Explore the world
While all trips benefit from advance planning, when adventure is on the itinerary – whether high altitudes or high-octane thrills – thinking ahead is a must. Here, ten essential tips from Virtuoso advisors on adventure travel.
“Remember to have all your necessary medications, and never assume you will find what you need at your destination,” says Park City, Utah-based advisor Caroline Labbe. “Who wants to be looking for blister Band-Aids right before your next hike or stuck without stomach medicine at night? Always think beyond a basic first aid kit and pack accordingly.” Bring plastic bags.
“Jumbo Ziploc Bags are great for packing dirty hiking boots,” says Becky Lukovic, a Georgia-based advisor. They’ll also work well for wet swimsuits or soiled clothing.
Anticipate hunger. “Never leave for your travels without small packs of protein-rich munchies to keep you going all day,” says Bobbie Myers Newton, a Doylestown, Pennsylvania-based advisor.
Plan ahead for emergencies. “I recommend travel insurance to all my clients and always take it on all my personal travels, too,” says Carrie Mandala, an advisor based in Palos Verdes Estates, California. “For an extra layer of coverage in addition to trip insurance, I also recommend a Medjet air ambulance membership.” “For adventurous activities and destinations, make sure you are selecting the right travel insurance or check that it has the option to upgrade. Consider mountain climbing and hot air ballooning when looking at adventure sports coverage,” says Barbara A.E. Fishman, an Atlanta-area-based advisor.
Be water smart. “Take your own water bottle (always – no plastics left behind) and hydrate before you begin your day’s exertions,” suggests Myers Newton. “We all know that drinking water as we lose fluids is important whether we are hiking, biking, kayaking, or taking yoga. But consuming water before you even begin your exercise gives your system an extra edge.' Combat altitude sickness while hiking. “I highly recommend staying hydrated, eating additional calories, resting, and getting a good night’s sleep, but the most effective strategy is acclimation,” says Pennsylvania-based advisor Adam Newton. “Allow your body time to adapt while ascending, and if you notice symptoms – headache, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, or fatigue – notify your guide or traveling companions. Diamox is a prescription medication utilized by many travelers, and Ibuprofen may help counteract symptoms. Take your time and when you reach the summit, enjoy the views from the top of the world.'
Avoid bright clothing on safari. “On safari, don’t wear bright colors or white. It startles the animals and they may avoid you [or become agitated by you],” recommends Lukovic. “On game drives, avoid clothing with dark colors, especially blue or black, as it will attract Tsetse flies. It is best to wear neutral colors, such as khaki, brown and green, to blend in with the surroundings of the bush,” says Fishman. Deter poachers with common sense. “Do not post photos of endangered animals in their habitat on social media unless you turn off your phone’s Geotagging capability. Poachers can determine their location from your posts,” warns Lukovic.