Family Adventure Vacation

How to plan an extreme family vacation

Not excited by the idea of sunning yourselves on a beach or riding the rollercoasters at an amusement park or even taking in the sights of a foreign city like Paris or London or Rome? Find it hard to picture yourselves telling stories and singing songs for hours on a cross-country road trip? Then perhaps what you're looking for is a family adventure vacation.


Family adventure travel involves such activities as biking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, skiing, snowboarding, and much more. This is not your typical rest and relaxation -- this is adrenaline-pumping, heart-stopping action-packed adventure. But, it's an adventure that you go on together, and if you're the type of people who enjoy physical activity and want to try something new on your vacation, then this just might be the vacation for you.

Planning a Fun Family Adventure Holiday

The key to a successful family adventure trip is to find something that everyone can participate in safely. Some more extreme family vacations, such as white-water rafting, require participants to be a certain age (for rafting, the minimum age is usually between 13 and 15), and others, such as heli-skiing, require a certain level of expertise. Just about any activity has guidelines for participating safely (age, skill, health, fitness level, etc.), so make sure that every member of your family qualifies. The point of adventure travel is to push your boundaries, but it won't be much of a vacation if someone is injured, or worse.

Of course, it's also important to make sure that every member of the family will enjoy the adventure. A family rafting trip might not be a good idea if you have a family member who's afraid of water, just as skydiving or hot air ballooning might not be an ideal vacation for someone who's scared of heights. Again, part of the point can be to overcome your fears, but the main point of a vacation is always to have fun, so make sure everyone is going to think of it that way.

Once you've chosen a family adventure that everyone is ready for, you'll need to research possible locations and make a list of the equipment you'll require. Unlike traditional vacations, for which a few weather-appropriate outfits and a camera usually suffice, family adventure travel often requires you to have special equipment. For example, you can't go on a bike trip without bikes and helmets at a minimum, and probably water bottles and other accessories, as well. After you've determined the necessary equipment, figure out what you can rent and you'll have to buy. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get the appropriate items, and try to make any rental reservations in advance to avoid surprises.