The Adventuress is a blog for women with adventurous spirits.
It's a source of inspiration, planning, tips, and advice from experienced travelers and outdoor adventurers
with the extra flair of being for women and by women only.
Responsible travel is travel that has a positive impact on the places we visit, in environmental, cultural, social and economic spheres. In addition, it's an approach to travel that seeks to minimize negative impact on those places. Here are 10 ways you can practice responsible travel (and still have fun on your vacation!)
We’ve seen a lot of change in our 20 years of adventure travel, and much of this change mirrors larger changes in our society. Here are 20 things that have dramatically changed in the world of adventure travel over the last two decades.
When our early morning flight along the Himalayan peaks ended quickly on the short runway in Lucla, Nepal, we walked off the 16-seater Summit Airlines plane to meet our female guide team for our 14-day trek to Everest Base Camp. We didn’t know yet that the summit of Mount Everest, not just the base camp, was the dream for two of our guides.
First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. On New Year’s Day, hundreds of free, guided hikes will be organized in all 50 states.
Have you ever been hiking and felt like you were in a bit of a trance? What about when you’re riding a bike and get lost in thought, or paddling on the water and find yourself in a sense of flow? Some people call this mindfulness, and it’s a perfect segue to cultivating gratitude.
Whether you've been hiking for half a century or are looking to hit the trail for the first time, one of the greatest joys of hiking is that there are so many different things to discover on your own two feet.
After the last blog post about How to Stay Warm in Winter a reader asked that question. And in this winter of unrelentinAWT1 copyg polar vortices and plunging temperatures, it's an important consideration.
If you make New Year's Resolutions about diet, exercise, or general self-improvement, the odds are you won't keep them. Don't be discouraged, breaking old habits takes time. But here is one that doesn't require you to sweat, make radical changes, or deprive yourself.
Occasionally someone calls to ask advice on how to start an adventure travel company. Since I love talking about business in general and Adventures in Good Company in particular, I'm always happy to share my experience with the emphasis that it is simply my experience.
One of our guides just returned from the Canadian Rockies Hiking holiday, a hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies, and wrote "A participant suggested a topic for a blog...basically, it was 'why we are carrying all this stuff and wearing hiking boots when others are wearing flip flops and not carrying a damn thing' ".
Our resident (and self-proclaimed) outdoor gear geek, Jan Latham, is always eager answer questions and pass along purchasing advice to inquiring minds searching for pieces to add to adventure travel gear selection.
The other day, I was walking on a nearby trail when I took a double take of a fellow hiker passing me. She was walking when I first saw her; my gaze turned down and I noticed she was not wearing shoes.
The ‘official’ start of summer is around the corner! I have always been drawn to the season of summer, as a child it meant no school, long days at the pool, family vacations, and evenings spent chasing lightening bugs through the neighborhood.
The other day I was perusing another company's website and saw the claim "Small group adventure travel, never over 18". For non-adventure travel companies I've seen the same claim for groups up to 25. Which got me thinking - what is a small group and is that desirable?
Sufficient rest is a main ingredient of a safe and enjoyable hike. While sleeping on the ground may not seem enticing, a proper sleeping bag and sleeping pad can make all the difference on camping and backpacking trips.
When working for a travel company like Adventures in Good Company, you have the chance to get your travel prep systems pretty fine-tuned. So I thought I’d share a few pre-trip organizational strategies that have worked for me.
Packing up to leave for a recent trip on the Colorado River, I felt a twinge of angst as I threw my cell phone in the suitcase to leave behind. “When was the last time I was without this constant companion?
Someone on one of our recent hiking trips suggested that we should increase the amount of water we recommend carrying from 2 liters to 3 liters, particularly on one hike. I had done that hike a few years back and knew I didn't even finish my 1.5 liters on it, but it got me todescribe the image thinking: how do you know how much water to carry?
For years, my exercise routine included cardio (running/walking, cycling, stair master, etc.), upper body weight training, and abs. I figured that my cardio routine was ‘enough’ exercise for my legs, so I could skip lower body weight training.
If you're making the switch to lightweight backpacking, one of the easiest ways to decrease weight is to get a new tent. Yes, it can be hard on the wallet but it can make a big difference. So here are some things to consider.
Tis the season (or at least weekend) for chocolates, roses, and heart tipped arrows. And while chocolate is a staple in my essential outdoor supply kit – I thought I’d take the opportunity this February 14th to share a few alternative Valentine’s Day celebrations Adventures in Good Company style.
