Adventure Travel Grants

If you’ve ever wanted to embark on an adventure and test your outdoor skills, you would be pleased to know that many foundations provide bursaries for amateurs and experienced travelers to fulfill their ideas and explore the world with a purpose. In this article, we will talk about adventure travel and some of the funding opportunities to support youth’s endeavors.

Adventure travel is a type of tourism that involves travel with potential and actual risk thus requiring good physical health and obtaining specialized skills.  There are several types of adventure tourism that include accessible tourism, extreme tourism, jungle tourism and overland travel. Check some of the articles on adventure travel we covered before.

Exploring world on the wheelchair
Exploring world on the wheelchair

Especially in North America, there is a trend for establishing programs accessible to people regardless of their physical health. Some resources include Disabled Sports USA and a list of cities accessible on a wheelchair.

Extreme tourism involves travel to dangerous places that include mountains, jungles, deserts, caves, canyons, etc. thus implies a good understanding of risk measurements and prevention. Some of them include wilderness first responder certification and CPR training.

Jungle tourism manifests itself in exploring world regions with prevailing forest and jungle landscape. And in addition to safety measures requires following vaccination guidelines depending on the country of destination.

Jungle tourism
Jungle tourism

Overland travel or overlanding refers to a long journey often traveled in a group. Usually tourist agencies or overland companies will provide a bus and a tour leader to accompany the group for a period of several weeks.

Whether you are an experienced traveler or a newcomer, several organizations will gladly fund your projects and travel endeavors so that you can explore your limits.


The Next Challenge Grant

Happy smiling woman enjoying traveling by train on in Sri Lanka
Happy smiling woman enjoying traveling by train on in Sri Lanka

Anyone in the world is invited to apply for a grant to cover their next outdoor adventure. The Next Challenge Grant is an annual bursary for adventures that started as a crowdfunded initiative in 2015. Each year around £2,000 is distributed between the winning applicants, each receiving between £100 and £800 plus a kit. The 2021 round will commence soon with an annual deadline on 5 January.

The grant is open to all ages, all backgrounds and all nationalities. Trips must be organized independently, volunteering with an organization is not eligible for funding. PhD research, scientific studies, field trips, volunteering overseas and the like are not eligible.

Typical awards have been up to £800 but are typically £100 or £200. Expeditions under £500 are much more likely to get funding. You do not need any experience to apply for this grant.

Main criteria:

Candidates will need to fill out an online form expressing their interest and providing a small biography regarding their background. There is an option of either writing essay stating the agenda of the expedition or recording a video of up to one minute.


The Explorers Club Grants For Students

The Explorers Club is proud of its history and also looks toward the future by recognizing the importance of new ideas and avenues of exploration. The Club is deeply committed to supporting the fieldwork of serious researchers and, as part of its public service commitment, offers exploration grants in the following categories. The deadline is on 4 December 2020.

The goal of the High School and College Students grant category is to foster a new generation of explorers dedicated to the advancement of the scientific knowledge of our world. The average award is approximately $1,500. Th Graduate Students and Immediate Post-Doc category of grant supports exploration and field research for those who are just beginning their research careers. Awards are approximately $2,500 to $5000.

Traveling and research Student observing an African wildlife
Traveling and research Student observing an African wildlife

Generally The Explorers Club considers research proposals in a wide array of disciplines, including: climate change, geoscience, marine science, anthropology/archeology, plants and molds, animals, conservation science​.

Main criteria:

You will be required to submit the following documents:

  • One-page description of your project with attention to scientific objectives.
  • Description of qualifications of your project associates and the specific sites of your proposed research.
  • One paragraph description of your career objectives and aspirations and how this project fits into that plan.
  • Letter of recommendation from your supervisor
  • Copy of a current student ID.
  • Budget outline.
  • Education and outreach plan.
  • Media production plan


Journey of a Lifetime Award

Challenging ascent on the mountain
Challenging ascent on the mountain

The Journey of a Lifetime Award, given by the Royal Geographical Society  in partnership with BBC Radio 4, offers you the chance to make a ‘journey of a lifetime’ and to tell the world about it in a memorable piece of radio documentary-making. Applications with reopen in 2021. The deadline is on 12 November.

For those with a passion for radio and storytelling, and a genuine curiosity about the world around them, the Journey of a Lifetime Award offers £5,000 to make an original and inspiring journey anywhere in the world. The recipient of the award will receive training in radio broadcasting from the BBC, support from a BBC documentary producer, and will record their journey for a BBC Radio 4 program.

Established in 2001, the Journey of a Lifetime Award is a collaboration between the Society and the BBC, and is generously supported through a private donation. The award aims to support informed travel and learning, through experience rather than scientific research, and to discover new radio talent. The outcome of each of journey is a BBC Radio 4 travel documentary.

Main criteria:

Candidates should provide an initial proposal by making a 60 second audio recording telling about the journey you wish to make along with the following information:

Your name, address, contact email, contact phone number, the title of your Journey of a Lifetime, a two-line summary of your journey, the country/countries of travel, proposed dates of your journey, details of any experience at a professional level in broadcast presentation and/or production. Initial proposals will be reviewed by a panel of judges and shortlisted candidates will be notified by 18 December. A shortlist of candidates will be asked to prepare a detailed proposal.


Timmissartok Foundation Grants

Timmissartok is a Greenlandic word that means “to fly like a bird.” The Timmissartok Foundation was founded in 2000 to assist individuals with adventurous projects that will take place in a foreign country. Application process is ongoing.

The Timmissartok Foundation will partially support projects that involve travel with a purpose in which a particular passion is to be explored. The foundation looks for projects which embody the philosophy of Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar – “The greatest adventure is still the voyage of the human spirit.”

Mongolian yurts on a field
Mongolian yurts on a field

Main criteria:

The funding is open to individuals of all nationalities and all ages seeking adventure in foreign countries. In order to apply, candidates should provide information regarding their education, a link to a website for their project, a photo, a reference contact, and a description of the project.

Whether you have a project in mind or are planning ahead, it is always a good idea to check which projects previously received funding and make sure that your ideas stay within the same budget and duration but wow the selecting committee with the new approach to adventure travel.

Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney

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