The world of adventure travel is thrilling, offering journeys into the extraordinary for those with a taste for the wild and the unknown.

If you’re in the adventure travel industry, understanding the timing of traveller decisions is vital. With the right resources, we can analyse and unpick search data to determine when users start seriously considering and booking adventure trips.

Data analysis enables companies to synchronise their efforts with the evolving mindset of potential travellers and maximise resources placed into content marketing efforts.

Adventure travellers evolve through distinct phases of intent, from initial inspiration to active planning and, eventually, booking. Recognising and respecting these stages is essential for businesses to provide the right information and experiences at the right time.

SEO is an instrumental player in this process. It acts as a digital signpost at each stage, directing users towards adventure travel options and businesses.

By strategically employing SEO, companies ensure their online presence aligns with user behaviour during various stages of their decision-making process.

Whether users are simply exploring options or are ready to commit, effective SEO can increase the online visibility of a business at critical points in the customer journey.

What is adventure tourism?

Adventure tourism is a niche within the travel industry that caters to individuals seeking thrilling, physically demanding, and often off-the-beaten-path experiences.

It involves activities and expeditions that push participants beyond their comfort zones, often taking place in natural environments like mountains, jungles, deserts, or remote regions.

The appeal of adventure tourism lies in the adrenaline rush, the opportunity to connect with nature, and the challenge of conquering new experiences.

Combining outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, and personal growth, it’s an increasingly popular choice for travellers looking to break away from traditional, leisurely vacations.

Adventure tourism: search trend analysis

Conducting a comprehensive analysis of the most popular adventure holiday activities offers valuable insights into travel trends and user preferences.

We have examined categories, including cycling, family adventures, mixed activities, winter getaways, walking expeditions, and wildlife safaris, to identify patterns and emerging interests.

This analysis provides a crucial foundation for travel businesses to align their offerings with the evolving demands and choices of adventure-seeking travellers.

Category Jan % Feb % Mar % Apr % May % Jun % Jul % Aug % Sep % Oct % Nov % Dec %
Cycling 41 41 29 53 53 41 53 100 41 65 82 41
Family 44 33 44 56 56 44 56 100 78 56 100 56
Mixed Activity 50 75 75 50 75 75 50 75 50 75 100 75
Winter 36 30 100 30 30 19 24 24 30 36 36 44
Walking 36 36 36 36 36 44 44 44 54 54 81 100
Wildlife 52 43 43 52 67 67 100 81 52 81 100 100


The data shows a strong preference for cycling searches during the summer — search volumes peak in August, aligning perfectly with the warm summer months.

This robust correlation of 1.00 underscores that cycling enthusiasts are most active in planning their biking adventures during this season, potentially looking at last-minute bookings or planning for next year while their interest is high.


Family adventure holidays show a similar trend in favouring the summer season, also reaching its peak in August.

The correlation of 0.82 highlights strong alignment, emphasising summertime is the prime season for families to plan journeys together.

Wildfire safaris

The data for wildlife safaris continues to follow the same pattern. With a correlation of 0.53, the peak search volumes align with the summer season in July.

This pattern demonstrates that users are highly engaged in wildlife adventure searches during the warmer months, making it the prime time to campaign.

Mixed activity

The mixed activity adventures category offers a slightly different perspective. Here, peak search volumes reach their highest in November, coinciding with autumn. This rise points to a preference for diverse adventure experiences during the autumn months.

However, many mixed activity holidays include diverse adventures like rock climbing, kayaking, and canoeing. These types of holidays require much more future planning, indicating that users within this particular niche are beginning to plan ahead during the autumn months.


Winter adventure enthusiasts exhibit a similar pattern when searching. Despite being winter-related, the peak search volumes of 100% occur during the spring months.

This suggests that adventure-seekers are planning their cold-weather getaways well in advance so they’re thoroughly prepared when the adventure comes around.


For walking expeditions, the data reveals that peak search volumes are concentrated in December, coinciding with the winter season.

While the correlation of 0.18 is modest, it suggests that walking enthusiasts are particularly active during the winter months, likely seeking serene, snow-covered landscapes and the tranquillity of the winter season. Alternatively, these adventurers could be planning spring exploration.

Peak search consistency

Across all the categories analysed, we can see that all but one has its search in the last half of the year. Getting content planned and produced during the first six months of the year gives travel brands the best chance of success.

Being ahead of the curve in search demand is crucial for SEO, as a lead time before peak search allows for effective content publication.

It also gives search engine crawlers time to interact with that content and understand its value proposition, which is crucial in gaining consistent rankings at the top of SERPs.

Early preparation also has external benefits, allowing additional campaigns to run against the content, such as PR outreach, to enrich organic performance.

Enriching your content marketing strategy

While the data reveals noticeable seasonality in adventure travel search volumes, it’s vital to acknowledge each category warrants a tailored content marketing strategy for optimal results.

