If planning a 6-week around-the-world trip has taught me anything, it’s that tour companies can make the whole process a lot easier. Along the way I’ve discovered dozens of agencies that will – for a price – curate a custom vacation or guided expedition for you. There are plenty of advantages of adventure tours. Some companies have pre-packaged tours than span anywhere from an afternoon to a couple months. Often you’ll be accompanied by other travelers on the group tours – which can add to the fun of experiencing new cultures.
Advantages of Adventure Tours
A few agencies also cater their trips to certain age groups: G adventures and Contiki travel both have trips for different budgets – from shoestring backpacker to luxury travel – all specifically designed for an active 18-35 year-old age group. For high school age trips, EF tours, and STA travel have student programs all over the world for groups of under 18 year olds. Of course other companies like intrepid travel offer excellent quality packages at a reasonable rate, for all ages.
Here are a few of the most exciting tours that have caught my eye:
Diving the Silfra Fissure, Iceland
Icelandic landscapes have captured my attention for a while, and diving the Silfra fissure seems like one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Normally you think of diving in warm reef areas, but the Silfra fissure is an inland freshwater crack int he earth, and is a completely unique formation.
Climbing Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia
This Mount Kinabalu tour package takes you on an epic adventure up this mountain in Borneo. If you’re looking for a real climbing adventure, this will take you there.
Hiking through Patagonia
Of course you could do this on your own, but if orienteering isn’t your thing, or you’re new to multi-day hiking, this 9 day tour will guide you through the best of Patagonia. Having a guide isn’t just for directions, they also give you history and a better understanding of the context of what you’re seeing and doing, making it a richer experience. And if there are language barriers, they can handle and translate any situation.
Camping in the African Savannah
This Tanzania to Zanzibar tour by G adventures will take you on a 9-day safari through the African savannah – camping most of the way. Plus, the beaches of Zanzibar.
Exploring Ancient Egypt
This 14-day tour, also by G adventures guides you through the best of ancient Egypt, including a Nile boat excursion, trips to Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor, At only $100 a day, including all accommodation, transportation, admission, and some meals, plus a few local experiences you likely couldn’t find on your own, it’s a pretty good deal.
Sail around the islands of Thailand
For about $1000, this 7-day adventure by Intrepid Travel tour takes your around the islands, beaches and reefs on a yacht under sail in the Andaman Sea. The experience includes a private on-board Thai chef, and all food transportation and lodging is included.
Live and Work with Nomads in Mongolia
Projects abroad offer volunteer opportunities that can drastically reduce the costs of traveling, and are all includes, including visas, health insurance, transportation, lodging, food, and weekend excursions. Their Mongolia program lets you live with the Mongolians and help with their horse herding operations from 1 to 8 weeks.
Spend a year on the Road with Remote Year
Remote year programs can last 4 months or 12 months, and include lodging and transportation, moving to a new location in the world each month. This is for anyone who has a remote job – instead of paying rent where you live, you can pay into this program and they’ll shuttle you around the world, taking care of all the planning details – and the Wifi – giving you co-working spaces, a community, and an adventure of a lifetime — all while you keep your job and make a real income doing whatever you do, remotely.
Leaving the planning for a tour company can make the planning process drastically simpler – and sometimes easier on your wallet as well. They tent to filter out the stuff that isn’t worth it, and show you the very best of what a country has to offer. As with any adventure, there will be obstacles, and language barriers, and cultural differences, but just remember that every moment of panic or misfortune will age into a great story, with time.
Have you done any of these adventure tours? What ‘s on your adventure list?
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