A vacation is a wonderful time to get away from the normal day-to-day. But you needn’t spend it sedentary and immobile, sipping cocktails and grazing at the buffet.
To combat vacation hangover and dreaded weight gain here are three fun trips that will challenge your mind and your body. You’ll return home from each of these trips in better shape than you left.
Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts Camp
Phuket is best known for its beaches and honeymoon resorts. But here’s another reason to visit this island off of Thailand’s west coast: The Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts Training Camp.
At Tiger anyone, whether couch potato or professional athlete, can learn the art of Muay Thai (Thai-style kickboxing) from some of the best teachers in the world. You can take as little as one private class (600 baht, approx US$18) or as much as a three-month intensive group class (24,000 baht). Though to really get into the rhythm of this ancient athletic art we suggest the week-long group class (quite the bargain at 2,500 baht, or about $73).
For students taking part in multi-day classes Tiger offers a plethora of housing options. Expect to spend 8,500 baht per week for their most upscale accommodations—poolside bungalows with large beds, tv/cable, wi-fi, and many other features. There’s also a restaurant on location, the Tiger Grill, with meal plans available.
Spend a week at the The Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts Training Camp and you won’t only have fun and get in shape, you’ll also return home with the ability to beat up your friends.
Irish Running Tours
Always wanted to visit Ireland but worried about what a week of Irish breakfasts will do to your waistline? Worry no more. Experience Ireland with Irish Running Tours.
Irish Running Tours has everything you need to see Ireland’s beautiful, green countryside and vibrant cities. The tours offered include The West’s Awake on the Atlantic side of Ireland, The Antrim Coast at the northern tip, Dublin – Through Streets Broad & Narrow on the eastern coast and The Irish Riviera in the southeast. You can also create your own tour through their website. More interested in the urban scene? Check into the city running tours of Dublin and Galway.
Irish Running Tours cover a variety of terrain and landscapes (rural & urban) and cater to all level of athlete. Their The West’s Awake tour, for instance, meanders along at a “leisurely pace”. The idea is to see the Emerald Isle through the eyes of a local. Participants do more than run; they learn where to partake in the best pint, hear the best Celtic music and find the best fish & chips.
Tour prices range from €695 to €1495. For that you’ll get an expert guide, accommodations in Irish Tourist Board approved establishments, all entertainment and some meals. “Basically, everything except the flights is included,” says Managing Director Paul Fallon.
If you’re ready to break free from car travel and see a beautiful country in the process, the offerings of Irish Running Tours are excellent.
Uganda & Rwanda
Ask someone what it is like to visit with Africa’s giant wild mountain gorillas and here’s the reply you’ll hear most often:
Looking into the eyes of the gorillas is like looking into the eye of God.
Gorilla trekking in eastern Africa is no mere hike. For many travelers it is a profoundly spiritual experience. Along the way you may also see chimpanzees, swamp birds and tree climbing lions!
Many operators, some less-than-reputable, offer gorilla treks. Do some research to make sure your chosen operator operates in an ethical manner and includes the cost of the required permit in their price. Two companies we suggest:
Volcanoes Safaris, National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine’s Best Adventure Travel Companies 2009 offer a variety of gorilla treks. Especially cool are their “secluded safaris” that are limited to five people. Their tour prices include all transportation while on tour, all meals, boat trips, park fees, permits, accommodations in eco-lodges and a variety of other amenities.
Intrepid Travel, one of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite tour providers, include gorilla watching in several of their overland trips through Africa. Their 16-day Gorillas, Chimps & Game Parks trip not only treks to the gorillas but also goes whitewater rafting and for a dugout canoe trip on Uganda’s beautiful Lake Bunyoni.
Thanks to Kirk Ward for this guest post. Kirk is an aspiring writer who is a travel, food and fitness enthusiast. He dabbled in the corporate world and is now looking for his career’s calling. You can follow his daily musings on twitter @dkirkward or his blog Discoveries of the Unemployed.
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