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Walking Tours and Trips

Where to Walk
stream forest hike hikers hiking groupThe most popular destinations for walking trips are Europe and the U.S., but you'll also find tours in Canada, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Peru, Morocco, South Africa, China, Southeast Asia and beyond.

What's the Cost?
The cost of a walking tour depends on your destination, the luxury of your accommodations, how many meals are included and other factors. Most tours cost between $200 and $500 per person, per day. This price typically includes accommodations, most meals, guides, transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next, and most sightseeing and activities. Airfare is usually not included. Other extra costs may include some meals, tips for your guide, add-on activities and tours, and some local expenses.

Prices are almost always based on double occupancy. If you're traveling solo, you'll face a single supplement unless you travel on a special tour for singles or your tour operator can find you another solo traveler to room with.

How to Prepare
Prepare your body by walking regularly in the weeks before you depart. Try to build up to the kind of walking you'll be doing during your trip, whether that involves hills, long distances or rough terrain. If you'll be carrying a day pack on your trip, bring it along as you train to get used to its weight. Most importantly, wear the same shoes you'll wear for your trip -- that way they'll be well broken in before the big day.

For more strenuous walking trips, you'll want to improve your overall level of fitness in other ways too, such as weight lifting and cardio training.

If you're traveling to a mountainous destination, we recommend flying there a day or two early to allow your body to adjust to the altitude. The same goes if you're traveling through many time zones; walking all day is difficult enough on the body without adding jet lag to the mix.

Finally, consider purchasing travel insurance, particularly if you'll be hiking in a remote location. This will help protect you in case of injury.

What to Pack
hiking bootsYour tour operator will give you a list of recommended items to pack for your specific itinerary, but here are a few general suggestions:

  • Comfortable walking shoes -- preferably waterproof hiking boots with ankle support (required by some tour operators)
  • High-quality, waterproof socks
  • Clothing to suit a variety of weather conditions
  • Day pack
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Walking stick or trekking poles for uneven terrain

    For more ideas, see our Interactive Packing List.

    Tour Operators
    Here are several tour operators offering all-inclusive walking vacations:

  • Backroads: Offers hiking, walking and multi-sport trips in Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia/Pacific and Africa.

  • Classic Journeys: Offers easy walking tours in Europe, the Americas, Asia/Pacific, Morocco and Zambia. Trips fall into four categories: cultural walking adventures, culinary tours, family journeys and private journeys.

  • Country Walkers: Offers easy, moderate and challenging walking tours around the world.

  • REI Adventures: Offers hiking, trekking and backpacking trips in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Pacific. Some trips are appropriate for beginners, while others are quite challenging.

  • Walking Adventures International: Offers walking tours around the world, including Antarctica. Walks are generally easy to moderate. Not all tours on the company's site are offered in any given year.

  • The Wayfarers: Hosting walking vacations since 1984, Wayfarers works closely with locals in the regions they visit. From the Mediterranean countryside to Downton Abbey, tours focus mainly in Europe, but also include New Zealand, South Africa and Patagonia. Tours are rated in levels, so vacationers know the amount of physical exertion required by the trip.

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    --written by Sarah Schlichter

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