by Linda  

white-water-kayaking.jpgAdventure travel is not for the faint hearted. Forget rest and relaxation vacations, adventure travellers want everything harder, faster and seem to have a real pleasure in getting wet, cold or terrified.

What do adventure travellers look for?

Adventure travellers are always seeking something different, something that hasn’t been done before and generally in a place that’s been rarely visited. They want to experience everything a destination has to offer and usually have every little time to explore it due to constraints of holiday time and money. So they book an adventure trip over a few weeks and attempt to squeeze into the time available more than most would over the space of three holidays a year.

Itineraries would make even those who are well-travelled go weak at the knees. Adventure travellers might be white water rafting down a canyon one day, hiking through a mountain range or diving with sharks the next.

It is an exciting way to discover new places and cultures in a limited time but whether it’s possible to be able to really capture the essence of a place is debatable.

Although often associated with ecotourism, some adventure travel companies rarely give a second thought to the principles of ecotourism. Others are highly regarded amongst the travel industry and have a genuine concern for the communities and environments visited on their tours. It’s up to the traveller to eke out the good from the bad and the ugly.

Tips for finding a reputable adventure eco travel company

- When deciding where you want to go and what type of adventure holiday you’d prefer, shop around. Consider booking a destination that is less travelled.

- When booking, ask for your tour operator’s green credentials. Check:

  • Whether they employ locals in their business.
  • Whether you will have the chance to stay in family-run accommodations as part of the trip?
  • Do the locals benefit from the tour?
  • Is money ploughed back into the local economy?
  • Does the tour operator work to minimize the impact of the vast numbers fed through their company?

- Ask the size of the groups and how often they go. It may be better to book a trip with a larger group if the tours only occur a few times a year rather than going in with a company that promotes smaller groups but operates a few at a time all year round.

- Alternatively, don’t book your adventure tour online. Wait until you arrive at your destination and book a tour run by locals. That way you can ensure the money generated will go back into the local economy and you’ve done your bit for eco travel.

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