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Cocktails or Hiking Trails? 

IIf you’re not opposed to being outside and on your feet for hours to even more lengthy periods of time, then Backpacking and Trekking are right up your alley.

When the average person thinks about a holiday, they think of fun and exciting things which often include relaxing bodies of water and one too many shots. However, a blind eye cannot be turned to the fact that not everyone subscribes to the same likes. For instance, while you’re booking your trip to the islands for Christmas anticipating the warmth, there are folks booking Snowboarding trips to Utah, ready to embrace the cold. When you think about it, both parties respectively find themselves under the travel types: Relaxation Travel and Adventure Travel. As much as the sandy beaches, villas and spa-filled vacation packages are advertised and rushed, so are trips taken for the sole purpose of exploration and engaging in activities that require a level of skill such as mountaineering, bungee jumping and paragliding. Both travel types, Relaxation Travel and Adventure Travel, are under the umbrellas of Relaxation Tourism and Adventure Tourism respectively. Both are under an even bigger umbrella namely niche tourism which also includes Movie Location/Film Tourism, Heritage Tourism, Art Tourism, War Tourism, Medical Tourism and Wine Tourism

Tropical island, lounging on beach chairs, waves crashing against white sand shores all the while sipping on a pretty drink with an umbrella? That’s what the average, everyday person thinks of when going on vacation pops into mind. Relaxation Travel. Tourists, by definition, are people who travel away from their normal residential region for a temporary period of at least one night, where their behavior often involves leisure experiences. They may travel to experience a change in climate and place and, while there, opt to learn something new about the place while enjoying the pleasant scenery and getting to know more about the culture of the destination. In seeking breaks from the stresses of day-to-day life, they often, if not always, devote their holiday to rest, relaxation, and refreshing themselves. For some, this consists solely of Wellness retreats, a villa at a luxurious location, spa-filled days, and tropical, or even mountainous getaways. The aim: a worry-free, champagne friendly, far from physically demanding, fun-intended trip, designed with the sole intention of clearing your mind as you detox from everyday life. Rest, relax, and recharge are the only things on your to-do list.

Places that are frequented by those wishing to engage in this travel type, Relaxation Travel, are spots like one of the tropical Caribbean islands, from Jamaica down to Grenada, Trinidad and Togabo or the ABC Islands; Ubud, Bali; the Maldives, where they can check out Kuramathi Maldives – a luxury resort with a spa, offering treatments based on traditional Asian therapies, as well as pristine beaches and a diving center. The lavish Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives on North Malé Atoll offers luxurious bungalow accommodation in a stunning island destination complemented by exquisite cuisine and a tranquil spa. Also an option is Tulum, Mexico where the beaches are described as a paradise. One of its major attractions is known as Playa Paraiso (Paradise Beach). It’s little wonder why Tulum, on the Caribbean Coast of Mexico, is raved as one of the world’s most relaxing places. Then there’s Phuket, Thailand which is a magnet to visitors as it is home to sparkling beaches and a laid-back atmosphere, making it one of the greatest places to unwind. There’s also Hat Mai Khao beach whose location is secluded and is Phuket’s quietest beach, sporting very clean water and its sand is said to be golden; even places like Greece, Hawaii and, if you just happen to be a high-end luxury traveler, Dubai and the UAE (where high-end shopping, opulent accommodations, and fine dining converge in this Middle Eastern hotspot) will definitely pique your interest. 

In a total 180, for some, their idea of a vacation includes anything that is high intensity and is quite the opposite of lounging with a cocktail in hand. Adventure Travel, which falls under Adventure Tourism, involves exploration, activities with possible risks and, depending on the venture you choose to partake in, you’re to possess a certain level of know-how (overloading) and physical fitness (trekking). According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association in recent years, it was reported that Adventure Tourism has increased. The online publication went on to specify that in fact “adventure travel may be any tourist activity, including two of the following three components: a physical activity, a cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature.” One of the most frequented types of travel, adventure-seeking draws more people in on a yearly basis. What your specific brand of adventure-fueled trip is to consist of is solely defined by you. One thing you can be sure of is that it most likely will include activities that’ll be sure to get you strapping your boots on.  

If you’re not opposed to being outside and on your feet for hours to even more lengthy periods of time, then Backpacking and Trekking are right up your alley. Truth be told, folks have used Hiking, Backpacking and Trekking quite interchangeably, but what still remains is the fact that traveling on foot to specific locations has always been a lure for adventure seekers. 

A hike, by definition, tends to be longer and harder walks that are usually on trails through the mountains, through the bush, or on countryside terrain. With hiking, there’s a tendency to move from lower to higher elevations as you progress and the paths are generally more undulating than just a leisurely walk. Examples of hiking trails are the Bibbulmun track in West Australia, Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. 

Backpacking is the outdoor recreation of carrying gear on one’s back while hiking for more than a day. With Backpacking, you’re spending at least one night in the wilderness with no extra help. You carry everything you need to survive the trip on your back. In the more remote parts of Great Britain, especially Scotland, bothies, which are left unlocked for free use, exist to provide simple (free) accommodation for backpackers. In the Grande Randonnées, backpackers can stay in gîtes d’étapes, which are simple hostels provided for walkers and cyclists. Some simple shelters and occasional mountain huts are also provided in North America, which can be found on the Appalachian Trail. 

Finally, Trekking is done over multiple days and will take you through varied terrain passing through cities, along roads and on nature trails while staying the night in predetermined shelters/huts or tea houses. Travelers may opt for the most scenic sections of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, follow the historic Boulder Mail Trail to the edges of Escalante, Utah, or even hike to Everest Base Camp if you’re into something to really get your blood pumping. 

Adventure Travelers can also partake in Cycling/Mountain Biking, Canoeing/Kayaking, Climbing/Mountaineering, Skiing/Snowshoeing, Horseback Riding Tours, a Safari, or Multisport trips where travelers might go hiking, biking, and paddling when visiting a certain destination, allowing them to stay very active and experience a wide variety of aspects of the place they are visiting. One might even go Dogsledding, which can last for a few hours or a few weeks. 

It’s been said that there are more reasons to travel than there are travelers. For your next trip, if it’s not business fueled, chances are it will most likely either be for relaxation or adventure.  Think of where you want to go, how you want to dress and for your nights, how you want them to end. What’s it going to be: cocktails or hike trails?   


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