Adventure Travel Trends

Ever since the birth of Extreme sports – white water rafting, sky diving, bungee jumping – anything to rock the socks off of a normal person, vacationing will never be the same. Superficiality is out. Excitement and adventure, passion and romance is much more appealing to today’s modern tourists.

African safaris have never been more popular. Current travel trends are for smaller accommodations and more time outside, for adventure, assimilating the local culture and really “experiencing” the place. (At the same time luxury vacation homes are also a strong new trend for the jet set crowd who want to separate themselves from the ordinary masses. These overworked and overstressed executives simply want a wonderful private abode to hide out and recharge their batteries in complete privacy!).

However, the vast number of modern tourists find the traditional hotel room and cable TV to be suffocating. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations are the Mecca like objectives for bungee jumping junior executives. Of course, these single men may find joy in weekend adventure sports on mountainous cliff not far from home. For die hard sports enthusiasts, particularly men in their 20s to late 30s, many take it a step farther. They organize their vacations in order to take advantage of a remote location where the sport they love can be pursued on an extended basis.

These types of vacations are different from the normal recreational vacations because it is an opportunity to challenge oneself. The traditional take on vacations, whether taken alone, with friends, one’s partner, or work associates was to RELAX. This approach is completely different. Its intention is to provoke the innate potential of the individual, so that upon return from “vacation”, new horizons won’t seem so distant and can be easily conquered!

In the days of British imperialism, the white tablecloth was brought along on the picnic along with piping hot tea in a silver clad teapot, which was very impractical, in retrospect. Vacationing tourists in today’s world have a newfound sense of humility in wishing to follow the tradition of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Embracing the culture means to ride the camel, try the local fare, and learn a few words in the local dialect. Support the farmer, not the corporation, get an understanding of the life and its struggles, and try to become a better global citizen in the process.

Sports adventures while vacationing are taken on a domestic level, and are broken out by season. For winter, that includes skiing the moguls, snowboarding, and cross country skiing, which may last days at a time? Sleeping in igloos and roughing it is a hearty adventure, to say the least.

With the melting of snow, spring is an ideal time to try white water rafting, though be sure to choose a highly experienced guide. Summer or anytime with dry weather, is great for mountain biking, motor cross racing, skateboarding and sailing. Long distance bicycling or motorcycling is also a sport even if you do seem to be sitting down!

Mountain climbing and can also be considered an adventure type vacation option, requiring weeks to accomplish and requiring skill, patience and endurance. Perhaps ideal for this is the well known and loved mountain peak of Kilimanjaro. Africa’s highest peak, it is not unattainable, unlike Mount Everest or K2 in Pakistan. A two week extreme adventure vacation is recommended for those relatively physically fit in both physically and emotionally invigorating in awakening “the beast within” and re-embracing one’s lost humanity in this computerized and mechanized society.

Hotel Supplies and Amenities 101 – Influencing the Guest Review

Expectations are high among members of the traveling public, especially when a hotel stay is part of their trip. Exceptional guest services, competitive room rates and comfortable, inviting guest rooms are among the highest of expectations. These are just a few aspects of a hotel stay that guests will comment on when they pen a guest review. There are standard, quality hotel supplies that people anticipate being in their hotel room. Absorbent bath towels and comfortable furniture are among the hotel supplies travelers expect to find in their rooms. When booking a guest room, people expect that it, along with the common areas, will be outfitted with a variety of basic hotel supplies.

Family reunions, conferences, weddings and business trips are among the dozens of reasons why someone might stay at a hotel. Often different reasons for a stay demand different hotel supplies, business centers, free internet access and swimming pools to name but a few. People traveling for business typically have their accommodations booked for them so they have no say in where they stay or which hotel supplies and amenities are available. Families and vacationers on the other hand usually choose their hotel based, in part, on the amenities and hotel supplies available or on the location relative to points of interest. The common denominator is, no matter where they’re staying, all hotels want to please their guest and will make every effort to please guests.

