Plan Your Vacation Adventure

With winter slowly transitioning into spring, you might be thinking about checking off a few adventurous things on your bucket list…and you’re not alone. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, nearly 140 million Americans nationally participate in outdoor activities each year and spend $646 billion each year on those endeavors.

So it’s no surprise that the eco-tourism and adventure tourism markets are growing like crazy.

Last summer, my family hiked and explored like the settlers of the Wild West in Crested Butte, CO.

The first thing you need to realize is that adventure travel is for everyone. Depending on your experience level: from the faint of heart to doing things that make your momma faint, there are guide services designed to help you have a successful trip. This year, you could tour the once forbidden island of Cuba, help the forests of Colorado, and track gorillas in the deepest rainforest.

Adventure Tours for 2013

Add a little excitement to your spring and summer vacations.  And don’t forget to share your accomplishments – social sharing has become the standard in “bragging rights.” In fact, GoPro camera sales have more than doubled every year since the first camera’s debut in 2004. In 2012 the company sold 2.3 million cameras and grossed $521 million.

The latest in tours for 2013 include:

Naturalist Journeys, a top nature and birding tour company, has upcoming spring birding tours in the Florida Keys & Everglades and Texas.  Summer tours include wildlife excursions through Nome and Denali in Alaska, and an Active Hiking Nature Adventure tour was just made available in Utah.

Vail Resorts announced last week that Breckenridge, CO will encourage “learn through play”, with Epic Discovery this summer by featuring extensive environmental educational elements interspersed between numerous fun, new activities located in the already developed areas of its mountain peaks. Vail Resorts will work with The Nature Conservancy to bring scientific content to the eco-discovery experiences and will be contributing 1 percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue toward forest restoration projects.

From the East Coast to the West Coast, Trekamerica is a great way to explore and experience the best of American adventure tours. Treks are designed for ages 18-38 and last from 3-21 days.

This year, a number of companies are rolling out new trips to Cuba that combine cultural interactions like hiking with local university scientists and sampling cigars at a tobacco farm, road cycling through neighborhoods full of Colonial-era architecture, hiking in the Zapata Peninsula national park (also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve), and sailing through the limestone caves near the Sierra de los Organos. Caution: The US government is clamping down on tour licenses.  Make sure the company that you choose is fully licensed to lead your excursion in Cuba BEFORE you put any money down.

And where’s the sky’s the limit – for $300,000 you too can reserve a seat for a space-bound flight – with Virgin Galactic.

Of course, your entire trip doesn’t have to be an episode of The Amazing Race. An easy day excursion may be all you need to add a little excitement to any trip, from zip-lines to white water rafting trips.

Get out and find something adventuresome to do this spring or summer, and let us know of other great adventure opportunities with a comment below!



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