What Is an Active Vacation?

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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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The phrase “active vacation” can be broadly applied to any number of vacations or getaways that combine relaxation with some sort of physical activity. Usually, a trip is only an “active” vacation if sporting or outdoor recreation is a substantial focus, though there are no fixed definitions or parameters. A golfing weekend can usually be as much of an active vacation as a hard-core rafting trip, depending on perspective.

One of the primary goals behind active types of vacations is to blend exercise with sightseeing and general tourism. Many people believe that the best way to really experience a place is to get involved: not just to see a mountain, for instance, but to climb it; not just to observe a desert valley, but to bike through it. Interacting with a new environment through physical activity often allows visitors to see far more than they could from a roadway or a hotel balcony.

Some of the most basic active vacation plans stick to one sport. Hiking, biking, and kayaking are common examples of single-sport vacations that can make travel in a host of new destinations exciting and a bit unusual. Vacationers often plan active vacation travel around trails, landmarks, or geological wonders. Experienced adventurers often chart their own course. Commercial adventure travel companies also organize tours in many parts of the world.


A more involved physical activity vacation may incorporate numerous outside activities. This works particularly well in ecologically diverse regions, where participants can see a variety of different sights and terrains through different activities. These trips usually end with participants feeling both invigorated and rested, having seen new things and burned calories, too.

There are many types of travel that blend exercise and recreation, and active vacation appeals to a wide range of people. Some trips are undertaken by serious athletes, but they can also be popular with travelers who are simply looking for a more unusual, interactive vacation. Trips can take place anywhere in the world, and they often incorporate physical activity with a whole range of sightseeing opportunities.

Commercial trips make it easier for more people to get involved in active travel, and most organized active vacation programs are designed for novice sportsmen. An interest in the outdoors is usually important and moderate good health usually makes for a more enjoyable time, but no other hard and fast requirements usually apply. Some trips are geared specifically for families, and incorporate activities that are intentionally stroller and grandparent friendly. Others are designed more with active singles in mind, providing a new and different way for professionals with a mind for travel and fitness to meet each other.


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