- With adventure travel there is a greater possibility of sustaining injuries and medical facilities are typically not within close proximity.
- Adventure travelers must plan ahead – visit a travel clinic as your first precaution.
- Have an emergency plan in the event medical attention is needed abroad.
- Depending on your destination packing climate-appropriate clothing, water purification systems, insect repellents and mosquito nets can help travelers avoid illness and injury.
- Adventure travelers should not let adrenaline interfere with common sense and are advised to avoid unnecessarily exposing themselves to harm.
What is Adventure Travel?
Adventure travel involves trekking through more remote locations like mountains, deserts, or forests, and participants in adventure trips partake in strenuous outdoor physical activities. Climbing, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, rafting and zip-lining are among the high-adrenaline activities that adventure travelers enjoy at their destinations.
What Are the Risks of Adventure Travel?
Because adventure travel is characterized by venturing to locations that are often outside of developed areas, there will typically not be medical facilities within close proximity. Travelers also often participate in extreme sports and activities, so there is a greater possibility of sustaining injuries that range from sprained joints to pulled muscles, of suffering falls, and even getting altitude sickness when climbing to great heights. Many destinations for adventure travelers also have other environmental factors that increase risk, such as extreme temperatures, steep cliffs, high winds and rugged terrain.
How to Stay Safe
For these reasons (to name but a few!), adventure travelers must plan ahead to ensure they are healthy enough for their trips, and they must take the necessary steps to remain safe and healthy abroad. It’s always a good idea to have an emergency plan in the event medical attention is required abroad. Visiting a travel clinic is an excellent first step in getting this plan together and taking other preventative measures. Travel experts are able to advise adventure travelers of potential health risks that may be associated with their desired destination. Travel health specialists, well-versed in immunology and destination-specific risks, are well-equipped to make sure clients have received all required and recommended vaccinations and that any potential underlying health conditions that may interfere with travel have been identified prior to departure. Travel health specialists will also ensure that adventure travelers acquire any medical supplies and/or prescriptions they may need while abroad.
How to Avoid Injuries
Avoiding injuries and illness overseas is a priority for all travelers, but it especially important on an adventure trip that inherently brings greater risks. When traveling to locations that may have extreme temperatures, it is important to bring clothes to dress appropriately. Packing blankets, jackets, pants and long sleeves can help travelers avoid hypothermia or developing sickness in regions that are cold and/or damp. Bringing a water purification system is essential in areas in which the water supply may not be safe for drinking. Using insect repellent and sleeping under a mosquito net can help travelers avoid mosquito-borne illnesses in tropical locations. Consulting a travel health specialist to receive necessary and recommended vaccines and antimalarial medicines can also help prevent illness. Although adventure travel will inherently involve an element of risk, travelers should not let adrenaline interfere with common sense and are advised to avoid unnecessarily exposing themselves to harm by engaging in activities that may endanger their health or that are prohibited for safety reasons.
Packing requirements will vary from location to location, but a few tips are nearly universal in application. In addition to climate-appropriate clothing, having a money belt is a good way to keep money, a passport, and credit cards securely on the traveler’s person. Sunscreen and a first aid kit are also essentials. Waterproof bags or plastic resealable bags come in handy for keeping important travel documents safe and dry.
No matter the destination, by following these tips and planning a visit with a travel health specialist, adventure seekers can remain safe and healthy while still getting a blast of adrenaline.