Who says travel has to mean regimented museum tours and hours stuck on a bus? Backpacking groups, cross-country excursions and day trips out on the water are just a few of the affordable options available to you if you know where to go.
Click through to get 15 life-changing trip ideas sure to satisfy the adventure lover in all of us.
Costa Rica Resort Getaway
Price: From $959 for five days
Book an all-inclusive package to the Riu Guanacaste resort in Costa Rica, where you’ll spend your afternoons surfing and going on volcano hikes. This package includes on-site resort activities, such as beach volleyball, kayaking and paddle boarding. For a more affordable adventure, head off to Jaco Beach, where you can go rafting on the Naranjo River for $75.
Cruises Around Thailand
Price: From $667 for a four-day sailing trip
If you have a serious case of wanderlust for an exotic getaway, head off on a sailing adventure with G Adventures from Koh Phi Phi to Phuket, and explore the pristine beaches of Thailand’s western coast. You can spend your days snorkeling, hiking and enjoying outdoor adventures around the islands and Phang Nga Bay. It’s designed as a small group experience so if you’re traveling solo, this could be a great way to meet fellow travelers.
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Treehouse Getaway in Belize
Price: From $913 for a three-night, two-day package
If the adventurous kid in you always wanted to sleep in a luxurious treehouse, and you’re eager to explore Belize’s jungles and beaches, book one of the adventure packages from Caves Branch Adventure Company and Jungle Lodge in Belmopan. Trips include a three- to seven-night stay in a treehouse or jungle unit, complimentary drinks, local rum concoctions and all your meals. You’ll find the lowest rates from May 1 to Dec. 15.
Bella Boot Camp in Delray Beach, Fla.
Price: From $1,990 for three nights on select dates, single occupancy
If you’re looking to get in better shape, head off on a fitness-oriented vacation in sunny Florida, where you can sign up for daily boot camp sessions, learn about proper nutrition and kick off your weight-loss program with a dedicated team of coaches and like-minded participants. When you’re done with boot camp, you’ll find plenty of adventurous excursions nearby, including Delray Beach Water Sports, where you can snorkel to a sunken boat.
Yoga Reteat in Crete, Greece
Price: $1,395 for seven days of yoga and Pilates
Run away to Crete for seven days of yoga and Pilates. This vacation package from Ketanga Fitness Retreats is all about helping you stay fit, while letting you take in breathtaking views and the vibrant culture of Greece. During this trip, you’ll learn how to cook healthy local cuisine, go horseback riding on the beach and sail to Preveli Palm Beach.
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India Adventure Tour
Price: From $936 for a 13-day excursion
Venture from Kathmandu to Delhi by bike, bus and train as you see the best India has to offer. Explore Buddhist shrines and temples, go bird watching and take a sunrise boat tour. Go shopping for artisanal goods in India’s bazaars and see the City Palace in Jaipur. Best of all, you’ll venture through the Chitwan National Park to the base of the Himalayas to see exotic birds, rhinos and monkeys.
Central America Exploration Tour
Price: From $1,080 for a 17-day tour
Central America getaways continue to be among the most affordable options for travelers in search of a little culture. Geckos Adventures offers a 17-day trip that starts in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and ends in Antigua, Guatemala, for an unforgettable journey.
You can visit ancient ruins, see the pyramids of Tikal and enjoy time on the beach as you take in the laid-back local vibe. The package includes one breakfast and one dinner, local transportation, 14 nights in a hotel, camping for one night and one homestay night.
Zion Adventure at Red Mountain Resort, Utah
Price: $385 per night with a four-night minimum
If you’ve always wanted to explore the beautiful mountains of Utah, head to the Red Mountain Resort in St. George for a few days of adventure and fitness. This destination spa caters to travelers looking for both pampering and adventure, with some of the most affordable all-inclusive retreat packages.
The Essential Zion Adventure Retreat includes three healthy meals each day, plus guided morning hikes and personal discovery activities. You’ll also get a chance to take healthy life and fitness classes and participate in cooking demonstrations. For budget travelers, head to Zion National Park for low-cost camping.
Morocco on a Shoestring Tour
Price: $1,329 for a 15-day tour
Imagine running away to Morocco for a full two weeks and not having to worry about a budget. You can do just that with the Morocco on a Shoestring tour by G Adventures. This tour will take you through Morocco’s famous souks and to the beautiful beaches around this majestic country. From Casablanca to Marrakesh, you’ll get the chance to explore Moroccan city sites like a local.
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Backpacking in West Clear Creek Wilderness
Price: $960 for a three-day backpacking adventure
Make your way to the desert for a three-day backpacking adventure from Sedona to the West Clear Creek wilderness in Arizona. This trip from Wildland Trekking will take you around the big red rocks of Sedona to enjoy amazing geological features by day and clear skies by night. You’ll also get a chance to sample backcountry cuisine at your campsite. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the deer, bobcats and mountain lions you’ll cross paths with on your adventure.
Cavern Explorations in Indiana
Price: From $110.99 per night at Holiday Inn Express
Southern Indiana is full of underground wonders, most notably the Binkley Cave system, the longest cavern in Indiana. For this adventure, you’ll see the Indiana Caverns or Squire Boone Caverns with a tour guide. Packages for the Holiday Inn Express in Corydon, Ind., include a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, overnight accommodations and two adult passes to Squire Boone or Indiana Caverns, making it a great family vacation destination.
Mayan Exploration Tour
Price: From $1,173 for a 9-day tour
Explore the historic trade routes of the Mayans in Mexico with the nine-day Mexican BLT package through TrekAmerica. This is your chance to see the historic sites and landmarks around the Yucatan. Take a guided walking tour, explore the waterfalls and see the Lake of Seven Colors on a boat trip.
Boating and Snorkeling Adventure in Puerto Rico
Price: $85 per person for a boating and snorkeling excursion
If you’re in the mood for a tropical getaway, plan on island hopping and snorkeling your way around the crystal-clear waters of Puerto Rico. Explore uninhabited islands and sail around Cordillera Cays Nature Reserve. The Mini Boat Adventures tour package includes snacks and refreshments, as well as a guided tour. Stay at the nearby El Conquistador Resort from $259 per night and lounge by the pool.
Costa Rica Exploration Group Tour
Price: From $1,195 for a nine-day group tour
Head off on a guided nine-day adventure offered by Caravan Tours to tour Costa Rica’s untouched jungles, coffee plantations, national parks and volcanoes. This tour features a combination of driving excursions and opportunities to soak in volcanic hot springs. Highlights include an aerial tram around Manuel Antonio National Park, tours of the Hanging Bridges and a trip to a wildlife refuge.
You’ll stay at different hotels and resorts during the trip, including the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa. All meals are included.
Treasures of Turkey Adventure
Price: From $1,510 for a 15-day tour around Turkey
Explore Istanbul’s historic sites and experience a real Turkish bath over a 15-day excursion with Peregrine Adventures. Designed for adventurous spirits, this is the perfect way to learn about Istanbul’s rich history, trek across the rocky terrain around Goreme and participate in ancient healing rituals.