A river rafting trip through the gorges of the Colorado River is one of those quintessential American dreams, and it can be within your budget if you shorten the length of your trip, says Eugene Buchanan, editor-in-chief of Paddling Life
. The deluxe trips are usually eight to 11 days. Shortening that to three slashes the price. One way to do this is to join a trip that's already in progress at various midroute locations, called "take-outs" and "put-ins", where operators who have extra room in their rafts may allow you to hop on board. Another option is to consider going on one of the larger motorboats. "The 30-foot rafts are motor-powered, so it's a quicker trip but more affordable," says Buchanan.