Introduction and suitability
Degree of difficulty/ fitness
Although no camping experience is required in South America, a high percentage of these tours are spent under canvas which, by definition, can involve certain hardships not associated with hotel accommodation.
Accommodation: Camping, Hotels & Hostels
For your convenience quality cooking and camping equipment is provided (BYO sleeping bag and mat). Our self-contained expedition vehicles carry all the necessary quality equipment to ensure that camping is well organised and fun. Campsites vary from established sites with good facilities to occasional free-camping where we are totally self-sufficient. As well as spacious two-person tents, there is a full complement of gas stoves and kitchenware provided for the group’s use. You are expected to participate in the setting up at each campsite and in the preparation of meals for the group. Your tour leader will organise groups to do various duties on a roster basis. There are no single supplements so solo travellers must be prepared to share their tent with another group member of the same gender. All camping fees and accommodation are included on Budget Expedition (unless on optional overnight excursions) from the arrival day until check-out time on the final day of the tour. Occasionally we’ll stay in inexpensive hotels, hostels or guesthouses on a share basis, usually with a private bathroom.
There are no single supplements on Budget Expedition so you must be prepared to share with other group members of the same gender in twin or triple rooms, occasionally multiple share, and share a tent while camping.
Optional accommodation upgrade
Optional cabin upgrades at campsites and room upgrades at hostels are often available during your tour, subject to availability. Upgrade prices vary between US$5-20 per person per night and can only be booked locally with the assistance of your tour leader.
Pre and post tour accommodation
Pre and post tour accommodation is available if you would like to spend more time exploring your joining and departure cities. You will find Budget Expedition pre and post tour hotel prices listed on the appropriate tour page of the website. It is best to book your pre and post tour accommodation at the same time that you book your tour. Please contact us or speak to your travel consultant for more information.
Accommodation is included from 1pm on day 1 until checkout time on the morning the tour ends. If you wish to use the services of a room before or after checkout time, or you are arriving very early in the morning of day 1, you will need to book an extra night, which we can arrange for you.
All rooms are on a bed only basis unless otherwise indicated. There is an extra charge if you change your hotel or transfer reservations once booked or if you add a hotel / transfer reservation to your booking within one month of the tour departure date. Please refer to the booking conditions for more information.
There is always a huge variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and meats, which are purchased at local markets and supermarkets. Good food is paramount to a successful tour and it is our policy to buy only the best and freshest ingredients in generous quantities for each and every meal. Meals when camping and lunches on travel days between campsites or hostels are included. Meal preparation, washing up and cleaning the inside of the expedition vehicle are all undertaken by group members on a roster basis. Other meals are not included, so you can get out there and sample the local cuisine
Please see the country dossiers for more information about the local food you can experience on tour and see the tour dossier for information about the number of meals included on your itinerary.
Budget Expedition tours do not include excursions, which means you only have to budget for the optional excursions that you really want to do. You can choose your activities from the full list of optional excursions on our website and then book them locally with help from your tour leader. Please contact us or speak to your travel consultant for more information.
The majority of the travelling time on Budget Expedition is spent on our comfortable, custom- built expedition vehicles. Onboard you will find comfortable, forward-facing coach seats with safety belts and generous legroom, carpeted interiors, writing tables, overhead storage shelves, travel reference information such as guide books and large, panoramic sliding windows for sightseeing. Most vehicles also have a refrigerator for food and sometimes cold drinks. There is also storage space for your luggage and souvenirs as well as kitchen equipment, tables and camp stools carried for picnic lunches. Tucked away in storage we carry specialised equipment for the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle. On rare occasions it may be necessary to utilise a privately hired vehicle for the duration of the tour.
Although modern and comfortable, some vehicles may not include all the facilities and equipment listed above. Please refer to our expedition vehicles pages for more information. On some optional excursions you will use locally hired vehicles.
The distances between attractions can be great in parts of South America and Asia so please be prepared for some long travelling days although toilet and lunch stops will be made throughout the day. This time spent travelling is unavoidable but you will not be disappointed once you arrive! There will be travel on modern highways as well as bumpy gravel roads, travel on overland vehicles as well as ferries and other local transport. Please also note that there are many short travel days and many non travel days which leave you free to explore at your leisure.
The average group size is between 15 and 24 in South America although our vehicles comfortably seat up to 34 on some popular dates. In Asia the average group size will vary with up to 18 passengers.
Budget Expedition are accompanied by a Tucan Travel tour leader and in South America, a Tucan Travel driver as well. You may be assisted at other times by Tucan Travel reps, local guides and local reps.
The tour price is divided into set amount paid in advance and a compulsory local payment which is due to your tour leader in US$ cash at the group meeting on the first day of your tour. The local payment amount is found on the tour price page and will be printed on your invoice and tour voucher. Our brochures are updated in September/October each year and the local payment you will pay will be that published at the time of your departure.