For hiking and outdoor enthusiasts, walking holidays are ideal for a quick getaway when you have a limited budget and a desire to see the countryside. From day trips to week-long treks, walking holidays often create lasting memories of the land and the culture in which you are exploring. If you have always wanted to plan a walking holiday, here are some tips on how to get started.
Time and Budget Constraints
The location and duration of your walking holiday will most likely be determined by your budget and work life. Unless you’ve won big playing NZ pokies games online, budgeting will be a necessary evil. The great thing about walking holidays is that you can start in your own town or city and expand from there. If you have the budget, drive or fly to a national park, a coastal route or somewhere more exotic.
Distance and Terrain
Once you have decided where you would like your walking holiday, the next step is to calculate the distance you want to cover each day. This should be based on your hiking fitness and the type of terrain you will encounter. Factor in extra time for weather delays, chill time, eating, and taking photographs.
Map Out Your Route
Now that you know where and how long your walk will be, you can map out your route. This is probably the most important part. If you are walking an established trail, you might find a guidebook or an official map. If you are hopping from town to town or something more exotic, you will have to plan your own route with accommodation and food stops.
Remember to Book Accommodation Ahead of Time
Unless you are walking in a national park or established trail, camping will not be an option. In most cases, you will have to book a B&B or a hotel for your nightly stops. Do this before you leave so that you can just arrive, dump your backpack, hit the shower, and get a good night’s sleep.
Gear and Resources
If you are an avid hiker, you should already have most of the gear needed for a walking holiday. Comfortable boots, a solid hiking bag, bug spray, portable stove, water filters, maps, power banks, headlamps should all be on your list. If you are doing mild day walks between accommodation stops, you can scale back on the equipment.
The idea of a walking holiday is to immerse yourself in the land and culture of the place you are exploring. That being said, some hikers use walking holidays as training sessions for longer more arduous treks. Either way, a certain level of fitness is needed, so if you are a current couch potato dreaming of walking for 7 days, start training with day walks and go from there.
Other Things to Consider
If you are flying to another country, check your visa requirements, inoculations etc. Don’t forget to book transport to your starting point or to get home. Pack the right clothing for your trip, both cold and hot weather and especially rain. Read up on safety and as some areas might not be safe to hike alone.