- This article is about doing sport for recreation. For spectator sport events, see Calendar of events and festivals.
There are several reasons to combine sports with travel.
- A destination might have favourable weather.
- A destination might have favourable nature, or sport facilities.
- One destination, typically a low-income country, might provide a sport experience at a lower cost than another.
- Some sports can be illegal or strongly regulated in some countries, while legal in others.
- The destination might hold competitions, tours or organized events.
- Travellers might want to uphold their exercise habits while travelling.
- See also: Canyoning
- See also: Horse riding
- See also: Rock climbing
- See also: Winter sport
- See also: Alpine skiing
Alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, is a popular sport involving sliding down snow-covered terrain with skis attached to each foot. Ski resorts around the world attract millions of travellers yearly.
Cross country skiing
- See also: Cross country skiing
Cross country skiing can be used as a mean to travel easily in thick snow in the wilderness or as an alternative pastime on ski resorts. It can allow quite easy access to places which seem untouched by man. The skis are different from those used in downhill skiing.
Snowkiting is "winter's newest extreme sport", requiring only the wind, a snowkite, skies or snowboard, and an attitude for fun. The sport has endless possibilities, such as backcountry skiing without a ski lift or resort - your snowkite will pull you uphill and downhill at varying speeds. Snowkites can accelerate up to 50 MPH. The lifting power of the wind will allow you to jump to distances of up to 100 feet.
When snowkiting in the backcountry be aware of avalanche danger! Always snowkite in groups, wear an avalanche beacon, dress warm, and never exceed your limits.
- See also: Water sport
Hiking and running
- See also: Hiking
Hiking can either be done as day hikes, as wilderness backpacking or as hiking along long hiking routes leading through both towns and countryside and possibly wilderness, such as the E11 hiking trail from Netherlands to Poland or the pilgrimage route Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela.
- See also: Orienteering
Orienteering is another popular outdoor sport. It involves using a map and terrain navigation skills to follow a course in the least time. The sport has an international following, world championships, and training programs, and takes place in beautiful and interesting locations. Orienteering meets hosted by the top clubs draw thousands of participants from around the world.
Orienteering skills are needed (and can be enjoyed) also without competitive elements, especially when tracking in the backcountry.
Closely related to orienteering are rogaining and adventure racing.
See also orienteering.
- See also: Running
Running is both an activity undertaken by casual joggers wanting to stay in shape during their travels, and also by those who seek out marathons and other competitions around the world. Recently travel companies have begun offering packages for those travelling abroad for races that focus on the specific needs of the runner.
The Marathon distance is pursued around the world.
Geocaching is a treasure-hunting game that involves the internet, GPS map co-ordinates and travel. Players report their treasure hunt activities on-line to gain credits for their finds. Many of the players place caches (treasures) in spots they are quite fond of. So hunting them down will quite often lead to exciting adventures in lesser known locations.
One object of the game is to carry treasure from one cache to the next. Some of the treasures have identification information, so their travels can be tracked on-line. To play the game you will need a GPS receiver (or a map and the orienteering skills to use it), the cache description (make a printout) and about 1 hour spare (more for a difficult cache).
Related to geocaching is the Degree Confluence Project where people contribute photographs of the planet at points of intersection of lines of longitude and latitude. Most of the easy ones are done - but if you are hearing way off the beaten track this may be for you.
- See also: Golf
Golf is a game that is variously considered a pastime, recreation, sport, profession, religion or an obsession. To some the game is more an opportunity for relaxation than sport, and many travelers roam the world looking for unique and famous golf courses on which to hone their skill. Green fees might be cheaper in low-income countries.
Watching sport is just as much a reason for travel as doing sports. Whether it is a road game of your favorite sports team, a world cup or the top competition of your favorite sport that you have so far only seen on television, chances are you won't be able to do those things at home.
- Football in Europe. The best soccer leagues and most of the top players are all in Europe and the UEFA champions league is considered among the best competitions of the sport, only rivaled in quality by the world cup or continental championships
- American football. America's most loved sport in terms of per game attendance is now played in other parts of the world as well, but to see the "real deal" most will consider travelling to the USA, to see the best battle it out in the NFL, the CFL, and College Football at least once.
- Rugby football. While rugby was invented in England, it has spread to almost all Commonwealth nations and some beyond that. The Rugby Union world cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and important rugby matches draw crowds nearing 100 000 people. However, in other countries, rugby is overshadowed by other sports and hardly played or watched. If you live in one of these, you'll have to travel to see the best play.
- Baseball in the United States. The overwhelmingly dominating sport before being overtaken by American football in the 1960s, baseball is still seen as "America's pastime" with Major League Baseball but also some Minor league teams attracting talent from all over the world. The many games per season as well as the many minor league teams make it easy to watch a game while passing through and tickets are (for American tastes at least) moderately priced, with some minor leagues even having free admission.
- Ice hockey in North America. The fast-moving winter sport was invented in Canada and remains that country's official national winter sport, while the United States has made significant strides in both skill level and viewership.
- Cricket. While this sport seems totally alien to most people who weren't born and raised in one of the Commonwealth countries, it is fervently and feverishly loved in those countries where it is widely known. Games between some national sides are a matter of national pride, especially involving long standing rivalries such as England-Australia or Pakistan-India