Adventure Travel is a new and rapidly-growing segment of the travel industry. The definition of “adventure travel” varies between travelers and there are many misconceptions existing today. 

Misconception #1 – Adventure Travel is only for young people.  Absolutely false! published article written by Robin Amster.  The article cites a survey revealing the largest percentage of adventure travelers are between ages of 50 and 65 with a whopping 41% of the market.  “35-50 years old” followed next with 24% of the market.  The “65 and Over” group followed closely with 21% and finally the “Under 35” rounded out at 14%.

Desert expedition trip!

Misconception #2 – Adventure Travel is very expensive.  This depends completely on you!  Regardless of what your ideal adventure vacation may be, you can always consider traveling during the “off season” to lower the price.  Other options may include adjusting your standard of accommodation.  Do you really need the top-rated hotel in the area or would a modestly priced hotel work for you?  Think about airfare – taking the red-eye flight or adding an additional layover in route may lower the flight cost significantly   Adventure travel does not have to break the bank.

Hurtigruten expedition! Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten

Misconception #3 – Adventure Travel must be a vacation of extremes! Extremely cold, extremely hot, extremely high on the mountain, extremely fast paced, extremely physical. This may not be your cup of tea – or maybe it is!  Pushing oneself to the limits may be part of your definition for adventure travel, but keep in mind – one person’s limits are not the same as another. There are adventure trips that are geared toward photographing wildlife in the Galapagos while on shore.  In comparison, there are expeditions that skirt the Arctic and adventurers are able to hop on dog sleds and see nature at its finest.  Whatever your dream may be, kayaking in Maui or traveling to Alaska during the summer for a whale watching trip, it doesn’t have to include an “extreme” condition.

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The Great Wall of China, photo is courtesy of Mason Fail

Misconception #4 – Adventure Travel means you can expect poor accommodations in a rugged, isolated environment with no electric or toilet facilities.  Again, FALSE! Depending on where you dream trip will take place, I am sure you will have a variety of accommodations from which to select. Expedition ships have suites with all the bells and whistles available. Some safari companies have yurts and tents that rival the finest hotels in the world. All provide facilities that provide creature comforts you’ll appreciate.


Today adventure travelers want to immerse themselves in different cultures and experience activities that challenge them personally.  Just remember, don’t let the misconceptions revolving around adventure travel keep you home.  Get out and enjoy an adventure!

Work camping on the Columbia Gorge!




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