Adventure Travel Tip: Smarter Stair Climbing

"Worried about hiking all of those steps on the Inca Trail (or Great Wall or any other stair-filled adventure)? To climb without getting winded, try using a technique called rest stepping, which allows you to literally take a mini rest as you mount each stair.

Here's how to do it:

1. Place one foot on the step above. Keep your weight on your back leg (bottom foot), then completely straighten that back leg. Rest.
2. Push off of your bottom foot, and place that foot on the next step. Make sure your weight is on your new back leg/bottom foot, then completely straighten your back leg. Rest.
3. Keep climbing!

If you're starting to huff and puff, go ahead and take a little bit of extra rest between each step. If you're going strong, make your rest barely noticeable. Before you know it, you'll be gazing at the views."

—Diane Valenti is the founder of Llama Expeditions and an avid hiker. She has been to Peru so often the customs officers welcome her "home." She was inspired to start her philanthropic adventure travel company over a home-cooked chicken dinner at close to 14,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes.