Adventure travel is one of the most popular travel trends of the 21st century. It is a type of tourism that involves travel with some sort of risk, and typically requiring physical exertion and some specialized skills. One of the popular types of adventure travel is skydiving. Skydiving involves jumping out of an airplane and free falling to the ground before pulling a parachute. Because sky diving generates an extremely high rush, it is one of the most popular forms of adventure tourism.
Pros and Cons
Starting with the most obvious con, skydiving is dangerous. Typically you will dive with a trained instructor, and even if something does go wrong they are skilled enough to prevent
Still, you are jumping out of an airplane and falling to the ground. Thus, there will always be some risk. It is also very expensive, and it generally takes a full day as you will have to undergo some training before you jump. For most people, however, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. Skydiving is truly a once in a lifetime experience, and generates an adrenaline rush that other activities cannot. It also provides a sensational view, especially if you jump in one of the more popular places, like New Zealand.
New Zealand and Australia are two of the most popular places in the world for adventure tourism, and for good reason. While there are plenty of beautiful drop zones in New Zealand, one of the most popular locations is Fox Glacier. Situated on the west coast of New Zealand in the isolated Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Fox Glacier is an 8-mile-long glacier that allows for a beautiful view of the snowy rugged peaks of the Southern Alps and the wild coastline along the Tasman Sea. In Australia, jumping at North Wollongong Beach in Sydney offers a unique whale watching experience, allowing jumpers to see dolphins and whales in the deep blue waters.
The Road Less Travelled
For North Americans who may not be able to afford going all the way to New Zealand to skyjump, there are plenty of places close to home that offer a similar experience. Snohomish, located in Washington, provides jumpers with an exquisite 360-degree panoramic view featuring the green San Juan Islands and Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier in the Cascades Mountain Range. It is one of the most gorgeous drop zones in the US. Another great destination that may not receive much publicity is in Pattaya, Thailand. Before falling into lush green fields, the jump offers a stunning view of the western coast of Thailand. Pattaya is located just south of Bangkok, and is the only full-time drop zone in Southeast Asia.
Costs and Savings
One of the biggest downsides of skydiving is the cost. One tandem jump generally costs around $200, with at least $50-$100 for photos and a video. On top of that, there are travel and accommodation costs. Going to New Zealand or Australia from North America adds at the very least an extra few grand on top of that cost. There are many packages available that help save on the cost of skydiving, however, especially if you go through tour companies or websites like Groupon.