Things to Consider About Once-in-a-Lifetime Travel
Choosing a Tour
If you’re a little uncertain about where to begin, check the review section on each tour website or even join online forums to see what people recommend. There are also plenty of guidebooks published on a wide selection of sports that can give inside advice.
Some of these adventures take a limited number of persons only or are seasonal. For example the deep-sea dives to the Titanic are incredibly exclusive. You will either need to book in very early, be prepared to go on waiting lists or cough up a bit of money to enjoy the privilege.
There are plenty of options available for every budget so don’t think this is the realm of the travel millionaire. Some activities, like a flight into space, will definitely eat into your savings but there are plenty, like camel safaris in Asia or elephant rides in Thailand that won’t cost much at all. Remember too that the actual cost of the tour might not cover the airfares, insurance and special equipment needed to complete the activity. Check exactly what the tour operator is offering in the price before you book.
If you’re planning a road trip across Africa or a hard core hiking experience you will definitely need to leave plenty of time aside both for trip preparation and doing the activity itself. There are often delays with major expeditions so allow a buffer on either side of the vacation.
If you are contemplating a serious activity you will need to check that it is covered by travel insurance. If you’re hiking or skiing on glaciers check that helicopter evacuation is included. Some insurance policies may actually refuse to cover some kinds of activities for example off road driving, motor biking or even particular locations. If you have trouble finding insurance ask the tour operator for advice.
Health can be of concern in remote areas or if you have any kind of medical condition. Some tour operators may wish to see a doctor’s certificate clearing you for particular activities. If you do have any special needs make sure you have adequate medical supplies with you and are prepared physically for the activity.
Depending on your location there are some precautions you can take to avoid illness. In coastal areas bring plenty of water and sunscreen to prevent dehydration or burns. In highlands wear sunscreen and take warm clothing. High altitude sickness can be common so rest well the first day, drink plenty of liquids and avoid heavy food and alcohol. In the jungle never travel without insect repellent, a raincoat and sunscreen. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are highly recommended to keep insects at bay.
If you are traveling somewhere remote it is advisable to set up a communication network. Satellite phones are good options for road trips, polar exploration or remote hikes. In most large towns in the world you can find Internet connections.