budget adventure travel guide

Budget adventure travel guide


Imagine trekking to a mountain refuge in Cuba’s Pico Turquino National Park or canoeing in Central America and sleeping in tents along the banks of the Old Belize River; that’s what budget adventure vacations mean to us: really getting under the skin of a country, at ground level. These trips 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. Families can 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 an awesome souvenir or a cooking course or a guided safari tour. Budget adventure vacations allow travelers to unearth a country’s true identity at a price and a pace
that suits them down to the ground.
Find out more in our budget adventure travel guide.

Adventures on a budget


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; they’re an authentic experience; they’re 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. Budget adventures might mean you travel either side of summer, or steer clear of city centre hotels, or travel as part of a small group and share costs on accommodation, food and activities. Organised budget adventures let you travel without the fear of things going wrong that might result in unexpected costs or time consuming processes. The money you save can go towards additional activities, cultural classes, or souvenirs that you actually want to keep. Just make sure you know in advance exactly what's included in the overall tour price and whether there might be any hidden extras lurking around the corner.

Things to do on a budget adventure vacation


Things to do on a budget adventure vacation...

There’s a lot to be said for bypassing 5-star resorts and all-inclusive hotels in favour of more modest accommodation – and not just because of the savings. Locally owned guest houses and family homestays offer a much more authentic and personable approach to understanding a destination, and if you’re hoping to get all the insider recommendations from the people that really matter then living like a local is what we do best.

Pick and choose activities. Budget adventures don’t mean missing out on activities, quite the opposite. Understanding which activities are included within an overall tour price and which are optional extras allows you to budget accordingly without any hidden surprises along the way. Putting aside some funds for something special lets you keep within your budget and not have to compromise when it comes to making the most of your free time.

Travel off peak – if you can. School vacations and guaranteed sunshine often dictate peak times to travel, with flight, accommodation and activity prices increasing with temperatures and crowds. Spring and autumn tend to fall into a much more sensible pricing structure as well as offering a more authentic and convivial ambience as local people relax and go about their daily lives; keep an eye out for local carnivals or alternative New Years which cam bump up prices, too.

Things not to do on a budget adventure vacation...

Cut corners. There’s no point gambling with your health and safety when traveling away from home, and if you’re contemplating scaling a mountain at speed, just to save time, or plumping for an uninsured activity operator, just to save costs, then you’re really missing the point of budget adventuring. Chancing your luck with unaccredited companies or individuals may also result in having no come back if a tour is cancelled or if something goes wrong, which is why paying a bit extra up front might well save you money, time and hassle over the long term.

Crowded coach tours. Although prices can drop the more people sign up to a tour there’s no point lessening an experience by bundling onto an overcrowded coach or minibus just to save cash. Budget adventures shouldn’t just be box ticking exercises; they should be a personal and unique experience that truly excites. The fewer people that you have on a guided tour, the better because: A. You’ll lessen the impact on the area that you’re visiting and B. You’ll be able to listen to expert advice with a much clearer understanding as to what's going on.
Written by: Chris Owen

Photo credits: [Turquino national park : Geoffroy Magnan]
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