Vacations have a way of awakening the “wild child” in travelers. A crazy activity that a traveler would never consider doing at home – such as leaping off a bridge with only a glorified rubber band to save him – suddenly sounds like a good idea while on vacation.
While you should take advantage of exciting opportunities while on vacation, you can make injury a less-likely outcome of your adventures by exercising a little common sense.
Most horse rental facilities and dude ranches attempt to match the right horse to a rider’s skill level. Problems arise, however, if you overstate your riding ability and the wrong mount is assigned to you. Horses have a sixth sense for knowing when they have the upper hand, and if they sense fear or hesitation, they may end up bucking or becoming uncontrollable. Be honest about your riding experience, always stick with your group and follow your leader’s direction, and you’ll minimize the possibility of being injured while horseback riding.
Zip line tours
In the past decade or so, zip line adventures have grown increasingly popular, both in the U.S. and abroad. According to a recent article in the The Seattle Times, the number of zip line facilities in the United States alone increased from 10 in 2001 to more than 200 by 2012. Unfortunately, the number of accidents is growing as well.
When you book zip line tours – either inside the United States or overseas – check the operator’s qualifications. The Association for Challenge Course Technology has created guidelines and best practices for zip line courses, with member organizations around the world, so look for member organizations when booking your adventure. In addition, you should look for zip line tours that are recommended by local hotels or tourism groups. Search online for any positive or negative reviews about zip line tour companies, so you can make the best choice.
Rock climbing is an extremely challenging and fun sport. For safety reasons, it is typically recommended that you don’t attempt to climb in an unfamiliar area without a knowledgeable and certified local guide. Even if you’re an experienced climber, you may be unfamiliar with local weather patterns or other factors that could make climbing dangerous.
If you love trying fun new activities on vacation, it is always a good idea to carry international medical insurance when traveling abroad. Your inner wild child might show up while you’re sipping a margarita on the beach. The next thing you know, you’re floating high above the water under a parasail. And you’ll enjoy that experience more, knowing your medical needs are covered if an accident should occur.
Another precaution you should always take while traveling is to stick to the buddy system. It doesn’t matter whether you are bicycling from one Irish village to another or bungee jumping in New Zealand, doing anything alone is very risky.
Cutting loose is a great idea on vacation. Just make sure you think carefully about the choices you make and look for adventures that are led by reputable, experienced organizations.