Business travel can feel like an extreme sport: lots of stress, no sleep. So, if summer's arrival gets you thinking about taking a break, why not opt for an extreme vacation? Why not visit a remote destination where you can really get away from it all? Here are four vacation alternatives (including some for winter) that provide peace and tranquility — plus as much cold, heat, or remoteness as you can handle.
|The land cost ranges from $3,400 to $4,300 (including food), depending on the season. This 13-day cross-country safari departs about twice a month.||After sleeping in a tent, head out for a drive in an open-topped vehicle. Along the way, you'll encounter cheetahs, lions, leopards, and elephants in their natural habitats.||Two-time visitor Stephanie Grant found her safari to be out of this world: "It's like going back into some sort of Eden, where evidence of humanity is just not there."||While this part of Africa doesn't pose any major health risks, and while no shots are required for Botswana, you should visit your physician before going on this trip.|
Hike the Awesome Classics
Back of Beyond Adventure Co.
|The trip — six nights in a lodge — costs $1,605 per person (meals and activities included). The weeklong hike takes place four times this summer.||Hike through the Canadian Rockies and encounter glaciers, waterfalls, pristine lakes, foliage, and animals of all kinds. Then relax in the luxury of a cozy lodge with gourmet dining.||Betty Peterson found this trip both invigorating and relaxing. "Climbing mountains is very motivational," she says. "In fact, hiking has become my new hobby."||Get in shape before you go. Travelers who are more physically fit are better able to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Expect to hike 6 to 12 miles a day.|
Marlin Bay Resort
|A beachfront unit runs $185 per night, and a two-bedroom unit costs $285 per night. For $55 a day, guests can sign up for a gourmet-dining plan.||Beqa Lagoon is one of the world's top dive locations. After dark, don't miss the traditional fire-walking ceremony, in which native Fijians tread barefoot across scalding-hot rocks.||Roger Mauermann, a repeat visitor to Marlin Bay Resort, says it's a total vacation: "The tranquility of Fiji helps me put my life in perspective."||Be prepared to be cut off from the outside world. At this luxurious resort, the rooms contain neither television sets nor fax machines nor telephones.|
Cruise on the A & K Explorer
Abercrombie & Kent
|Depending on your cabin choice, prices range from $6,455 to $14,335 per person. The ship sets sail on several dates between November 5 and February 19.||An intimate cruise: The ship holds a maximum of 100 passengers. Small excursion boats, called Zodiacs, take you on day trips to islands with magnificent iceberg scenery.||Jane Nerison renewed her sense of wonder on this trip. "I've been to a place that few people have ever visited," she says. "It enhanced my desire to explore new ideas."||Don't forget your waterproof gear. Zodiacs often make wet landings, and you'll be exploring snow-covered territory. Rubber boots and Gore-Tex pants are a must.|