My first long backpacking trip was 40 years ago in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. The first week my companion had constant trouble with blisters, trying a variety of treatments that were marginally successful.
We are in the thick of planning for 2014 and even 2015, and while planning for a group of people who are paying you is different in some respects than planning an itinerary for your partner or friends, there are still some key questions that you have to ask.
A few mornings each week, I teach a group cycling class at a local gym. There are typically about 25 people in the class at all different fitness levels, each with different fitness goals. So how do I ensure each student gets the workout they need/want?
Like many travelers, the first time I went to Switzerland I read Rick Steves "Switzerland Through the Back Door". His guidebooks often have suggestions you don't see in others so they're always worth looking at.
2013 is underway – and for some, starting an exercise program may be among your New Year resolutions. We all know the many benefits of exercise – from improving our mood to decreasing the risk of heart disease- even preventing Alzheimer’s!
Images and advertisements for Hawaiian Vacations often depict coconut milk sipping tourists lounging on beach chairs, with leis around their necks, and grass skirts hula dancing by. Those images are certainly not false and are quite enticing… but did you know that Hawaii is a lot more than luaus and lying ocean-side?
I saw a question in a TripAdvisor's Forum from someone who was interested in a Gutsy Women Travel tour to Europe and wanted to know if anyone had experience with them (Gutsy Women is a women's travel company that offers (non-adventure) group tours to a variety of destinations).
Should you even consider one of our adventure trips for women that involve high altitude? If you're like most people, you may never have been over 8 - 10,000 feet and you have no idea how you will respond.
Take a hike – on the moon! No really… I’m serious – space travel for tourists is becoming a reality; that is, if you have a few hundred thousand (and for some trips a few million) dollars lying around.
If you’ve hiked a trail or two – along the way you may have seen a pile of rocks stacked in the form of a tower. Some hikers may admire stone sculpture like a work of art and assuming it was crafted by a wandering hiker.
Sometimes your adventure vacation goes wrong all by itself - your flight is delayed or cancelled, you get sick just before you were supposed to leave, there is a flood or fire in the area you were supposed to visit, etc.
A couple of years ago I had to start restricting my intake of saturated and trans-fats for health reasons, and I wondered how it would impact my international adventure travel plans. I've definitely made some adjustments but it really hasn't been that difficult.
We all talk about and have our systems for packing for active vacations, hiking trips and other adventures; following a packing list, packing in ‘cubes’ or bags, having our underwear in the zippered compartments, taking a laundry bag for soiled items – to name a few. But---what is your system for un-packing?
You may be a whiz at cleaning your kitchen floor or toilet bowl... but a hydration system, backpack, or sleeping bag may not seem so instinctual. Seasoned AGC guide, Jan Latham, shares a few tip on how to handle your outdoor gear with care...
Its summer time and temperatures are rising. So, whether participating in active travel or staying close to home – hiking, biking, walking, or gardening – a well hydrated body will lead to a more pleasant experience.
I'm thinking about packing right now because it's Sunday night and I just finished packing for a trip to Scotland, for which I leave Friday evening. I'm not someone who loves packing, but I do it fairly often. And I know that when I follow these tips, my trip will be easier and less stressful.
One of the pieces of equipment that we recommend on all our hiking vacations is hiking (also called trekking) poles. Assuming we have sold you on why they are so critical, the next question is how to get them to your destination.
You may be familiar with the storied Appalachian Trail. Affectionately known as the “Green Tunnel” or “AT,” it stretches approximately 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. Eight of AGC's adventure travel trips include portions of the Appalachian Trail.
Hiking vacations have always been my personal favorite: hiking through beautiful scenery by day, enjoying fabulous food without any worries about weight gain, and then ending the day tired and happy in a cozy bed - it doesn't get better than that! But I now have confirmation that not only is it enjoyable, it's even good for me!!
Although European travel is full of delights, there are at least five aspects you may find you don't like. But if you're prepared for them, you'll be in a better position to cope even if you can't change them.
One of the most confusing issues travelers face on international adventure trips is how to stay in touch with people back home. There are so many options and so many variables, and it all changes so quickly!
On the trip document for our international adventure travel trips, we always recommend books you might want to read in advance just to get prepared or get the feel of a country. But, in addition of course to packing, there are lots of other fun ways to "get ready" too. Here are some ideas.
