How is the travel industry adapting for customers when options are limited?
Amy Ray, president of The Sisterhood of The Outdoors, usually takes clients on guided hunting and fishing trips across the United States. Some trips were still possible during the coronavirus pandemic with careful planning and risk management, but Ray had an idea.
“We started Sisterhood Saturdays with the thought of doing something outside and socially distanced in our local area,” Ray said. One Saturday seven ladies went to a shooting range to brush up on rifle skills, but Ray says the activity doesn’t have to be done with a group. “Take one friend to your local park. Or learn a new skill — I learned fly fishing.”
Adventure travelers have had to adjust and adapt as well, taking shorter, domestic trips now to substitute — or as practice — for a longer, international trips later.
If you’re looking for ideas, Global Rescue Safe Travel partners offer up some suggestions: what you can do now, domestically, and what you can plan for a larger, more remote adventure in 2021.
Patrick Pendergast, director of international travel at The Fly Shop, provides two recommendations:
AT HOME: Trinity River in northwestern California
The Trinity River is a 45-minute drive from the front doors of The Fly Shop in Redding, and is one of the best and most consistent steelhead fisheries on the west coast. The Trinity River is the major tributary to the Klamath River, and stretches 110 river miles from Lewiston Dam downstream to its confluence with the Klamath at Weitchpec. Nearly the entire river is designated as wild and scenic, and flows through Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest and BLM land. The average size of a Trinity River steelhead ranges from four to eight pounds, while mature adults measuring over 10 pounds are hooked on a regular basis. Whereas a great week of steelheading on most rivers can mean one or two fish hooked, on the Trinity River we regularly hook multiple fish nearly every day of the season. It’s a fly fishing slice of heaven, less than an hour away from home.
AFAR: Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge (ESB) is the hottest saltwater flats fishing destination in the world. In just four years of operation we have landed more than 1,000 permit. La Bahia del Espiritu Santo is the true gem of the Yucatan, and perhaps the last remaining wilderness fly fishing outpost along the entire Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. For the dedicated saltwater flats fly fisherman, ESB provides the least pressured angling opportunities in the entire Caribbean. Only seven boats have legal access to fish in the bay. This combination of remoteness, lack of human population and limited access is what makes ESB unique, and one of the most pristine resources left in Caribbean to target bonefish, permit, tarpon and snook untouched by human influences.
Non-essential travel from U.S. is currently limited at the border. For international travel, to and from flights are operating to Mexico. Check Global Rescue’s Coronavirus Update for the latest information.
Stoke Broker is a travel company cultivating unique and impactful adventures around the globe. With remote workers in Idaho, Colorado, Montana and California, Alice Howell, vice president, says there’s plenty of domestic trips to choose from. Here’s what she recommends:
AT HOME: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Orick, California
Northern California is absolutely full of spectacular places to visit — many of them close to major cities like Sacramento and San Francisco. But if you want to make it a true weekend adventure, take the time to drive up to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (five hours from the Bay Area). The drive is enjoyable unto itself, and the majesty of old growth redwoods will take your breath away, as will the fern lined canyon that leads you down a river and out to the sea. You can camp on the coast at Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and you may be greeted in the morning by one of the local elk population.
AFAR: Kerlingarfjoll Mountain Resort, Iceland
Stoke Broker just developed a brand new trip no other company has ever offered in Iceland — you super jeep or helicopter into the highlands to ski the remote, unnamed peaks of the Icelandic Highlands. While this zone is often visited during summer to see the incredible steam vents and hike the trails, trips are much less common during the winter. Getting there is part of the adventure, and skiing these peaks while looking out into the distance at glaciers is a ski experience of a lifetime.
U.S. residents are not permitted entry. Visitors from accepted countries must either pay for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test, or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Brandon Morris is the owner and founder of FlashpackerConnect Adventure Travel, a travel company that provides off the beaten track adventures around the world. Destinations he recommends for now and later:
AT HOME: Rocky Mountain National Park, northern Colorado
FlashpackerConnect is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, and we love to adventure and climb in Rocky Mountain National Park. The stunning snowcapped peaks are the backdrop for fly fishing, hiking, climbing, 4x4, horseback and many other activities. Our most popular trip here is the five-day multi-sport adventure, which includes fly fishing, hiking, climbing, 4x4 and horseback.
AFAR: Cusco, Peru
Travelers can walk, hike or trek their way through Peru’s classic sites such as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountain. This five-day trip is one of FlashpackerConnect’s most popular adventures.
Peru requires a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 antigen test result for entry.
Ian Taylor Trekking, based in Vail, Colorado, offers adventure treks, climbs and mountaineering trips across the globe. Here are recommendations from Ian Taylor, owner and CEO:
AT HOME: Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado
If you are longing for a hiking trip, look no further than hiking to the summit of Holy Cross. Holy Cross is the highest point in Eagle County, Colorado at 14,005 feet or 4,269 meters tall. After climbing Mount Everest Kilimanjaro 35 times and leading more than 150 expeditions, I can tell you the sunrise view off Holy Cross will leave you energized and in awe of the workers who built these trails and roads across the western United States.
Holy Cross has many different routes to the summit. We always hike in with all our gear via the Half Moon Pass route. We set up camp for the night in the designated camping area and at 4 a.m. we hike up the northeast ridge to the summit. The total ascent is 5,000 feet or 1,524 meters and over 11.5 miles. Hiking Holy Cross early in the morning is one of my favorite summer hikes. It’s also a great hike if you’re preparing for an international trip later.
AFAR: Peru, South America
Taylor likes different treks and mountains for different reasons, but a five-day Inca trek starting in Cusco is one of his favorites. “It is a spiritually amazing journey I always look forward to each year,” he said.
Sisterhood Saturdays to South Africa
With Sisterhood Saturdays up and running successfully, what is Ray planning for 2021?
“Our most popular trip is a horseback wilderness hunt for elk in Wyoming,” she said. “This four-day wilderness experience takes place in unbelievable scenery and provides the same terrain, camp and experience as the big game hunters.”
Further afield, Ray is planning a trip to Africa with Cheetau Safaris in May.
“At Sisterhood Outdoors we are proud be able to share our knowledge and experience with our guest to ensure a safe, enjoyable, outdoor experience,” Ray said. “We plan to have our Global Rescue insurance to give us all peace of mind while traveling.”
Local and Global Rescue
Locally or internationally, Global Rescue will always be by your side. Global Rescue memberships have expanded to include rescue services within 100 miles of your home.
The pandemic has curtailed travel and boosted local outdoor recreation, exploration and appreciation. We’ve removed the requirement for you to be beyond 100 miles of your home for rescue services. Whether you’re hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling, fishing, or simply enjoying the outdoors, Global Rescue is there for you if you get ill or injured and you’re unable to get to safety on your own. Learn more by clicking here.
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