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AAA Traveler Worldwise


The world often seems to move so fast that it’s easy to lose track of what matters to us most. Exciting discoveries, new experiences, shared memories—this is the stuff of lives well lived, and adventure travel brings it all within reach. As much as the travel landscape has changed in recent months, bringing about profound changes in the way we venture out into the world, the immersive nature of small-group adventure travel remains key to how our exploration of our world will rebound stronger than ever.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “adventure travel” and wondered what it really means, you aren’t alone. In fact, the definition is ever evolving. The new normal in which we all find ourselves presents a chance to delve into what adventure travel is all about. With so much still changing in our everyday lives, it allows for more reflection about what future travel might look like. And, by peeling back the layers of adventure travel, you’ll likely be surprised to learn that it’s so much more than what you may have thought and that this style of travel is becoming a top consideration for many travelers when the time is right for their next venture.

At its core, adventure travel seeks to expand our world, opening our minds to new sights and sounds and our souls to unexpected experiences. It gives us permission to “ditch the script.” It enables us to reconnect: to share unforgettable times with friends, both old and new. And, it motivates us to try new things, which will inspire stories to be told and retold once we’re back home.

In recent months, many of us have discovered adventures close to home, turning toward our local communities and discovering remarkable experiences that were previously overlooked. From rediscovering the backroads of a familiar area by hiking through once-unnoticed trails to trying new local foods, moments of adventure travel can be found virtually everywhere. In the months to come, this desire for immersive experiences in local communities will continue to grow, demonstrating how adventure travel can mean something different to everyone.

When it comes to adventure travel, there is no one-size-fits-all style. Nor does it require that you travel halfway across the world to discover it. The mainspring of adventure travel is simply a desire to forge authentic connections and support local economies, regardless of whether a journey is domestic or international. It’s a type of travel many of us can relate to seeking out, even if we were unaware of how to articulate it.

While COVID-19 and months of social distancing have generated concern regarding large-group activities, there are still options for traveling with other like-minded people.

Accommodating a smaller number of people on group trips will be necessary to maintain a comfortable distance, which is why lesser-known locations will become of more interest to travelers. Through travelers’ desire for more off-the-beatenpath destinations, small-group adventure tourism is becoming integral to the new travel landscape.

After all, it’s getting to know a place and its people that keeps us curious about the world around us. Curiosity can be a powerful force for good and a catalyst for change, and adventure travel is its engine.

Still not sure adventure travel is for you? Consider these myth-busting factors when dreaming of packing up your suitcase and seeking new adventures once again.

MYTH: Adventure travel has a certain narrowly defined demographic.
FACT: Actually, it doesn’t. Adventure travelers come from all backgrounds, all ages and all geographies. Adventure travelers are simply those who are curious about culture and seek authentic connections and genuine experiences. Adventure is as much for those who want to make pasta in the tiny kitchen of a local Italian family as it is for those aspiring to trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Adventure travel opportunities abound in the US, including those at places such as Utah’s Zion National Park.

MYTH: Small-group adventure travel is too expensive.
FACT: With every tour, there are destinations and budgets that fit all kinds of travel needs. A wonderful thing about adventure travel is that it takes you to less-frequented locations, which tend to be less expensive than the tourist hot spots. With Club Adventures, we look at the value proposition: What price tag can we put on life-changing experiences? We provide small-group tours with no more than 16 passengers that are guided by professional local leaders, allowing for a more intimate and immersive experience with your destination— without breaking the bank.

MYTH: You must be “a tour person.”
FACT: We completely understand the lack of appeal for a minute-by-minute structured itinerary for many travelers. That’s why we embrace a “travel unscripted” ideology. This means that while our tours provide scheduled activities, there is plenty of free time for you to grab another coffee at that phenomenal café, relax by the hotel pool or check out the street food. These unscripted moments are often the most memorable highlights of a journey, which is why each small-group tour is crafted to be flexible, unique and inspiring.

Adventure travel doesn’t require adrenaline, and it doesn’t need to include high-risk thrills. Sometimes it comes in the form of an unexpected connection—perhaps, for example, bridging the language gap by using animated English at a train station in Croatia or tasting the freshest seafood while chatting with locals at a fish market in Maine. Sometimes adventure springs from a new friendship made at a local café over a common love of lattes. Sometimes it lies at the end of a trail hike in a national park. It is a shared love of discovery that connects us, and that can happen right outside your front door as much as it can far from home. There’s an amazing world out there just waiting to be discovered. And, when the time is right for you, Club Adventures will be there, helping you experience the connections, explorations and moments that make the world such an incredible place.