As a seasoned adventure traveler, Matt Long from LandLopers is sharing his secrets about how to make your next vacation the best adventure yet. As a travel blogger, Long maintains an active presence on social media where he is constantly being asked by followers for travel tips. He decided to answer your most frequently asked questions all in once place — right here on Room5. Let’s get started!
Question 1: how do you know which vaccinations you need before traveling to certain areas around the world? And what do you do if you have an accident or get sick along the way?
While many people may not realize it, the US Department of State has an amazing web site and a whole host of resources for travelers, including information about vaccinations. Just check out their site to see if your travel destination requires special preparation in advance. Your doctor may not be able to administer certain shots, so look for travel medical facilities in your area. To answer the second part of the question, I learned early on that travel insurance is an absolute necessity for all travelers, no matter where your vacation takes you. Many policies cover things like delayed flights, lost bags and trip disruption or cancellation. You can also take out policies that include medical care and emergency evacuation. We get health and home insurance because we never know when the worst will happen. The same logic holds true for travel, so there’s really no excuse not to get travel insurance. I personally use RoamRight but there are many providers out there.
Question 2: What are your four favorite adventure travel destinations and why?
Well, New Zealand has to top not only my list, but everyone’s list since they practically invented the style of adventure travel. For whatever reason, Kiwis have a natural inclination to throw themselves off of things and that fearless spirit is extremely contagious.
South Africa is another great adventure travel destination, from the world’ highest bungee jump AND bungee swing to cage diving with great white sharks and of course a classic safari experience. If you love adrenaline rush experiences, South Africa is a great choice.
Having just returned from Queensland, Australia, I also have to nominate it as an amazing destination for adventure travel. Just a few of the things I did were scuba diving, helicopter flights, zip lining, surfing, hot air balloon rides, skyscraper climbs and more. It’s an easy place to pursue an active lifestyle.
Lastly, I think Croatia is a destination that may be overlooked when it comes to adventure travel. Croatia has some of the best national parks in the world and especially if you like rock climbing, there are few better places in the world.
Question 3: Is there an adventure travel experience you regret doing and is there anything you wouldn’t try?
While I don’t necessarily regret it, it’s something I’m not eager to do again – the world’s highest bungee swing. Located in Durban, South Africa, it’s actually on top of a soccer stadium. I did it in a (failed) effort to cure myself of my fear of heights, but it may have only made it worse. It’s exactly what it sounds like, instead of a jump it’s a swing and you step off the platform before swinging out in an arc. And it’s terrifying. I have a hard and fast travel rule, which is I never do anything that is inherently dangerous. Are there things I’ve done that have element of danger to them? Yes, you bet, but all the safety protocols were there to ensure my safety. So cliff diving, for example, is not something you’ll see me doing anytime soon.
Question 4: What hotels or resorts around the world offer amazing adventure travel experiences?
Yes, luckily luxury hotels and resorts around the world realize that the modern traveler wants more than a comfy bed – we want THEIR help in creating amazing travel experiences. The Four Seasons offer some amazing experiences around the world, from being a cowboy for a day to driving a Ferrari around the Italian countryside and scuba diving in the Red Sea. Ritz -Carlton also has done a great job in creating memorable experiences for their guests. The key is to really do your research in advance and make sure the hotel or resort you choose offers a robust adventure travel program.
Question 5: What’s on your adventure travel bucket list?
Oh my, a whole lot – it’s a big world after all! But on the short list I’d love to visit the Arctic. I’ve been to Antarctica, but the other pole has so far eluded me. Plus, who doesn’t want to see some cute polar bears! I’d also like to finally try skydiving, as I’ve mentioned, but somewhere really iconic and worth the dive. Finally, when I was in New Zealand I missed out on the opportunity to go bungee jumping. Since New Zealand is the home of the bungee, and most adventure activities, I definitely want to make it happen next time.
Have more questions about adventure travel? Ask em’ here and we’ll get Matt’s responses to you!