They may not admit it to you, but your friends are getting a little bored of your lackluster Instagram snaps of your brunch, your dog, and that weird plant in your kitchen. Why not spice up your feed (and your life) by embarking on adventure tours?
No matter your definition of “adventure,” there are trips galore for those seeking new horizons. From adrenaline-fueled skiing tours to calmer yoga retreats, an adventure tour will give you a new outlook on life. If you want to shake up your routine and give your social media followers some eye-candy, there’s no better way than epic adventure tours abroad.
THE definitive list of brag-worthy adventure trips
Fire up that Instagram app because these overseas adventure tours are hot hot HOT. There are a whole lot of options out there, and trying to sort through all of them on your own can make your head swim. Should you choose the all-inclusive bus tour of Europe or would individual tours in each country be better? Instead of stressing, look no further than these stellar active adventures:
1. Surf the Perfect Wave in Indonesia
You’d be smart to invest in a waterproof phone case before heading out on this surfing adventure with Mojosurf. Whether you’ve never set foot on a surfboard or you’re already an expert waverider, your Instagram feed is sure to fill up with shots of white sand beaches, unreal sunsets, and tropical foliage as you make your way around the islands of Bali, Lombok, and Java. Throw in daily surfing lessons, cultural excursions, and shared lodging with other program participants, and you’re guaranteed a laid-back experience that might just have you pushing back your departure date.
If you live to be out on the waves or are really psyched to get on a board and learn more, this surfing adventure is the stuff your dreams are made of. If you’d rather stick to land or want to explore other areas of the country, you can always check out other adventure trips in Indonesia to find the perfect fit.
2. Stray Off the Beaten Path in New Zealand
There’s no better way to cover New Zealand from top to bottom than with Stray, an adventure tour company that provides transportation, guides, activities, and helps to arrange accommodations. Sit back and relax as your guide introduces you to national parks, quirky roadside attractions, and everything in between. There are different routes depending on how much time you have and whether you want to visit the North or South Islands (or both!), but all tours are flexible and allow you to hop on and off the bus whenever you want a little extra time to grab the perfect shot, relax on the beach, or head out on a trek.
Stray’s tours are great for those who want a semi-independent tour without all the hassle of planning logistics, but they do limit you to specific locations. If you want a bit more flexibility or are searching for a specific activity, adventure tours in New Zealand are plentiful and guaranteed to provide jaw-dropping landscape views in nearly every direction.
3. Safari on Land and Water in Tanzania
Expect to return home with tons of colorful photos and lasting memories on this week-long adventure in Tanzania with Rustic Pathways. You’ll start out on safari in Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, seeking out leopards, elephants, giraffes, and lions while also learning from locals about their nomadic culture. Just don’t forget to save some space on your memory card for your next stop! Zanzibar’s green jungles, narrow streets, and stunning blue-green water will leave you wanting to capture it all.
Rustic Pathways programs are only open to high school students, but there are many other active adventures in Tanzania for travelers of all ages. Whether you want to climb Kilimanjaro, snorkel among the reefs in the Spice Islands, or spend several months volunteering as you get to know the country, you’ll quickly learn the meaning of the ubiquitous phrase “karibu”!
4. Assist in Conservation Projects on the Seychelles Islands
This adventure tour isn’t exactly all play, but in a setting as remote and dreamy as the Seychelles, you’ll be happy to volunteer some of your time for the chance to explore this sandy playground. Conservation projects with GVI can include monitoring hawksbill turtles, tracking sicklefin lemon sharks, or collecting data on mangroves and other plant species. When your conservation work is done for the week, grab a snorkel and look for manta rays, take in a sunset with your fellow volunteers, or head to another island for more adventure.
Volunteering can give you a more meaningful vacation and a closer connection to your destination, but if you’re looking for a more flexible schedule, there are plenty of other adventure trips in the Seychelles. A note of warning: be prepared for your friends to accuse you of photoshopping your snaps, because the beaches in the Seychelles are almost too perfect to be believed!
5. Trek through the Himalayas in Nepal and India
While all of your friends are sitting through freshman lectures, you’ll be confirming that you made the right decision to take a gap year as you journey across Nepal and India with Gapforce. You won’t have a shred of FOMO as you trek to Everest Base Camp, spend time volunteering in Nepali communities, and eat more momo dumplings than you ever thought possible. Then you’ll head to India to explore Delhi, meet Tibetan refugees, and head down the coast to the beaches of Goa, where you can finally catch your breath.
Even the worst photographer is bound to capture some amazing shots on this 2,000 mile journey, but the best part is that you’ll come away with so much more than just photographic proof of your adventures. If you’re not looking for a gap year program, you can still find an adventure tour in India that’s perfect for you.
