Are you interested in independent hiking and bicycling adventures in the USA and Europe? Have you dreamed about hiking in the Alps or cycling the Camino de Santiago? "Yes, but it's too expensive!"

You have come to the right place for information and inspiration.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Prices in dazzling adventure travel brochures can knock your socks off, topping $400 dollars per person per day. People hiking or cycling side-by-side share the same breathtaking and inspiring vistas, but may be paying thousands of dollars difference for the experience.

Traveling independently is not for everyone; feeling stressed and worried on your 'once-in-a-lifetime' adventure is a too high an emotional price to pay.We have done some form of organized active travel in a dozen countries, however, going independent has allowed us to fit more adventures into our budget with costs averaging under 75 dollars per person per day.

Do we stay in hostels and cook our own food? No, we select local accommodations from guesthouses to hotels and eat off the menu in restaurants. We also use the reasonably priced, staffed huts located in many alpine regions (see more info about huts in the individual adventure descriptions).  
Is independent travel right for you?
 
Yes, if you like to:
have flexibility in your itinerary
go at our own pace
do your own research
avoid being 'herded'
support the local economy of your chosen destination
 
No, if you:
have a tight schedule
have chosen a truly remote location
believe the language barrier might be a real issue
like to leave the planning and decisions to others
want to be assured of having upscale accommodations
prefer being in a group with others of your own culture

See all our reading suggestions in our new and easily navigated Store format by clicking here (link will open in a new window or tab).



Planning your trip
   
Pick a location!
Scrutinize the web for information, visit our 'Best Links for the Independent Traveler' page to help you get started.
Check out available guidebooks and purchase a few (or see if your local library can obtain them). Get a foreign language pocket phrase book or dictionary.
Decide if any portion of your adventure would be enhanced by hiring a guide. Finding a local operator in a non-english speaking country might be daunting. Don't be intimidated, anyone who regularly deals with tourists will speak some English and many locations have tourist offices that can assist with locating a licensed guide. Decisons to hire a private guide or join an existing small group for a glacier crossing, a difficult via ferrate, or some other special activity can be made a day or so in advance. You will be able to assess weather conditions, your personal fitness, and also take advantage of unique local opportunities. Prices are surprisingly reasonable since you are bypassing the 'middlemen' and your guide will be focused on YOU and YOUR experience. If they did a good job, don't forget to tip them graciously when your trip is finished.
Check that you and any other travelers with you have a current passport.
Book your plane ticket.
Research local transportation options and print out schedules (from the airport to... and back, etc). In most locations there will be train and/or busses, but even a 100 dollar taxi ride for 2 people is a bargain considering what you might have paid to a tour company!
Create a packing list (guidebooks will have helpful suggestions) and lay all the items out, eliminate non-essentials and consider replacing heavy items. You have always yearned for that 'super light weight' fleece or backpack? Now is the time to buy it!
Make sure your ATM card has a 4-digit password (we have heard that some foreign ATMs will now also accept 5 digits but have no personal exxxx perience) and deposit sufficient funds in your checking account.
Pack your bags, go and have fun!

Our Itineraries with detailed information
Crossing the Alps on Foot: From Innsbruck to San Martino di Castrozza
Walking in Italy
Hiking the Tour de Mont Blanc
Fall Hiking in the Berchtesgadener Alps
Bicycling the Great River Route in the US
Winter Hiking in the Berchtesgadener Alps
Bicycling the Camino de Santiago in Spain





If you would like to contact us, send an email to southrnbelle@usa.com.
While none of the adventures listed are considered dangerous, there is always a risk of illness, injury or death resulting from any outdoor activity as well as inhospitable political climates. It is the responsibility of each person to determine his/her ability to participate in the activities described, to use the information provided safely and sensibly, to keep abreast of current political situations and to be aware that medical facilities may be limited in some foreign countries. goxploring cannot be held liable for illness, injury or death resulting from participation in any of the activities described herein. While we have made every effort to provide accurate data, we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury, or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this information. The details provided should be regarded as pointers and in no way are a substitute for your own careful, up-to-date research and maps.

GOWEBCounter by INLINE