Top Courses & Classes for Adventure Travel

Written by: Olivia Lazenby

Be Ready for Any Adventure

Travelling is itself one great adventure, but what if you want to hike it up a notch and embark on a serious adventure adventure? I’m talking about scaling sheer rock faces, scuba diving with sharks, surviving unaided in the rainforest, and plunging into ravines with nothing but a helmet and a life vest for protection.

Adventure travel is the ultimate travelling experience for thrill seekers. The sheer range of exciting, challenging and downright dangerous activities available to travellers is staggering. It’s understandable that people will want to try new things while travelling the world. But is it necessarily the best idea to sign up for a three-day canyoning trip in Paraguay if you don’t know the difference between a Campari and a Carabiner?

Adventure travel – mastering the basics

Adventure travel

If you’re planning on embarking on an adventure trip, learning the ropes at home before you set off might be a good idea. It’s worth remembering that safety and training is likely to be more stringent on home soil than it is in lots of countries, so having a grasp of the basics won’t go amiss.

Aside from giving you confidence and assurance when you eventually do the real thing, trying a course or class of your chosen activity at home will also give you the chance to find out which adventure activities you really want to splash out on once you arrive at your destination, because let’s face it, they don’t come cheap.

PADI diving

There’s nothing quite like descending into the world underwater. Scuba diving lets you explore endlessly fascinating reefs, pools, lakes, lagoons and open water. But it also requires a certification before you jump overboard.

Many people choose to get certified with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) while on their travels, but if you’re short on time or would prefer to get stuck right in once you get there, you can complete some courses from home. From introductory courses to specialist skills like ice diving, cavern diving and night diving, use the PADI Dive Shop locator to find your nearest courses.

Rock climbing and abseiling

Rock climbing and abseiling

If you’re planning on rock climbing or abseiling anywhere on your travels, knowing the ropes (sorry) wouldn’t go amiss. There are plenty of indoor rock climbing walls and even outdoor rock climbing and abseiling day classes in beautiful parts of the country.

You’ll pick up the basics of body positioning, balance, transference, hand and foot placement, belaying and more with the assistance of a friendly instructor.

Mountain biking

No matter whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned mountain biker, riding mountain bike trails isn’t as easy as cycling to the shops for a loaf of bread. Lots of travellers injure themselves while mountain biking abroad, and can miss out on weeks of their journey as a result.

Mountain bike trails are steep, unpredictable and can be treacherous for people who don’t know how to approach them. A mountain biking skills coaching lesson can teach you how to float over tree roots and other obstacles, when to apply the brakes, and how to take corners so that you’re ready to face the trials wherever you choose.

Survival and bushcraft

Survival and bushcraft

There might not be much cause for learning how to survive in the wilderness when you’re returning to the safety of your bed every night at home, but when you’re out adventuring in the big wide world it’s another story altogether. Whether you get lost while hiking or actually choose to spend some time off-grid during your travels, survival skills will serve you well.

There are a variety of courses that will teach you how to make a fire, build a rudimentary shelter and keep yourself alive in all manner of unpleasant circumstances, without damaging your environment.

Kayaking and white-water rafting

The thrills of fast-moving water require a specific skill set to ensure you come out at the other end in one piece. Whether you’re heading off with a group or going your own pace, learning how to navigate particularly rough waters and the correct way to roll your kayak if you capsize will mean you’re prepared to take on the roughest of rapids.

Skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding

Forget snow ploughing with the kids in the beginners lessons when you’re on the slopes – pick up the basics before you leave so you can make the most of your ski trip! There are several indoor ski slopes with real snow like Chill Factore, which offer Learn to Ski courses.

If you’ve skied before but need a refresh or want to try something new, there are classes to teach specific skills like Freestyle, Moguls and Performance Coaching.

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