Much of the fun in adventure travel is the actual process of planning a trip. Every adventure begins with a dream and whether old or new, dreams define our concept of ourselves. The planning process compels us to come to terms with how we choose to accept the challenges that transform these dreams into reality.

Adventures Great and Small is designed to provide information about some "off the beaten path" places of the world. These adventures may comprise an entire vacation or they may be just side trips to an existing holiday plan. Our country pages provide numerous links to country-specific information while our adventure pages list the best guide and/or travel books available as well as local resources relative to the area described.

Independent travelers have long known that authentic travel experiences and adventure are more easily found away from large group tours with a fixed itinerary. A secondary benefit is the savings accrued when you invest the time to research and plan your own trip. In this way, many exotic destinations become affordable adventures. This planning page provides 5 Easy Steps to organize your independent adventure as well as a section of Other Travel Issues. However, Adventures Great and Small does not endorse any product or service that is listed here. Nor can we assume liability for any inaccuracies, omissions, or misunderstandings that may arise from using these resources.

  1. Select and Research a Destination
    This is probably the easiest step because you already know the activities that you enjoy and the places that you would like to visit. A trip to your local library or favorite bookstore is a good place to begin your search for ideas. For those with Internet access, there are virtual tours available to hundreds of destinations worldwide. Once you have made your choice, you will need more specific information to plan an optimal itinerary.

    Information Resources:
    Adventure Bookstores and Publishers
    Adventure Travel Websites
    Newsgroups and Bulletin Boards
    Travel Magazines and Newsletters

  2. Establish Your Budget
    Independent travelers know that great adventures are more a function of one's flexibility than the size of one's budget. The discipline of a budget need not be restrictive but will provide a framework for the decisions that must be made. Once a total budget has been established, your individual situation will determine how best these funds can be allocated. Traveling on a budget simply means getting good value for your money.

    Some considerations include:
    Bargain Airfares and/or Package Deals
    Hotel Alternatives
    Small Groups with Similar Interests
    Student Travel
    Transportation Alternatives

  3. Design Your Itinerary and Make Your Travel Arrangements
    The purpose of an itinerary is to lay out your goals so as to maximize your time, resources and enjoyment of the trip. It is subject to change even as you travel but the likelihood of major disappointments will be greatly reduced when your options are clearly defined. Although the Internet is evolving, we still advocate the use of a competent travel agent for most airline tickets and special deals that are available only outside the destination country such as certain rail passes, air passes and car rental specials. Remember that it takes time and effort to develop a good working relationship with a travel agent.

    Resources:
    Europe Through The Back Door, Inc.
    P.O. Box 2009
    Edmonds, WA 98020 USA
    Tel: 206-771-8303
    Fax: 206-771-0833

    Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door has a superb chapter on "Designing Your Itinerary." Although written for European destinations, it is easily adapted to travel anywhere in the world. This practical book will save you a lot of money, headaches and disappointments.

  4. Travel With an Open Mind
    Too often, we forget the reasons we choose to travel. Travel is a participatory experience that broadens our perspective and enriches our lives with new friendships, knowledge of the customs and traditions of others, and an appreciation for the place we call home. Independent travel encourages a more interactive relationship with other people and it should be a part of the planning process to familiarize ourselves with the mores of the culture that we plan to visit. This will prepare us for the similarities and differences that we can expect to find.

    Resources:
    Volunteer Opportunities

  5. Share Your Adventure
    You will relive the magic of your adventure every time you share your experiences with others. Do you intend to volunteer at your local bookstore, library or school to make a presentation about your trip? Do you want to create a private travel journal to share with your family and friends? Would you like to publish your travel article or photographs? If so, you may need to plan for such events in advance.

    Resources:
    Publish Your Travel Article and/or Photographs
    Travel Blogs and Journals
    Travel Photography
    Traveling with a Laptop

    Other Travel Issues
    Adventure Travel Jobs
    Clothing
    Equipment
    Finding a Travel Companion
    Health Issues
    Packing
    Traveling with Children
    Traveling with Disabilities
    Working Abroad

We hope this page will provide a practical guide to planning your adventure using the wealth of resources available on the Internet and elsewhere. If you have any suggestions to improve this page, please email us at Suggestions.



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