10 Real-Life Adventures You Could Have On Your Next Holiday
Start planning now for a real break from the ordinary.
18 January 2017
Commercial Freelance Writer @ The Huffington Post UK
We all look forward to a holiday; a chance to refresh our batteries, step away from work and our daily routine and spend quality time with those we're closest to. But for some, lounging on a beach or splashing around in the hotel pool can feel a bit dull; another year, another destination but same old same old. So why not make this the year you do something a bit more adventurous, something totally new and exciting, a holiday that rewards you with memories to treasure for the rest of your life?
Think you can't afford it? It's time to reprioritise - an instantly forgettable string of snacks or a fabulous and utterly unforgettable holiday? Did you know that the average Brit spends £948 a year on 'invisible spending' (1), those morning lattés and evening takeaways you don't budget for but that eat into your earnings?
Once you've decided on your holiday adventure, whether it’s scuba diving in the Red Sea or spotting polar bears and their cubs in Canada, you'll have the motivation to start saving. Research shows that people who treat saving as a regular expense, like paying monthly household bills, are more likely to reach their goals than people who try to save whatever is left at the end of the month. The government site Money Advice Service suggests labelling a separate savings account with the name of your goal holiday or sticking a chart onto the fridge - whatever will help you keep track of your progress. (2)
From cattle driving in Montana to cruising down the Amazon, we've found 10 adventure holidays across the globe to give you inspiration. So come on - start saving and start planning for extra holiday excitement.
1Stay in a hotel made from ice in Sweden and gaze in awe at the Northern Lights
by nacoki ( MEDIA ARC ) via Getty Images
Handcrafted by artists, you can sleep on an ice bed (with mattress, sleeping bag and reindeer skins) in a room honed from ice, or choose a more ambient warm room. Activities include dog sledding, skiing and going out in a snow mobile.
2Island hop on a sailing boat around Croatia
Kenny McCartney via Getty Images
This is a very popular beach in Dubrovnik old town for both tourists and locals alike, especially as it overlooks the famous old town which HBO's Game of Thrones has made more popular than ever.
3Spot polar bears and their cubs in Canada
Thomas Kokta via Getty Images
The largest living land carnivores in the world and the 'kings of the Arctic', a sight to treasure is seeing polar bears in their natural habitat in Churchill, as they wait for the Big Freeze to start.
4Go on a riding holiday on a Montana ranch
urbancow via Getty Images
Get to be a real-life cowboy with a stay on a working family-run ranch, trekking through beautiful plains beneath the Rockies and even helping out with a cattle drive.
5Scuba dive and snorkel in the Red Sea
Pal Szilagyi Palko / EyeEm via Getty Images
Duck your head under the warm water at this world famous dive destination and you'll be instantly transfixed by the underwater world. For snorkelers, there are hundreds of spectacular colourful fish to spot and over 200 types of coral. For divers, there are wrecks, walls and canyons to explore too.
6Hike on the Great Wall of China
Matteo Colombo via Getty Images
An amazing feat of human engineering and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Wall of China stretches from Shanhaiguan by the sea in the east to Lop Lake in the west and measures 13,000 miles, snaking across mountains, terraced farmlands and woodland. You can choose to walk different stretches of the Wall, depending on whether you want a more challenging route or not.
7Trek the Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu
Onfokus via Getty Images
Travel to Peru and trek through beautiful mountain scenery, lush cloud forest, subtropical jungle and a stunning mix of ancient Inca paving stones, ruins and tunnels, arriving at your final destination: Machu Picchu, the mysterious "Lost City of the Incas".
8Cycle from Bangkok in Thailand to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam
Glowimages via Getty Images
Take a relaxed two-week cycle ride, passing up close to intriguing sights and staying with local people, from bustling Bangkok in Thailand down into Cambodia via the Angkor Wat Temple along the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam and all the way into Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
9Take a river cruise down the Amazon and camp in an eco lodge
by Kim Schandorff via Getty Images
Experience the ghostly roar of howler monkeys, the lush variety of plant life, the kindliness of riverside communities and the quiet but awesome power of the Amazon River. Lodges abound, with camping possibilities too, in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guyana and Bolivia.
10Swim with humpback whales in Australia
Westend61 via Getty Images
The world’s largest humpback whale population, estimated at 30,000, annually migrates south along the Ningaloo Reef, 300 kilometres of coral reef in Western Australia, giving you the opportunity to swim close to these magnificent creatures. You can also swim with whale sharks and manta rays.
When you retire, you’ll have more time to travel, but will your finances give you that freedom? Pick up hints and tips and use the Shape My Future tool to see how much you might need to save to have the life you want to have.
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(1) The Impact of Invisible Spending on Your Future, Aviva (2) Saving Money For A Holiday, The Money Advice Service