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Coffees, Ubers, gym memberships we rarely use… it all adds up! According to a recent OnePoll survey, North Americans are spending approximately $1,497 per month—$18,000 per year—on optional luxuries such as eating out, rideshares, drinks, and gym memberships. Before you throw down for another grande mocha Frappuccino, we challenge you to consider not what your hard-earned money can buy, but where it can take you instead! From fast fashion to fancy frappes, we’re challenging explorers everywhere to invest in memories, not materials this year with our Adventure Challenge.
Forego fast fashion for an Egyptian adventure
While splurging on a new pair of designer jeans might be novel and exciting for a moment, the feeling can be fleeting. A Nile Cruise is available for less than $1,866, which is what The Bureau of Labor Statistics says consumers spent on clothing in 2018. Scale back on the latest fashion trends for the sake of experiencing Cairo, Aswan and the pyramids of Giza, and create memories that will last long after you’ve forgotten about those jeans.
SAVE: $1,866 on shoddy merchandise
SPEND: $1,549 USD on a 9-day Nile Cruise
Trade your lunch money for a culinary quest
According to OnePoll, consumers spend approximately $174 buying their lunch each month—that’s roughly $2,088 a year! Why not brown bag your midday meal and spend the savings on a spectacular 10-day Vietnam Food Adventure? You could even learn the skills to up your ante on your lunches at home with a cooking class led by a renowned local chef so that you can keep pocketing cash for your next big adventure.
SAVE: $2,088 on avocado toast
SPEND: $1,949 USD on a 10-day Vietnam Food Adventure
Brew your own coffee—and wake up in Marrakesh
While a daily cappuccino can certainly feel like a minor expense, a survey by Money Matters found that the average consumer spends a jaw-dropping $1,100 a year on coffee! Brew your own joe at home for 12 months and reward your restraint with an 8-day adventure to Marrakesh and the Sahara. Experience a camel ride to a Bedouin camp, where stargazing and sleeping in the Sahara are followed by a walk through the High Atlas Mountains, all for the price of your daily cup of coffee!
SAVE: $1,100 on espresso art
SPEND: $1,045 USD on an 8-day Marrakesh and the Sahara tour
Pass on post-work drinks for a weeklong Italian happy hour
For those who enjoy after-work cocktails, a change in routine could be rewarded with a superior substitute: sipping Chianti in Italy. OnePoll’s study shows people spend an average of $188.68 on alcohol monthly—roughly $2,265 per year. Opt out of a few of those nights on the town in favour of a Chianti Walking + Wine tour instead, and enjoy happy hour somewhere really special.
SAVE: $2,265 on happy hour
SPEND: $1,549 USD on an 8-day Chianti Walking + Wine tour
Swap stationary cycling for iconic Asian trails
It’s true they’re all the rage right now, but a basic Peloton package costs about $2,245 to cycle in the same place, day after day. Work your quads with a much better view with 10-days of cycling through Cambodia, venturing through the country’s rural landscapes, small villages and the iconic Angkor Wat—just some of the places an exercise bike can’t take you.
SAVE: $2,245 on at-home fitness
SPEND: $1,799 USD on a 10-day Cycling Cambodia tour
Go from couch potato to elite explorer
Recently, OnePoll found that consumers spend roughly $1,635 peryear on cable, movie streaming and music streaming subscription services. Consider scaling back on binge-watching HBO and see Chernobyl in-person instead. Go deep into the Exclusion Zone on the Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend tour, with chilling immersion into the community that was. A city tour of Kiev showcases Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery, and hotspots, Sophiiska and Mykhailivska Squares.
SAVE: $1,635 on bingeing “Friends” re-runs
SPEND: $1,399 USD on a 4-day Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend tour
Take your cardio workout to new altitudes
What’s the point in doling out for a gym membership you’re statistically unlikely to use? Take that monthly fee—which could accumulate to upwards of $1,920 per year—and turn it into a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment with the Moonstone Trek adventure in Peru. This lesser-trod path takes adventurers through Andean Villages otherwise unknown to tourists, and to Incan ruins—Huayrapunku, as one example—that are rarely seen by the average visitor.
SAVE: $1,920 on sore muscles
SPEND: $1,879 USD on a 9-day The Moonstone Trek tour
Ditch the sharing economy for the Silk Road
Studies show $4,000 is the estimated annual price tag for using ride-sharing apps; money that could go a lot further—all the way to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, in fact. Rather than rack up credit charges for an easy ride home, opt for public transit or the heel-toe express to hit the road in a whole new way along the Silk Road.
SAVE: $4,000 on backseat driving
SPEND: $3,099 USD on a 15-day The Silk Road tour
Fore-go golf membership for a hole-in-one nature experience
Data shows that the average annual cost of a golf membership could set consumers back $6,240— but why play the same course more than once when you can tour the world in search of new challenges? Tackle a few rounds Down Under before discovering what the rest of the destination has to offer with a Wild Queensland adventure.
SAVE: $6,240 on boring old bogeys
SPEND: $5,480 USD an 8-day Wild Queensland tour
Make your money go the extra mile
Reports show that the average timeshare will set consumers back about $22,180, but what good is going back to the same place year after year when new adventures are being created every year? The cost of a timeshare is more than enough to plan a round-the-world escape that includes Costa Rica, Peru, Finland, Tanzania, Zambia, Portugal, and through the Baltics. Make it all about nature on a Costa Rica Adventure; get your fill of boat touring, jungle journeys and relaxation, and explore Inca ruins, colonial fortresses and traditional communities in Peru: Machu Picchu. Instead of sitting by the pool, leap into Lapland Wilderness Week, and arrive nearly 125 miles above the Arctic Circle to the seven-person village of Rajamaa, and spend a week dogsledding and snowshoeing. Unwind with the Big Five on a leisurely safari in Tanzania and camp on remote islands during a canoe safari on the Zambezi River, and cycle the Atlantic coast from Porto to Lisbon or pedal through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the Baltics in Europe. However you choose to get away, you can get a whole lot of adventure for the price of one beachfront condo.
SAVE: $22,180 on sitting in the same spot every year
$3,449 USD on a 15-day Costa Rica Adventure tour
$2,799 USD on an 8-day Lapland Wilderness Week tour
$4,949 USD on an 8-day Premium Tanzania Safari tour
$2,575 USD on an 8-day The Zambezi Valley tour
$2,099 USD on an 8-day Porto to Lisbon Atlantic Ride tour
$2,149 USD on an 11-day Cycling the Baltics tour