Adventure Travel but Make It Budget-Friendly: 9 Simple Ways to Add Adventure Into Your Budget Vacation

The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becoming. You cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit.

Jim Rohn

Whether you’re an adrenaline seeker or you like your adventures with a side of caution and calm, there are a ridiculous number of ways you can spice up your vacation. My favorite vacations are ones where we alternate between relaxing days and exploration and adventure days. You get a dash of self care and action all in one vacation.

Add as much or as little as you like, but it can sometimes be hard to come up with an idea on the fly. So, it’s a great idea to start thinking of your excursions ahead of time. Obviously, this list is not the be all end all of adventure travel ideas, but I hope it’s a great place to start getting inspiration for your next trip. Keep reading to see which ideas I’ve come up with!

Go Hiking

Nature? Check. Gorgeous views? Check. Some exercise? Check. Exploring like a local? Check!

There isn’t a place on the planet that exists on dry land that you can’t turn into a walking or hiking trail. Exploring new trails is always a great way to add more adventure into your trips. No two trails will ever be the same, the same trail will always be a little bit different each time you take it, and you never know what you might see. Turn it into a day, a morning, or a short getaway into nature for an hour. Pack a picnic, take pictures, or just simply enjoy the time in nature.

Book a Bike/Walking Tour

Most cities and towns have an option to at least rent a bike and many have amazing biking tours. You can see a ton of the city at once, cruise around town using your own power, and add some speed to your trip. Find a tour that really gets you excited. It doesn’t have to be a history tour. Bordeaux has a bike tour that focuses more on wine. Budapest has a great city tour with all of the major sites. Barcelona had one that focused on food/tapas. There’s so much variety and so many ways to see a new place on a bike that you can choose more than one or just the one that you like the best. Either way, you’ll get a little more adventure travel!

Try a Cooking Class

Maybe you’re not an adrenaline junkie but you still want to try something different. You might be traveling with someone who is injured or needs an accessible adventure. Maybe an adventurous excursion for you is trying new foods! No matter where you go, there will always be local cuisine and specialties that are different from what you’re used to. You can always do a food tour, but getting your hands on the food, learning from someone, and creating a new dish from scratch makes it all that much more exciting. Plus, you get a meal out of it and that’s always a win.

Look for Discounted Excursions

The sites will vary depending on the country, but take a deep dive and find discounted excursions if they’re available. Groupon isn’t as popular anymore, but still offers great discounts. Lots of places will offer discounts for groups or during the off season. It might be worth it to plan your travel around those discounted dates for your next adventure.

Bundling your trip will also sometimes come with a discount for an excursion. This really depends on where you’re going and when, but it is worth doing some extra research for! Plus, it might inspire you to try something you’ve never done before.

Visit a National Park

National Parks are not just your average park. They’re given those designations for a reason and, oh man, are they amazing. Whether you’re traveling in the USA or visiting a protected park in another country, these parks always have something unique to offer that you just can’t see anywhere else.

Spend a weekend camping in one, visit for a day to hike the trails and see the sites, or see how many different plant/animals you can identify. No matter your interests, there’s a national park that is absolutely perfect for you. All you have to do is start exploring.

Go Camping/Glamping

There are quite a few options these days when it comes to camping. You can rough it, stay in an RV, or even go glamping. Choose your level of comfort, but view it as an adventure. You get to fully immerse yourself in the wilderness or a campsite and that’s an adventure on its own. Add some hiking, cooking on an open fire, or picnicking to add extra adventurous elements to this type of trip. Another way to enhance this kind of adventure is by choosing to camp or glamp while you’re on a road trip. It’ll save you lots of money and give you some great stories to tell.

Attempt Geocaching or Scavenger Hunts

A lot of places hold city-wide themed scavenger hunts where you can dress up for the theme and have a blast solving clues and discovering new businesses/spaces/parks/etc. Lancaster holds them a few times a year, so if this small town has it, you can absolutely find it in most major cities. It looks like such a great time and it’s something I definitely want to check out. Plus, it’s an adventure you can have while at home or on a staycation.

Geocaching is along the same lines, but tends to involve coordinates. Some places structure them more like a scavenger hunt, but it’s a great way to get outside and exploring. Geocaches are now a worldwide phenomenon, so you can do this from almost anywhere!

Museum Hop

Challenge yourself to visit as many museums as possible in one weekend. Pick a theme and try to find 3 museums that apply in one city. Create a scavenger hunt for yourself and search for them in a museum. Visit museums with different subjects and learn something new. There’s no wrong way to do this. You can take a step back in time, see the dinosaurs, visit a spy museum, or look at artistic creations. The adventure comes in getting out of the house to see something extraordinary.

Visit Archaeological Ruins

What better way to spruce up a vacation with some adventure than to visit an archaeological site? Channel your inner Indiana Jones (actually please don’t as he was a treasure hunter and makes archaeologists cringe across the planet, but you get the vibe I’m going for) and see the past come to life.

There’s something surreal about visiting a place that used to be bustling with life centuries or even millennia ago while today only pieces remain standing. I love how the past civilizations all left their mark and are just waiting for us to explore them again. That’s the true spirit of adventure.

Drag Brunch

This option is one of my all-time favorite things to suggest for adding adventure. It’s not only an inclusive and celebratory way to expand your horizons, it’s one hell of a good time paired with food. Yes, this will not be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. Keep your mind open and consider going to one of these shows. You will not believe the stage presence, entertainment, and happiness that oozes from these shows until you try it first hand.


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