I get asked allot about “ready made” or “turn-key” adventures vs. doing it on your own. Most often it is someone exploring a new adventure interest. While I am a fan of doing things on my own, I think it is really a question that has to be weighed out by each individual depending on the type of activity you are undertaking. Keep in mind there are activities where you are required to have a guide or instructor to undertake them.
The advantages of ready-made tours is that most of the time you are dealing with an expert that (hopefully) has a long track record. As a rule, understand the local environment, political climate, the destination, equipment required, and permits needed- and many other tidbits of information. Most often they are more expensive than a DIY trip and you will probably have to work around their schedule as well. In addition you may have to deal with the personalities of both your guide and possibly other clients if it is a group affair. For someone venturing into a new adventure and if they are in it alone- this is often a good way to get introduced into the activity. I have done this on specific mountain bike epics, scuba trips, and obviously entering into the world of aviation. Finally guided adventures are great if you are looking for specific connections (i.e.- singles trips, faith-based, etc.)
However I do many adventures on my own without a guide. I enjoy doing the research, preparation work, and often the lower cost of doing it on my own as well as the schedule flexibility. With that said, I have “over-invested” needlessly in trying to do a few things on my own without guidance. I admit that while the DIY has a bit of “bravado” or ego attached to it—I often do this because I cannot afford to use a guide or go the “turn-key” route. Trust me- if I could go buy a full on overlanding rig rather than deal with the headaches of my current fleet I would. As it is, I stay up late wondering where I am going to get the resources to build-up and customize my current rigs- knowing in the next 12-18 months we need to replace our long-range vehicle with a new one. Now is the time I really wish I was a great fabricator…
One of the things we have tried to show is making adventure ACCESSIBLE. I figure I work with an average resource budget like many of you and whether it is a ready-made adventure or one that we plan out- it is another demonstration of getting out and trying something new.