Got wanderlust? The tight economy of the past few years might have caused you to put travel dreams on hold, but it could be time to plan an adventure—on a budget, of course! Here are a few ideas and websites to get your travel juices flowing.
For the animal lovers. For people who love to be around animals, an African safari is hard to beat. While some safaris can run as steep as hundreds of dollars per day, adventurous types can stay on clean campgrounds and contribute to cooking and cleaning responsibilities for a significantly reduced price. Check out African Safari Journals for ideas.
Not into lions and tigers and bears? What about sociable sea-dwelling mammals? If you have the urge to swim with dolphins, you should do it at least once in your lifetime. Take a look at Bahamas Dolphins Encounters, which offers a 30% discount on swim tours.
Bookworms. Literary lovers looking for enlightenment have plenty of group options. Literary Traveler arranges trips like a Shakespeare tour of England or a theatre tour of New York—and the bigger the group, the better the price. If you have an extended chunk of time and really want to gain the most from your trip, visit Iagora, which lists jobs, short-term internships, and study abroad experiences for all ages.
For action adventurers. Seeking an outdoor adventure such as sailing, trekking, or kite-surfing? Global Adrenaline will allow you to find an action-packed option at your own time frame and level of difficulty. Sometimes just carrying a backpack can make you feel like a penniless young’un, which is an adventure in itself—here is a site that lists the best places to backpack.
For culture seekers. So maybe you’re not an outdoorsy gal. There are fascinating cities all over the world where you can get your culture fix without spending a fortune. A good place to start is I Go U Go, which is full of insider information from seasoned travelers—including advice on picking clean and budget-friendly hotels and hostels. For non-conformist types, Boots ‘n’ All is an “indie” travel guide that offers international city information for those seeking the unusual.
For indecisive types. Can’t decide on one location? If you have a good chunk of vacation time, an around-the-world trip consisting of four (or more!) stops would be a life-changing experience. Plenty of websites can help you plan—like Airtreks, which has an interactive “TripPlanner” map that allows you to pick and choose locations and see various pricing options. An around-the-world trip can obviously be expensive, but there are tools to help you save cash, especially if you start early. Saving for Travel has a great budget calculator to help get you on track.
For homebodies. Let’s be realistic—not all of us can take an adventure trip right now, low-budget or not. Instead, try exploring an ethnic neighborhood in a city near you. Sometimes all it takes is a unique dining experience to make you feel far away from your normal routine. If you live near a national park, check out Trek America for some fun ideas.
Need some travel motivation? Here are a few tips to help you pick a destination and start saving.
Jot ‘em down. Flip through a few travel magazines and see what excites you. Make a list of places you’d like to see, and then pick two options.
Get in good company. Decide whether you want to go with a spouse, partner, friend, family, or even a group tour. Solo travel is also an option.
Investigate. Finalize your choice of destination and start researching hotels, packages, and sights to see. Pick up guidebooks or DVDs from the library to help you get inspired.
Set a date. Now that you know where you want to go, determine the length of your trip and how much money you will need. Pick the right time of year will affect the cost as well.
Pinch those pennies. Set up a travel piggybank somewhere at home. Open a savings account just for this trip that you can easily transfer money into each month.
Keep motivated. Find a photo of your vacation spot that you love. Put it in a visible place in your office or home to keep you looking forward to your goal.
Click “purchase.” Use the money that you have saved to purchase plane tickets. Enjoy the rush that comes from planning and saving for a vacation.