Diane Gaydos 14/05/2018 | Posted in Instructional, Internationalisation, rivers, Trip Reports, Trips, United States, Whitewater
Have you ever thought about taking a kayaking trip but thought you couldn’t afford it? We’ve all been there, reading blogs posts or watching videos from theses super cool trips. But how do they afford it? The easy answer and excuse, is maybe they’re rich. But maybe they’re not, and maybe there’s a way you could be getting out there too!
First, the majority of these vacations are much less expensive then you imagine, and second, there are several steps you can take to ensure you stay within your budget.
Pick a Location
This step originally seems more critical than it actually is. For budgeted international traveling, your plane ticket is always the most expensive part of your trip. Therefore, your budget will likely be a main contributor to your location of choice. Also, planning ahead is in your favor for this, as plane tickets are often much cheaper booked far in advance, especially if your vacation dates are not flexible. On the other hand, if you do a good job being cheap on the other items listed below, you might be surprised on how much money you have left to spend on a more expensive destination.
Invite a Crew
Traveling with a small crew is the cheapest and easiest way to go. If you will be renting a car, I recommend 4-6 people total. 4 people can fit in 1 car, though tightly with all your gear, and 6 people works well to split 2 rental cars total, plus you will have your own shuttle without meeting up with anyone else. Rental cars and gas can be expensive up front, but become much more manageable when split 4-6 ways. Make sure your team is all on the same plan as far as budget goes. Your trip money can quickly dwindle down if 1 person in your group decides they want to keep eating out instead of cooking pasta at camp.
This is key. Do your research ahead of time and find out details of your location. You will want to look at the areas where you will be paddling and find out where you can camp in the area. For example, in some countries, camping anywhere is free, and in other countries, completely illegal. You do not need to completely plan out everything, but having a general idea of the rules and regulations will help you greatly, as even staying in hostels in most places adds up quickly.
Stick to the Plan
Once you get to your location, try your best to stick to your plan. Make sure you have enough food, but opt for lower priced and more filling options such as pasta, instead of steak. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the moment. However, don’t be so cheap that you miss out on a few fun local treats, just be smart about it.
Keep these tips in mind and throw away the excuses! International paddling is an amazing experience both for the paddling and the culture. Just pick your location, invite a crew, plan ahead, and stick to the plan! Have fun out there! ~Diane Brasuell (Gaydos)