Travelers Are Ditching The Beach For Adventure Vacations

adventure travel trend


There’s a hefty divide between the travelers who want to lounge on a beach and tan and the travelers who want to intentionally swim with sharks. But according to one travel company, the number of travelers wanting to get some extra thrills on their vacation is growing.

Responsible Travel’s bookings have more than tripled for adventure vacations. For a tour in Norway involving swimming with orcas, they’ve seen a 700 percent increase in bookings in the past year. For a survival course on a desert island, there was a 300 percent increase.

We have a theory for the “why” behind this finding — not backed by data, but by our own experiences. Most of us spend all our days in front of screens. If we’re not working at office computers, we’re binging some quality TV on the couch. Or we’re scrolling through social media feeds on our phones, our biggest screen addictions. So we don’t really want to lounge even more on our days off.

Vacationing For Wellness

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You don’t need data to see that it’s cool to participate in some “self-care” while traveling, turning your trip into a full-blown wellness vacation.

It’s kind of the next level of sitting on a beach. You’re proactively choosing to prioritize your health. Instead of tanning on a beach towel, you’re choosing activities like yoga, meditation or even joining silent retreats.

In 2015, the wellness tourism industry was a $563 billion game. This includes both thousand-dollar hotel stays with rose-petal baths and yoga classes and self-guided mindfulness retreats in low-frills $50 Airbnbs — the people who take to expensive bespoke “forest bathing” experiences and the folks who take a walk in the woods. Clearly, people want to see their vacation as something more than old-fashioned relaxation (and they’re willing to pay for it).

As an added bonus, that rose-petal bath looks much more glam on Instagram than your average beach towel.

Taking Things To The Extreme

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All the cool kids are “doing stuff” on vacation. They’re not relaxing. But the coolest of the cool kids are swimming with orcas and braving island survival courses.

You can see it just by scrolling through your Instagram feed. Your friends (and favorite influencers) are out there hiking with llamas and snorkeling with sharks. Because honestly, you can do self-care at home. Yoga classes and meditation are part of many millennials’ daily routines. What can’t you do at home? Skydiving. Backpacking through mountains. Interacting with wild animals.

We gotta say, we’re totally on board with the trend of making vacation an adventure. We are firmly Team Beach Vacations Are Boring. That is unless you turn your beach vacation into a cliff-diving bonanza or swim with wild pigs.

And even cooler than the trend of travelers actively exploring? The number of women out there taking to the trails, seas and skies. The amount of women-only travel companies is up by more than 230 percent since the early 2010s. Girl freaking power.


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