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    Whether you are a first time adventure traveler or a veteran to adventure vacations, America Outdoors can help you find the experience that is right for you. Many family vacations are planned using the website to look for outfitters and information which are useful for vacation planning, especially family vacations. Adventure vacations are fun and a learning experience for everyone regardless of your age, interests or physical abilities. The adventure begins by selecting the right trip!


    The searchable database on America Outdoors' Website is a great resource for searching for a recreation service provider by location or activity.

    The majority of the outdoor trips and adventure vacations available through America Outdoors outfitters are appropriate for people and families with little or no experience. They are not at all like the wild adventures you may have seen on television. Yes, there is some level of adventure and challenge, but for many trips, especially those designed for families the challenge is not overwhelming and it is managed through the assistance of an experienced guide. Some trips are designed for enthusiasts with some prior experience and skill, but your outfitter can help you decide if a trip or adventure vacation is appropriate for your skill level.

    As you begin to explore the many opportunities to enjoy a family vacation or an adventure vacation, we encourage you to look for outfitters and guides that are members of America Outdoors. America Outdoors outfitters are provided a Code of Ethics to follow that includes public service and safety, industry professionalism, and conservation of our natural resources. In addition, members are encouraged to adhere to a Sustainable Recreation Policy that supports the continuation of our national legacy of quality outdoor experiences on Americas' lands and waters in a manner that sustains the long-term ecological integrity of natural resources and the economic well being of communities.


    An outfitter or an "outfitted trip" means that you will be using the services of a professional to provide instruction, to guide your trip, or to provide the supplies and equipment that you will need. There are fully outfitted trips and adventure vacations where the guide(s) stays with you for the duration of the travel experience and leads your trip. There are also partially outfitted trips where an experienced operator might rent you equipment, help you get into the backcountry, and then allow you to enjoy the experience on your own. To help select the right outfitter, ask for references, preferably from some guests who been on a trip recently from your area. Get several references, not just one and call them.


    What is your primary motivation for an adventure vacation? Do you want to challenge yourself, to share an outdoor experience with your friends or family, or just kick back and have a good time?

    What does your family or group like to do? What activities do you want to participate in? Do you want your outfitted trip to be on land, on water, do you want to bike, horseback ride or combine several activities into one trip? Do they like learning something new? As you start your outdoor trip planning you'll need to have in mind where you want to go and how much time you have. Are you planning a two-week vacation, a day trip, or something in between?


    What is your physical ability and the ability of the others in your family or group? Most activities do not require a high level of conditioning, but some physical conditions may not be advisable on some trips. You will need to inform your outfitter of any special conditions as you discuss the trip. Outfitters are good at providing reasonable accommodations for various conditions, but some trips may have essential eligibility requirements.


    Are you looking for an outdoor trip that provides creature comforts where guides cook, set-up camp and cater to you or do you want to do more of this on your own? You'll be surprised just how comfortable the thick sleeping pads and cozy flannel sleeping bags are. With a creek murmuring nearby, you'll probably sleep better than you do at home.


    Many outfitters also have lodges, cabins or other facilities so that you can enjoy the backcountry during the day and head back to a shower and bed at night.

    Regardless of how you answered these questions, America Outdoors' website with its searchable database can help direct you to an outfitter that fits your needs.

    You many want to take notes about your experience with each outfitter as you do your research starting with your first phone call. Did they seem friendly and helpful? Did you feel they were focused on your needs and questions?


    If you are planning for a group, take an important intermission -- ensure that your trip is the right "fit" for everyone. Take a few minutes with yourself, family, friends and/or group to talk over what each member wants from the trip. Be sure the entire group is informed of the nature of the trip. If possible, give them a copy of the brochure that describes the experience. Ask yourselves:

    • Do we want to relax, just play, be intensely challenged, or all of the above?
    • How long do we want to be away?
    • How much can we spend?
    • When do we want to go, and how flexible can we be?
    • What kind of scenery are we looking for?
    • How much do we want to do ourselves, and how much do we want somebody to do for us?


    After reviewing the literature you received and your notes, call and book your trip. Half or one-day trips can usually be reserved as late as the day before you want to go. Certain trips, especially the more popular ones, fill up fast. Longer trips should be booked earlier, so plan at least six months to a year ahead if you have specific dates for traveling. Make sure you understand the cancellation policy! Always advise the outfitter of known medical conditions or special accommodations you may need.

    Some Additional Questions You May Want to Ask:

    • How experienced is your staff?
    • Is the trip price all-inclusive?
    • Can the outfitter provide for your special dietary needs?
    • Can they tell you about other guests on your trip? Are there children? Other families?
    • Are there any age or other restrictions?


    Your outfitter will provide you with trip information, which could include suggested travel arrangements, pre-trip fitness tips, waivers, directions, lists of what to wear and bring, suggested stays before and after your trip, etc. If you have any questions, whatsoever, about getting ready for your outdoor trip or adventure vacation, call your outfitter and ask. Not only is it their job to answer your questions, they expect it. And it's everybody's best interest for you to be well prepared and enthusiastic.

    Adventure Vacation
    P.O. Box 10847
    Knoxville, TN 37939
    Phone: 865-558-3595
    Fax: 865-558-3598
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    P.O. Box 10847
    Knoxville, TN 37939
    Phone: 865-558-3595