Adventure travel has always been regarded as the expensive option. This need not be the case, although adventure tour operators invariably are expensive as they pay developed world prices to their sales, marketing and organizational staff.
If you consider a typical adventure holiday, you will find that only a minimal portion of the overall cost will end up going on the actual adventure part of the holiday. By organizing your own trip directly, you could save literally thousands of dollars.
Booking an adventure holiday for yourself can be quite tricky so follow these guidelines to make sure you get it right!
- Word of mouth is invaluable when you are considering going off the beaten track. If you can find someone that you know who has done your trip before, you may be able to get some excellent tips on what to do and what not to do. First hand experience is the best sort of experience you can hope to get!
- Get hold of a couple of guidebooks on the areas that you are considering. Whilst travel book writers may vary in opinions, any underlying themes should be taken seriously!
- Look at message boards online. The internet is a superb resource and will allow you to contact many people who have first hand experience of your destination.
- If you are going on a guided tour once you reach your destination, make sure that you get everything straight before you depart. Ensure that you discuss with your guide what is included and what is not. Agree a price before you leave as you will be in a much weaker position once you are halfway up a mountain!
Generally booking a tour once you arrive at your destination will mean that you get a better deal. However, this will not work if you are traveling to a very tight schedule, want to do a specific route or you do not speak the local language. In these cases it is would normally be worth booking from home before you travel.
Round the World
Traveling around the world may be the last thing on your mind if you are looking for a budget holiday. However, bear in mind that once you are on the move, the incremental cost of an extra stop will not be as large as the cost of traveling that destination from home on a different occasion.
Many operators will also often offer a discount for travelers who want to make several stops, so if you really fancy a couple of nights en-route, enquire about options. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Another possible option is to simply book a one way ticket to your first destination, this will allow you the flexibility to decide when you want to travel on, and will also allow you to benefit from buying locally, which will almost invariably mean you get cheaper rate. One of the main disadvantages of this method is that you are in effect stranded and if you cannot find a cheap flight, you will have to buy one anyway! Immigration officers are also a little more fussy when it comes to admitting someone only with a one way ticket and no obvious onward plans.
Very few people ever pay the full brochure price for a cruise. This is a fact, so getting a discount from the advertised prices should be relatively easy.
One thing that visitors should consider with cruises is that you are going to be on board this ship for the duration of your holiday. It is not like a package holiday where if you dislike the resort you can simply leave; here you are captive. If you love the ship this is wonderful, if you hate it is the holiday from hell.
The first thing you should do once you have narrowed down the cruise liners that you are interested in, is to look at what prices the cruise lines themselves are offering the holidays for. This will give you an idea of when you are facing a bargain.
Last minute bargains are few and far between on cruises, so do not rely on this in the same way that you would for a flight or hotel.
When it comes to cruising, finding a specialist travel agent will normally be a good move. Contact suitable looking agents and ask to be put on their mailing list. If you are interested in a specific line or destination make this known to them.
There are also plenty of websites such as CruiseMates that have a bargain finder, where you can say what you are looking forward and agents will then contact you with the best deal.
Another thing to bear in mind is that children often pay full adult price on cruises if they are taking a full adult berth. Look out for child-specific deals if they share your cabin. Some cruise lines offer the option of booking a cabin grade but not a specific cabin. This will often mean that if they have spare space you are upgraded to the next grade or even beyond. Of course the down side is that you could end up in one of the worst cabins of the grade that you have paid for.
Cruise lines like to keep their customers and many lines will offer you incentives to book for the following year when you are onboard. Typically you can expect to get a decent amount of money as onboard credit which will mean that you get the benefit of your early booking next year. Most lines also offer loyalty programs, so enquire about these on board, too.