When I was in college and I did my semester abroad in the UK, all of my classmates took the opportunity of the break between terms in England to backpack around Europe. They’d all bought Eurail passes, and they headed off with their belongings strapped to their backs, intending to live as cheaply as possible (some planning to only sleep on overnight trains between destinations where they’d spend a whopping one day), and return to England after roughly twenty days with a passport full of stamps.
I on the other hand, was going to spend my time off with my European relatives in Paris and Zurich. I hadn’t bought a Eurail pass (it hadn’t even occurred to me), and I didn’t even have a backpack. I returned to England with only a couple of passport stamps, having been to only a couple of places, and having slept in the homes of family members. I wasn’t complaining, to be sure, and every once in awhile I look back on that experience and think, “That was my chance to be a backpacker, and I missed it.”
Not that anyone is too old to be a backpacker in reality, but in some ways I was probably always too old for it. I’ve often joked that I’ve been old and boring since I can remember (I think my brothers would back me up on this), so it’s not entirely out of the question. So I wasn’t interested in backpacking – does that make me any less interested in the kind of travel backpackers do? Nope. Now that I’m older, though, I’m a helluva lot less likely to strap a pack on my back and go traipsing through, well, anywhere, looking for a hostel.
That’s where BootsnAll World Adventures comes in.
Donovan Pacholl, BnA’s guru of adventure travel, describes World Adventures as travel for the backpacker who’s grown up a bit. And while I think that’s an apt description, the tours on offer are enticing even for those of us who never aspired to be backpackers in our youth. They’re tours in only the loosest sense of the word, Donovan says – you’re taking local buses, riding local trains, etc., there’s just a guide there to organize the tidbits many travelers are loathe to do themselves. More often than not, the tours also only have scheduled activities for half of each day, leaving the participants free to do what they’d like for the other half.
The other night I was showing Chris some of the new things I’d learned about BnA, and we found several tours listed on the World Adventures pages that got our attention. The ones that really got us thinking, though, were the last-minute deals. There are some amazing trips listed there, and if you book by a certain date they’re 20% off the listed price.
There are still plenty of places where I’d prefer to handle the arrangements myself (that’s half the fun of the trip, if you ask me), but there are others where I’d be happy to let someone else do all of that so I could just enjoy the experience. I don’t know what our next trip is, or where we’re even wanting to go, but perusing the World Adventures tours has certainly got me thinking more about the next stamps on my passport.
Full disclosure: BootsnAll World Adventures is part of the BootsnAll Travel Network, my new employer. As I learn more about the various resources in the Network, I’ll post information about them here.