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Adventure Travel or Island Hopping?

When planning a holiday, usually the first consideration that usually goes through your head is whether you want to travel off the beaten path, doing lots of activities and searching for a thrill, or whether you just want to take some time off work to relax in the sun, by a beach, with a champagne glass by your side and sunscreen at the ready.

Image courtesy of Cathryn Carlson, Cambodia Island Beach Conservation

There are certainly pros and cons to both types of holiday; however, sometimes it is hard to decide just what the best thing to do is. Sure, there is an argument to be had (or a cop out as some of us may call it!) that you could do a bit of both; a mish-mash of days exploring the country, interlaced with days to get your tan on. Yet, in reality this is harder to do.

Here, is an overview of the benefits to both types of travel, and at the end you can make up your own mind.

Off the Beaten Path

Travelling off the beaten path has its own sense of thrill and adventure about it, almost like you are Indiana Jones going to an unexplored land – exotic or alien to any place that you have been to before. Often it is the best way to really see a country, taste the culture and fully immerse yourself in where you are.  This is often perfect for those of us who get agitated lounging on a beach day after day.

Although it is the unfamiliar nature of the locations that you visit and the low standard of travel that makes it uncomfortable and more difficult to travel off the beaten path, it is this very factor which makes your time abroad more memorable and distinguishable from the package holidays that – although being accessible and enjoyable – can be repetitious.

Image courtesy of Stephen Yang, Kiwi Experience

Discounted prices for activities, such as local boat rentals and small business tourism, are often available because of the less crowded locations. This is because with larger, more popular attractions, they often have no problem of getting constant business from tourists, thus allowing these businesses to charge much more for their services. However, without stiff competition in little known areas, there is often more availability at a lower cost.

With this comes more privacy as there’s less hustle and bustle, which in turn means more downtime. The fact that you don’t have to go and explore a certain place before a particular time because of crowds or the rush that often occurs to get somewhere before a certain time (i.e. travelling to the Statue of Liberty before it closes for the day) allows you to be able to relax more and do things at your own pace.

Your place by the pool is reserved

Organising a holiday, at a resort that is by a sun drenched beach is a lot of people’s idea of the perfect holiday. It allows you the time to forget about work or other troubles in your life, to relax and recharge. And as the world becomes smaller and more accessible, this brings with it familiarity as the commercial world and big businesses head to popular tourist destinations, spreading familiar brands, coffee stores and shops to the far corners of the world.

The great thing about beach holidays is that everything is usually organised before you step on to a plane. This means that you don’t have to worry about not having a room for the length of your stay in the country, and because you are settled at one place, you can travel with an abundance of clothes (as you won’t be carrying your luggage to numerous places) and a plethora of gadgets (that have been incorporated within popular tourist destinations).

Image courtesy of Christopher

And on a pristine beach holiday, comfort is provided for in abundance. Often even more so than your own home, with made up beds and room service the norm. The upshot of having everything ready and to a certain standard means that all you have to concentrate on is having a good time – provided by the stress free environment for you and your fellow travellers that you signed up for. Also, the fact that everyone is there for the same reason as you means that you can mingle with other ‘vacationers’ and maybe make friends along the way.

By Manny Mahoon

Frontier runs over 300 dedicated conservation, community and adventure projects worldwide. Find out more about great ideas for your gap year, and opportunities to volunteer across the globe.

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