When it comes to choosing an active travel tour, there are countless decisions you need to make, from picking the location to the activities to include to what you need to bring with you. In this post, we'll cover the top three decisions you need to make, along with our advice and experience from years in the industry.
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Choose the type of activity and how much of a physical challenge you want.
If you like to ride you will love a bike tour. Walking and hiking appeal to a broader audience, and kayaking is another possibility. Any activity can be very rewarding in the right destination and in the hands of the right company. There’s an active trip for virtually every level of physical fitness.
Companies usually rate their trips as easy, moderate, or challenging. Study the trip ratings carefully and be realistic; different companies use different rating criteria, based on physical activity, altitude, and terrain.
For more on different levels of bike tours, take a look at our guide on that.
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Choose your destination.
It can be a bit confusing and even intimidating to choose from the vast number of active vacations available. To narrow down the choices to a manageable number, decide early what part of the world you want to visit. If you’re new at this and not quite sure where you want to go, pick a trip that has a track record of broad appeal over the years.
Many European countries fit that description and have great destinations for all levels and budgets. Of course, you want to make sure they offer those tours on the dates you can travel.
Here’s a pro-tip: find out sooner rather than later if the dates you are looking at are confirmed. Often, tour operators confirm departures once enough people sign up. That might lead to unexpected cancellations if the trip doesn’t fill and you want to have a backup plan if that happens in order not to miss your vacation timeframe. Tourissimo does not cancel tours for lack of participants and we confirm a departure once two people are signed up.
How much you can expect to pay
For a European destination, you’ll probably spend at least $3,000, plus airfare, for a weeklong tour program. Longer trips to destinations like Asia or Africa cost $4,000-$7,000. Truly exotic adventures, climbing a mountain in Central Asia, for example, can cost up to $20,000 or more. And there are “trophy” tours like riding Antarctica on fat bikes that can cost over $50,000.
Prices can vary a lot depending on the type of accommodation, number and type of meals included and transfers before and after the trip. Some companies charge for wine separately, while others rent bikes or other equipment for an additional fee. For a comfortable, safe, tested, active trip, it boils down to a range of from US$450 to US$900 per day.
See an example of tour costs from our own pricing page.
So there's the what, where and how much.
If you'd like to find out more about what you need to decide on, plus how to prepare for a trip and what you need to do when you get there, take a look at our "Ultimate Active Travel Guidebook," which we've recently updated with even more tips.