6. See Argentina from Top to Bottom
Can’t decide where to focus your energies when visiting Argentina? Instead of throwing your hands up and lamenting the country’s massive size, leave the planning to Say Hueque and visit everything! After getting your tango and asado fix in Buenos Aires, head south to check out unbelievably blue glaciers, Magellanic penguins, and stand at the very end of the Panamerican highway. Finally, return north to discover the thundering power of Iguazu Falls. This tour is customizable, and many destinations have optional excursions depending on your interests and level of fitness.
This tour is a fantastic way for travelers to see a lot of Argentina in a short amount of time. If you have more time to discover the country, or want to focus on a specific region, look for more adventure tours in Argentina to find the right fit.
7. Eat your Way through Italy
From pasta to parmigiano to panna cotta, you might want to pack some pants with an elastic waistband for this trip. Food will be on your mind during this month-long program with the Experiment in International Living, and your taste buds will thank you as you indulge in farmer’s market treats with your host family and create cannoli with fellow students at an Italian culinary institute. Your social media feeds may temporarily become home to endless shots of antipasto trays and gelato cones, but your friends and family will forgive you once you return home with a buffet of newfound cooking skills.
No matter where you go in Italy, its cuisine will no doubt enhance your experience, but not everyone is a chef. For those who’d rather explore one of the country’s other facets, from hiking in the Alps to sailing on the Mediterranean, there are plenty of adventure tours in Italy to choose from.
8. Experience the Past and Present in a Panamanian Paradise
Panama is much more than its canal, a simple fact you’ll come to deeply understand after spending two weeks in this Central American country with Global Works. After exploring modern Panama City, you’ll head to the Kuna Yala islands where you’ll participate in a service project and learn about the residents’ way of life. From there, the group heads north to spend a week in a rural village, giving students an opportunity to practice Spanish, complete a community project, and spend time with their host families. If that’s not enough adventure for you, throw in some surfing, rafting, and snorkeling to get the adrenaline flowing.
This program is designed for high school students, and it’s the perfect opportunity for those who are traveling abroad for the first time. Older travelers can still find plenty of other adventure tours in Panama ranging from surfing to yoga and more.
9. Live and Work on a Wildlife Reserve in Israel
This program hosted by GoEco mixes equal amounts of work and play, but when your work involves feeding leopards, the line between the two gets blurry. The wildlife reserve houses endangered and rare species of desert animals, and visitors have the chance to assist rangers in caring for these creatures. From oryx to addax, and caracal to hyena, you’ll learn about and take care of animals you never even knew existed! During your free time, you can catch the bus to Eilat, snorkel in the Red Sea, visit a camel ranch, or head across the border to Jordan.
Animal lovers will feel right at home on the reserve, but it is located in a remote, rural area and some travelers may prefer a faster-paced adventure tour in Israel. Options are plentiful and range from coastal exploration to historical excavation.
Next steps to finding adventure tours
There’s an adventure holiday out there with your name on it, but it can take some work to find the perfect fit. After all, nothing good comes easily, right? Whether you’re craving a nice long hike or want to spend your summer traversing Southeast Asia, putting in the work will 100% be worth it as your flight takes off.
- Pick an Adventure Tours Program. Checking out MyGoAbroad is the easiest way to start sorting through the hundreds of options, and you can even enlist an Online Advisor if you’re still feeling overwhelmed.
- Read Reviews. Become friends with Google and drill down to the nitty gritty of each program you’re interested in. What do others have to say? Do they say the trip was a life-changing experience or do they comment that it seemed poorly organized? One bad review can be taken with a grain of salt, but if you find overwhelming complaints, pay attention.
- Find Funding. Not all tours are cheap, so figuring out how to pay for your dream trip is essential. Some tours offer academic credit, which might allow college students to use scholarships or financial aid to cover some expenses. If that’s not the case, FundMyTravel is a great way to ask family and friends to help you out.
- Verify Visas. After confirming your participation, you’ll need to think about visas. Many countries allow tourists on short-term stays to enter without a visa, but you may need one depending on your nationality, length of stay, and what you’ll be doing on your tour. Check with your program provider and the Embassy Directory to ensure you don’t get turned away at the border for not doing your homework.
- Prep like a Pro. Once you’ve sent in your deposit and have your visa in hand, all that’s left is to prepare for departure! There are a lot of things to think about, so be smart and make sure you’re checking all the boxes. Figuring out how you’ll handle money, health care, and expectations before you depart will save you a lot of grief in the future.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for adventure trips abroad!
Of all the reasons to embark on an adventure tour, the best reason is that it will change you in some way. You’ll feel stronger after making it to the top of that steep mountain, you’ll understand how others survive and thrive in different parts of the world, and you’ll have the confidence to keep exploring the world and travel meaningfully. What are you waiting for?