On Adventures in Good Company trips, participants often share some of their favorite books. The conversations usually results in a compilation of recommended reads. So, I thought I'd share a brainstorm after just finishing the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
We have written in previous blogs, newsletter articles and even in the notes section of our packing list about hydration packs. But I wanted to emphasize again why this piece of equipment can be superior to water bottles for outdoor adventure travel.
Whether we're talking about a daypack or a backpack, it's important to buy one that fits. These days most pack manufacturers have guidelines about the approprite size for you, based on simple measurements. And while that's a crucial step, it's not the only one that matters.
So you want your hikes, bikes, and paddles to be breathtakingly beautiful not breath-taking, right? We do to! At AGC we aim to find a trip that 'fits' you. But if you don't feel that you are 'fit' enough for a trip – let's not use that as an excuse to delay signing-up; instead lets use it as motivational tool to train for a trip.
Sometimes the biggest adventure in adventure travel is getting there! Everyone knows that airplane travel isn't as fun as it used to be and having your plane cancelled or delayed has always been an inconvenience.
Buying a pair of boots for a backpacking trip or a hiking vacation should be done with careful consideration. Pick the wrong pair of boots and you could end up with feet ranging from uncomfortable to physically harmed with blisters or even tendon problems. It is a task that takes an investment of time and money
On our Facebook page we recently posted the question: "In planning for next year we're thinking about adding one adventure travel trip specifically for women over 50. The median age of our participants is probably 52 or 53. If you're over 50, is this appealing? If you're under 50, does this feel discriminatory?"
Sock liners are made of a thin polyester or lightweight wool material that help wick sweat away from your feet. You wear them under your thicker hiking sock and are mainly recommended as a preventive measure to getting blisters.
In preparing for an adventure trip, when to buy airplane tickets is undoubtedly the most common question we get. With airline consolidation and elimination of many flights, airline tickets have gone up substantially and will likely continue to climb.
If you're new to adventure travel or an outdoor activity, sometimes you might wonder if you have to make a choice between getting what you need and putting your child through college or retiring before the age of 80.
Let's start with the premise that there are lots of good adventure travel companies out there and that the great majority of companies that survived the last 3 years are doing something right, at least for some people.
I used to think adventure travel was the right kind of travel for anyone who was basically healthy and mobile. Of course in my 20s, I also assumed that everyone, given a choice, would prefer to spend their weekends hiking and camping.
Winter time does not necessarily mean we need to put an end to our outdoor adventures. We can still hike, run, snowshoe, cross country ski, dogsled and even paddle (at least in places where the water isn't frozen!)
In the last post I offered a general list of things I always take on any overseas adventure travel trip. Actually I pack the same items on a trip in the United States, with one exception- Cipro, a broad spectrum antibiotic.
I started using a plastic sandwich box over 30 years ago on my backpacking trips. I used it as a dinner bowl and then packed any leftovers from the meal into it for lunch the next day. And though I don't backpack very often anymore, I still find a plastic sandwich box one of my most cherished travel items.
Anytime I travel, especially overseas adventure travel, I try to think of at least one thing I learned that will be useful for other women travelers. That thing from my latest trip to the Austrian Alps is - bring peanut butter.
Yesterday I had brunch with Laura Bly, a USAToday travel writer who wrote a very interesting blog article on several recent well-publicized National Park deaths, including the three people who were swept over Vernal Falls and two people who died in recent accidents in Hawaii.
We love National Park trips! Death Valley, Zion, Great Smokies, Grand Canyon, Acadia, Denali etc- we visit lots of them on our trips. But the great news is that you don't need to sign up for one of our trips to have an amazing time. Here are 6 tips to help you make the most of your next visit.
When I was in my late teens, I decided that one of my major goals was becoming an outdoors woman. For me, that meant being comfortable in the outdoors for an extended time, which meant being competent in outdoor skills. It took a few years but here are 5 steps that helped.
So you're flying off on a wilderness backpacking vacation and you need to get your backpack to your destination. There are 4 ways to chosse from, which we'll discuss in order of the least safe to the most safe way to get it there.
The question of how much water you should drink a day is both common and important. When you're on outdoor adventure trips, staying adequately hydrated is critical not only to your enjoyment and efficiency, its also important to your safety: being dehydrated can lead to clumsiness and poor decision-making.
Overseas adventure travel is fun and rewarding, and takes some preparation. Women commonly ask if there will be a place they can plug in a rechargeable camera battery or recharge a cell phone or plug in a hairdryer?
Mary Beth Bond has an excellent blog post in today's Vibrant Nation called check list: day before travel overseas. In it she lists several things that we often forget to do that can make a trip go more smoothly...