One of the booming segments of the tourism industry is what we call adventure tourism. These travelers like taking risks (either real or perceived) and sometimes venture on the other side of the planet for their expeditions.
An important component of adventure travel is planning. Gone are the days when explorers jumped in a truck with a map and hoped for the best. We’ve made a list with some of the risks associated with adventure travel to help you plan better and have a fabulous experience.
Malaria, Dengue fever and other similar diseases
Travelers that yearn for adventures like jungle trekking or cave exploring in remote tropical areas are especially prone to contracting certain diseases which can sometimes be life threatening or at least do some serious long-term damage to their health. So before embarking on your next adventure, first check the health recommendations.
Are there any epidemics in that region? Is there any way to prevent you from contracting that specific disease (like a vaccine or pills taken preventively)? Are the hospitals any good if worst comes to worst? Is your health insurance going to cover the medical bills if something happens?
Ask yourself all these questions before leaving home and don’t take the chance if the risk for your health seems too high.
Obviously, nobody can predict the weather with perfect accuracy, but there are weather patterns which can help you decide when it’s the best time to go on your adventure trip.
River rafting can be exciting and safe enough during dry season, but very dangerous during the rainy season. There are countries where the rainy season comes with landslides and floods nearly every year.
You won’t be able to enjoy your adventure if you get stuck in a place because of the closed roads and deluges or worse. Not to mention it can get really nasty, depending on where you are on the planet. So do your research and see what time of the year is best for your adventurous escapade.
The political situation
There is serious political unrest in some parts of the world. And, coincidence or not, many of these places are good destinations for the thrill seeking travelers.
Clearly the political factor is a macro risk, one that is out of your control, that’s why you have to be very well informed before deciding where to go on your next adventure.
Read a lot about what’s going on, ask the locals if you can, or people you know that have been there recently. If you choose to venture out with a tour agency, don’t hesitate to ask questions until you are completely satisfied with their answers.
The right clothes and shoes
There are some factors you can’t control, social unrest or natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes, just to name a few. However, you can and must control what you pack in terms of clothes and shoes.
It isn’t just a matter of “dress for the weather”, although that is very important. When it comes to adventure traveling, it’s more like “dress for the activity”. If you’re going volcano trekking wearing flip flops, you might end up with an injury caused by the sharp volcanic rocks you have to step on.
For an experienced adventure traveler this might sound ridiculous, but for a novice it is vital to be careful even if it’s about trivial things like shoes and clothes.
This is probably the first question people ask when they hear about adventure travel “what kind of gear do I need for this?” The right equipment can make your trip more enjoyable and it can save your life if it comes to it.
Be careful, however, not to pack things you don’t need: a 2-person backpacking tent when you only need one for a person would just add unnecessary weight to your luggage.
If your chosen tour operator provides the equipment for you, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the quality of the gear. Moreover, take time to do some reading — check other people’s reviews and double check the company’s credentials.
There are some countries out there where tour operators get away with not making safety a priority for their customers so make sure you choose a reliable, reputable company.