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32. ADVENTURE TRAVEL TOUR AGENCY

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Adventure travel tours are growing in popularity every year, as places in the world that were once too remote for most people become more accessible. Travel agencies are sending more and more tourists to places that were once “off the beaten path”: out-of-the-way islands, dense jungles, isolated valleys, lonely mountain peaks and Arctic barrens. But what questions should you ask yourself when selecting an adventure travel tour agency? Indeed, what questions should you ask the agency?

The first questions are obvious. Does the adventure travel tour agency handle excursions to the place or places you want to visit? What are the prices, and how do those rates compare with those of other agencies? How long are their excursions? Do they have special “off season” rates, and is there any advantage to visiting a particular place during the off season?

There are however, other questions the traveler might wish to consider. Some may appear obvious, but it is best never to take anything for granted. For example, what exactly is included in the price package? Does it include all food and drink, or are there limitations; i.e. are alcoholic beverages extra?

Is equipment provided? If you go on a ski adventure, for example, must you take your own skis and paraphernalia, or will they be provided? What is the agency’s policy concerning equipment that is damaged, stolen or otherwise lost while it is in your possession?

Ask the adventure travel tour agency to be specific about the kind of accommodation you will have. A word like “cabin” can mean anything from a comfortable little house to a small, drafty shack. Are there facilities for you to do your own cooking, should you wish to do so. If you are going to be sleeping in hostels, you should have some idea just what they are like.

If your adventure tour involves the use of guides, you will want to know just what you are getting. Your adventure travel tour agency should engage guides who, of course, speak your language. But they should also be trained to handle emergencies such as accidents or illness. What is the policy of the adventure travel tour agency should you be injured or become ill? Is the agency insured against any mishap?

There are many reliable, reputable adventure travel tour agencies that take good care of their clients and are well respected in the countries and communities in which they operate. But there are also fly-by-night operations that spring up, take people’s money, fail to deliver what was promised or expected, and then disappear. Before you go on that adventure travel tour, find out just what you are buying, and who is taking you.





 

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