If you’re considering a walking holiday for your next trip, there’s a lot to think about before you’ve even put your boots on and to really get the most out of your walking holiday, planning is key. Read on for some tips that will help your getaway go as planned.
Why Choose a Walking Holiday?
A walking holiday is a great way to see and experience new places. Walking holidays are all about the views, wildlife, and culture and they’re perfect for people who like to stay active during their travels and those who want to get off the beaten track and view destinations from an alternative perspective.
Before you set out on your first walking holiday, there’s a lot to organise, from planning the route and booking your accommodation, to deciding whether you’ll go on a guided walking tour or be self-guided.
Start With Research
Research is the first step to a successful walking holiday. Start out by researching popular walking trails. If this is your first walking holiday, opting for a more manageable route that others have done before can take some of the pressure off.
You’ll want to consider your fitness levels, hiking experience and capabilities. Depending on how soon you want to travel, you may have time to build your fitness level up and train for a more demanding trail.
Ensuring that you’re fully prepared both physically and mentally, as well as giving yourself time to save for the trip, is crucial.
Invest in Equipment
Before setting out on a walking holiday, you need to ensure you have the right equipment. The basics you’ll need are a pair of well-fitting hiking boots, walking poles and the correct clothing.
Light, breathable clothing that can be layered up if the weather changes, is ideal and don’t forget to pack waterproofs. You may also need thermals and/or sun protection, depending on the season. Other hiking essentials include a water bottle, first-aid kit, plenty of spare socks and a torch.
You May Need Insurance
Whilst it’s not a legal requirement, travel insurance is always a good idea as it covers you for a range of issues that might arise during your trip and offers you peace of mind.
When travelling in another country, having insurance can prevent you from being out of pocket should you have an accident or become unwell and need medical treatment.
There are different types of travel insurance available so it’s important to check that a particular policy suits your needs.
Once you’ve arranged your cover, be sure to keep the contact details handy during your trip, in case you need to report an injury or illness. If you get injured during your walking holiday, you could also contact a personal injury expert for advice.
Think About the Weather
Being aware of the weather is crucial to the success of your walking holiday. Keep an eye on the forecast and pack accordingly, paying attention to your clothing and footwear choices.
Be aware that weather can change quickly, particularly at altitude and that if you’re hiking through hills and mountains you should be prepared for any eventuality and always take waterproofs and be prepared to turn back if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Train For Your Trip
To make sure you’re comfortable during your walking holiday and to avoid injury, you should ensure you’re physically prepared by training before you set off. The type of walking holiday you’ve booked will dictate how much preparation you need to do beforehand.
Figure out what your base level of fitness is by taking a short walk or walking a regular distance that you’re used to and gradually build on this in the weeks before your trip.
You’ll need to increase both the distance and the frequency of your walks, making sure to rest in-between to allow your body time to recover.
As your holiday nears, you should introduce new elements, such as walking uphill on uneven ground, or in poor weather conditions and also do some back-to-back walks on successive days.