Things to do on a budget vacation


Saving on a safari

Budget safaris bridge the balance between being outdoors in the realm of wild animals and traveling safely without cutting corners. One of the best options is an Africa overland tour; you’ll see plenty of the continent but costs are kept down as, where possible, they’ll use one overland vehicle for both transport and game drives. These overland trucks are really tall and have massive windows so everyone gets enough space to stretch out with plenty of room to see.
Budget safaris can also incorporate camping which, again, will save you money whilst placing you under a blanket of stars with just the sounds of the crackling camp fire and nocturnal calls from the bush offering evening entertainment that’s about as authentic a safari experience as you could ever imagine. So if you’re longing to travel overland from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, see huge elephant herds loitering in Kruger National Park or meet the Maasai after crossing the Great Rift Valley, then here’s where your budget safari adventure begins to quicken its pace and move in for the kill.

Adventure without cutting corners

Journeying by camel over the Sahara in Morocco, hiking through the fog forests of Machalilla National Park in Ecuador, or discovering the world’s tallest stalagmite in Slovakia’s Karst National Park; whatever adventures you’re embarking on, just make sure safety equipment, back up teams and group leader knowledge is second to none.

Five star culture

Budget culture tours expel the rather staid image of cultural tours past just as readily as swapping socks and sandals for hiking boots.
If you’re longing to unleash the languages, the food, the drink, the laughter, the art and the uniquely personable identity of a country, then don’t even think about going all-inclusive or ‘upgrading’ from a family homestay to a 5-star hotel. Budget culture tours take you into Cuban casas particulares, Japanese ryokan inns and Indian sleeper train compartments. They also open doors to hidden restaurants, street food markets and family kitchens where local people urge you to try something new and everyone shares a story or at least a friendly smile.

Beach on a budget

From massages and sea food curries in northern Goa to secret coves and sun drenched sailing boats in the Greek islands, you can avoid the tourist hot spots, high season prices and purpose built resorts. Instead, unleash your bare feet on the silky white sand that align the shores of Tortuguero in Costa Rica, Playa del Carmen in Mexico or Cuba’s south coast favourite: Trinidad.
Photo credits: [Five star culture: Yasuo Kida] [Beach on a budget: Berit Watkin] [Adventure without cutting corners: just_a_cheeseburger]
Written by Chris Owen
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Photo credits: [Page banner: Janelle Lugge]