Travel Tips

Travel Tips

Travel Tips

Preparing for your adventure is part of the excitement of travel. With your detailed itinerary, reading list, and pre-departure packet you’re likely well on your way. However, if you have last-minute questions we invite you to call or e-mail the Home Team. With our in-house experts and worldwide guide network, we’re eager and always ready to help you prepare for your trip of a lifetime.

The more you walk or undertake some form of aerobic exercise before your trip begins, the more you will enjoy your experience. Spend some time exploring the Country Walkers travel checklist that includes training & fitness tips, and other resources to get you 100% prepared for your next adventure!

Training Tips

Depending on the activity level of your tour, we suggest that you prepare for your tour by incorporating some form of cardio exercise, 2-3 times weekly, for at least 6 weeks before your trip starts. Begin each activity with 5-10 minutes of stretching to prevent injury

Remember to dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and protect yourself from the sun. Throughout your exercise, drink plenty of water so that you stay well hydrated. If possible walk on varying terrain and hills. If you live in a flat area, try walking on a treadmill that has incline capability, or incorporate stairs into your exercise regimen. Even some of our easiest tours include climbing up (or down) to temples, historic sites, or medieval villages.

When training for walks on hilly terrain, you may wish to use walking sticks. During any activity (or while exercising) , maintain a steady, but comfortable, pace— and don’t hesitate to stop for frequent breaks.

 

Fitnesstips & tricks

Stretching

Stretching adds flexibility and can make your walking, or other activity more comfortable. All stretches should be gentle, with no bouncing.

Warm up at an easy pace before stretching, never stretch cold muscles or you risk tearing them. Incorporate mobility exercises designed to take a muscle and joint through its range of motion. Start at the top of your body and work your way down. Find an upright pole or fence or wall to support you if needed:

Head Circles: Make 1/4 circles with your head. Start with your ear near your shoulder on one side, rotate your head around to the front, ending with your ear near the shoulder on the other side. Roll your head back to the other side. Repeat 5-10 times.

Arm Circles: With one arm at a time, make backwards arm circles with your palm facing out, thumb pointed up. Repeat 10-15 with each arm. Then make forward arm circles with palm facing in, thumb pointed down, repeat 10-15 times.

Hip Stretch: Stand up, take a half-step back with the right foot. Bend your left knee and shift your weight back to your right hip. While keeping the right leg straight, bend forward more and reach further down your right leg.

Walking Posture

How you hold your body is important to walking comfortably and easily. With good posture, you will be able to breathe easier and you will avoid back pain.

  • Stand up straight
  • Think of being tall and straight. Do not arch your back
  • Do not lean forward or lean back. Leaning puts strain on the back muscles
  • Eyes forward, not looking down, rather 20 feet ahead
  • Chin up (parallel to the ground). This reduces strain on neck and back
  • Shrug once and let your shoulders fall and relax, your shoulders slightly back
Arm Motion

Arm motion can lend power to your walking, burning 5-10% more calories, and acting as a balance to your leg motion.

  • Bend your elbow 90 degrees
  • Hands should be loose in a partially closed curl, never clenched
  • Clenching your fists can raise your blood pressure and should be avoided
  • With each step, the arm opposite your forward foot comes straight forward, not diagonally
  • As the foot goes back, the opposite arm comes straight back
Walking Stride

Avoid over striding—taking longer steps to increase speed. This is potentially harmful and is inefficient.

  • Take more, smaller steps rather than lengthening your stride
  • Your stride should be longer behind your body, where your toe is pushing off, rather than out in front of your body
  • Your forward leg has no power, while your back leg is what is driving you forward. Getting the full power out of the push from the back leg as it rolls from heel to toe is the key to powerful, efficient walking

Packing List

Our trips are meant to be relaxing. On all our vacations your luggage will be transported by vans. Each pre-tour information packet includes a trip-specific packing list, however there are some general ‘what to brings’ common to all tours:

 

Clothing

  • Lightweight wash-and-wear long pants
  • Polypropylene shirt and fleece
  • T-shirts and shorts
  • Long-sleeved wash-and-wear shirt
  • Dinner attire. Smart casual is suggested for dining. A jacket and tie are not necessary. Women may wear pants, a skirt and blouse, or a casual dress. Cocktail dresses are not necessary
  • Women: a scarf or light jacket to cover bare shoulders when visiting places of worship
  • Light jacket or sweater for evening
Footwear

  • Hiking boots for Guided and Self-Guided Walking tours. There are many brands from which to choose. Proper fit is crucial, so try on new boots while wearing the socks you will use on your vacation
  • Be sure to break in new boots well before your tour begins. By the time you are ready to join your walking tour, you should be able to complete 4-6 miles of walking in your boots comfortably
  • Waterproof boots will keep feet dry in rain and water-resistant boots will keep feet dry in heavy dew
  • Synthetic, moisture-wicking socks are recommended. (cotton socks are not advised while walking as they will quickly cause blisters)
Outer/Equipment

OUTERWEAR

  • Waterproof rain gear: jacket, pants, hat or hood
  • Windbreaker with hood (your rain gear may be suitable)
  • Hat with a broad brim or visor

EQUIPMENT

  • Daypack: large enough to carry water, camera, and extra clothing
  • Water bottle or canteen to carry your water while walking.

Travel Resources

To help you prepare for your adventure, here are some of our favorite travel resource sites:

TRAVEL SUPPORT

BOOKS & GEAR

  • Longitude - Enrich your travels with the perfect travel books
  • New Headings - our partner for travel clothing and gear. Reserve a Country Walkers trip and receive free shipping, along with complimentary logo. 

     

TRAVEL PARTNERS