For most of us, vacations are about relaxing, lounging around on the beach, soaking up sun and sucking down cocktails. There are some folks however, who find the very idea of sitting still boring. You're probably familiar with these people. They have memberships at rock-climbing gyms instead of going to Planet Fitness like the rest of us. They talk about their sweet mountain biking trek or their marathon training, getting looks of contempt and begrudging admiration from around the office. If there's a company field day, these are the people winning all the games. If you find yourself disgusted by the premise of going on a run or competing in team sports while on vacation, this article is not for you. Conversely, if you're ultra-fit and exercise-obsessed, I have some great news.
Fitness vacations, the newest craze for people who can't relax, are popping up all over the place. Whether you want to rock-climb, ski, or perform difficult crossfit WODs, there's a vacation out there for you. Don't worry though, you don't have to scour the Internet to find the best ones, we've created a list of our top five just below.
Get up bright and early for some fitness classes on the beach!
Located in St. Lucia, Body Holiday is an all-inclusive resort that includes Zumba courses, yoga, spin classes, and tons of beach volleyball. On top of this, Body Holiday has different packages depending on your fitness goals. If you're a newbie, or trying to shed some extra pounds, they have a weight-loss package. If you're trying to detox and eat clean for awhile, all while enjoying the resort's fantastic fitness amenities, they have a package for that as well. Body Holiday is all about sending you home refreshed and recharged, and they know that lying around doing nothing won't really get you there.
Intrepid Travel’s Cycling Programs
See the world from your bike seat
If you're a fan of cycling, and want to see the world, look no further than Intrepid Travel. With cycling trips available on five continents in numerous countries, Intrepid has everything that a cyclist could want. Whether you want to bike around the entirety of Iran or you simply want to hit the French Alps, there's definitely a program out there for you. On top of this, the cycling tours aren't super competitive and are more about sightseeing than racing, so the barrier to entry here is pretty low.
Beautiful and secluded, Phantom Ranch is the most exclusive lodge near the Grand Canyon.
If you're already in pretty great shape, and want to attempt something a bit more daring, why not hike down the South Kaibab Trail of the Grand Canyon? This 7.3-mile traverse is perfect for intermediate hikers looking to see the canyon's natural beauty and wildlife. Phantom Ranch, a cozy cabin near the start of the trail, is a perfect place to rest and relax before and after your hike.
Biking the Great Ocean Road
This one's not for the faint of heart!
The Great Ocean Road in Australia is one of the most beautiful bike paths in the world, but at 172 miles long, it's not for the faint of heart. Unlike Intrepid's bike tours, this ride will test your endurance, both mentally and physically. There are a slew of bed and breakfasts all along the coast, and the best way to prepare for this trip is to book a bunch of one night stays. The beginning of the journey is in Geelong, near Melbourne, and ends in Warrnambool. Don't be afraid to stray from the path a bit though, there are tons of wineries and great coastal restaurants to explore.
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with Thomson Safaris
After you finish you can brag to your friends that you climbed a mountain
I know, climbing a mountain seems less like a vacation, than a major achievement, but Mt. Kilimanjaro is actually a pretty straightforward ascent. It's more like a very long hike than anything. Nowadays, you can actually do the hike in extreme comfort. Thomson Safaris offers a great climbing program, in which delicious meals are shared in luxurious tents, and a real sense of community is built around the climb. With 30 years of experience, these experts are sure to get you to the summit safely, and boast a 98% success rate. Still, it'd benefit you to get in shape for this hike. The path up is close to 70km!
Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. His editorial work can be found in Inked Magazine, Pop Dust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. -- Find Matt at his website and on Twitter: @mattclibanoff