Ready to get your heart racing? British travellers are turning their backs on beach holidays, with one in seven adults favouring trips designed to get their adrenaline going.
A study by Heathrow Airport found that when we’re stressed, nearly half of UK adults book a trip away to give us something to look forward to. But 41 per cent said they struggle to unwind if they go on a break which involves nothing more than sitting by the pool. From skiing to hang gliding or surfing, active outdoor pursuits and adrenaline-fuelled trips are helping more and more of us relieve stress.
The news coincides with the launch of a new book by Lonely Planet featuring 120 life-changing travel experiences around the world: ‘Travel Goals: Inspiring Experiences to Transform Your Life’. We’ve picked our favourite five suggestions. How many can you tick off?
Conquer nature – Tackle rock climbing in Yosemite National Park
Arguably the most famous climbing area in the world, Yosemite National Park in California is one of the best places to learn the ropes. Stretching nearly eight miles from east to west and with granite walls more than twice the height of the Empire State Building, Yosemite Valley is home to numerous soaring rock formations. The area has been attracting climbers since naturalist John Muir first tackled Cathedral Peak in 1869. Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service offers lessons, equipment and guided climbs, ideal for beginners.
Take a leap of faith – Go skydiving in Spain
Why not strap yourself to a stranger and skydive from a plane! One of the best ways to marvel at Andalusia’s beautiful scenery is from a few thousand feet up in the air. Skydive Spain boasts the premiere destination for great weather skydiving as well as the longest freefall in Europe, taking participants up to 15,000 ft for the ultimate rush. And skydiving is not just for youthful backpackers – the world record for the oldest skydiver is held by a 103-year-old lady.
Meet the planet’s giants – Snorkel with whale sharks in Tanzania
Swimming alongside the largest fish in the sea is one of the ultimate bucket-list experiences says Lonely Planet. Averaging around 9-10 metres long but reaching sizes of up to 18 metres, whale sharks are also considered to be one of the most ancient species on the planet, pre-dating the dinosaurs. The gentle giants can be encountered at a few off-beat destinations. Head to Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania, which experiences one of the longest whale shark seasons in the world during the annual gathering between November and March.
Test your mettle – Take part in the Yukon River Quest, Canada
Nothing screams life-changing travel more than taking on one of the world’s most epic endurance challenges. Stretching over 444 miles, the Yukon River Quest in Yukon, Canada, is the world’s longest paddling race. Dubbed ‘the race to the midnight sun’, this gruelling wilderness event sees canoeists, kayakers and even paddle boarders race from Whitehorse to Dawson City each June.
Look into the eyes of a predator – See Komodo dragons in Indonesia
An encounter with the world’s largest, most venomous lizard – the Komodo dragon – is no mean feat. Komodo National Park in Indonesia is the only place where these creatures still exist (around 5,000 of them). They are carnivorous and cannibalistic, with 50 strains of bacteria in the adult’s saliva that can poison the blood of prey in one bite alone.
Whatever adventures you’re planning, make sure you’re covered on your travels. Contact us for more details and a no-obligation quote.