How to Plan an Adventure Vacation

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What to take

Are you tired of spending your vacations visiting friends and relatives, or sitting in front of the television set? Do you want to experience something unique on your next vacation, something exotic or interesting that you'll never forget?

It's not nearly as difficult as one may expect, nor as expensive. Do-it-yourself adventure travel is much cheaper and easier than travel agencies would have you believe. Follow the steps outlined and your next vacation could be the most exciting and rewarding time of your life.

First, Set A Goal

Don't watch movies like Indiana Jones and the X-Files solely for their entertainment value, watch them for vacation ideas! Read magazines like Outside, Big World, and National Geographic's Adventure to get a taste of what's out there.

Once you've settled on your vacation goal, write it down and post it where you'll see it everyday. This will serve as a reminder, and help to keep you motivated.

Second, Find An Association

Associations are probably the single, best sources of information available. Most of them have archive collections, a newsletter or magazine, and an expert staff willing to answer your questions.

Several associations exist for adventure travel. These include the Royal Geographical Society, South American Explorers, Himalayan Explorer's Club, and the National Geographic Society, just to name a few. To find other associations appropriate to your needs, go to the library and ask the librarian for the Encyclopedia of Associations, or conduct an internet search.

Once you've found an association, pay the membership dues (usually between $20 and $50 a year) and contact them about your adventure. Tell them what you are going to do and ask for information on flights, visa requirements, transportation within the country, places to sleep, recommended guidebooks, or anything else you'll need to know. Write down this information and post it next to your goal statement.

Third, Determine How Much Money You'll Need

With the help of an association and guidebook, you can figure out how much your adventure vacation will cost. What is the exchange rate for the country you will be visiting? What is the average cost of hotels, transportation, and meals? How much is round-trip airfare?

Once you've determined the total sum, start saving a percentage of your money from each paycheck.

Fourth, Get Your Gear

Make a list of all the things you think you'll need, then cut that list in half. Don't forget the essentials: passport, visa, traveler's checks, tickets, extra clothes, credit/ATM cards, an address book, and eyeglasses, contacts, or medical prescriptions.

Fifth, The Adventure!

Well, it's time for your vacation and everything's ready. You are about to have an experience you'll never forget, and what most people only dream of. Buen viaje!