It’s very common at one point or another to feel the urge to book a ticket across the world and kiss the daily routine goodbye. We all get into a slump at one point or another and ache for adventure. Getting insta-envious at everyone else’s #travelsaroundtheworld doesn’t make it much easier while sitting in the back of a lecture class or in a freezing cubicle. So why hold back? Grab your backpack and passport and start researching how to find adventure.
What is adventure tourism?
Adventure tourism is jetting off solo to a remote location in the middle of nowhere with a box of matches and figuring out the best mode of survival. Joking! Forget “Castaway”, and let’s be real. Adventure tourism is traveling with purpose by engaging in new cultures, spending time smelling the flowers in the great outdoors, and learning new skills while abroad. It is not necessarily ticking off a checklist of “beers around the world.” Typically, adventure tourism can consist of giving back to the community you head off to by volunteering in some sort of capacity along the way.
Although some travellers enjoy the luxuries of all-inclusive resorts, partying on the beach, or snapping pics from tour buses, adventure tourism will shape your life for the better. You will not go back to your home country as the same person. All life perspectives after heading off on your adventure will inevitably change. Whether you choose to learn how to surf in Cape Town, study European history, or perfect the art of Thai cooking, there must be a meaningful reason to go forth on this adventurous escapade.
[Get matched with adventure travel programs—yeah, it’s THAT easy]
What are the benefits of travel abroad programs instead of going at it alone?
It’s not always easy to know how to find adventure abroad. But with loads of different travel abroad programs and student travel programs, it’s easy breezy finding something that sparks your interest.
For those who may be trekking abroad solo for the first time, it really helps to go at it through a travel abroad program. With an organized checklist and support along the way, it will make the venture overseas less intimidating. Even for those who have a colorful array of passport stamps, going through an adventure tourism program has benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily receive if you were just winging it on your own. Prepping for a trip without support can be much more time-consuming and end up costing more if you aren’t careful.
Many travel abroad programs are all inclusive, meaning part of the fee includes accommodation, meals, and visas. Luckily, it is still possible to travel abroad on a budget, even if you go through a student travel program company.
[Save and compare adventure travel programs side-by-side with MyGoAbroad]
6 steps to finding student travel programs
Consider each of the following steps before booking your ticket abroad or finally picking the right travel abroad program for your personality and priorities.
1. Know your purpose.
Why do you want to go abroad? Are you looking to enhance your resume by volunteering or wanting to take some personal time to namaste all day? Make sure that you have a goal when planning your trip overseas. Having a set goal in mind makes the following steps go much smoother.
2. Pick a location.
Where do you want to go? Once you narrow down your goal, you can select a country or particular area in the world! If you’re goal is to go diving and play with dolphins, you likely won’t choose to go to New York City. Are language barriers a concern or are you seeking out a specific language that you want to learn? Is there a new culture or landscape that is a must on your travel checklist?
Want to check out somewhere off the beaten path? You’ll love these five unusual adventure travel destinations for 2018.
3. Plan a timeline.
When do you want to go? Likely, not tomorrow. Planning a timeline in advance is important so that you can get your “to-do’s” all in line. Are you graduating soon? Do you have a job that will give you time off? Are you quitting your job? When you have decided on a location, check their best seasons to visit so that you can get an idea of peak and non-peak travel times.
Furthermore, how long will your adventure last? Do you have a week, a month, a year? Each country has different visa requirements and rules for entry. Through adventure programs, you usually will have some flexibility on your trip duration. When thinking of your goal, how long will you need to be abroad to fulfill that? With duration you will also have to consider $$$$.
[PRINT THIS OUT: Volunteer Abroad Packing & Planning Timeline]
4. Save money and budget.
Money really doesn’t grow on trees. Sad. How will you fund your travels? Have you started saving for your trip abroad? Have you spent too much money lately on clothes and lattes? Start a budget and a travel savings account so that you can work on prioritizing your adventure abroad. There are lots of ways to travel that won’t necessarily mean purging your life savings. Make sure to check out fund my travel as well.
