Budget adventures near New York

In these difficult economic conditions we’re all looking for ways to save some money while still putting a little adventure into our lives. Now more than ever we need a distraction from the daily grind that won’t empty our pocket books. Fortunately, the New York Daily News is here to help, with some great suggestions for cheap adventures close to NYC.

The inexpensive escapse come in a variety of flavors, ranging from an epic mountain bike ride in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania to taking in the beauty of upstate New York via hot air balloon. Each of the suggestions includes a nice description of what to expect on the day long adventure, as well as some tips for stretching your dollars, such as the use of budget hotels, complimentary continental breakfasts, and unadvertised specials.

An example of one of the unexpected outdoor adventures includes a trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, which offers a tree-top canopy tour that put visitors at elevations between 1600 and 3000 feet as they fly through the scenic forest on ten zip lines and two suspension bridges. The travel package costs $115 but in addition to the canopy tour, travelers get a night’s stay at the historic Mount Washington Resort, a round of golf, and a visit to the hotel’s spa.

Each of the other budget adventures offer similar amenities on the cheap and with plenty of summer still ahead, it’s never too late to put a little adventure into your life. And at these prices, how can you resist?

Go back to a simpler day at Beaver Creek Resort Summer Camp

Once upon a time, you’d take off in the summer with a sleeping bag, a fishing pole and a pocket knife. Summer camp offered all the soft challenges you could imagine (such as stomaching awful food), but you always had a blast. No responsibilities weighed you down. Today, though, those days are gone. You worry about paying the mortgage, getting to work on time and keeping your kids entertained.

If only you could go back … if only for a little while.

Vail Beaver Creek Resort Properties has the answer: “Camp Not Exactly Roughing It.” Blend the excitement and freedom of summer camp from your childhood with cocktails and cuisine that is far from revolting, and you have the perfect adult getaway (especially if you get some mile-high action en route).

Oh, and you’ll stay in one of Beaver Creek’s resorts or condos instead of a dumpy cabin or (blech) tent.

This program runs from June 13 to September 7, 2009. So, be ready to do all the hiking your legs will handle. Play a little frisbee golf or learn to fly fish. You’ll also get two lift tickets up Beaver Creek mountain (enjoy the view) and breakfast for two ever day. Horseback riding, ziplining, bungee trampoline, mountain bike rentals and hot air balloon trips are also available. You can get in on this action for $262 a night, for a minimum of three nights.

16 Tourists injured in Luxor hot air balloon accident

Yesterday, a hot air balloon crashed in Luxor, the city of the pharaohs, in Egypt. Sixteen people were injured in the incident. For those of you with an axe to grind about cell phone towers, you just got some ammo. The hot air balloon hit a cell phone tower on the west bank of the Nile River, near Gourna village.

Identities of the injured haven’t been released yet, but we do know that they come from Canada, Denmark, England, France, South Korea and the United States. All were taken to a hospital in Luxor for treatment.

This event is not without precedent. A year ago, a similar situation led to the injury of seven tourists.

French Balloon soars 400 feet over Disney World

French Balloon maker Aérophile just announced the newest attraction for Disney World. Their 105 foot high “Characters in Flight” balloon will soar 400 feet over Downtown Disney, and can carry up to 30 passengers in its gondola.

When the weather cooperates, passengers will be able to get a 360 degree view for up to 10 miles. The balloon is tethered to a special star shaped landing dock, and a quick mooring system means they can keep things going a decent pace, without having to wait in line too long.

Rides on the balloon are $16 for adults and $10 for children (10 and under).

A similar balloon has been soaring over Paris for a decade, and has proven to be a huge success.