Woman in red and black plaid shirt with grey hat standing with her back to camera, facing water dotted with rocks. Trees rise up across water with grey mountain peaks.
Find local tour companies when you arrive at your destination — these providers probably don't have a budget to advertise online and will have cheaper prices.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / mundusimages

6 Tips on Doing Adventure Travel for Cheap

Adventure Travel That’s Affordable for Everyone

Adventure travel is enough to put a distant look of wanderlust in anyone’s eyes. Who doesn’t want to visit far-off destinations and enjoy tours through jungles, savannas and deserts?

Extravagant luxury adventure travel experiences aside, many of the more run-of-the-mill adventure tours are out of the budget traveler’s price range, so you may have to take a more creative approach to your adventure travel. Thankfully there are ways to get all the benefits of outdoor adventures without breaking the bank.

To get all the thrills without the cost, take a look at these cheap travel ideas that pack in the adventure.

Book Locally

Booking adventure tours from your home country can be very expensive. Arranging your tour from the comfort of your own home is convenient, but you will often have to go through bigger and more established tour companies, who charge a premium for the experiences they offer.

If you don’t have the budget to book these tours, you can often get a much better deal by going to the destination independently and then finding a smaller local tour operator instead. Cutting out the large international companies can save yourself a pretty penny.

This does mean you will have to be a little more resourceful, but the added excitement is all part of the adventure! Plus, you could pay a fraction of the cost and see exactly the same things.

Local tour companies most likely don’t have the budget to advertise online, so you won’t see them until you arrive. Head to Arequipa, for example, and you will find local agencies offering trips to the Colca Canyon all around the main square.

You can also scour guidebooks for good recommendations for local tour operators. Some travel guides cater specifically for budget travelers, so they will be able to give you good recommendations for which tour to book.

Another great way to find a tour is to ask around once you get there. You can meet other travelers through your hotel or hostel and ask them for their opinions and whether they have done any of the adventure tours — word of mouth is often the most reliable way to find a good tour and capitalize on affordable adventure travel.

Do It Yourself

Budget adventure travel is often easiest when you plan and do it all yourself. When you take tour companies out of the equation altogether, you can save lots of money.

It requires a little more organization and courage, but the rewards are great. Tour companies charge you for the service of organizing accommodation and transport, so take the initiative to get maximum control over how much you are spending.

For example, visiting Plitvice National Park in Croatia is immensely popular, with dozens of tour operators offering trips from the nearby town of Zadar. You have the ease of your transport all organized, but catching a ride on the local bus to get there is cheaper, plus you have the flexibility of deciding when you leave and depart.

Choose Just One or Two Highlights

It might be painful to do, but you can cut your affordable bucket list ideas down to just a few highlights. Adventure tours often cover all the major attractions in one region, so often you don’t have the option of trimming out the ones you can live without seeing.

If you’re doing adventure travel on a budget, you can arrange to visit just a few places in one country, putting your funds into the things you want to do the most.

Visit Budget Destinations

This might be an obvious tip, but it is also one of the best ones. Skip more expensive destinations, and head to cheaper pastures for cheap adventure travel opportunities instead.

For example, New Zealand is renowned as being an adventure capital, but it costs a lot for the experiences themselves and also to travel — then there are the flights to get all the way down there!

If you need some cheap adventure travel ideas, look at some of the best budget destinations. You can head to places like Thailand or Indonesia and experience the kind of adventure activities (think mountain trekking, canyoning, zip-lining) that you would pay several times as much for in other locations.

Being savvy about where you choose to travel can make your hard-earned cash stretch much further.

You May Also Like:

Explore Your Own Backyard

One of the best cheap adventure ideas is to look into travel options in your own country. You can save a lot of money on airfares and discover some amazing places you never knew existed, or had never thought to visit, plus you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for your homeland!

The best part is you don’t have to take two weeks off to get a taste of adventure. Make the most of your weekends and try to find somewhere you can hike, swim or leap into other activities that will help you rediscover your wild side.

Change the Way You Travel

Many of the experiences offered by big adventure tour companies put adventure and comfort side by side. Accommodation is typically in hotels and transport is often by private transfers.

When planning your own adventure travel tour, you can swap out these ways of traveling for the nittier and grittier (and cheaper!) alternatives.

To save some serious cash, go camping. It certainly fits the definition of adventure travel, putting you square in the sights, sounds and smells of a locale, so it’s a great immersive experience and without a doubt the cheapest way to sleep.

You can also think about the way you’re getting around. Instead of luxe tourist buses, consider hopping on a chicken bus.

Or, if you are road tripping somewhere, grab a van and throw a mattress in the back — that way you get accommodation and transport in one, with a generous helping of adventure.

Want more? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up-to-date on all our latest guides, tips, and inspiration!

Sign Up Now!

To help us customize your newsletter experience, let us know which country you currently reside in.

Subscribe with Facebook
Comments +