/ Travel & Leisure

Are you an adrenaline junkie or sun worshipper?

Happy woman hiker reaching her goal at the mountain top summit

As the results of our latest holiday companies survey reveal that three of the top five companies are activity specialists, it’s left me questioning what I really want from a holiday.

I’ll never forget the look of bemusement on a friend’s face when she asked me what I’d got up to on a previous holiday to Turkey. ‘Nothing really’ was my thought provoking response.

Now of course that wasn’t quite the case. But what I was trying to convey was that besides a boat trip (and a very nice boat trip it was too) most of my holiday time had been spent relaxing by the pool and enjoying the local cuisine.

Holidays are for relaxation aren’t they?

For some reason I felt the need to justify my holiday choice and habits, going on to explain that as my partner had a very stressful job the focus of our holidays in recent years had been relaxation. But the truth was I enjoyed our relaxing holidays too, relishing the novelty of waking up without an alarm and enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the morning sunshine.

But I also admit to feeling a little bit embarrassed. Embarrassed because I felt that somehow my choice of holiday wasn’t adventurous enough, didn’t involve adrenaline filled days, and didn’t leave me returning with tales of great discoveries. I’d had a good time but is pure relaxation really what a holiday should be about?

HF Holidays, Inntravel and Exodus top the charts

So while I enjoy my beach breaks I’ve been thinking for a while about taking a more adventurous holiday. I’ve been reading the results of our holiday companies survey with added interest. Three of the top five companies, HF Holidays, Inntravel and Exodus are all activity specialists and all received really impressive customer scores from Which? members. Do you enjoy adventure holidays – do you have any that you’d recommend?

So wanting to know more about the appeal of these holidays I went online to check them out. And that’s when I started to get it – they present an opportunity to explore destinations in a different way, be that by bike, by foot, as part of a group or independently. You might also meet new people while discovering somewhere new – and all with the hassle taken out of the planning.

So will I be taking the plunge? I’ll let you know when I get back from my beach holiday in a few weeks time!

Jo Bailey says:
28 May 2012

I agree with Kate, I love a beach holiday, but also like to do a bit more than just flop. I did a great cycling holiday through Burgundy last year with a company called True Traveller and am doing an Amazon trip later this year with them. Can’t wait! I’ve also booked through Gap Adventures and Exodus and can’t fault them.

It’s a bit of a shame that you feel like you have to justify your holiday tastes – everyone’s different! My favourite holiday is one where I get to explore – usually I’ll book flights in and out of the country, perhaps reserve a hostel for the first couple of nights, then decide where I’m travelling as I go along. It’s a really nice way to see things you might not normally see, but I understand that the added stress and occasional mishaps mean it isn’t for everyone!

I’ve done a couple of ‘adventure’ holidays, but mostly when I was young. The ones I’ve seen seem to involve committing to a schedule, which I’m not a massive fan of. But if it’s something I can plan myself I’d definitely give it a go.

Personally I don’t think I could do the traditional beach holiday for two weeks, but I’ve done a couple of days on a relaxing beach at the beginning or end of the holiday, just as a nice way to wind down.