Making Your Hiking and Biking Vacation a Success

Not everyone’s idea of a great vacation is lying on a beach or strolling around tourist sites. There is a growing group of vacationers who are looking for a more physically engaging trip that challenges them, while providing an opportunity to see new places and have new experiences.

Going on a hiking and biking vacation, or other type of active vacation, requires a different type of planning. Here are some suggestions that will help you avoid mishaps and maximize your enjoyment.

two hikers in the woods
Hiking trips combine seeing new sites with some exercise.

Get Yourself in Shape

Having the physical conditioning to fully take part in your active vacation is important.  If you’re a desk jockey or couch potato, you’ll need to build the stamina and strength to be ready to go. Start preparing at least a month beforehand with walks, jogs, or bicycle outings a few times weekly. For more challenging activities, you’ll need to start conditioning several months in advance.

Listen to your Trip Organizer

Take time to review the trip documents and recommended packing lists provided by the trip’s organizer. These suggestions come from an experienced resource that can prepare you for situations you may not have foreseen. They can also keep you from bringing (and having to carry) items that are unnecessary.

Break in New Equipment

It’s inevitable. Just before departing, a vacationer will race to the local Cabela’s and buy new shoes, boots, clothing, or walking poles. Then they discover they haven’t gotten the right fit or have no time to break in footwear.  This leads to blisters, chaffing and discomfort.  Make sure new gear is purchased well ahead of your planned departure.

hiking backpacks and boots
Having the right equipment is extremely important for an active vacation.

Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment

When taking part in a trip using an experienced outfitter and guide they will often provide items needed on your adventure. 

For those who go it on their own be sure that your equipment is right for the conditions you will be facing, and that as noted above, it is comfortable and fits well.  When hiking backpacks need to be packed and worn correctly to make them easier to carry.

Take It Easy at First

At the beginning of your trek it can be easy to push yourself a little too hard. This can lead to muscle soreness and stiffness that can last for days and make your physical efforts less enjoyable. Don’t feel like you need to keep up with more fit or experienced participants. Go at your own pace and don’t forget to stretch some before starting on your walk or ride. 

three vacationers riding bikes
Biking in the great outdoors can take you to some exciting places.

Pack a First Aid Kit

Minor medical emergencies often occur on outdoor adventures. Be prepared for these mishaps by carrying a first aid kit that includes bandages for blisters, additional sunscreen, bug spray, ACE bandages for sprains, antibiotic ointment, antacids for digestive upsets, and medication for fever or aches and pains. If your medical insurance doesn’t cover you in your destination, better buy trip insurance.

Avoid Getting Lost

If you’re hiking or biking on your own make sure that someone (such as the staff at that night’s hotel) knows your travel route and approximately when to expect you back. Keep the tour guides’ emergency contact number with you, and the address of your next stopping point in case you get separated from the pack.  Having a GPS app on your phone can help if you are able to get a signal.

Take the Adventure of a Lifetime

Active vacations can be a great deal of fun for a family or individual. Having the chance to take a hiking and biking vacation through a forest trail, mountain path, or colorful locales can take you to some amazing destinations.  With proper preparation and a little caution, you can have an adventure of a life time.