Felix Baumgartner made global headlines in October when he shattered the world record as the first skydiver to fall faster than the speed of sound, with a maximum velocity of 833.9 miles per hour. After jumping out of a balloon 128,100 feet above New Mexico, the 43-year-old Austrian also set the new record for the highest-ever free fall.
This incredible story of adventure is truly inspirational to those of us who share Baumgartner’s extreme thirst for adventure. If you want to follow in his daring footsteps, be sure to check out this list of most exciting extreme sports for your next vacation.
- SpelunkingIt sounds like something out of “Fraggle Rock,” but spelunking is really just a fancy word for cave diving. As fun as this extreme sport is, it deserves its own fancy word. Spelunking is a perfect activity for summer vacations, since underground caves always maintain a comfortably cool temperature that gives you a nice escape from the oppressive heat. Check out stalactites, stalagmites and fascinating rock formations hundreds (even thousands) or years old at sites like Mammoth Cave National Park, Wild Cave Tours, Jewel Cave National Monument and Kula Kai Caverns.
- SkydivingSkydiving is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that pretty much everyone has on their bucket list. Although skydiving will be an exciting experience no matter where it takes place, some destinations will be better than others. What better place to go than the skydiving capital of the world at Taupo, New Zealand? This region brings together nearly 30,000 thrill-seekers from all over the world during the summer months for an unforgettable skydiving experience that features a view you can’t find back home.
- Bungee JumpingWhether you’re headed to the sunny Caribbean or the Swiss Alps, bungee jumping is a popular extreme sport that allows brave jumpers to dive right into the scene below. Just like Felix Baumgartner, you can free fall from the top of a stable surface down into a lush green oasis or a deep blue body of water. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful world around you from an entirely new perspective, giving you the opportunity to experience the world in an entirely new way.
- Hang GlidingThe Outer Banks on the coastline of North Carolina is a great place to try your hand at hang gliding for an aerial view of these beautiful islands against a frame of a sea-green shoreline. The area is a great destination for other adventures as well, including windsurfing, sailing and fishing. Be sure to take in the breathtaking sandy dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park while you’re in the air, and make an up-close-and-personal visit on your way back.
Traveling the world is an adventure in and of itself, but adding extreme sports into the equation makes your visit that much more exciting. To make sure nothing spoils your daring adventure, always purchase international travel insurance before your trip to make sure you’re protected in case anything happens during these risky activities. Having a solid back-up plan will give you the courage to try these exciting experiences without hesitation.