One of the best parts about vacation is the experience of new and exciting scenery. In pursuing this sensory experience, individuals often gravitate to what they see as the epitome of whatever it is that they’re looking for. An example of this would be someone who wants to experience “the big city” going to New York City on vacation. This has become visible in the growing trend of eco-tourism, individuals heading deep into the tropical rainforests of Brazil or climbing Everest. However, there are a lot of underappreciated and underpriced experiences along these lines, so I’ve decided to compile a list of everything from driving the Painted Desert to an Alaskan fishing trip.
Fishing in Alaskan Rivers
Famous for its long summer days and scenic beauty, Alaska is not only a great getaway but a cost effective one, too. For those seeking to really get the most eye-candy for their buck, there are a ton of incredible scenic byways that can get you to the Kenai Peninsula. Everything from lakes and glaciers to bears and moose can be witnessed on these drives across America’s last frontier. The best part about an Alaskan fishing trip experience is that after the drive through some of the most beautiful country in North America, you’ll be able to fish some of its most vibrant waters.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Talk about bang for your buck. The Appalachian Trail travels between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine and will take you around 2,200 miles. By the end of your journey you will have visited 14 of the United States. To hike straight through will generally take between five and seven months but many hikers will traverse the wilderness piecemeal, choosing instead to complete it little by little in a matter of years.
If you choose to go straight through, travel expenses will be low, as the only energy your legs require is a little food here and there. There are many inexpensive, cost-efficient foods for hikers on a thin budget. Now, the real trick is going to be convincing the boss to give you seven months of vacation time.
Driving the American Southwest
A traditional driving vacation is one that travels through the scenic American Southwest and its myriad national parks and monuments. Visible on such a drive are Monument Valley (pictured in so many “Wild West” films of generations past), Arches National Park, Bridges National Park, Zion National Park (which is easily one of the most beautiful places on the planet) and Grand Canyon National Park. This is just to name a few, by the way. All along the narrow, untraveled roads lie a wide variety of ghost towns and tourist destinations to catch the eye of anyone looking for a diversion from the open road.
Exploring the Jungles of Costa Rica
Some of the wildest getaways on earth still lie within Central America. The nation of Costa Rica is not only a destination that’s inexpensive but regularly ranked among one of the most stable nations in Latin America. With a mild climate that averages high temperatures of 80 degrees during the day and 64 degrees at night, it’s a desirable destination year round.
Costa Rica only contains a tenth percent of the planet’s landmass, but it contains 5 percent of its biodiversity. Not only this, 25 percent of the nation’s land is protected federally as a park or wildlife refuge. Much of this is open to tourist and tour guide groups.
Times and places of special interest include the annual nesting of the endangered green turtle at Tortuguero National Park, which literally means “full of turtles” and is considered to be the most important nesting site of the green turtle.
To Each Her Own
There is a little bit of something for everyone somewhere. For those that prefer fishing or incredible artic climes, Alaska can offer a great rate for a better vacation. Those who enjoy the crunch of dirt under their feet should look to the Appalachian Trail or either of its two western counterparts, the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Driving through the sparse deserts of the American Southwest has long been the favorite adventure for many, while exploring a jungle continues to grow in popularity throughout the developed world. Whatever you choose, it’ll be a great adventure for you and whoever you can bring along, and you won’t even have to empty your checking account.