For many, travel is the best way to experience all that life has to offer: exploring somewhere new while feeling invigorated and transformed by memorable experiences. But not everyone likes to travel in the same way, or with the same intensity.

Soft Adventuring is one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry, for good reason. It is the perfect blend between traditional (or “hard”) adventure travel with luxury travel, placing emphasis on pleasure and comfort-seeking more than thrill-seeking.

What is Soft Adventuring?

Traditional adventure travel is a popular tourism niche, but for certain groups of people it can be too stressful, harsh, rugged, or risky. 

Soft adventuring is a safer, “lighter” version, allowing tourists to experience enriching recreational activities without needing to have high levels of fitness, training, skill, experience, or courage.

That said, soft adventuring is not your typical beach resort or island vacation—it is designed for those who crave more than an average cruise or ordinary sightseeing trip, but want to avoid activities that involve a great deal of risk, or have demanding physical requirements.

Soft Adventuring blends traditional adventure travel with luxury travel, placing emphasis on pleasure and comfort-seeking more than thrill-seeking.

Soft adventuring borrows many of the best elements of “hard” adventure travel, as it typically involves exploring exotic, unusual or interesting destinations with unique scenery or attractions, thus providing the opportunity to make memories that last a lifetime. Like traditional adventuring, it focuses on taking the “road less traveled” and having new experiences—but with a gentler, safer, softer edge. Soft adventuring consists of activities that require only mild physical exertion, skill or experience, and incorporates amenities like modern comforts, luxury accommodations, fine dining, or top entertainment. It often also includes educational or enrichment components relating to culture, history, geography, wildlife, natural wonders or other special interests. 

Many soft adventures are thoughtfully planned to include pre-arranged logistics or equipment, as well as the support/assistance of a professional guide.

Who is Soft Adventuring for?

The good news: Travelers don’t need any special qualifications to enjoy this type of travel! They simply need to be in reasonably good health and have a desire to experience something new.

Examples of the type of people that soft adventuring is most suited for:

  • Baby Boomers
  • Families or multi-generational groups
  • The physically disabled or impaired
  • Novice or beginner travelers
  • Anyone who appreciates the finer things in life—ease, safety, a good meal, a comfy bed

In contrast, hard adventure is enjoyed by those who are generally enthusiastic about and comfortable with elevated risks and hazards. Hard adventuring comes with the uncertainties and challenges that accompany isolated or remote locations. And of course, hard adventuring is best for those who are physically and mentally fit, as much of the joy and satisfaction of hard adventure is derived from facing risks and challenges.

What are some examples of Soft Adventuring?

To some, soft adventuring elicits the satisfying imagery of trekking across unspoiled lands, followed by a nice glass of wine. And while this certainly counts, there are also many other ways that soft adventuring can manifest.

A soft adventure tour can include activities and experiences such as: 

  • Safari
  • Sailing 
  • Cycling
  • Forest Bathing
  • Short-distance Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Fishing
  • Ranching
  • Snorkeling
  • Ziplining
  • Tubing
  • Surfing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Rafting
  • Kayaking
  • Rock climbing
  • Canoeing
  • ATV Tours
  • Hot-air ballooning
  • Glamping
  • RV-ing
  • Wine Tasting
  • Gem Mining
  • Birding
  • Helicopter Tours
  • Museum Touring
  • Cooking Classes

The list goes on! 

All you need is a dream, and a plan…

In contrast, some popular examples of hard adventure activities include paragliding, skydiving, mountaineering, ice-climbing, downhill skiing, scuba diving, and white-water kayaking. As you can see, all of these require prior experience and top-notch equipment.

In a nutshell, getting joy and satisfaction from hard adventure places greater demands on the traveler. Soft adventure, on the other hand, focuses on providing life enhancing travel experiences without unnecessary stress. 

No matter what your personal adventure type is, FUN is likely to be your primary motivator!

Ready to try your hand at Soft Adventuring? 

Outfitter Bicycle Tours is here to help you plan your dream soft adventure. Our international cycling vacations are made for the soft-adventurer looking to experience world-class scenery, history and culture while enjoying the fun and camaraderie of a trip on two wheels. We offer custom bike tours with the convenience and expertise of a professional local guide—or for those “harder” adventurers who want to choose their own adventure and pace, self-guided options. 

Outfitter Bicycle Tours provides custom and unique travel experiences throughout the most scenic regions of France, Italy, and the USA. We are proud members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, a professional industry group promoting responsible world travel. Contact us today to start planning your dream bicycle tour!

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