1 Try something new,
whether itâ€™s ice sledging in Interlaken, having a meal in a local Jordanian home, sleeping in a remote Indian village homestay, or ladder-climbing into waterfalls in Ecuador. Get out of your comfort zone and off-the-beaten path.
2 Consider using an agent or tour guide for specialized or more complex trips (multiple international flights, technical activities). Travel specialists are there to curate high-quality itineraries based on the type of experiences youâ€™re seeking, and can make sure you get the most out of a tight schedule.
3 Be a Good Ambassador.
Be respectful of local people and make an effort to embrace some of their customs. Learn a few phrases in the local language, like â€œPlease," â€œThank you," â€œIâ€™m sorry/excuse me," and â€œWhere is the bathroom?" Smile.
4 Pack far less than you want to.
Adept adventure travelers can make do with a weekâ€™s worth of clothes for a multi-month trip. Must have items: first aid kit, multi-use tool/knife, headlamp, and high-quality, comfortable shoes.
5 Be prepared.
Have paper and digital copies of all reservations, insurance and passport info, emergency contacts, and other important details. Research the customs and culture of your destinations, so youâ€™re prepared for everything from tipping and electrical outlets to major cultural faux pas.
6 To be a responsible traveler follow the â€œLeave No Trace" Principles,
which can be summarized by â€œTake Only Photos, and Leave Only Footprints." You may think that straying from a marked trail or removing one shell or artifact from a site wonâ€™t matter, but if millions of other tourists each year think the same way, the destination becomes damaged and degraded.
7 Engage with the real local culture.
Stay at a local hotel or guesthouse (or rent an apartment or home) and get out of the main tourist areas. Eat at locally owned restaurants and try the preferred regional dishes (even if itâ€™s barbequed grasshoppers). Attend events and shows designed for the locals. Shop where they shop. Talk to peopleâ€”taxi drivers, waiters, people on trains; ask questions. These conversations often offer you more insight into what life is really like in a new place than anything you can observe or read on your own.
8 Embrace the unexpected.
A good attitude and humor go a long way. Things will go wrong, there will be delays and challenges with transport, communication, weather and your expectations. Find beauty and adventure in those unexpected momentsâ€”they are usually your best stories and most vivid memories.
9 Record your story.
This is more than taking photos. Adventure travel often provides a lot of time for thinking (multiple days on a trail will do that). Even if you donâ€™t normally write in a journal, jot down the particulars of what you did and saw, and write down new thoughts or goals. Later on, having a window into what you were thinking and feeling on your adventure will be the best souvenir.
10 Bring it home with you.
One of my favorite things about traveling is bringing home a new recipe, habit, friendship or even a way of thinking. Let the thoughts, revelations and gratitude you find while traveling change and inform your daily life at home.