Have you always dreamed of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? What about bungee jumping from the world’s current highest jump point, the Royal Gorge Bridge in America? If you’re an adrenaline junkie, these types of adventure holidays are probably ranked high on your to-do list, but you might be worried about the high price tag that comes with them. Follow these tips to have the adventure of a lifetime without incurring all the costs:
1) Go with a local operator.
Long-term budget travellers know that the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck is to go local. That’s because local operators often provide the exact same tours that big name companies do—complete with guides, transportation, and all the necessary safety equipment—for a much lower price. The reason for this is that the big name companies often outsource their tours to local providers anyway, which essentially means that you’re paying extra cash just to have them act as a middle man. For a cheaper adventure holiday, organise your own tours. TripAdvisor provides some great first-hand recommendations regarding reputable local operators in your intended destination.
2) Find a budget operator.
If you feel more comfortable sorting out your tours beforehand, you can find really cheap holidays by doing your homework and comparing the costs of several companies before you book. Make sure you know what’s all included in the package and what you’ll be expected to pay out-of-pocket upon arrival. Be aware that in order to cut down on costs, budget operators are more likely to use public transportation and stay in smaller, locally-owned accommodations rather than big hotels. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means you’re likely to have a more authentic, local experience.
3) Sign up to receive travel deals and discounts.
Thanks to the internet, finding a good deal on an adventure holiday is easier than ever. Coupon sites like Groupon and Living Social regularly feature discounted adventure tourism packages both domestically and abroad. These generally only include the cost of the activity itself, meaning that you’ll likely have to book your own transport and accommodations. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of the coupon (e.g. how long it is valid for) before you buy.
4) Go in the off season.
Simply put, the price of your adventure tour often depends on when you’re travelling. Prices can be up to double the cost during peak tourist season, so your money won’t stretch nearly as far if you’re travelling in these months. Plan your wreck diving adventure in the Barbados in the months July through November or your safari ride through east Africa in the months of April through June to get the biggest bang for your buck; you’ll enjoy the benefit of cheaper tours, cheaper flights, and cheaper accommodations if you do.