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How to prepare for your first walking holiday

Booked your first walking trip? Great! Here are five tips to help you get ready for your hiking holiday, including what to pack and what training to do.
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1. Get kitted up

Check the budgeting and packing section of the trip page, where you’ll find guidance on what kit to pack. We’ll list our clothing recommendations as well as equipment.
 

You won’t need much specialist walking equipment for the majority of our walking trips, unless you’re doing a challenging walk like the Kilimanjaro trek (and on these types of treks you’ll likely have the option to hire equipment). The most important equipment is a good pair of walking boots that fit well and that you’ve broken in fully before your trip. Also consider investing in well-padded and breathable socks - a thin layer sock underneath a thicker walking sock works well to avoid blisters.

2. Go on some training walks

The amount of fitness preparation you’ll need to do before you walking trip will depend on the trip’s walking grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking grade and how far you’ll be walking each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered. Take your backpack with you and wear your boots to get your body ready and check your kit is comfortable.

3. Tackle an incline

It’s likely that you'll come across some hills on your walking holiday, particularly if you’re going on a moderate or challenging trip. Prepare for this by seeking out a hill or two on your practice walks. Or if there are no suitable hills near you, there are always stairs! Opt for the stairs rather than the lift or go up and down your stairs at home a few times. If you’re taking on a hike like the Inca Trail your body will appreciate this practice as you’ll be climbing a lot of them!

4. Stock up on snacks and a waterbottle

Make sure you pack at least one reusable water bottle – you’ll need this whilst you walk and you’ll be helping to eliminate single use plastic waste at the same time. We recommend a Water-to-go bottle, a reusable bottle with a built-in filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all contaminants from the water. Water-to-go offer a 15% discount to Explore customers – find out more on their website. If you’re going to be walking long distances each day you’ll likely need more than one water bottle.
 

You might want to pack a few snacks like energy bars and trail mix, especially if you’re going to a country where these may not be easily available to buy.

5. Relax and get excited!

Whilst training is important to help you build up your fitness, you don't want to tire yourself out too much before you arrive at your destination. Get plenty of sleep before you leave home and take it easy during your journey. Our walking holidays are not route marches but you’ll still want to arrive fit, rested and raring to go.

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