Q. Are you fit enough for a family activity holiday?
I’m Maria, a senior tour leader for Green World Holidays. I’m writing this article to highlight how your fitness impacts; your well-being, safety and enjoyment. Many parents, ask about the necessary fitness levels to enjoy a family adventure holiday in Europe.
Below is a typical conversation I have with mums & dads researching water sports holidays for families in Europe.
Mum: “Do you think an activity holiday is the right for a mum of three? I don’t have much time myself to get to the gym these days!”
Me: “If you have three teenagers running around, we believe you’re already an active mum. But all joking aside, our family activity holidays in Croatia and Slovenia offer the right balance of adventure & relaxation. It’s all about the family spending time quality together and bringing other kids & parents of similar ages and backgrounds together.”
Mum: “But is it purely sport focused? My eldest children are very sporty but the younger one is more academic!”
Me: “Our family multi active holidays are created to be all inclusive and non competitive. As a tour leader, its great to see the groups gell well. It’s because the children are out of their normal social clique and there really isn’t an opportunity to be an alpha in the pack. That’s why friends are made very easily.”
Mum: “Would I benefit from getting to the gym, before your active trips?”
Me: “You don’t have to be a marathon runner to book with us. You don’t have to be able to cycle 100 miles and sprint on an uphill. But you do have to like nature, like outdoor sports and water sports, be able to swim and enjoy challenges.”
Mum: “Ok, good to know. I’m certainly not waiting by the phone for the GB Squad.”
Me: “Before booking, you will always be able to talk to a staff member who has experienced the activities and they will explain which adventure is best fit for your family. It’s always best to discuss your level of fitness and any other physical challenges you have with our family, prior to booking. Because you have done rafting in Thailand, doesn’t mean it’s the same in Croatia or Slovenia.”
Mum: “On a different note. I know your company is very nature orientated, but my kids will demand internet connectivity. Is that catered for?”
Me: “Yes. All our accommodation’s offer free Wi-fi.”
Lisa: “Great to know. It’s the first thing they ask for now.”
Me: “It’s actually quite fascinating for me as a tour leader. On our trips, I see how little time teenagers spend on their phones. Parents definitely feel the difference of bonding with their children. Sharing authentic experiences really pulls us closer together.”
Lisa: “Do I have to do all the activities?”
Me: “Children under 18 years must be accompanied by one parent.”
Lisa: “Are there any activities that traditionally people struggle with?”
Me: “Canyoning is our longest time on our feet. We are in and out of water, moving across slippery surfaces, hiking through different terrain. We use a lot of stamina during the 4 hours and some parents, that haven’t walked the dog in a long time, will find it tough. If you know you’re quite a bit over your correct weight and not a fitness person, you should discuss this activity in more detail with our staff. Once in the canyon, you can only move forward.”
Lisa: “Any technical equipment we need to buy for your family active vacations?”
Me: “No. We provide everything. But we do ask you to consider wearing UV protective clothing instead of using sun cream. It’s less harmful to the environment. Less cream going in the water. Less plastic.”
Lisa: “Any other tips to prepare?”
Me: “We have a preparation blog article – What to pack for an adventure week“
Me: “Being transparent about your physical and mental challenges is all about giving us the opportunity to put safety around your family. Please never presume.”