Budget adventure travel guide
2 MINUTE SUMMARY
Imagine trekking to a mountain refuge in Cuba’s Pico Turquino National Park or riding the rails from the tea estates of Darjeeling to the downtown streets of Delhi; that’s what budget adventures mean to us: really getting under the skin of a country, at ground level. Budget adventure vacations are ideal for travelers who are comfortable on public transport, happy with a homestay in a rural village and for those who understand the difference between street food and fast food. This style of travel lets families discover new cultures whilst choosing optional activities to match the mood of the brood. Solo travelers and couples can keep within saving plans and put a bit aside for something special, like a hand-carved souvenir, a cooking course or a guided safari. Our budget adventure vacations travel guide helps travelers find a country’s true identity at a price and pace that suits them, down to the ground.
Adventures on a budget
WHAT DOES A BUDGET ADVENTURE HOLIDAY ENTAIL?
Forget budget adventures equating to cheap-as-chips deals and corner cutting; that’s certainly not what we’d recommend. Budget adventures are a style, an authentic experience, a chance to get closer to the people who really matter: the local expert, the welcoming family or the curious language swappers on the public bus. This might mean you travel either side of peak summer season, or steer clear of city center hotels, or travel as part of a small group and share costs on accommodation, food and activities. These vacations let you travel without the fear of things going wrong, and result in unexpected costs or time consuming processes. The money you save can go towards additional activities, cultural classes, or slap up seafood suppers in a local restaurant overlooking the ocean. Just make sure you know in advance exactly what's included in the overall tour price, and whether there might be hidden extras lurking around the corner.
Choosing which type of budget adventure vacation best suits you can take a fair bit of research with small group, self guided and tailor made vacation options all working well for different reasons. For some, 24/7 backup and expert trip notes are essential for trekking, walking or cycling vacations. These also have the added benefit of luggage transfer and hand-picked accommodation – certainly a huge plus for those who prefer to be self guided. Going on an organised small group vacation lets you benefit from trusted local knowledge as your tour leader and local guides will point you in the direction of affordable places to eat, how to get the best deal at a market or which taxi or operators to avoid, and why. And you’ll also share your vacation adventures with a group of likeminded, intrepid travelers.
Overland travel is an excellent means of reducing costs while packing as much in as possible, with local bus and train services or specially built overland vehicles used on these trips. Experiencing an entire country or crossing borders overland is what an overland adventure is all about, while overnight sleeper trains allow for further cost cutting as you save on extra accommodation. There will be invaluable contributions from local guides and tour leaders letting you learn more about what’s out the window as well as opportunities to meet local people on public transport.
Small group adventures
Sharing the costs of a tour guide, entrance fees, accommodation and outdoor activities can be achieved through small group travel, which is why this is one of the best ways to experience an adventure on a budget, as well as one of the safest. Free time will always be included in the itinerary so you can stay within your means when it comes to choosing where you eat and what to do during the evening. Although several activities will be included within a small group tour there will usually be a variety of optional activities too, so you can pick and choose depending on what you fancy at the time rather than shelling out for everything in advance.
Sharing facilities is another way that small group tours save you money and solo travelers can decide whether they want to share a room or a dorm, or pay a single supplement for their own space. Tour leaders are always on hand to offer important information, with recommendations for affordable restaurants and local pubs just as valued as which tourist heavy districts to avoid if you’re after the real flavour of a destination.
Tailor made adventures
There’s no disputing DIY travel can be an exciting adventure; however, sometimes, adding a back up team, detailed trip notes, a choice of tried and tested accommodation and an itinerary that’s tailored to your expectations, can actually be a more affordable option, especially on one- or two-week trips when you simply don’t have time to get lost or miss connections! Tailor made budget adventure vacations give you choices, ideas and freedom to make your own decisions. You’ll be able to take advantage of the safest activity companies, local tour guides and honest recommendations to take the hassle and time out of shopping around, as well as ensuring you’re embarking on an adventure with confidence rather than cost cutting and gambling on the outcome.
Centre based adventure
The Balkans, particularly Croatia and Montenegro, are fast becoming some of the best destinations for a budget adventure vacation with locally owned activity centers, close to lakes, rivers and forest-covered mountains, offering affordable options in exceptional settings.
Everything from white water rafting and river kayaking to mountain biking, canyoning and horse riding, can be undertaken within a short distance of a central base without the need to pack and unpack as you travel from one place to the next. You’ll find local guides really know their stuff, having lived in the area all their lives, and knowing that you’re in safe hands as well as using quality protective gear and safety equipment lets you be a bit braver and step even further out of your comfort zone. Taking out the extra costs of equipment hire, transportation and finding places to eat can really help towards an affordable overall experience.