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Top tips for travel adventures

By Rachel Grunwell

As a wellbeing columnist I get the opportunity to travel with my work.

I travel a lot domestically, for instance I ended up running an off-road adventure race in Wanaka just the other week. I’m also lucky enough to travel overseas too for some adventures. In the last couple of years some highlights include running the New York and Sydney marathons, travelling to Hawaii and Melbourne for big yoga festivals and cycling adventures.

Travel leads to new life experiences

I learnt how to surf and went horse-riding while in Hawaii - the latter saw me high in the mountains on a horse in an area famous for the filming of the TV series, Lost. I’ll never forget being dwarfed by those giant rocky peaks while in the misty, gloriously green, dewy bush. I also loved doing stand-up paddle-board yoga in the sea in Hawaii. The lesson was with a gal who had also taught singer Lady Gaga.

Being a wellbeing columnist and feature writer means I’m game to give almost anything a go. I love it. However, I’m yet to overcome my fear of parachuting. I turned down a travel assignment once in the South Island (followed by dinner at one of Josh Emett’s restaurants) because I was too much of a scaredy-cat to make the giant leap. However, one day I will summon up the courage to take on a similar assignment.

Adventure travel tips

Anyway, here are some of my top tips for doing adventure activities while travelling:

Do your food homework!

Research the types of food that will be available so you know where you can seek out great nutrition-dense options. For example, when I went to New York to guide a blind runner through the marathon I sussed out an amazing wholefoods place in the city and that became my go-to place for eating real food. It made me feel good. Otherwise I’d feel sluggish if I ate too many takeaways.

If you are heading to a country that allows you to take snack foods like brazil and almond nuts then pack some. They are such a great nutritious option for when you need a quick snack on-the-go. I also like to take breakfast cereal with me so I have a nutritious start to my days and I feel better this way. Just check the rules with Customs first.

Get fit before you set off on your adventure!

Put in adequate training before you head off on your adventure - if required. I.e. if you are going overseas to run your first marathon then make sure you are marathon-ready before you go. That way you will enjoy the experience and want to do it again. However, you don’t need much prep for doing stand-up paddle boarding overseas.

Pack everything you need

Make a list of everything you need and pack well. For instance if you forgot your favourite shoes and have to buy a new pair overseas then you could end up with blisters.

Pack well for the conditions i.e. hot or cold weather. It will save you money on having to buy more clothes while overseas.

Travel Insurance – don’t leave without it.

Get travel insurance that covers the activities that you’re going to be undertaking. When you are far away from home then you want to know you’ve got great support if you ever need it. I never leave home without travel insurance. Cigna has The Adventure Travel insurance now, which is pretty similar to normal travel insurance, but has been developed for people who would like to carry out physical activities on their travels, eg. cycling, hiking, skiing etc.

Do your food homework!

Research the types of food that will be available so you know where you can seek out great nutrition-dense options. For example, when I went to New York to guide a blind runner through the marathon I sussed out an amazing wholefoods place in the city and that became my go-to place for eating real food. It made me feel good. Otherwise I’d feel sluggish if I ate too many takeaways.

If you are heading to a country that allows you to take snack foods like brazil and almond nuts then pack some. They are such a great nutritious option for when you need a quick snack on-the-go. I also like to take breakfast cereal with me so I have a nutritious start to my days and I feel better this way. Just check the rules with Customs first.

Keep water with you when travelling

While travelling keep properly hydrated. I always carry a portable water bottle so I have this at hand. It’s easy to get carried away while on an adventure and forget to hydrate yourself well and then find yourself light headed by the end of the day.

Do research to make sure you cross everything off your list

Research where you are headed and plan your trip to make the most of your time. I once missed out on travelling through crocodile-infested waters and going on a jungle adventure in South Australia because my time-frame was too tight at the end of the trip and I didn’t have quite enough clearance time to catch my flight. So learn from my lesson! Make sure you have time for possible crocodile adventures!

Check out the Cigna Facebook page for more healthy tips, and visit the Cigna Wellbeing Ambassador page for videos and blogs from Rachel.

Rachel is the director of Inspired Health and you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

The health and wellness information on this page is for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a doctor or nurse. Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied in the content. For more information, please read our Community Guidelines.