1. Travel

Before You Buy an Adventure Travel Package


Adventure travel is so trendy many companies offer trips to exotic countries and rugged stretches of U.S. rivers, deserts and mountain. Not all companies are experienced in adventure travel, so choosing a reputable, experienced one is key to a good trip. Here are some tips to help you decide which package to buy or which company you should ask to customized a trip.

Let Satisfied Travelers Suggest A Company

Word-of-mouth from travelers who had loved a trip similar to the one you are considering is one of the best ways to link up with an adventure travel company. If you don’t know anyone who has been on one of that company’s trips ask for references from satisfied travelers.

Is the Company Accredited by an Adventure Travel Organization?

Visit websites to see if a company is accredited by groups such as American Trade Travel Association or Ecotourism Society.

Know Your Destination Before Leaving Home

Learn about the destination you want to visit via the Web, travel guidebooks and from friends. This helps when narrowing down which tour operator’s trip is most appealing. These days, for example, many companies offer hiking trips in Peru that include an Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, but what other experiences are included? Do you want time in Lima and a side trip to Lake Titicaca or Colca Canyon, too? Because the latter is relatively undiscovered, this will limit your package choices.

Can't Find a Package Which Includes Everything You Want to Do?

If you can’t find a package trip with all the stops that intrigue you, ask the tour operators about arranging an add-on to the package. Consider having a company customize a trip for you.

How Much Adventure Do You Really Want?

Once you’ve decided on a locale, think about the kind of adventure you really want? Do you want to see Peru in style staying at the Monasterio in Cusco and overnighting in Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu’s entrance, so you can watch the sunrise without rising at 4am and shuttling up from the nearest town? Would you rather hike the portion of the Inca Trail littered with trekkers or take a less-known route. How adventurous are you?

What's It Going to Cost?

Cost is usually a major issue. Ask the tour operator be explicit about what is included in the package and the quality of the lodging. Some bicycling trips to France stay at three-star properties while other trip's travelers lodge in luxurious inns. How many meals are actually included? What about entrance fees to national parks? Are taxes and any other fees not included in the listed package price?

What's the Backup in a Foreign Country?

Does the company have representatives in the foreign countries with whom you can discuss, in English, any problems that might arise? This is especially important if you are traveling independently.

Are The Trips Dates at the Best Time of Year for That Locale?

The climate in the locale you choose to visit, the season and the temperatures will all impact your trip. Ask if it’s high season for travelers when the hotels and tourist sites are crowded. Ask if the weather is expected to be okay for the type of sports you have planned. (You don’t want to bike around Death Valley midsummer or scuba dive when the seas are rough so the visibility is limited.)

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.