Outdoor adventure travel can be expensive.

Aside from the obvious costs like flights and accommodation, adventure travellers often have the added cost of tour guides or gear hire to contend with once they reach their destination. It all adds up very quickly.

With some careful planning, though, it’s possible to cut shave off a few bucks here and there. Depending on your plans, you might save just enough to make you feel better about your exorbitant spending, or better yet, you might even save enough to extend your adventure (or take off for another adventure soon).

I don’t have all the answers, but here are a few of my best ideas for saving money on that next adventure you’ve been planning.

Explore your own back yard

Do you really need to spend money on expensive flights and head to some far-flung destination to go hiking or climbing? Have you climbed every crag and hiked every trail in your home country? Or even your home state?

Before you hand over your hard-earned cash for flights and tour guides, consider what you might find closer to home that will offer a similar experience.

If hiking is your thing, it might be worth checking out The Bushwalking Blog’s Trail Finder or Great Walks Magazine. Climbers should check out international climbing website, The Crag. Or if it’s more general adventure travel inspiration you’re looking for, try Outdoor Magazine, Wild Magazine or The Bushwalking Blog’s Travel Inspiration section.

Shop around for your flights

If you decide you do need to fly, the internet has no shortage of tools for comparing and finding the cheapest flights (especially if you’re flexible on dates and times). Skyscanner is my favourite, mainly because it’s so easy to use. I’ve booked most of my travel through them for years and even when I haven’t booked through them, I’ve used the site to compare before booking elsewhere.

If you are flying to your destination and are considering parking your car at the airport, then check out Flyparks. Flyparks helps customers find the lowest rates for parking at airports across Australia and New Zealand. You can get great deals on Sydney, Auckland and even Melbourne Airport Parking.

Find the cheapest insurance (and make sure the cover suits your adventure)

If you’re adventure requires international travel, choosing the right travel insurance is essential. You can use sites like iSelect to find the best travel insurance policies to suit your budget. Even more important though, is that you choose an insurance policy that will cover your adventure. Even if you find a policy that will cover you for trekking (for example), they’ll likely have an exclusion relating to the maximum altitude they cover. You really need to do your research and make sure the policy covers every scenario, because if you don’t then you might as well just not buy insurance at all.

How to save money on outdoor adventure travel

Consider working or volunteering

If you have the skills and qualifications, there are even ways to get paid for your outdoor adventures. If you don’t have the skills, you might be able to start building them by volunteering. Some research online might bring up options for internships or work exchanges in your chosen place and adventure style. Whether it’s working at a ski resort in Canada to fund a Canadian snowboarding season or volunteering as a trail guide assistant on some far away trail, thinking outside the box can be the best way to save money on your outdoor adventure.

Shop around for a tour

When it comes to guided tours, you don’t always get what you pay for, so sometimes it’s worth shopping around. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for where to go or you already know which experience you need a guide for, you can do a search on Viator Travel, AirBnB Experiences, The Trip Guru, or Adrenaline (for Australian adventures). Some of these will even let you filter listings by price.

Do you need that tour or is there another way?

If you don’t need a guide for safety or legal reasons, do some research into whether that bucket list trail is public transport accessible. Look into whether you might save money by hiring a car. Not only do these options save on an unnecessary guided tour, but you’ll have the freedom to adventure to your own schedule and you’ll be more likely to have the trail to yourself.

There are plenty of ways to travel affordably if you take your time and do your research. With so many money saving options available, you shouldn’t be left with any more excuses to get out there, explore the world and enjoy more outdoor adventures.

Nature is calling.

Disclaimer: Some of the above links are affiliate links, but I only recommend businesses and products that I actually use.

Got any other ideas for saving money on outdoor adventure travel? Let us know by commenting below.

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