When the activity level is too high

Occasionally, I see programs that look fascinating but have an activity level that is higher than I usually enjoy. Should I attend the program and try to challenge myself or play it safe?

  • It's depends on the goal you aim for traveling, if you want to enjoy all of the actities, i suggest you should choose moderate hiking. If you want to test your limit, just try the best you can
  • In reply to bswong33013037:

    I am going on another CR trip next weekend. I went on a photography trip to Scotland and it was amazing, and almost went on the RS photog trip. Do tell, what was it like? Can you show us some photos (a link to them somewhere?) Did you raft? That is the only part of my 3 Jewels Trip I hope I am fit enough to enjoy. I walk 5 miles a day many days, so otherwise feel fit...
  • Alice, I want to reply to your question, but I haven't identified the trip you're taking based on CR and 3 Jewels. 3 Jewels sounds like London, Edinburgh and Dublin, but it doesn't have a rafting trip. CR sounds like Costa Rica and the trip we took there did have a rafting trip, which I know you could manage if you can walk 5 miles/day. You are given safety instruction, you board the very stable rafts in shallow water, and you paddle when told, and stop when told to stop. You will get wet (it was raining when we started the rafting trip, but it stopped soon) so wear a swimsuit and, perhaps, a rash guard (SPF swim shirt) shirt if you have one, so you don't get sunburned, and a hat with a chin strap. Sunglasses will get wet, but if you wear them, tie them on. The rafting was really fun and we saw rare green macaws flying. If you plan to take photos, take a waterproof camera. My waterproof camera doesn't have a long lens, so the photos of the macaws are just smears, but we did see them. If your trip is to Costa Rica, let me know and I'll post some photos. We did the 2 week trip, but I'm sure the rafting would be the same. The lodge was the Selva Verde Lodge and it's amazing! There is an outdoor counter upstairs where the dining room is, that overlooks a bird feeding station. You'll get great bird photos there while you eat, particularly breakfast. Also, if you like pina coladas, have one there; they're made with fresh pineapple and coconut.
  • I'd say it also depends on whether it's just a higher level than you "enjoy" or if it's a higher level than you think you're capable of. It affects the experience of the others if someone on the trip is visibly struggling and delaying the schedule because they can't keep up reasonably well. That's one reason why we carefully slant our trips to the more active ones while we're still able to do them comfortably!

  • In reply to charlotte.drayer010411:

    Yes, it is CR, and I think is called 3 Jewels of CR, but I could be mistaken ;). There are three main areas we are visiting. The rafting sounds the same as when I took two separate trips down the river Mohongahilla (sp??? ) River from the Cleveland and Pittsburgh areas when I was a very much younger person. I bought a cheap waterproof camera for this and the snorkeling adventure. I am getting very excited. If you can post potos that would be great. Perhaps a link you feel comfortable with. I am second generation Elder Hostel and am always so happy to share stories and adventures with like minded adventurers! I will try to dig up some of my Scotland RS photos as well...
  • In reply to alice.oppenheimer051035:

    I have a waterproof cover for my iPhone and have even gotten underwater pictures while snorkeling that came out great. I made sure to shorten the tie so it would not slip over my head. Look for one that floats and make sure to test it out to ensure no leaks. I love it and travel with it always.
    This is the description of the one I bought:
    FRiEQ Floating Waterproof Case for Outdoor Activities-Perfect for Boating,Kayaking,Rafting,Swimming, for Apple iPhone 6 Protects your Phone from Water,Sand,and Dirt-IPX8 Certified to 100feet Rainbow
  • In reply to alice.oppenheimer051035:

    Alice: I found the trip you're taking. You'll be on an entirely different trip than we took in 2016. We took the Best of Costa Rica trip. Our river rafting was on a different river, but I'm sure you'll be fine with this one, too. It's really fun! Do take water shoes or Tevas or Keens, as suggested, or canvas shoes you want to throw away afterward. We were in the cloud forest as well. That is an amazing experience. I spent a lot of time photographing hummingbirds on the grounds of the eco-lodge. It was in the 50s at night and our rooms had heaters that the staff turned on in the evening. Plan on getting wet there. It warms up in the daytime, but it is misty a lot of the time...in the clouds. When you're in San Jose, go to the gold and jade museum. I saw the collection in 1972 when I was there as a student, living in San Pedro and going to La Universidad de Costa Rica for classes with fellow students from Beloit College in WI. The gold is no longer in a bank and I heard the museum is wonderful. I've always wanted to go to Manuel Antonio and it's the one corner of the country that I haven't visited. Lucky you! Suggestions: eat fresh pineapple, preferably that your group buys and cuts with a clean knife. (I ate street pineapple with no trouble, but that isn't true for everyone.) If you see a Pop's ice cream shop (there are several in the San Jose area) try a coconut ice cream plain or dipped in chocolate. I first had that in 1972. Ron con pasas is rum raisin ice cream. It's good too.
    I am also a second generation Elderhostel/Road Scholar person, as is my husband. My folks even rafted down the Grand Canyon with RS for 10 days. They bicycled the Loire Valley of France, too. We've been to New Zealand, the National Parks of Utah with a professional photographer, we did the Southern Coastal Trilogy with folks we met in Utah, 2 weeks in Cuba in 2015, and Ecuador: Andes Amazon and Galapagos, last winter. Every trip has been wonderful! If you'd like to see photos, I have albums on facebook from our RS trips. You can see my name from my email. My maiden name is Gilbert. If you're on fb you can "friend" me then see the photos. I'll remember your name. My grandmother was Alice. You'll have to scroll way down through the albums, but they're there, as are pix from many of the other trips. You'll LOVE Costa Rica. The biodiversity is amazing. If Gloriana is your leader, give her my best.
  • In reply to Missy:

