This guide provides you with a top-down list of all the basic surfing equipment you should have for serious expeditions.
Matador Notebook: Six Things to Know Before Traveling to the Rainforest: There is a lot to learn about jungle exploration, but this piece is an ideal starting point. Learn about some basic dangers and be sure to visit the jungle conversation sites at the end of the article for more information.
Dayhiker – Dayhiking: Does a dayhike sound a little boring to you? Try looking at how the fans at Dayhiker do it, rushing to complete lengthy hikes around some of the most famous destinations in the world. Part sport, part endurance, and part travel, this kind of dayhiking is not for the faint of heart.
Go with an Adventure Company
Abercrombie & Kent: This agency is a master at extreme adventure travels. If you want to take care of the details while you conquer deserts, arctic wastes, or steep mountains, take a look at agency options. A simple and attractive search tool makes navigation easy.
Adventure Center: Choose your region, activity, tour operator preference, duration, and price with the Adventure Center “Adventure Finder.” Or, you can just choose from the enticing list of favorite adventure experiences, from traveling the Silk Road to the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Incredible Adventures – Survival Training: These survival training tour options are offered by SpecOps, a band of retired special operations veterans that offer you worldwide thrills, special ops scenarios, survival training, and natural vistas. The only problem is choosing which package you love best.
Duende Adventure: Duende specializes in hooking you up with ecotourism hikes through the jungles of Belize, Honduras, and other Central American locations. Look for both day tours and multi-day tours, or simply search the jungles until you find the right mix of adventure.
GoTrek: GoTrek specializes in trekking and mountain climbing adventures throughout the world. Learn more about the operation and then choose from climbing options in Asia, Russia, Nepal, and Africa, among many others.
Extreme Destinations Travel: This agent organization specializes in international vacations, luxury safaris, and exciting tours of the wild places in the world. A good choice for a somewhat extreme vacation with a high price ceiling.
G Adventures: G (for Great!) Adventures offers you upfront packages specializing in different areas. Choose “End of the Earth” for the most extreme options in Patagonia or browse around for a favorite destination.
Get Excited About Extreme Travel
Thecoolest: Extreme Travel: 6 Frontiers for the Fearless Adventurer: If you want to be hit by several extreme destinations at once, take a look at this article and the stunning pictures it offers. From deep sea exploration to exploring Antarctica, this piece is sure to give you ideas.
Forbes: World’s Unique Places to Visit: Opt for the picture tour in this article, and see fascinating (and unthought-of) destinations like the Dragon’s Blood Trees of Socotra, the Takstang Monastery of Bhutan, and other dreamlike destinations that will have you digging out a map.
The Adventure Blog: Not all blogs are great, but the Adventure Blog proves itself over and over again with professional affiliations, interesting articles, and a great collection of links. If you love adventure travel visit this site frequently to find new suggestions and stories.
Jetsetta: Extreme Travel: Most Dangerous Travel Activities: The title really says it all for this article. You may not be able to afford any of these destinations, but it sure is fun to look.
Travel Squire: Travel Squire brings you an entertaining article about specific destinations around the world, most oriented around extreme sports. Once you are done looking, you can browse the site for more destination information and planning.
Back to the Basics: International Travel Aid
University of Maryland – International Travel Resources: While some of this information is specific to the university, much of it applies to all types of travel, and the links included toward the bottom of the page are invaluable when embarking on international travel for the first time.
Oanda: Currency Links: This resource is a hub of currency information for you to navigate through the often difficult waters of international trade and money. There are too many currency websites these days for you to miss out on their advantages.
Trip Resource: International Travel Checklist: If you thrive on lists and carefully documented instructions, use this resource to start planning today. It makes a great beginning if you have never traveled internationally before.
USA.gov: International Travel: This collection of links and information represents the last word on international travel requirements and advice.
Travelocity: Travelocity gets a lot of attention for a reason – it is a strong general booking website for international travel. When it comes to major cities and big flights, use its searching mechanisms freely.
Tours.com: This self-explanatory site offers a global array of tours for you to make use of, along with searches, contact information for key organizations, and many other resources for you to use. Combine it with other travel booking sites to make an informed decision and complete your trip in style.
Cheap Discount Hotels Rooms: The name may be awkward, but the site has a variety of international booking resources. If you can’t find the particular hotel arrangement you are looking for, try searching for it here.