5. Search for programs.
Hooray! It’s time to click away at all of your adventure options. MyGoAbroad can help you get organized and match you with your perfect program. Be picky and do your research. Although you may say HECK YES to the first travel abroad program that you find, compare prices and package inclusions. Read through the reviews on GoAbroad as well so that you can hear from people who have experienced the real deal.
6. Apply and go!
Apply and communicate with program staff. Ask all your questions that you have leading up to the trip. Most programs have full on support so that you can be in constant communication while going through the process of securing all of the important details prior to setting off on your meaningful adventure abroad. The beauty of booking through travel abroad programs is that you don’t have to be alone and communicating with the pros will make going abroad easy-peasy.
A handful of recommended travel abroad programs
Being able to engage in something meaningful abroad in a completely new culture is what will make you a better person! For some eager adventurers, it can be thrilling clicking away at websites to find the perfect niche, while for others it can be a tad on the stressful side. “WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN!?” There are countless travel abroad programs that cater to exactly what you want when looking to find adventure abroad.
With volunteer projects in almost 40 countries around the globe you are bound to find a project you LOVE through Love Volunteers. For the duration of your time abroad, staff will provide communication and support 24/7. Love Volunteers works with charities worldwide and has visited each site to ensure that your volunteer experience is both safe and truly beneficial to the community that you serve.
- Popular countries: Costa Rica, South Africa, Nepal
- Popular adventure activities: Wildlife rescue, medical projects, childcare projects
- Related: Read Love Volunteers reviews | Visit their site
Who doesn’t want to adventure abroad for FREE-ish? A host family in a country of your choice will offer you room and board in exchange for committing a couple of hours each day as their native language tutor. Win-win! This will allow you plenty of free time to go off on your own adventures near your new home and learn a new culture of family life.
- Popular countries: Italy, Japan, Spain
- Popular adventure activities: Homestay, language exchange, cooking
- Related: Read GoCambio reviews | Visit their site
Planning your adventure through Stray is perfect for those looking to explore Southeast Asia. Whether you want to commit to two weeks or a couple of months you will have the opportunity to have a flexible schedule while adventuring. Stray’s Hop-On Hop-Off passes allow you to manage your own itinerary while travelling with a local English-speaking guide who will ensure you make the very most out your time in Asia. You will travel with a group of like-minded travelers who share a common goal ‘to see more and do more’ than the average tourist.
- Popular countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
- Popular adventure activities: Homestay experiences in rural villages, guided motorbike tours, water adventures and more!
- Related: Read Stray reviews | Visit their site
With ecotourism and conservation sustainability in mind, you can choose from a variety of adrenaline rush activities in a country that you’ve been wanting to go to. Whether you choose to snorkel up the coast of eastern Australia, swim with sea turtles in the bahamas, or backpack through Europe, you can find your perfect adventure and new best friends along the way.
- Popular countries: Costa Rica, Ghana, India
- Popular adventure activities: Mountaineering, diving, trekking, snorkeling
- Related: Read GapForce reviews | Visit their site
If looking to boost your resume, Global Nomadic has programs that intend to give you just that as you will focus your time abroad on a specific project and professional development. Connecting adventure seekers with NGOs across the world, you will be able to work on animal and environmental sustainability, healthcare, education, human rights, and more!
- Popular countries: Belize, Guatemala, Bali
- Popular adventure activities: Intern abroad, teach abroad, volunteer abroad
- Related: Read Global Nomadic reviews | Visit their site
Go out there and book your travel abroad programs!
Adventure is calling your name! What will it be? Trekking through dense jungles, playing with kiddos, discovering colorful animals that send chill up your spine? Or maybe something completely different. Adventure tourism programs have something for everyone! Whatever it may be, you are bound to make one of the best decisions of your life by engaging in an adventure abroad that makes you come out on the other side as a proper steward of the world.