This week, I’m putting together some travel talks (there are two this week – one about Hawaii land & cruise, and another with G Adventures/ National Geographic Journeys. See details below). I’ve been talking a lot about soft adventure trips for clients with these talks (and a third talk around the same topic now planned for September with On the Go). So I thought I’d share a little bit about what I mean by soft adventure.
What’s soft adventure? Well, think of adventure trips that do not require you to do special training for, or necessarily experience with the activities the trip will undertake. Soft adventure trips do not require you to have specialized equipment. Soft adventure trips don’t generally encompass risk. Instead, you, as the traveler, are experiencing an adventure that may be a little outside the norm of what you usually do (they are not generally fly ‘n flop beach holidays). You do have to have some basic level of physical fitness. You do have to be open to movement and learning. But the days on soft adventure holiday are not scheduled to be sunrise-to-sundown full of heavy exertion – there is plenty of relax time built in. The focus, instead, might be on an easy going pace to the sights, and on cultural immersion.
There are definitely hard adventure types of travel. Think of those who might want to ride the Tour de France route after the racers have gone through. Or think of climbing Mount Everest. Trekking Mont Blanc. Maybe scuba diving in Hawaii. And I certainly have travel partners with whom I could work with to help clients plan those specialized types of trips. (Lemme know if that is your preferred style.)
But the vast majority of my clients lean towards soft adventure.
Soft doesn’t necessarily mean easy. And ‘adventure’ doesn’t mean ‘no toilet paper.’ There are a range of trips and partners I work with. There are a range of comfort levels. It all depends on your lifestyle and level of activity, where you want to go , how you want to travel, and your preferred level of comfort.
Some clients want to be immersed in a destination and a culture. They want to learn about the place they are visiting. We might look at a foodie tour of Italy or Japan. Perhaps a small escorted group trip to India or Turkey. Does this describe you?
Some clients may be open to walking and cycling options for their holidays – they’d love to be with folks who love the same things they want, they want to push themselves out of their comfort zone, and maybe learn something new. But they don’t want to ride the Tour de France. They might long to see Machu Picchu, and the idea of going by scenic train sounds amazing. (I have a group just returning now from there. And I have a meet up this week looking at similar trips with G Adventures/ National Geographic Journeys.) Some clients may be able to do a one day hike option, but they aren’t necessarily looking to do the full 4 day Inca Trail hike and sleep on the trail (although I certainly have clients who do long to do the full 4 days, many of my clients want a taste of the experience without the long training.) They may want to try part of the Camino Trail in Spain, and experience that sense of pilgrimage, and maybe do a week or two week hiking trip, but they don’t want to do 100 days.
Some clients want a bit more activity. They love the idea of doing a river cruise with bikes onboard to ride between ports (even some have the e-bikes). Some want to hike the Dolomites and stay in huts. Others want multi-activity trips in Hawaii involving hiking, biking, rafting, and more. And others prefer an escorted group to show them the sights of Oahu followed by a one-week cruise around the islands on NCL. (I have a group looking to do that in January.)
Let me know what interests you!