Crafting unique and relevant content that resonates with the specific interests of the target audience will only enhance your SEO strategy.

Given the peak in summer for cycling, any content strategy should prioritise promoting warm-weather cycling destinations, equipment recommendations, and safety tips for summer rides.

For families, with the majority gravitating toward summer travel, content focusing on family-friendly destinations and summer activities is vital.

Blog posts with family adventure tips or interactive content like quizzes and checklists tailored to families planning their summer vacations will directly match user intent.

With the peak for mixed activities in autumn, your content should celebrate adventure activities suited to the season. Incorporating autumn-themed visuals can round off content well.

It’s also important to consider the long-term nature of the planning process that travellers go through when looking at mixed activity holidays.

Plan and create content before peak times to meet the evolving user intent as it spikes, making the site a source of truth throughout the buying process.

G Adventures

G Adventures does a great job of helping with users’ long-term visualisation of being on holiday with its virtual travel experiences, where guides take users on a tour of some of the most sought-after destinations.

With peak search volumes occurring in spring for winter-based holidays, it’s crucial to cater to early planners by highlighting winter destinations, winter sports gear, and tips for booking winter adventures well in advance.

Users within this space will also be receptive to long-form content that will aid them in the planning process.

This focus on planning is similar for walking holiday enthusiasts. Emphasising the allure of various seasons, focusing on destinations and experiences that cater to different times of the year, will be beneficial alongside a more long-form and informative style.

Inn Travel

Inn Travel does this effectively by using a grading system. Users can clearly see the different types of holidays available from the start of their online journey.

Potential customers will potentially adopt this grading system themselves when shopping around, giving Inn Travel a consistent touchpoint with the user even when they aren’t on the site.

Given the peak in summer for wildlife safaris, creating content showcasing nature’s beauty during peak search months will resonate with users the most, as it will help them visualise themselves on the trip.

This tactic is also done effectively by Intrepid, which talks about wildlife travel as a theme that is much more than just going on a safari. This helps to engage users and align with their core values.

In essence, while seasonality remains a common thread, having an adaptable content marketing strategy for each adventure category ensures the content delivered resonates with users’ specific interests and needs.

Emerging themes

Adventure holiday companies are at the forefront of promoting sustainability and inclusivity in their travel offerings.

These forward-thinking businesses actively implement various strategies to create responsible and diverse customer adventures.

Companies specialising in safari adventures are taking significant steps to reduce their environmental impact.

They invest in eco-friendly practices, such as using energy-efficient vehicles, supporting wildlife conservation, and collaborating with local communities.

Sustainable safari holidays focus on preserving natural ecosystems and wildlife while providing travellers with educational and impactful experiences.

We can see this tactic with Far and Wild’s safari offering, which looks into carbon scoring and provides lodging listings filtered by sustainability level, which is an effective way to capitalise on the sustained market growth from 2019.

Recognising the growing demand from female travellers, adventure holiday companies such as Sidetracked Adventures have introduced women-only trips.

These excursions provide a safe and empowering space for women to explore the world. They often emphasise skill-building, personal growth, and cultural immersion.

Female travellers can connect, share experiences, and build camaraderie while embarking on thrilling adventures.

Adventure travel companies have made exploration accessible to a wide range of travellers for a long time. They design trips suitable for families, ensuring parents and children can embark on memorable journeys together.

Additionally, they create adventures for those with varying physical capabilities, promoting inclusivity and diversity in the world of adventure travel.

Many adventure holiday companies actively engage with local communities of destinations. They hire local guides, source food and products locally, and contribute to community development projects.

By fostering relationships with local communities, travellers gain a more authentic experience while supporting the well-being of the places they explore.

Collectively, these efforts represent a growing commitment within the adventure travel industry to sustainability, inclusivity, and responsible tourism.

By integrating these principles into their core practices, adventure holiday companies provide travellers with more enriching and diverse experiences while contributing to a more responsible and accessible adventure tourism industry.

Wrapping up

The timing of when users start booking adventure travel trips is a critical consideration for travellers and industry businesses.

The data-driven insights explored shed light on the distinct seasonality within adventure travel categories, emphasising the significance of aligning your travel plans with the right moment.

But what truly emerges from this analysis is the essential role of bespoke content marketing strategies and the crucial synergy with SEO.

Creating content tailored to each adventure category’s unique characteristics and timing is paramount.

Bespoke content strategies cater to a wide range of activities, ensuring that travellers find what resonates with their interests.

Whether it’s promoting summer cycling, crafting content for family adventures, celebrating the diversity of activities, catering to early planners for winter escapes, or enchanting walkers during their preferred season, these strategies are inclusive and diverse.

In this dynamic industry, these strategies provide the foundation for delivering what travellers seek and for adventure companies to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

By embracing this holistic approach, adventure travel businesses can offer memorable experiences while travellers embark on journeys that align with their desires and the seasons.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how SALT can revolutionise your organic adventure travel campaign.