Many travelers seek out destinations that are particularly suited to specific activities, such as scuba diving or rock climbing. Some of these travel activities require specific gear, training, or planning to pursue, while others may be as simple as slipping into a warm spring to enjoy the soothing waters.
- See also: Outdoor life
While most of the world is outdoors; the concept includes activities outside built-up areas, where travellers need to bring much of needed equipment themselves.
- Foraging – Picking berries, mushroom and other edible things from wild nature.
- Outdoor cooking
This is an activity that is undertaken by professional scientists, by amateur scientists or wildlife watchers, and by other travellers who visit areas with interesting birds or beasts.
Be very cautious about dangerous animals.
- African flora and fauna
- Australasian wildlife
- Eurasian wildlife
- North American wildlife
- Central and South American wildlife
- Wildlife in South and Southeast Asia
- Wildlife of the Southern Ocean
- Marine life
Many of the activities below can also be practised as gentle pastimes and are not seen as sports by all practitioners.
Air sports are those that take to the air, and may use an aircraft as a launch platform, but that don't themselves involve sustained flight. The latter are covered under flying, "gliding", "aerobatics" and general aviation, while the air sports include:
- Ballooning, i.e. with a hot air balloon, rather than a powered rigid balloon, dirigible or zeppelin, which would be "flying".
- Skydiving or parachuting, ie jumping from a plane into freefall then opening a parachute - see main article.
- Paragliding with a parachute-like wing, but with no freefall, and so light that they're capable of extended flight.
- Hanggliding is similar, with an unpowered wing with a rigid frame, and with shorter flights, eg gliding down a mountainside.
There's some blurring of categories, and new sports continually evolve as materials and other technologies make new things possible. They all started out as daredevil, edge-of-the-world stuff, before becoming systematised and regulated, with training and competition structures.
- See also: Water sport
- Ice skating
- Ice swimming
- Sea kayaking
- Whale watching
- Whitewater sports
- See also: Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a sport in which people breathing from tanks of compressed air explore underwater areas. It's most popular in areas with tropical coral reefs, but there are scuba diving sites in most areas of the world with water.
Hiking, riding and running
- See also: Navigation
- See also: Offroad driving
Riding quad bikes (also known as ATVs – all-terrain vehicles) is a sport that involves riding on a small, rugged vehicle, usually in off-road areas.
Riding independently, quad bikers should check local regulations and consider possible damage to soil and plants, prior to embarking on a trip.
Normally, quad bikes are designed only for a single rider (although are frequently rented for riding by two). There's only one model of quad bike that has is designed for two persons, and that model is quite rare in commercial rent.
Snowmobiles are the equivalent for winter conditions. They are extensively used by locals in some Arctic areas (for getting around, reindeer husbandry etc.), and snowmobile "safaris" may be a common activity offered to tourists. On straight legs on prepared tracks and frozen lakes, speeds can be around 40 km/h (25 mph), but in difficult terrain the speeds are low and safe maneuvering requires much practice.
- Downhill snowsport
- Telemark skiing
- Cross country skiing
- Ice skating
- Winter swimming
- See also: Ziplining
Zip lining refers to an activity where participants (often referred to as “zippers”), are suspended from a pulley that moves across a cable suspended between trees or man-made structures. The cables are mounted descending from a higher to lower point which propels the zipper purely by the use of gravity. The amount of incline as well as the weight of the zipper determines the speed at which the participant travels from point to point.
Zip line courses can be designed purely for speed (adrenaline rush), while others are designed to allow zippers to enjoy the natural surroundings such as forest, jungle or waterfalls (often referred to as canopy tours). While others employ elements of both.
- Recreational shooting, including hunting
Agritourism means travel organized around farming or animal husbandry. Visiting a working farm or ranch for the purpose of enjoyment and education are key parts of this often rural experience. Farmer's markets, wine tourism, cider houses and corn mazes all constitute examples of agritourism. Travelers who participate in this type of vacation frequently desire to see how food is grown and prepared or to learn how animals are raised. Occasionally there are opportunities to tour small, local food manufacturing companies, such as cheese factories, although this is becoming less common as mass production increasingly crowds out the independent operators.
Wine tourism is travel organized around the appreciation of, tasting of, and purchase of wine. A kind of tourism highly developed in many regions, it can be as simple as hopping on a wine shuttle in Napa Valley or as complicated as renting a villa in the south of France for a month. Wine tourism is a great way to learn about the people, culture, heritage, and customs of an area. Some of the famous wine producing regions of the world have been producing wine for centuries or even millennia, and the production and consumption of wine is deeply ingrained in the local culture.
Learning languages abroad
Travelling to a foreign country both for leisure purposes and to study the local language can be an excellent way to deepen one's experience in a foreign culture and to combine leisure with learning. Although perhaps more common for people between the ages of 18 and 24, language tourism is undertaken by people of all ages and backgrounds. They tend to enroll in non-intensive foreign language courses that allow considerable free time in which to practice the language outside of class and travel extensively. Typical stays range from 2 to 5 weeks, and trips are often repeated in subsequent years.
- See also: Travel photography
Hygiene and body care
Hygiene and body care is not just necessity; cleaning up thoroughly after a tough ride might be the greatest experience of a journey.
Sauna is a bathing facility where sweating in a hot room is an essential part of the cleaning procedure. Sauna is used for getting clean, but very much also to relax and socialize. Sauna is also used for getting warm before and after ice swimming (and any swimming in cold water).
A trip to the spa is a common travel activity. It can be a great way to experience local culture and customs, enjoy some serious relaxation and/or remove the grime that accumulates while on the global road.
- See also: Gambling
While gambling is outlawed in some countries, whole cities such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Monaco are world famous for their casinos. Macau passed Las Vegas as the highest-revenue gambling destination around 2008 and is now far ahead.