Just as different people have different reasons for staying at hotels, we’re all impressed by different aspects of a hotel. Some of us are impressed by doors the simplest things, such as doors that open automatically while others of us aren’t impressed by anything less than telephones in bathrooms and other fantastic amenities. Hotels also make a great impression when they exceed expectations by providing superb guest services, going above and beyond the norm or providing better than expected hotel supplies. When guests write reviews about their hotel stays, they write about what impresses them and what has disappointed them.

So what constitutes a memorable, share worthy hotel stay? The people, the hotel supplies or the room itself? When guests are greeted warmly and attended to quickly, they remember it. Hotels whose entrances are clean and inviting make great impressions on guests. When common areas are open and light it makes a great impressions on guests. When guest rooms are furnished with helpful amenities that do double duty as décor pieces, they usually leave guests impressed. Inviting rooms that exude warmth and relaxation make just about everybody feel appreciated and pampered. Sometimes the simplest hotel supplies will please guests and make their stay a pleasure.

In a world where everybody has an opinion, hotel guests are no exception. Once it was the verbal word of mouth about the service or hotel supplies that won or lost a hotel or business new or repeat guests. Today guest reviews on a variety of travel sites praise and pan hotels but now they reach a much broader audience. Amenities are an important parts every hotel stay. They also influence and inform guest reviews which also play a role informing potential guests about real life experiences at the hotels they might potentially book. Overall, every aspect of a hotel stay, including the hotel supplies, has the potential to influence guest reviews and, therefore, future business.

Where Do You Find Typical Cultural Difference?

Have you read a textbook for driving? I have not until I was forced to do so by traffic violation ticket agent, taking driving test again in Tokyo. It was back in 1978. In 1985, my employer that time transferred me to New York. I needed to take driving test in New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicle in April that year. Since there were enough materials for the test such as Japanese reference books, past record of test questions and answers, I did not have to read the driving textbook of New Jersey State. There was nothing I could do one weekend, I decided to read through the driving textbook one time for making sure I could pass the writing test.

As reading, I found there are some differences in the way the driving textbook was written between New Jersey State one and Japanese one. Putting language matters aside, I found New Jersey one spent more than 3 pages explaining how accidents happen and how you can cope with them. For example, New Jersey textbook was explaining when your car gets out of control in high speed driving, you should not collide cars going to opposite direction. You should avoid head on head collision by all means. It continued that you should collide something stopping still, instead. It further suggested that you should select to collide some other cars going toward same direction as yours, if you could.

In my experience in Japan, reading driving textbook and attending traffic schools, no Japanese textbook explained how to cope with accidents, no instructor in the traffic school I attended explained about it. This caused me to think about why there are this kind of differences of approach in driving textbooks.

It is my opinion based on several conversations with my Japanese and American friends that basic understanding about traffic accidents are different between US and Japan. US or Western Culture believes that accidents will occur, no matter how drivers were cautious, conservative, and safety conscious. An accident could happen due to mechanical failure. Also it could be caused by another driver driving close to you at the time of accident. Therefore, it is logically reasonable that a driving textbook has full explanation on them as much as helpful.

On the other hand, Japanese approach to car accidents is a little bit different. They believe that car accidents are bad things that should not occur. Or car accidents are the things drivers should avoid by all means. They would admit that accidents do happen. But they believe that preventive maintenance is more important than explaining how to deal with accidents. So their driving textbook is talking about how to check their car before long distance driving, make sure that you do not drive into harsh weather, sleep well in previous nights, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, etc, etc…

For relatively long time, I was thinking that New Jersey driving textbook approach is better than Japanese one. Accidents happen. It is good to learn how to cope with accidents. But, quite recently, I started to think that Japanese approach might not be so bad. They are trying to teach us that we should determine not to cause an accident or should be well prepared so that we should not have any anxiety for an accident, so that we would be able to drive with full confidence.

I do not intend to give you my judgment to decide which is better. It may be the best if we can do both. We can be preventive maintenance conscious, at the same time conscious about coping with an accident. There are some small things that tell us cultural background and difference.