    Like others, I train for my RS moderately challenging hiking trips. I do more stairs (up & down) walk more & go to the gym. I'm in my late 60's and am usually a middle of the pack hiker, but I can sometimes be in the front or at the back of the pack depending on the group, the terrain, etc. Groups often get choices and split up to do a more difficult option. However, sometimes spouses or friends encourage someone to attend who then says on arrival "I don't want to do a lot of stairs or hills", even though the description of hike was clear. Group leaders make an effort to accommodate various paces, but participants should be able to do the basic itinerary. It's also important to study the weather in advance and close to departure in order to be prepared with appropriate clothing and layers. I have taken "easy" trips because I wanted to see a specific area, but then I add my own walks and hikes during free times or take the stairs in the hotel to make the trip more challenging for me. It is important to always notify the leader if one plans to sit out an activity or take a walk instead of going to a lecture.
  • I’ve participated with two local hiking groups that termed their hiking pace as moderate. I thought both too fast paced, more of a brisk walk. And they did not stop. a thord group did their brisk walk, then at the end decided to do it again ans see if they could shorten their time! Describing hiking speed can be very subjective; nice to have alternatives if longer, potentially more strenouous hikes are planned.
  • In reply to mollysydney012712:

    I have the same problem where I live. The local meet-up hiking groups that I tried were generally too fast. I'm not interested in a death march pace (that they would call "moderate.") I like the RS "moderately challenging" hikes because they do allow for a range of paces and typically have a leader at the front and sweep at the back of the group. As with most group hikes, you do have to keep moving, which is different from hiking on your own or with a friend. A lot also depends on whether you are going to be out hiking all day or doing two separate morning and afternoon hikes and going back to the vans in between. On an all day continuous hike, there are no options other than slowing down on the return. It's important to read the hike descriptions carefully, etc.
  • In reply to charlotte.drayer010411:

    Good to know, Charlotte. April 23 will be my first RS trip. If I had understood how to navigate, I may have found a less active trip for Bryce and Zion. Level is active. But I did 26 miles biking (level) a couple of times last summer. I am training at a gym and will increase my efforts. I am an active 72.
  • In reply to beverly102599052347:

    If you can bike 26 miles, that's great. I've never been to Bryce & Zion, but hiking/walking at higher elevations in general can be more tiring. Hiking/walking uphill adds to the challenge as does a rocky terrain. Your detailed trip itinerary should have info on the daily hikes/walks (elevation, elevation gain, and miles) plus what gear is recommended. Have fun!
  • In reply to beverly102599052347:

    The trip reviews did offer up that "... Guides were good at offering hikes for folks of varying ability and you were able to choose what hike suited you."... if that offers some peace of mind. Most group leaders are also okay if you let them know you are not participating and where you will be. Both parks are stunning and not to be missed. Enjoy.
  • In reply to hilaryann0520052209:

    And "lower activity level" does not mean we want to sit around doing nothing! RS still has to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Consider offering videos that show the upper floors of a destination for people who can't manage all the stairs, or a film that covers the same terrain as a bike tour. The opportunity to take a city bus tour (at our own cost) in lieu of an extensive walking tour might work, too. My gripe was a tour guide who power walked about 6 blocks to a museum; it wasn't the distance but the level of exertion that flattened about half our group, including some 80+ers who were pretty fit.
  • I have arthritis in my knees & hips, I can get around on level ground, but I have a problem with high steps, steep hills & uneven ground. I like to have a handrail to grip onto, however many ancient buildings, churches etc. don't have them. Many kind people try to help me, but often they yank my shoulders & wrists & it hurts. I usually travel with my husband who knows how to push me from behind when I'm boarding a tour bus. I try to get a lot of information from the tour guide. If the tour sounds difficult, I don't sign up, or I sit out the difficult parts & my husband takes photos & explains what I missed.