These days it seems the words Spring and Break almost always go hand in hand. Typically, Spring is the season when one begins to think of getting away from it all, especially after a long, cold winter like some of us have endured this year. Most likely, your Spring vacation was planned months ago and all that’s left to do is pack your suitcase and head to the airport, cruise port, or even garage depending on the mode of transportation that will be whisking you away to your exciting destination.
It used to be that depending on where one lived the vacation destination was either a beach or a ski resort. Things are changing in the travel world. One of the new trends in vacation experiences is a themed vacation. Love wine? Head to wine country and take a class on wine tasting and food pairings. Another very popular vacation for foodies is a cooking class in an exotic locale. Spend a week in Italy, touring the country by day and then meeting back in the afternoon for a few hours of cooking instructions with your own private Chef. It seems there is a vacation experience for just about everything from bird watching to hiking.
Another big travel trend is the “Extreme Vacation.” This involves a destination and activity far out of the norm of the typical vacation experience of rest and relaxation. Much like the themed vacations there is something for everyone who wants to push themselves to the limit while getting away from their everyday life and even learning something new in the process. Below is a list of some of the most extreme vacations that are certainly geared to those who seek a challenge and are not faint of heart. Prices are based per person. It certainly seems after partaking in some of these out of the box experiences, one would NEED a vacation!
10. Dog Sledding: $1,530
The company White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures offers a Three Day Dog Sledding Trip with Combination Yurt and Lodge in Ely, Minnesota. Billed as “The ultimate in dog mushing,” this trip involves learning to drive your own sled team, and staying in a remote yurt. You will also explore the local lakes by dog sled. This trip also includes two nights at the Grand Ely Lodge and three days of mushing, all meals, equipment and guides. The best part? You drive your own sled the whole trip after your training session.
9. Everest Base Camp Trek: $2,200
This trip is offered by the company Ace the Himalaya, founded in 2006. This is a sixteen day trip and includes some breath taking sight seeing along with high altitude trekking at 5,555 meters.The trip begins and ends in Kathmandu. Included in the price are lodge and guest house accommodations, (some are dorm style,) and all standard meals as well as a down jacket and sleeping bag, which do need to be returned after the trip. The highlights of this trip include exploring the Everest Base Camp and walking on the Khumbu glacier.
8. Stunt Experience Vacation: $2,650
Thrillseekers Unlimited was founded in 1992 and has been involved in hundreds of films, television shows, and commercials. This is a five day package and it is completely action packed. Truly for the adventure seeking adrenaline junkie, you will participate in bungy jumping, stunt fighting, high falls, stunt driving and fire burns. Though you will not become an actual “stunt” person you will learn what the job is like. The price includes hotel accommodations, all equipment, instruction and transportation to and from the hotel. A $1,000 deposit is required.
7. Shark Cage Diving Guadalupe Island: $2,900
This is a five day adventure of a lifetime offered by Great White Adventures. You begin your trip in San Diego where you will be shuttled to Ensenda by a private coach. From there you will head to Isla Guadalupe, via the Solmar V, a luxury liner. You will be treated to chef prepared meals, and afternoon snacks all included in the price. Isla Guadalupe is considered the best destination to dive with Great White Sharks because of the large population of these awe inspiring creatures. The cage you will be submerged in is the floating variety type made of galvanized mesh steel. Believe it or not no experience is needed for this dive. Price also includes diving air, weights, and weight belts.
6. Peru Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Multisport Tour: $3,000
This trip offered by The World Outdoors, offers a little bit of everything in one of the most sought after destinations in the world. This eight night, nine day getaway begins with a walking tour of Cusco. Over the next week you will ride through Class 3 river rapids, climb the steep ruins of Sayacmarca and trek through historic ruins at 14,000 feet. On night seven you will camp out near the Urubamba River and on night eight spend the night in a luxurious lodge waking up to sunrise over Machu Picchu. This trip includes four days of hiking and a half day of biking as well.
5. Covert Ops Training Vacation: $3,995
Covert Ops is billed as a “Four day counter terrorism adventure,” by the company, Incredible Adventures out of Miami, Florida. Taught by a former soldier in the Israeli Defense Force, students will learn anti-ambush drills used by high risk security teams in the Middle East. Included in price is ammunition and use of weapons, breakfast, four lunches and two dinners. Just a heads up, you will be required to sign a release of liability.
4. Congo Gorillas and Wildlife Vacation: $8,300
The thirteen day adventure offers a variety of action packed activities including tracking forest elephants and lowland gorillas and paddling across the Congo rivers. You will also travel by motorized pirogues through the Congo basin observing rural life in the Congo. Vacationing in the Congo is not a cut and dried experience and there will be surprises along the way, via weather and wildlife. The price includes domestic charter flights, accommodations, meals per the itinerary and activities.
3. Heli-Skiing: $21,500
Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing and heli-hiking company in the world offers a variety of heli-skiing package trips, including family trips and even girl’s getaways. The price listed above is for a private group of ten, per person. With this package you will stay in the exclusive Valemont Lodge, located in Valemont, British Columbia, which has been rated “One of the world’s most luxe ski lodges,” by SKI Magazine. You will have the utmost of luxurious accommodations,including a chef and personal massage therapist and a Bell 212 helicopter and pilot at your disposal. Price also includes two guides and the ability to ski the breathtaking Cariboo Mountain Range at your leisure.
2. MIG’s Over Moscow Vacation: $60,000
Through a special arrangement with people in Russia who have been building MIG’s for 75 years, the company Incredible Adventures has made it possible for you to experience the thrill of a lifetime as you break the sound barrier in a real military jet fighter with some of the best trained pilots in the world. This five day trip begins with your arrival in Moscow where you will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel located right next to Red Square and the Kremlin. On day two you will be transported to Nizhny where your flights will take place. Day three is the day of the actual flights and this price includes three flights. Day four is reserved as an extra day in case weather interferes with your flight experience. You will also return to Moscow on this day and prepare for your home departure the following morning. There is one of the most dangerous of these extreme vacations.
1. Virgin Galactic Flight Into Space Vacation: $250,000
Virgin Galactic is a commercial spaceflight company owned by England’s Richard Branson‘s Virgin Group. Though the first flight has still not taken place, Virgin Galactic has over 400 reservations for the $250,000 per person flight. This unbelievable out of this world vacation, consists of over three days of pre-flight preparation at the spaceport. Passengers will ride on the spacecraft Space Ship Two where they will climb to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. The spaceship will make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 3.5 hours. The spaceship accelerates to approximately 3,000 mph; or nearly four times the speed of sound. So far future astronauts include Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, Ashton Kutcher and Brad Pitt. The initial flight was slated to take place this Spring, but at this time it remains to be seen as whether we will actually have lift off.