Holiday Travel is on the Rise; Empower Adventures Offers Exciting Destinations

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The holidays bring families together more than any other time of year, and provide the perfect opportunity to unplug from day-to-day doldrums and reconnect with loved ones. Empower Adventures gives visitors thrilling experiences that become lifetime memories.

A 2016 holiday survey revealed that 72% of Americans were planning to travel at least once between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.1 It was also estimated that more than 103 million Americans—the highest number on record—travelled during the 2016 year-end holiday season (between December 23rd and January 2nd).2 Although New York City topped the list as the most popular destination, warmer areas—such as Orlando, Florida—made up the rest of the list.2

Another trend being seen all throughout the year is the increase in digital detox holidays and immersion vacations. Approximately 45% of adults try to unplug for a digital detox at least once a week, while more than 65% do so during the year.3 “With the kids out of school and many adults able to take winter breaks from work, the holidays are ideal for spending quality time with family and friends,” said Joe DeRing, Empower Adventures founder and president. “The holidays are the perfect time for families to unplug from technology and reconnect with each other while enjoying an outdoor adventure.”

Family time can be very limited throughout the year, what with work, school and extracurricular activities taking up much of daily life. Setting aside time to focus on family during the holidays is essential, and not only does Empower Adventures provide an escape to warmer weather, it also provides fun activities to make the holidays more memorable than ever. The most challenging aspect will be deciding which Empower Adventures location to visit:

  • Beautiful, sunny Tampa, Florida, has a guided zipline course with 11 unique activities. There are several ziplining opportunities, a chance to rappel while exploring Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve, and a 200-foot suspension bridge walk where one can get a bird’s-eye view of Tampa Bay.
  • Exhilarating Middleburg, Virginia, located on the grounds of the stunning Salamander Resort & Spa offers an array of guided ziplining tours and rappelling adventures, as well as survival challenges through the beautiful Virginia countryside. There are 20 acres of thrilling adventures to choose from, including treetop zip tours and moonlight canopy tours.
  • Brisk Middletown, Connecticut, provides the only true treetop canopy tour in the state. In addition, visitors can discover a sense of adventure and explore the great outdoors while tree climbing, rappelling, and taking compass and map scavenger hunt treks.

While quintessential holiday activities may include listening to seasonal music, watching a classic holiday movie, baking cookies or decorating a gingerbread house, families can think outside the box and go with exciting outdoor activities such as ziplining. “Spending time ziplining as a family during the holidays provides a positive, uplifting experience that brings families together with the perfect mix of teamwork, support and fun,” stated DeRing. “But the best holiday gift of all is being together as a family, while creating memorable moments that will last a lifetime.”

About Joe DeRing
Joe is a true American hero. Having served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Joe returned from service seeking to use his leadership skills in a way that would allow him to contribute to society. Partnering with advisors Dev Pathik and Jason Clement, Joe developed Empower Leadership Sports in Middletown, Connecticut. Later, the team created Empower Adventures in Tampa Bay. The center and Joe’s incredible personal journey from battlefield to inspirational adventure operator has now been featured on CNN, FOX, and numerous other media outlets across the U.S.

About Empower Adventures
Empower Adventures operates canopy tours, ziplines, rope courses, and leadership development and adventure activities at its central location in Tampa Bay, Florida, as well as at its Connecticut and Virginia (in the Washington D.C. area) sites. At Leadership Sports in Connecticut alone, Empower Adventures has served over 75,000 guests since 2009. The company’s goal is to help guests overcome fears in order to gain confidence and empower themselves—over the past three years, 10,000 guests have visited the Virginia Empower Adventures location, and only four did not continue to the Tree Top Zip Tour.

Empower Adventures utilizes best-in-class techniques to train guides and offers the highest standard of safety protocols within the outdoor adventure industry. Empower Adventures provides a guide for each adventure group, regardless of size. The adventure center guides at Empower Adventures aim to provide customers with a powerful, memorable and inspirational experience which engenders a positive attitude and encourages teamwork. Outdoor adventure guides are specially trained to cultivate the creativity and problem-solving skills that are necessary to overcome challenges and develop leadership skills. Special team building sessions are also available to facilitate bonding in any group.

1Orbitz Worldwide, Inc., “Nearly Three Quarters of Americans Are Expected to Travel This Holiday Season, According to Orbitz Insider Index.” GlobeNewswire News Room, 20 Oct. 2016,

2Souto, Jessica. “Holiday Travel Forecast Archives.” AAA NewsRoom, 15 Dec. 2016,

3Kharpal, Arjun. “Millions on a ‘Digital Detox’ Because the Internet Is Ruining Everything.” CNBC, CNBC, 5 Aug. 2016.

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Karla Jo Helms
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