Adventure Travel Awaits: 5 Steps to Prepare Like a Pro 

By Kathleen A. De Riso, VP, Travel Services, Crum & Forster  

Sand surfing in the Sahara. Sleeping under the northern lights. Rock climbing in Yosemite. Today’s travelers seek one-of-a-kind experiences as they explore the world. Thanks to millennials and Gen Z, adventure tourism is surging in popularity, with the global market growing 20 percent year over year.1 

While thrill-seeking cliff dives or bungee jumps may be the first things that come to mind, today’s adventure travel is much more diverse. If you’re looking for highly personalized, memory-making travel experiences that include physical activities, immersion in another culture, or spending time in nature, you’re an adventure traveler!  

Before you strap on your backpack and head out on a trip of a lifetime, follow this preparation checklist to help ensure a smooth and fun-filled journey.  

1) Chart your course.  

Planning is key. Start by thinking about your goals for the trip, the types of activities you want to engage in, and your all-in budget. Then, do a little legwork to identify destinations, adventure tour options, and costs. Don’t forget to factor in seasonal conditions, cultural norms, and any training or special gear you may need. 

Pro tip: Partnering with a tour operator specializing in adventure travel makes planning easier. Tour operators have the expertise and insider knowledge to help you map out an itinerary that achieves your adventure goals and identifies activities you haven’t imagined.  

2) Prep your paperwork.  

With your destination determined, it’s time to get your documentation in order.  

  • Is your passport valid for the date and duration of your trip? 
  • Do you need a visa? 
  • Are there any health-related requirements? 
  • Will you need any permits for activities like hiking in national parks or diving in marine reserves?  

Pro tip: Schedule any required vaccinations with enough time to be effective and allow recuperation time for mild side effects. For example, if your travel plans include a safari, several African countries require a yellow fever vaccine. If you’ve had one, you’re set for life. If you haven’t, schedule your shot at least ten days before traveling. 

3) Put protection in place for peace of mind. 

No matter how thorough your planning is, unexpected events are part of traveling. Travel insurance provides a valuable safeguard and is especially important for adventure travelers. Look for a Travel Protection Plan that protects you in case of trip delays, interruptions, and even cancellations for any reason.  

Along with coverage that may protect your financial investment, look for travel insurance that helps cover medical expenses if you become injured or ill, including emergency medical evacuation. Your U.S.-based health coverage may not be accepted internationally, and in some cases, proof of insurance may be required before engaging in certain activities or traveling to certain countries. Your travel insurance carrier or their assistance company may be able to provide this information, travel advisories, and more. 

Pro tip: Review the details to make sure your travel insurance aligns with the specific adventure activities on your itinerary. You may need to make coverage adjustments if you will be trekking above certain elevations or scuba diving deeper than the average traveler.  

4) Pack with care.  

The general rule for adventure travel is to pack light and small.  

  • Make a list of essential items, including activity-appropriate clothing, footwear, personal care items, and electronics.  
  • Consider the specialized gear you may need, such as camping equipment, navigation tools, safety helmets, and first-aid supplies.  
  • Explore whether you’re able to rent equipment like hiking poles, tents, or scuba gear onsite.  
  • Don’t forget practical items, such as sunscreen, a flashlight, charged power banks, and a water bottle. 

Pro tip: Break in your gear – especially those new hiking boots – before you travel. Not only will you avoid blisters, but you’ll also be more comfortable using your equipment. 

5) Embrace the unfamiliar.  

With preparations made, dive into your adventure with confidence and make the most of opportunities to try new things, test your limits, and create lasting memories.  

Your adventure awaits. Where will you journey next? 

1 Adventure Tourism Market: Opportunities and Forecast 2023-2032, Allied Market Research, October 2023.  

About the Author

Kathleen A. De Riso is the Vice President of Travel Services at C&F where she enjoys creating custom travel insurance offerings to meet the unique needs of their clients. With a career spanning several decades in Travel, Kathleen has held prominent leadership roles in Underwriting, Operations, Account Management and Claims. Her experience has provided her with a holistic understanding of trip insurance —and what makes it function seamlessly for tour operators, TPAs, and travelers alike. 

About Crum & Forster
Crum & Forster, rated “A” Excellent by A M Best (2023), is a national commercial property and casualty group of insurance companies. Since 2000, Crum & Forster’s Accident & Health Division has offered a diverse portfolio of specialty insurance and reinsurance products nationwide. We place a strong focus on product development and creative distribution methods, along with excellent client service and support. In addition, our ability to provide international Accident & Health solutions through our innovative captive structure as well as through various partnerships with affiliated entities demonstrates our dedication to providing alternative strategies in an ever-changing insurance market. Follow us on LinkedIn,X and Instagram. 

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