Preparing Your Family for an Active Vacation

Last Updated on June 9, 2013 by Jody Halsted

Sometimes vacations are about stepping outside your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries.  Taking your family on an adventure vacation will definitely achieve both, but it pays to be prepared.

Preparing for Your Family Adventure Vacation

Family adventure vacations can be self planned or offered through a company like Austin Lehman Adventures.  No matter which type of trip you choose, these tips will help your family get the most out of your family adventure.

White Water Rafting on Yellowstone River
That’s Brenna at the back, right. Two rows behind me. I have never been so terrified for my child- nor so proud of her!

Know What Activities You Will Be Doing. If you are using a tour company, be aware of the planned activities and the level of difficulty for each.  Many tour companies have specific family adventures that are easier- though still challenging.  If you are planning your own activities, try to choose activities you enjoy, but can also provide a challenge.

Get Active.  Begin preparing for your vacation at least 3 months in advance.  If you are inactive, start with a family walk in the evenings.  Work up to longer distances and a faster pace.  If your vacation will involve hiking, be sure to walk on different terrain to help your body adjust to uneven surfaces.  If cycling is on the agenda, try to take a few bike rides to get your rear adjusted to sitting on a bicycle seat. If you don’t have a bicycle, a stationary bike will work, as well.  Don’t forget to stretch!  Stretching not only helps to prepare your muscles for exercise, but stretching after your activity will help alleviate soreness.

Buy the Right Equipment.  Packing the right equipment for your adventure vacationis as important as being physically ready.  Sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes, firm sole shoes for cycling, cycling shorts and gloves, and a day pack are all essentials.  If you are using a tour, many items like bicycles and helmets will be provided for you.  If you are planning your own family adventure, many items can be rented at your destination.  Know what is provided- and what you need.  Often shoes- like Keen Sandals – can do dual duty for cycling, rafting and light hiking.

Request necessary equipment.  If you are on a tour or renting items, be sure to request the necessary equipment.  Be specific about your needs.  Ask for trail-a-bikes, child sizes, and special equipment in advance.

Learn about your destination.  It is always helpful to have background on your surroundings before a trip, but it is a must if you are self-planning an adventure vacation.  A few things to keep in mind:

  • Temperatures.  How warm or cold might it be- and how should you plan to dress?
  • Wildlife.  Bears, snakes, bison?  Be aware of what you might run in to and how to react.  Be sure to have the necessary tools in case of emergency- including a First Aid Kit.
  • Topography.  Will you be at a high altitude?  Or maybe some areas are prone to rock slides?  Know the terrain you’ll be exploring so you can avoid unnecessary dangers.
  • History.  Learning the history of your destination will help you understand what you will experience.
  • Things to Do.  What are the “must see” sights?  What should you be sure to do?  Destination guides and Visitor’s Bureaus will help you make the most of your vacation.

Are you considering a family adventure vacation?  Or has your family experienced an adventure vacation?  Leave your own questions or tips in the comments!

If you’re thinking about a guided tour, or adventure vacation,  I highly recommend Austin Lehman Adventures.  From the first inquiry, to trip follow up, the staff at Austin Lehman work hard to make sure your trip is perfect. 

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  1. @iatraveler Jodi, check out the “Ultimate Checklist” app for iPad..Happened on it by accident.. My wife and I both use it now…

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