You can’t get Down Under through a bus window. If you’re going to get off the tourist track, you’ll have to shake things up a bit—that’s why we’ve turned to trains, 4x4s, buses and boats for this itinerary. From the cobblestones of charming Melbourne, cut through the outback and explore the mysteries of Uluru. Follow your curiosity down the deserted tracks that make Australia so remote and spend 18 days discovering the natural beauty of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.
Highlights: Bedding down at a traditional sheep station and outside under the outback sky, learning about dreamtime stories from the Aborigines, experiencing a night underground in Coober Pedy, catching the magnificent colours of Uluru, hiking through gorgeous natural rock formations in the Red Centre, riding the route of Afghan cameleers on the Ghan Train, exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kakadu National Park
Bliss out on world-class beaches in exotic southern Thailand before cooling off in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. This 2-week tour will introduce you to three diverse nations—and three of the region’s most vibrant cities. Sample street food or hit Bangkok’s clubs with other travellers your own age—so you can be sure to get down with those that’ll keep up. With your hotel and transport arranged by our CEOs, you can concentrate on choosing your own adventure: pack your trip with everything you want and nothing you don't.
Highlights: Exploring the streets of bustling Bangkok, stopping by Penang's Chinese shop houses, glimpsing beautiful green vistas in the the Cameron Highlands, diving into multicultural Kuala Lumpur, visiting three diverse countries in two weeks.
China can be intimidating, what with its Great Wall, Forbidden City and army of Terracotta Warriors. This 8-day trip will wipe away any worries—you'll have an expert CEO leading the way and you'll hit the highlights in the company of other young travellers. Get a mix of modern and historic with plenty of time to enjoy the nightlife. Best of all, you're in control—see the sights you like and skip the ones you don't—so it's an adventure you'll never forget.
Highlights: Trekking along the Great Wall, taking in ancient and modern China, opting to step back into the past with a visit to the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, enjoying a night out at karaoke in modern Shanghai.
Best of New Zealand (ONNS)
Compared with their enormous western neighbour, the islands of New Zealand don’t look especially big on the map, but don’t let their small stature deceive you. There is much, much, much to do here, be it biking to old gold mining sites, kayaking remote coves and some of the most breathtaking hiking routes in the whole world. But if you’re short on travel dollars, fear not; this trip squeezes in the very best of both the North and South islands into an affordable, action-packed 21-day itinerary that moves swiftly without ever seeming rushed.
Highlights: Learning about the Maori culture, conquering New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek—the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, hiking Franz Josef Glacier, getting an adrenaline rush in Queenstown, weaving through the remote fjords of the Doubtful Sound by sea kayak, discovering Abel Tasman National Park by foot
Experience the treasures of Argentina and Brazil in this jam-packed trip. From tango in Buenos Aires to sun and surf in Rio, explore two of the continent’s most vibrant capitals. Marvel at the majesty of Iguassu Falls and let its power engulf you. Our CEOs will take you to the highlights on a shoestring and then let you loose so you can really do what you want. You’ll stick to public bus, which not only keeps costs down but gives you a chance to really meet the locals.
Highlights: Sipping caipirinhas on the beach, savouring the sophistication and cuisine of Buenos Aires, marvelling at Iguassu Falls, wandering around colonial Paraty, living it up in Rio.
Budget Egypt (DPGE)
This compact adventure offers maximum Egypt at minimum cost. Stare in amazement at the pyramids and float down the Nile on a felucca. Embrace the culture and meet remarkable people as you dine on traditional fare with a local family in a Nubian village. You'll enjoy basic accommodation and transport to the best sights. Walk through the Valley of the Kings or explore Karnak—it's your call. Don't just dream of Egypt, wake up in the 'Land of the Pharaohs' and open your eyes to adventure.
Highlights: Enjoying a traditional family meal, exploring ancient temples and monuments, bartering in bazaars, sleeping beneath the stars on a felucca, visiting a Nubian village.
Breathe in the Incan spirit of La Paz and the tango palaces of Buenos Aires on one 2-week adventure. Connecting the Atlantic to the Andes, you'll journey across the surreal landscapes of the Atacama Desert and the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, feel like a sophisticate as you sip wine in Buenos Aires and pull back the curtain on the centre of the continent. Best of all, you'll do it in the company of other fun, young travellers. Don't choose between inspiring wilderness and urban sophistication—do it all.
Highlights: Discovering colonial cities and historic cultures, crossing the Salar de Uyuni and surrounding desert altiplano on a 4x4 excursion, feeling like a sophisticate while sipping fine wines in Mendoza, witnessing the stunning scenery and unique cultures of Northern Argentina, doing it all with other fun, young travellers.
