When a lot of people hear the words “summer holiday” they imagine a week or two of total relaxation. Lying by the pool, cocktail in hand, being waited on hand and foot, where the only time you need to move is to reapply sun cream. However, believe it or not, this isn’t for everybody, and if you’re in the smaller amount of fitness-mad folk or adrenaline junkies, you might actually struggle to enjoy a regular beach holiday. Luckily there are holidays out there for everyone, and there is a perfect sporting holiday out there somewhere for you, and it’s not that difficult to prepare for!
Prepare Yourself Mentally and Physically
Unlike your usual beach holiday, you’ll need to prepare yourself a little more than packing the right SPF sun cream and losing a few pounds. You’ll want to make sure that you’re physically and mentally fit enough to handle whatever activities you might have planned. A good way of ensuring you do this effectively is regularly exercising and tracking your progress in the time leading up to your sporting holiday. If you’re planning on trying completely new and physically demanding activities such as rock climbing or canoeing, it may even be a good idea to get a couple of lessons before your trip, so you’re better advised on what it is you’ll be doing. Furthermore, while you’re planning your activities for the week or two, be careful not do overdo it. Know and listen to your body, and don’t over-exert yourself with something that you’re not used to. If you’re a skilled hiker, by all means plan to climb mountains, but if you’re just starting out, remember to start smaller and build up.
It’s a little more difficult knowing what to pack for an activity fuelled holiday, than it would be for lounging on the beach. Dependant on the sort of sports you’ll be doing, you’ll have to make sure that you pack the right specialised clothing and equipment. You’ll not only want to think about the equipment itself, but also how to store it well. For example, equipment wise, if you’re going on a cycling holiday, hitch mounted bike racks are ideal for storing and transporting your bike.
Don’t forget to pack your wardrobe accordingly too. A great way to use clothing effectively in this situation is by layering up to protect yourself against exposure, but also so you can take away layers should you get too hot. Take the time to thoroughly research the activities you’ll be doing, and consult appropriate magazines, books and blog posts to help you with your packing.
Prepare for the Worst
It goes without saying that activity holidays are higher risk than if you were going away to relax. Because of this, if you’re travelling abroad, you’ll want to invest in some good quality travel insurance, just in case you are unlucky enough to have an accident and injure yourself whilst you’re away.
Before leaving, you’ll also want to properly research what medical services are available to you in the area that you’re visiting – insurance is no good if there’s nowhere it can be used! Look at their accessibility and what number you’ll need to call should you find yourself in an emergency.
Don’t only prepare for the big picture stuff though. Small incidents can occur whether you’re active or not, so it’s best to prepare for all situations. Investing in a small first aid kit with all of the relevant equipment inside could make the difference between cutting your trip short and being able to patch yourself up (carefully!) and continuing the fun. Materials that are good for cleaning wounds, bandaging them up and stemming the blood flow are a must. Additionally, packing some over the counter pain medication such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can successfully relieve discomfort and inflammation should you be unlucky enough to pick up an injury. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Above all else, remember to have fun! Whether it’s something you do every year, or a once in a lifetime dream trip, it’s time and memories that you won’t get back again, so make the most of them! By taking the extra time to carefully plan a detailed trip, getting yourself at a certain level of fitness, packing accordingly, and making the correct safety steps, the trip itself will come together easily, so remember to enjoy it.