Seeking thrill on a college budget

The excitement of adventure attracts many people to destinations all over the world. But for a college student on a budget, these adventure spots can get a little pricey. What are some destinations that aren’t as pricey but are equally adrenaline filled?

One option is a trip to Destin, Fl. For a great fishing and ocean adventure, the beach is the place to visit.

Another option is traveling to N.C. for hiking and white water rafting. Both adventure destinations are just a car ride away.

Pack your bags and fishing poles and prepare for a high seas adventure. It is important to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a bathing suit, fishing poles and scuba gear if available. All of the necessary gear can be purchased or rented once you arrive if you don’t feel like hauling your gear with you. Also, pack a cooler full of food.

Generally, groceries are cheaper in Ga., and it is a money saver to pack a cooler for the trip. Not to mention, there are not many restaurants floating out in the middle of the Gulf. Book a room at the Hampton Inn in Mary Ester (a small town only a few miles away from the beach) and only spend about $80. While staying on the beach is convenient and always great, the farther from the water, the cheaper the hotel so keep a lookout for places that are further inland.

Explore the Gulf—Go fishing. Early morning is the best time for fishing. If you don’t have a boat, the best way to get the most out of your money is to go on a party boat. If you have time the day before, watch which boats bring in the biggest catch because that will tell you which company knows the best locations.

Don’t pay extra for a charter boat. Although this is a great way to experience the gulf, it’s out of the budget of most college students. Most party fishing boats cost around seventy dollars per person (while chartering a private boat can cost around $400). If you have a boat and know good fishing spots in the gulf, purchase a three day fishing license for around twenty dollars and explore the gulf on your own.

Snorkeling or scuba diving are two other adventures to embark upon while visiting the “Sunshine State.” There are several different companies that charter scuba and snorkeling adventures and most of these are budget friendly while being extremely fun at the same time. Also, you never know what you might find while in the water.

Finally, explore some of the lesser known locations that aren’t filled with tourists. For example, hiking on public property in Eglin Air Force Base is lesser known to the public but a great place to discover the outdoors. Don’t forget snake boots because rattle snakes are popular in this area.

The Ocoee River runs right through the heart of the North Carolina mountains. It runs over several rapids along the way and makes for the perfect whitewater rafting adventure. You are going to need sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray and wear something that can survive the rugged environment.

Since an outing to the mountains in North Carolina can be done in a day trip, save money and avoid booking a hotel. Instead, carpool to the whitewater rafting site. It’s best to book an early trip and take a group of six so you can fill the raft up, reducing the cost.

Usually, if it is a group of college students making the trip, and it is an entire group of six friends, the whitewater guides will be more apt to do things on the riskier side and will make sure the trip is filled with adventure. A good and cheap location to book a rafting trip is through the Ocoee Rafting Company. Also, look for deals on websites such as Groupon where they often have group discounts.

Since whitewater rafting will take a lot out of you and probably leave you starving, make sure to pack a big lunch for after the trip. There are many picnic locations throughout the state and finding a spot to stop and enjoy your lunch while taking in the scenery provides no challenge at all.

As soon as your body has recovered from the rafting trip, go for a hike. The Appalachian Trail (AT) runs right along the Ocoee River and offer a great place to explore the local flora and fauna. The AT snakes all the way from Georgia up to Maine, allowing hikers to hike until their heart’s content. Pack a tent, food, sleeping bag and other essentials and hit the trail. Hiking the trail is free, so if your budget is tight, skip the rafting and spend the weekend hiking. Although the initial purchase of camping and backpacking gear can be pricey, hiking is always free and the gear can always be rented from a local outdoors store or here at ORGT.

These are just a few different ideas for adventures on a budget. Whatever you do, get off the beaten path.