Cambodia on a Shoestring (ATRC)
Marvel at the incredible Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat and the clear turquoise waters at Sihanoukville. This journey packages Cambodia’s treasures into 10 well-paced days. Brave Ho Chi Minh City’s jam-packed streets with other travellers your own age—you can be sure they’ll keep pace with you—or check out the more laid back waterways of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. With your accommodation, transportation and general trip logistics arranged, you can concentrate on choosing the activities that interest you most.
Highlights: Exploring bustling Bangkok, catching the sunrise over Angkor Wat, enjoying a delicious Khmer meal at a vocational training restaurant funded by Planeterra, walking the bustling streets of Phnom Penh, chilling out on golden beaches, connecting with the locals on an overnight homestay, cruising the Mekong Delta, discovering intriguing Ho Chi Minh City.
For ambitious travellers on a tight budget who are after an experience full of the very best this country has to offer, this tour showcases the scenic wonders without missing its most famous cities and sites. Walk back in time along the Great Wall then see the future in Shanghai. Our CEOs will help you dig deeper into the very best of China. Offering a great deal of flexibility, our optional activities allow you to go beyond the highlights.
Highlights: Exploring cosmopolitan cities, uncovering ancient capitals and charming rural villages, cruising the Yangtze River, marvelling at the Terracotta Warriors, standing in awe on the Great Wall.
Soak in the vibrant pulse of Hong Kong, float down the Yangtze on a Chinese-style riverboat and walk the Great Wall with other others that share your appetite for adventure. Enjoy eighteen days packed with China's major sights and out-of-the way gems with the freedom to choose those that interest you. Cycle along Xian’s ancient city walls and through the stunning rice fields and limestone karsts of Yangzhou. Explore gorgeous scenery straight out of a painting or just relax and take it all in.
Highlights: Exploring Shanghai and Hong Kong's bustling streets and Yangshuo's karst scenery, cruising the Three Gorges of the Yangtse River, discovering history in Xi'an and Beijing, walking along the Great Wall of China.
Costa Rica on a Shoestring (CRBC)
Hit two of Costa Rica's famed features—volcanoes and beaches—on this exciting trip that isn't too hard on the wallet. Get the adrenaline pumping in La Fortuna, then soak up the hippie spirit of Montezuma and relax on the beach. While you're free to choose your own adventure and optional adrenaline-inducing activities like waterfall rappelling, your accommodation and transportation are included and our expert CEOs will help you make the most of your time. Take a trip that's packed with just the essentials—eight days of maximum Costa Rica at minimum cost.
Highlights: Trying adrenaline sports like whitewater rafting and waterfall rappelling, taking in the views of Arenal Volcano towering over La Fortuna, chilling out on the Pacific, trying to catch some waves.
A trip from Zagreb to Dubrovnik is not your backpacker’s typical European tour—it’s way better. In one week, scramble from historic Zagreb along the Adriatic Coast to stunning Dubrovnik. Along the way you’ll hit the highlights—did we mention Pag and Hvar, along the coastline? But you’ll also discover a Europe too often ignored by travellers. Party in exclusive clubs and wander historic and picture-perfect old lanes. Come away from Europe with more than just great photographs—travel with young and fun travellers and you’ve got friends for life.
Highlights: Making new friends over drinks along the Adriatic, scrambling around medieval fortresses, connecting with the culture in charming old villages, discovering the rich and varied countryside of the Balkans, exploring Diocletian's Palace on a guided tour.
Cuban Rhythms (CCCR)
For too many people, Cuba is nothing more than a beach resort. That’s crazy; the island practically buzzes with energy and you should do likewise—get moving. Journey through the culture-soaked streets of Trinidad and Old Havana for your fill of drinking and dancing. The music here pours out of open windows. Hit the beach and explore the outdoors then connect with the locals in homestays and make friends for life as you hit the sites with other young people like yourself. Boring? Impossible!
Highlights: Dancing the night away with other young travellers in Old Havana, mingling with the locals at overnight homestays, sampling the local rum and cigars, connecting to the salsa culture on the dance floor, moving those hips to incredible live music, exploring colonial Havana's alleyways, lazing under the Caribbean sun.
Rugged landscapes, crashing surf and indigenous culture stretching back through time and beyond—Australia’s East Coast possesses a truly otherworldly allure. This trip offers you a comprehensive, authentic and wholly affordable experience in one of the country’s most popular regions. Raw thrills and refined pleasures abound out here. In the space of a few days, you’ll sample wines in the Hunter Valley, spend the night in a teepee, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, catch a few waves, spearfish with local Aborigines, shear a sheep and play a didgeridoo. When people back home ask what you did on your trip, just tell ‘em: “Everything.”
