While most of us can confidently say that we enjoy the great outdoors, it’s a very specific person that can call themselves an actual “enthusiast”. Essentially anything that the average individual enjoys doing outside requires a certain kind of intensification to truly be able to scratch their itch — especially when it comes to vacations. But sometimes it can be hard figuring out where to go. To help out, we’ve asked men’s lifestyle and travel expert Joe Miragliotta from Joe’s Daily to put together a list of vacation ideas perfect for the bucket list of any outdoor enthusiast.

Since I started traveling as part of my career, I’ve been lucky enough to go on many amazing trips and collect an array of different experiences. As much as I love every kind I find myself on (and I really do), there’s just something about an outdoor-focused junket that really stands out. No doubt it’s the combination of fresh air, excitement, and just being around nature that leaves me with a sense of invigoration and calm at the same time. Below you’ll find a list that includes some of my favorite ventures, as well as a few that I’m still looking forward to. Enjoy!

Six Outdoor Travel Adventures You Need to Experience: 

1. Heli-skiing


Skiing + helicopter? Awesome.

If you think skiing down a hill via ski-lift is fun, how does skiing down a mountain via helicopter sound? Awesome, right? Incredible rarely-seen views, pristine landscapes, and vacant paths through glaciers are all what you can expect from spectacular trips like the ones offered through Canadian Mountain Holidays. As for skill level, don’t worry, they’ve got you covered with tailored runs and slope options for just about everyone. Admittedly, the cost of a vacation that includes heli-skiing tends to be a little on the pricey side (as one would expect from lodges that own their own helicopters, sometimes required to get to the lodge itself). However, there’s an upside to this, and that would be refined details like gourmet meals, massages, additional activities, and exclusivity. It might not be a cheap trip, but it will absolutely be one to remember.

2. Visit a Guest Ranch

Visit a dude ranch

There’s never a shortage of excitement at a dude ranch!

Horseback riding, cattle driving, hiking, fishing, cookouts, maybe some archery, trap shooting, hot air ballooning, or white-water rafting … do I need to keep going? When it comes to outdoor activities, there’s not much you can’t do when you vacation at any decent guest ranch. Whether you’re looking for a little luxury like what you’ll find at Colorado’s CLazyU or something family-friendly like Arizona’s Tanque Verde, there are plenty of options available that will fit exactly what you’re looking for. Pro tip: Whatever gorgeous ranch you decide to stay at, make sure to schedule in at least one day for off-property activities. Chances are you’re going to fall in love with the entire area as you make your way to where you’ll be staying. You don’t want to do yourself a disservice and not have enough time to properly experience both or either. Of course, I guess you could always go back …! 

3. Survival Training

Survival training

Adrenaline junkies will appreciate an invigorating dose of survival training.

For those of you who think options 1 & 2 were just a little bit too cushy for what you’re looking for, not to worry; there’s something for you, too. How about a trip where you learn the skills needed to survive on your own in the wild? Have your attention now, don’t I? Possibly the best part about these is how specific the available options are. From zombie apocalypses and remote captor evasion to being shipwrecked on an uninhabited island and prevailing in an urban crisis, if you’ve ever wondered how or what you would do in situations like these, you have a chance to find out. Some of them can even be tailored to exactly how in-depth you’re looking to go. So, if you’d like to sleep in an actual bed at the end of the day, no problem. And if you want to actually be marooned somewhere, you can make that a reality as well.

4. Small Ship Cruise

Small Ship Cruise

Take a small ship cruise and enjoy outdoor activities like dolphin watching!

Anyone who’s ever been on a cruise can attest that, while you do spend some time outside, it’s hardly an outdoor activity. That is unless you’re on a small vessel. On something like a clipper ship cruise you still get the benefit of visiting various ports and only unpacking once like you would on a larger one, but there’s more focus on the actual water aspect of the trip. Instead of being limited to a pool and hot tub, you can also enjoy things like net lookouts for dolphin-watching, taking part in setting the sails, water skiing, snorkeling, and kayaking directly from the ship. Not too shabby. If, however, you prefer to keep the number of other people around at a minimum, consider chartering a smaller ship just for you and a small group of your closest friends. You might not get to visit all of those ports, but you do get to keep the activities and it’s usually cheaper too!

5. Go on a Safari

Go on a safari

Love animals? A safari is calling your name.

While the word “safari” itself should conjure up images of the various beautiful animals of East Africa, it shouldn’t stop there. Venturing out to see animals in their true environment is great for a trip of its own or as an addition to one you’re already taking. When it comes down to where to go, the answer really depends on what you want to see. How about the elephants and tigers in Indonesia, marsupials in Australia, or wild white horses and flamingos in Southern France? Or, for those who would prefer the Western Hemisphere, the arctic foxes and polar bears in Canada or tapirs and jaguars in Brazil? Basically what I’m saying is, the world is your oyster. Speaking of which, would you like to go on an oyster safari in Denmark? Because that’s a thing, too.

6. Backpack Through Our National Parks

Hike National Parks

What better way to enjoy nature than to walk amongst it at a National Park?

Whether you’re already confident in your survival skills or just looking for a more involved camping trip, our US National Parks are calling your name. From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans to the deserts (despite them being left off of some famous lists), there’s just no better way to take in all of the diverse landscapes this country has to offer than backpacking through them. Beginners might consider starting with a 2-day trip through beloved Yosemite or 3-day through Brown Pass in Glacier National Park to catch the last of its namesake before they’re all gone.

See you outside!

Joe Miragliotta of Joe’s Daily is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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