Vacations don’t need to be solely about relaxation. If you’re the athletic type or restless when inactive for too long, a vacation that combines sightseeing with sports and fitness might appeal to you. A number of companies like REI offer adventure trips for a variety of interests and physical abilities. The activities vary in intensity and type – from kayaking to hiking to yoga.
High-End Fitness Travel For Major Results
Fitness Travel Company, based in London, offers a select number of vacations that combine sight-seeing in interesting locations plus some lb-shredding sweat sessions with a personal trainer. The goal is to leave looking and feeling amazingly fit.
Fitness Travel Company’s trips don’t come cheap. But for personal training and vacation rolled into one – plus a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the hefty price tag might be worth it.
The Epic Australia trip is a must-see on the bucket list of any hot-blooded adventurer.
“They have said of this trip that if you never had a Facebook account and set one up using only this trip as source of information, it would look like you had lived an enthralling and exhilarating life!” says founder Robert Tynan.
The Australia trip includes four weeks of personal training — three before departure and one after return. It costs about $23,000 for double occupancy.
Another trip to Ibiza costs about $10,000 for two people.
The site also offers fitness trips to Thailand, St. Tropez and a ladies-only trip to Mozambique.
The company works with more than 1,500 trainers from all over the world. Before you take a trip through Fitness Travel Company they recommend you train with a personal trainer in one-on-one sessions for three weeks before departure.
“We find they get more out of the adventures and are prepared mind body and soul,” says Tynan.
These bespoke adventures can be with family or friends and in groups of 8-12 people. Equipment like kayaks and tents are included in the price.
For Those Seeking Adventure
REI adventures lets you put your outdoor skills to the test and get the chance to meet a group of like-minded people. REI trips are ranked by activity level from 1-5, 1 being the least active and 5 being the most active. Trips range in time from weekend getaways to three weeks.
You can reserve your trip with a $400 deposit, which is refundable up to 90 days before the trip. If you book the trip within 60 days of departure, the whole amount is due upfront. REI members get a discount on each trip. It’s worth becoming an REI member before you book a trip since membership is $20 and being a member can save you hundreds on the trip.
REI trips are the most appealing to me since they combine sightseeing with roughing-it in exotic locations while guided by trained experts. Another plus is that there are a wide variety of trips based on activity level, so whether you’re in amazing shape or just fit enough for a long hike, you can still visit Mount Everest. The longer trips seem to be more economical than the weekend excursions.
A 16 day trip to Tibet for an REI member costs $4,574 not including a roundtrip flight, a couple meals, plus tips and taxes. You’d pay nearly that or more organizing a trip yourself, but this one comes with a trained guide! Or take a 4-day weekend backpacking trip in Yosemite for $760, which includes professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted on the daily itinerary; 2-person tents; group cooking gear; group first aid kit, water filter; campsite and permit fees — not a bad deal.
The Social Adventure Travel Experience
The online company Backroads has biking, hiking and multi-sport vacation packages at totally reasonable prices. For 6 nights you can bike and hike through Italy and Slovenia for about $4,000 for double occupancy and most meals included. From other sites I’ve seen, that’s quite a deal.
The company is continuously adding new destinations and seems to really care about the customer experience. The company also offer trips in larger groups for a reason — the website says you’ll have a better trip if you can mix and mingle with more than a handful of strangers during the course of three weeks. They also have a 6:1 guest-to-leader ratio on each trip to ensure things go smoothly.
Calling Yoga Enthusiasts
GoYogaTravel.com lists dozens of resorts that offer special packages for yoga enthusiasts. The site doesn’t sell the vacations, it just directs you to hotels and other sites that offer yoga vacations.
Image courtesy of Flickr, user funkz