You’ve always wanted to go on a geocaching vacation. Through geocaching you can explore many natural and historical landmarks, combine it with hiking, biking, swimming or other fun outdoor activities.
But then comes the stage of planning your geocaching holidays, and that’s when things get complicated. There are too many things to consider when planning, from choosing the destination to logistics of transportation. Here in this article, you will find many useful tips and also a real-life example that will walk you planning your geocaching vacation.
Choose a destination
Choosing a vacation site can be really important. Maybe you want to visit various destinations in your vacation, or maybe limit yourself to a specific region or area around a national park or certain monument.
Well, the more destinations you want to visit, the more time you will have to spend on public transportation or driving. If you use public transportation, consider that it can be unpredictable. During peak tourist season public transportation can be chaotic, so expect delays, being stuck in traffic jams, roadwork and possibly even missing your ride.
You will also probably have to change your sleeping accommodations frequently, and that always includes packing and unpacking your belongings, check-in procedure, making various arrangements with the hosts, etc. And then you may find out that your room has a smelly bathroom, and then waste time requesting a change of the room. The point is, that the number of inconveniences increases with the number of destinations added.
Also, consider weather conditions. For example, if you want to vacation in the mountainous region, that region may only be accessible during summer. Because, for the rest of the year, the days are short (you don’t want to be caught up in the dark during a hike), and it’s either raining or snowing. Also, you may choose a perfect season to visit the said mountain, but the it’s starts to rain, and you can’t go geocaching. You may want to also plan alternative activities if the weather is bad.
Create a geocaching route
You may also plan how you are going to geocache, like creating a geocaching route. Also, make sure to allot time for non-geocaching activities in your travel itinerary.
Here are some ideas about planning geocaching on vacation:
- Find out about the best geocaches in the area that you want to visit.
- Make your own geocaching challenge, like finding one geocache in each attraction you visit.
- Do challenges made by other geocachers, e.g. finding 20 geocaches in 20 landmarks. Read more about challenge caches here.
- Challenge yourself by targeting more difficult geocaches like those with high D&T, virtual caches, earth caches and multi-caches.
- Do geocaching at the city you are visiting. Cities will have lots of caches at landmarks. Those geocaches will often have a description explaining the history and trivia about the landmark. You can use those caches for sightseeing.
- Try geotours, which are pre-made tours that combine travelling and geocaching.
Other things that may help you along your journey
For geocaching, you are for sure going to use apps like cgeo or Geocaching app. Also, you can pay for Geocaching Premium which will give you access to useful things like route planning and access to higher-quality Premium geocaches.
Furthermore, if you aren’t using them already, the navigational apps like Google Maps are also useful. You can use Google Maps to give you the location of major landmarks around you instantly.
You can also use sites like Cachetur.co that can help you plan your trip.
Also, pack everything you might need for a trip. Pen to sign logs, comfy shoes, sunscreen, water food, and appropriate clothes are a good start.
Planning a geocaching vacation – an example
For the purpose of this article, let’s go through the whole process of planning a geocaching vacation. As a destination, let’s choose Black Forest (Schwarzwald) – a mountainous region in Germany known for dark forests and small villages. As Germans like geocaching, this seems like an ideal destination to enjoy both nature and geocaching.
This region is usually visited by car, but let’s make a plan to visit it by using public transportation. In Europe, many countries have good public transportation, so planning such trips is possible. But, travelling like that can be difficult because you can’t go wherever you want. You also have to plan more and stick to the travel itinerary.
Back to planning. First, we did some searching on the internet about visiting Black Forest. We also checked how to navigate it by using public transportation.
We visited an official tourist site which lists destinations that you can visit there. But, as usual, information on visiting certain regions was not detailed enough, so we did some Google search about visiting Black Forest using public transportation. We stumbled upon this blog post about a person’s experience visiting Black Forest using mainly the train. Most importantly, this was a recent experience so the information will not be terribly outdated. Also, for more info, we turned to reddit which had a masterlist about visiting Black Forest. Reddit is useful, as it often includes many experiences in a certain destination and you can ask users from all over the world questions in English.
After gathering the info, it’s time to find our base destination. A base destination is a place where you rent accommodation and make trips to other places in Black Forest. Having a base destination reduces the need of having to change accommodation, packing and unpacking and not having to stick to an itinerary all the time. After some research, we’ve decided on Freiburg as our base. Freiburg is a big and beautiful city where you can arrive easily, do some geocaching and, most importantly, from there you can visit other places using public transportation. From the blogs mentioned before, it seems that the easiest to use is the train. In Freiburg, it’s also easy enough to book accommodation on the fly using apps like Booking.com or Airbnb.
One of many things to visit from there is Lake Titisee. We checked the Geocaching app and saw that there were some geocaches there.
From research, we find out that this destination can be reached by train from Freiburg (Breisgau) Hauptbahnhof (main railway station in Freiburg) to Titisee station. The train goes multiple times a day there and back, and the trip lasts less than an hour. The train itinerary can be found on Deutsche Bahn website.
As it always seems to be, it was tricky to find which was the actual arrival station, because when you write Titisee in Deutsche Bahn website, you get many stations to choose from.
In the end, after cross-checking with Google maps, the right station to choose is “Titisee” or “Titisee Bahnhof, Titisee-Neustadt”.
Cross-checking with Google Maps is always useful. We also checked the street-view near Titisee Bahnhof, so from there to the lake seems walkable.
About other things to do (besides geocaching) on lake Titisee, google stuff like “what to do at Lake Titisee”, which will usually lead you to sites like TripAdvisor listing activities that can be done there. From here, you can see that there is some interesting stuff to do like a giant pool complex and a mini golf course. By cross-checking with Google Maps again, you can see that those locations are near the train station, so they are very easy to visit.
So, the process of planning the visit to Lake Titisee is repeatable for other places too. In general, planning a geocaching vacation includes figuring out what places you want to visit, which geocaches you want to find and figuring out how to get from place to place. You will use a lot of Google Maps, geocaching apps, websites for public transportation and sites for booking accommodation.