Walking holidays are becoming increasingly popular across the globe, particularly in Europe. These are especially popular among people who want to spend their vacation being active, while getting back in touch with nature, visiting the most breath-taking local attractions and making new friends for life. If you have never been on a walking holiday before, now is the time to start regardless of your age, lifestyle or fitness level. Here are some great tips on how to prepare for your first walking holiday.
Choose a beginner trail
There are many different difficulty levels when it comes to walking trails. This will be dependent on the terrain of the trail (e.g. how hilly it is, how many inclines you will have to battle), the weather conditions (such as hiking in cold and snowy places) and many other factors. For a beginner, it is generally recommended to ease yourself into it with an easier route. While you can plan one yourself, there are existing routes popular amongst many walkers – one of the most popular is Camino de Santiago trail in Spain. What’s great about this route is that it offers the perfect balance between being challenging for a beginner walker yet easy enough to be able to complete without too much struggle.
Go on some training walks
Before your walking holiday, it may be a good idea to start getting a bit more fit to get used to walking long distances. If you are someone that spends most of your days at the office desk, chances are you don’t spend much time walking. While it’s not the most difficult activity physically, you will still be walking a good 6 to 8 hours a day for a week. Getting used to some walking just before you go on your holiday may therefore be a good way to ease into it. You could also add some quick daily stretching to your routine, to keep your body active and prepared for your first walking holiday.
Have the right kit
For a beginner walking holiday, you definitely don’t need a lot of cool gear – this is more so the case for more difficult routes, such as climbing and hiking on mountains. You do, however, need to have some basic kit that not every person may have in their possession. For instance, make sure you have a comfortable backpack that is big enough, as you will be carrying all of your stuff with you. Also have some comfortable walking shoes, knowing that you will be on your feet the whole holiday. The rest of your clothes should be comfortable and light too as well as suitable for the local weather conditions.
Stock up on water and healthy snacks
While you will mostly eat out for the main meals of the day, it’s always a good idea to have some healthy snacks to keep your energy levels high during your walk. Try to choose snacks like muesli, granola or protein bars, which will be light to carry yet contain enough calories and energy in them. Additionally, staying hydrated is extremely important during your walking holiday, especially in Spanish trails, where the sun can get quite hot.
Finally, the last thing you need to do is make sure you go prepared to have a great time, have fun adventures as well as meet some brilliant local people!