Saturday, December 16, 2023

Are you ready for the adventure travel boom?

What kind of adventures are you planning for your next travel experience? If you’re like many of today’s experienced travelers, you may very well choose an adventurous and somewhat risky trip in the future.

Skydiving in Texas

According to the October 2023 Global Rescue Fall Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, more than a third of respondents indicated that they believe in YOLO—you only live once. That maxim drives them to do as much adventure and immersive travel as possible before they no longer can.

Larry and I have traveled with that thought in mind for many years. We have gone hang gliding in the Alps of France, hiked in the Dolomite mountains of northern Italy, gone sky diving and ziplining multiple times, trekked on a glacier in Iceland, observed polar bears in the wild, rafted among glaciers in Antarctica, and much more.

Ziplining in Fiji

Although we have viewed some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and visited many important historical sites, those experiences are treasured as much or even more because they reflect an adventurous spirit that we hope to never lose, even if we’re not physically able tackle such activities (in our 90s?).

Jumping into a waterfall  on
Colorado River in Grand Canyon NP

Adventure travel is growing

So we encourage readers to think outside their comfort zones, a behavior that is becoming more common with growing adventure travel and revenge travel demand. “Travelers are exhibiting…a mounting desire for immersive experiences,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Dune buggy on coast of Barbados

Most travelers responding to the survey (65%) want to go to destinations they have never been to, while 17% want curated trips to new, unusual destinations where they can have completely new experiences. New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica, Iceland and Japan were the most frequently mentioned places
survey respondents listed as bucket list travel destinations. “We anticipate increasing interest in adventure travel like African safaris, hiking trips, camping excursions and motorcycle tours,” Richards said. 
Hiking in Dolomites in Italy

Keeping safety in mind

Not everyone, however, is seeking more risk or adventure in their travel itineraries. More than half of respondents are taking the same number of adventurous or risky trips since the end of the pandemic, reporting they enjoy the way they travel and do not see a need to change. More than a tenth (13%) said they would take fewer adventurous trips to minimize health and safety risks while traveling.

Hot air balloon over Capadoccia, Turkey

With increasing desires for more risk and adventure travel coupled with elevated international war and violent conflict, most survey respondents welcome the technological advances like adding satellite connectivity to smartphone capabilities. Most respondents (82%) said they would feel safer with satellite connection abilities on their smartphone. They liked knowing they could call for help if they lost cell coverage, even though only 13% said they had lost cell coverage in the past.

Hang gliding in the Alps of France

Still, it provides peace of mind for friends, family or colleagues—while you’re out making unforgettable memories!

Survey content courtesy of Bill McIntyre at Global Rescue, the leading travel risk and crisis response provider.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier




Monday, December 4, 2023

A splash of fall in Vail

Aspens and mountains from the
Betty Ford Alpine Garden

As autumn turns into winter, I thought you might enjoy a sample of what this colorful season looks like in Vail, Colorado, one of our stops on the road trip we made a couple of years ago. Vail was a one-day destination between Breckenridge and Aspen, so we had a plan for the short stay. But even in one day we were mesmerized by the beautiful seasonal sights.

Betty Ford Alpine Garden

Our first stop in Vail was at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, a collection of plants that live in mountain regions around the world. We wandered the different sections of the garden for about two hours enjoying the lovely serenity of this place (perfect for families with children). Plentiful exhibits explained what an alpine region is and described the various ecosystems found there. The overall landscaping was outstanding, one of the best urban parks we have visited.
Views from gondola ride up Vail Mountain

Outstanding view from the top

From the center of town, we took the gondola to the top of Vail Mountain. What a spectacular display of golden aspens unfolded below us. Also boarding were many bicycle riders thrilled to be riding the downward trails on speeds that would scare the daylights out of most folks. Views are spectacular, and brilliant red fireweed at the top decorated the trail with its name.

Blooming fireweed

Back in Vail Village, we fueled up on lunch al fresco and of course some window shopping. Vail provided an excellent side trip as we continued driving to Aspen—also aglow with stunning red, orange, and yellow vistas. Late September was a lovely time to visit this region.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

Stands of aspens glow in the sun.

Beautiful view while walking trails on the mountain