Is 2007 the year that you will break out from that tired vacation spot and embrace an adventure? While adventure travel is an extremely fast growth category within the travel industry and bargains might appear to be scarce, there are good and relatively inexpensive ways to take an adventure vacation providing you are prepared to do much of the planning and research yourself. The key to affordable adventure travel is to find providers in the adventure locale and negotiate your package yourself.
Apart from saving a bundle, booking adventure travel directly is a great deal of fun, you will run across some of the most interesting people on the globe and you will get to experience and see a lot of local culture and hidden you probably will not find on the run of the mill travel sites. Much of a good adventure can be planned out by one or two of the party who have the resources and time to spend on investigating the adventure first hand. You may want to think of assembling the adventure in steps or stages and this might be done in a matter of months or spread over two or more visits to the region you are contemplating over a year or two. U. S. currency goes a long way in many of the more undeveloped locations in Africa and Asia and working with local tour guides is a way to stretch your adventure travel dollars.
Looking for reputable tour operators will depend on the type of adventure you are looking for. If you're planning extreme skiing for instance you need to find the well known skiers in the locale you have picked. If they are ski experts who don't have tour operator knowledge you may need to get from them the most you can as to type of terrain, accessibility, lodgings, and outfitters who are in the area and then go to those looking for reliable tour guides. In some cases there are individuals who offer both expertise in the adventure mode and also offer tour guiding and tour packages as part of their livelihood.
Don't neglect doing some on the ground research about the local tour operators. Make sure you're not asking the best bud or brother-in-law when you ask questions.
Check the guidebooks. When you use one of the better ones, you normally will find some evaluations of the tour operator offerings in the vicinity.
Talk to staff and guests at hotels, hostels and the local B & B's. They all will have a good deal of data on the tour people and rely on them for their livelihood. Make sure you cross reference such evaluations as the proprietors may be financially linked. There are also Internet message boards that concentrate on travel matters that can be helpful. Don't be afraid to join in the discussions on forums to find out first hand what to expect. Who knows you may be able to link with other adventure travel aficionados and form a bond for more sharing as your adventure travel experience grows.
When you get the opportunity to talk with potential trip leaders, be sure to get in to all the salient details about the terrain , equipment needed, accommodations and the numbers the tour will be limited to. This stage is crucial to the success of your adventure. Once begun it's too late to start a negotiation about any aspect of the trip. One last thing, remember to ask in advance the anticipated rewards for the best guides. Follow the suggested guidelines for tipping and maintain a good relationship with the experts to whom you will entrust your safety and enjoyment.
Dan Compton is an experienced adventure traveler who writes about the best trips in the US and around the world. Follow his advice, commentary and tips at the website http://www.adventureontheedge.com