Planning an epic adventureSome people may want rest and relaxation when they’re figuring out how to plan an adventure. Meanwhile, others figure that if you’re going to be planning an epic adventure and travel half way across the world, you’d better do something simply amazing and mind blowing that you couldn’t do at home.

It’s quite evident that vacations can actually be a pretty divisive topic when it comes to planning an adventure and luxury vacation.

You might be torn between spending a lazy day out on the deck chair of a cruise ship sipping a cocktail and mustering up the energy to immerse yourself in the local culture, take in the landscapes, or challenge yourself with some new experience like hiking up the side of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

These are both fine ways to enjoy your vacation, all depending on what you want, but there’s nothing to stop you from having a balance of both adventure and luxury on vacation. The real question is how.

Adventure and luxury on vacation

Planning an epic adventure

How to plan an adventure

The temptation to just put your feet up and stick to the few streets you got to know on the first day is all the stronger if you don’t actually know what kinds of activities there are at your destination. Likewise, if you just follow every lead and whim that you find yourself with, you might end up having no downtime at all during your trip, let alone get the chance to get to know some of the locals.

This is why knowing what you want to do ahead of time, at least to some extent, is important. You can research this and put together an itinerary yourself, but this is pretty time-consuming (although I have to admit, half the fun of going on a new adventure). Fortunately, you can find holidays that blend adventure and luxury in the form of prearranged package trips from travel operators.

Journeying from city to city by boat across Croatia is always a fun luxury and adventure, but doing so with a pre-booked bed and breakfast waiting for you, while seeing some of the most iconic landmarks in places like India between stays at elegant historic hotels is where the best of it is at.

Choose locations wisely

adventure and luxury destination planning

If you prefer to stay centralized in one place during your trips, you’ll want to be selective about your destination. What you really want is a place that sits on some kind of border—between sparkling unspoiled beaches like those in the Hawaiian islands and the pounding music of the urban nightlife, between verdant wilderness and fascinating cultural capitals.

Tropical destinations are often great for this. Hotels on the waterfront often mean that zip lining and scuba diving are within mere minutes of a relaxing soak or simply sunbathing. Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is another great destination, with a simple bus ride being all that lies between bustling urban centers and a long hike through an untouched natural landscape teeming with life up to a traditional inn complete with a hot spring and ping pong tables.

Pack everything in one backpack

Travel with one backpack on your luxury and adventure trip

When it comes to traveling, I like to think I’ve mastered the art of traveling out of one backpack. I usually fit everything I need into my 30-liter backpack; and yes, that include my digital equipment. To get the most out of your next adventure and luxury vacation, do your best to consolidate down to as little as possible.

Carry limited amounts of clothing, camera gear, toiletries, or anything else you find you may need. Need some help trying to figure out what I think are the bare essentials? Take a look at what I carry in my backpack, then take what you need and try to pack them up using my backpacker tips that’ll save you room in your backpack.

Travel with an open mind

Planning for adventure and luxury on vacation

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you plan your epic adventure, step out the front door, and make the most of your next experience traveling. Whether it be a vacation domestic or abroad, traveling with an open mind to get that perfect adventure and luxury experience is what’s going to make your trip the best.

Of course, as long as you think ahead, getting both adventure and luxury out of your holiday is well within reach. All it takes is a little intuition, some research and planning a trip to an adventure destination you’ve always wanted to go to.

Have you ever tried planning an epic adventure and luxury vacation in a single trip? What are your tips?