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Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

New York City, New...
posts: 28
Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

I want to take my 17 year old son on a mother/son trip for a few days this summer. I would be willing to stay in the US or perhaps Europe or Central America. I found this great looking company called Backroads that has the exact type of trips I'm looking for, but before airfare, the six day trip is about $4500 per person. Not really looking to spend over 10K on a few days away.

Any suggestions on similar experiences to Backroads, or places I could stay that are great for high school grads and hook up with great day trips? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

11 replies to this topic
Toronto, Canada
posts: 6
1. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

$4,500 is crazy expensive for a 6-day trip. What are you looking for on the trip?


- How nice are the accommodations?

- What kind of activities would you want to do?

- Any destinations in particular that you'd want to go to?

(I've lived in Canada, the US & Chile in the last few years, plus I run a travel company so I've got a pretty good idea of how to get an awesome trip for a way more reasonable price than that)

New York City, New...
posts: 28
2. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

Hi Andrew! Thanks for your reply. I would love some kind of group, or even staying somewhere great for a teen and doing day trips. Could be US, Canada, Europe, Central America - I want outdoor/adventure options, hiking, rafting, rappelling, rock climbing, biking, etc. Accommodations could be anything really. A hotel is fine, a guest house is fine too. Not looking to camp out.

The trips I saw on Backroads were groups where you rode a bike through several towns and had meals and activities each day. The company moves your luggage each day and you stay in guest houses or nice hotels. The trips were in Europe, in Montana and I think one in Utah.

Any thoughts?

Toronto, Canada
posts: 6
3. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

If you're looking for group travel, G Adventures has some trips that are priced much more reasonably. I have no affiliation with them, just think they have some cool trips (e.g. Hike, Bike & Raft Peru http://www.gadventures.com/trips/peru-hike-bike-raft/PHB/2013/). My company doesn't do group travel, so I usually refer people to G Adventures when they're looking for a group.

You might also find this adventure travel website helpful (http://www.adventure.travel/), just click on the activities on the side to see relevant providers.

Salt Lake City
posts: 7
reviews: 6
4. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

I too look at Backroads travel and want to go on the trips, but way too expensive. I know people who have been on several Backroads trips and love them. Of course, they can afford them. I can spend 2 weeks in Italy for the price of 4-5 days with Backroads, including our airfare. If you are interested in Asia, check out Spice Roads, or Grasshopper. We used them in Thailand and Grasshopper in Cambodia. Loved our day cycling trips. I live in Utah. You could easily follow the Backroads itinerary and do a self guided trip. We go to Zion all the time to do the hikes and bike what Backroads wants you to pay $1000 a day for. You could spend a week, stay in Springdale Utah, do Zion National Park, go to Bryce Canyon, hike and bike there also. Message me and I can share great places to stay, eat and hike. This whole trip could be done for maybe $2000, plus your airfare. Beautiful!

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
posts: 6,051
reviews: 14
5. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

We did a hiking tour in Tuscany with Breakaway Adventures. Much less expensive than Backroads & still very good. http://www.breakaway-adventures.com

We also did a hiking tour in France with Discover France. Good price, plus great dinners at outstanding restaurants was included. http://www.discoverfrance.com

We prefer independent walking tours, rather than guided group tours, but both these companies offer both. They made all arrangements for us & schlepped our luggage from one hotel to another, plus had someone local on call in case we had any problems or issues. With both companies, we were allowed to ride along with our luggage on the days bad storms hit (they would have also transported us in case of ankle sprain or such, too).


posts: 6
reviews: 31
6. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

Look at bikehike adventures out of Vancouver. I have done quite a few trips with them and they are good and about half as expensive as back roads .

posts: 13
reviews: 1
7. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?


I just read your post from June, last year... I am thinking of a bike trip to Zion/Bryce area, and wondered if you could provide similar feedback re: hiking, biking and dining (any vegetarian eateries? ), in the area.

Any feedback would be of value, thankyou in advance!

Toronto, Canada
posts: 1
8. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

VBT Bike tours are excellent, less than half the price of Backroads; quality as good or better as far as guides and bikes and activities. The only difference is the lodging which is 3-4 star and not 5 star.

We have used VBT in Costa Rica with our 20 year old children and have also done California wine tour with them. excellent value!!

We are doing their Croatia trip at the end of this summer

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 82
reviews: 8
9. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

Yup! It is too costly, I don't think so that it would be worthy for 6-7 days. You should go to some other company, there are many more companies who offer similar offer in cheap price.

Lake Atitlan
Destination Expert
for Lake Atitlan
posts: 878
reviews: 170
10. Re: Cheaper alternative to Backroads?

In many of the less traveled locations such as Guatemala, you can shop for smaller local owned outfitters instead of the large "ticket selling" outfits. There can be too many hands in the pot taking commissions and that adds to your costs.

It is easy to find the local outfitters with a little research on Tripadvisor.

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