Planning an outdoor adventure? Three things to do first

July 2011 News

An outdoor adventure is one of the great joys of summer. Whether you opt for rock climbing in Kentucky's Red River Gorge or a week on a houseboat in the Illinois River Valley, vacationing outdoors can be a welcome break from routine.

But before you indulge in some outdoor activities this summer, you should do these three things first:

1. Check your credit. 
If you're planning on using credit to fund your outside excursion, it's a good idea to get the inside scoop on your credit scorefirst. Your current credit status could affect your decisions about where to go and how to pay for the trip.

If your credit is in good shape and you have a plan for paying off the expense quickly, then using a credit card to cover vacation costs may make sense for you. If, however, your credit is spotty or you're close to your credit limit on one or more cards, you may want to reconsider where you're going and how much you'll spend.

Websites like let you see your score, which is a snapshot of your credit. The site can help you understand how your credit score calculated, what factors affect it and when the time might be right to apply for or use credit.

2. Check your health 
Your blood pressure, nutrition and cardiovascular health might not come into play if your summer vacation plans include nothing more strenuous than romping in the surf or walking around a theme park. But for safety's sake, a basic level of fitness is necessary for more energetic outdoor activities.

If your outdoor vacation will involve extended periods of vigorous exercise, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor for a checkup before you go. He or she can help you assess whether your current level of fitness is up to the challenges of the vacation you're planning, and offer advice for how to best prepare your body for the trip.


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