A walking vacation is a great way to keep fit and explore different countries. Seeing the sights and having the fresh air around you, can be such a different type of holiday. Exploring a country on foot will also give you a great sense of achievement from walking getting from A to B each day.
We often get asked “How fit do I need to be?” by customers who are undecided on whether a walking holiday is for them. We have walking holidays for all levels of ability, from easy walking holidays to the more strenuous walking holidays. With that in mind you should be able to find a holiday suitable for yourself. However, we do find that if guests have a basic level of fitness, then they will enjoy their walking holiday and not be uncomfortable.
How Fit Do You Have To Be For A Walking Holiday?
Walking Holiday Grading – What Level Should you Choose?
We have many walking holidays available for all types of fitness – from beginner to the more experienced walker. You can find more information about our level grading and also see what tours we have available via our tour selector.
If you are a complete beginner, have a look at our easy walking holidays. With a basic fitness level all these walking holidays should be doable. Do you have some level of fitness and have done a previous walking holiday? Then you can take a browse of our easy-moderate walking holidays or even our moderate walking holidays. For the more experienced walkers out there we have our more strenuous walking holidays for you to choose from.
Even if you have never hiked before you can still enjoy a walking holiday as you will gain fitness and experience in the run up to your holiday by going out walking to build up your fitness.
How To Get Fit For Your Walking Holiday
Once you have booked your walking holiday, then in the few months leading up to your holiday aim to start going out at least three times a week to start with. If you can fit in walking every day, then this would be better. Don’t worry though if you can’t go out, sometimes other commitments come up.
You could even think about walking to work instead of taking the car (if you are within walking distance!). Try at first to start off small and go out for between 15-30 minutes. You can then build up at your own pace to more but stay within your comfort level. If your muscles are not sore you can go out for longer. Remember to pace yourself, there is no need to go power walking. You want to relax and enjoy your holiday not try and get to the end of the hike/walk at super speed.
If you are going on a more strenuous walking holiday (hill walking in more mountainous areas) that requires you to walk on rough ground and includes some elevation, then you need to remember to add the same type of walks in back home before you go to give you some experience at this. If you are planning to wear a backpack while out (which we would recommend), then make sure you get some practice before you leave wearing a backpack. Your backpack needs to fit you correctly and not cause you any pain. You don’t want to leave it until you arrive to find your hiking backpack doesn’t fit correctly.
While training for your walking holiday, you could download a walking exercise app which can let you know how far you have walked. Another great bit of tech is a smart watch, these are a little more accurate than just using your phone.
If for any reason you cannot get outside, then do an internet search for an indoor walking program. There is no reason not to be able to get some training in!
What Type Of Shoe?
It doesn’t matter what level of fitness you have, if you have a badly fitting pair of boots they are going to be uncomfortable and could lead to blisters and sore feet. You can read a previous article about walking boots vs trainers here. We always recommend getting a good pair of well-fitting hill walking boots to protect your ankles while out on your daily hikes during your walking holiday.
Make sure you go walking in your boots before you go on holiday to make sure they fit properly, and you have no pressure points or rubbing. A good pair of walking socks can also make a huge difference, so try go to an outdoor specialist and see what different brands of boots and socks feel like.
The greater your level of fitness will mean you enjoy your walking vacation that little bit more. A walking holiday is an experience you won’t forget, so you don’t want to be struggling along the way.
Let us know if you need any help in choosing the right holiday for you.
First Published: Jan 2016