Highlights: Island hopping by yacht through the Whitsunday Islands, overnighting at a traditional sheep station and a beach teepee, learning to surf in Byron Bay, zipping over dunes in a 4x4 on a remote sand island, snorkelling the world's largest reef, spearing fish and savouring lunch with local Aborigines, sleeping in a 'swag' under the impressive southern night sky
Egypt on a Shoestring (DPRE)
Ancient wonders, bustling markets and rugged mountain views—experience the best of Egypt's history and culture on this budget adventure. Sail the Nile and wander through the temples and tombs of the Valley of the Kings. Of course, you'll witness the magnificence of the pyramids, but you can also climb Mt Sinai and relax at the beachside village of Dahab along the Red Sea. While you're free to choose your own adventure, your accommodation and transportation are included and our expert CEOs will help you make the most of your time spent in this ancient region.
Highlights: Shopping in bazaars, taking an overnight felucca journey with support boat, exploring ancient temples and city streets, relaxing at the Red Sea, dining with the locals in a Nubian village.
Europe Encompassed (EELL)
You. Europe. 24 days. Ready? You’d better be, because this epic London-to-London romp through the Old World’s greatest cities doesn’t slow down for stragglers. Geared towards budget-conscious travellers eager to check an entire continent off their ‘must-do’ list in one fell swoop, this adventure will take you from the busy streets of the English capital to Paris’ most elegant galleries and cafés, the stunning natural brilliance of the Swiss Alps, the rugged beauty of Italy’s Cinque Terre and the party capitals of Berlin and Amsterdam before wrapping up with a celebratory pint in a London pub. Phew! We’re tired just talking about it.
Highlights: Pounding the pavement in cities teeming with history, Exploring galleries and museums, Discovering medieval towns straight from fairytales, Sampling regional wines and cuisine, Visiting nine countries in less than a month, Taking in the nightlife across Europe.
Galapagos on a Shoestring (SEGS)
This 9-day adventure is perfect for those who want to experience the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Galapagos Islands but prefer to sleep on shore—so your time on the water is limited to commuting between islands. Go ashore at the lesser-visited island of Isabela and spend your days with playful sea lions, giant manta rays and the Galapagos giant tortoise. With fewer inclusions but plenty of options, you can choose which activities are right for you and experience one of the natural wonders of the world on a budget.
Highlights: Witnessing whitetip sharks at 'Shark Alley', travelling by public speedboats around the Galapagos Islands, feeling like a local during a family homestay, camping in the highlands of Isabela Island with views towards the ocean, visiting Charles Darwin Research Station and the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre.
This might be a quick trip along the Great Ocean Road—but you’ll never feel rushed. Geared towards budget-conscious travellers looking to hit the highlights of the south coast, this itinerary features lots of inclusions at a great price. What’s more, you’ll have lots of options to get active when you head inland to Grampians National Park. Forego the typical coach tour and experience Australia the way it was meant to be explored.
Highlights: Marvelling at the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, trekking and spotting wildlife in the region's national parks, spotting wildlife in remote saltwater lagoons.
India on a Shoestring (AHRH)
From the monuments of Delhi to the colourful cities of Rajasthan, experience three weeks of northern India's best. Marvel at Jaisalmer's mud fortress and Bikaner's unique temple before journeying into the desert for an overnight camel safari. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and make your way to the Ganges River at Varanasi. Your expert CEO will take care of the hassles so you're free to see the sights or just soak up the vibe—India is home to great food, fascinating culture, alluring sights and friendly and inviting people. Discover the charms and mystery that make up this incredible country.
Highlights: Drinking in a kaleidoscope of colour and culture, experiencing spiritual Varanasi, marvelling at the Taj in Agra, wandering vibrant cities, revelling in the colourful villages of Rajasthan, visiting the Ganges.
Indochina Discovery (ATID)
Discover the heart and soul of Indochina on this tour of four very diverse countries. Encounter history, both ancient and modern, and witness the unbelievable splendour of Angkor Wat. Our CEOs will ensure your accommodation and transportation are covered—so you can choose the activities that interest you. Experience Halong Bay by boat and ride bicycles around Vang Vieng. Push through hectic city lanes and tap into the pulsing nightlife. And with other travellers your own age, you can be sure to get down with adventurers that’ll keep up.
Highlights: Revelling in the majesty of Angkor Wat, enjoying a delicious Khmer meal at a vocational training restaurant funded by Planeterra, chilling out on golden beaches, floating down the mighty Mekong, snorkelling beautiful reefs, shopping in quaint Hoi An, cruising magical Halong Bay, exploring the streets of serene Luang Prabang.