“Where should we go on vacation this year?” Whether it’s an individual, couple, group or family, the question comes up when making plans that include getting away from the normal routine. You could always just do an internet search, but that will probably give you the same list of destinations that everyone chooses, and that you have probably been to (or are not really interested in), because you want to do something different and exotic. Some of the definitions of “exotic” are “of foreign origin or character; not native; introduced from abroad, but not fully naturalized or acclimatized” and “of a uniquely new or experimental nature.” Those are great descriptions of what you want to do on vacation, right? There is one concern – you don’t have a large sum of money to spend on the vacation. Not to worry! There are quite a few places you can go that will meet your expectation of “exotic” but are quite reasonable in price.
Exotic Destination 10. Indonesia
Were you aware this is the 4th most populous country in the world? This makes for great trade districts. There are volcanoes and lots of beaches, with Bali being the most well-known. The country is made up of many islands, so there is no shortage of beaches if Bali is too crowded. You can get a meal for about $2.00 and a place to stay for $5.00 a night.
Exotic Destination 9. Greece
If you say you’re going to Greece, everyone thinks you’re going to Athens or Santorini. Not only are those the most well-known spots, they’re also expensive. However, most other places are inexpensive due to the collapse of the Greek economy. Crete, Rhodes and Kefalonia offer great value, as rooms can be under $50 per night. Most of us are familiar with Greek food, and it’s very affordable in its native land.
Exotic Destination 8. Bahamas
Like many island destinations, there is plenty of beach to go around. Sailing, snorkeling, fishing, and windsurfing are just some of the activities you can engage in. There are actually about 700 islands in what is known as the Bahamas. There is a “swimming pig” attraction, where people can swim in water where pigs are known to swim. Nassau is the capital and home to a bustling port and cruise ship hub.
Exotic Destination 7. Ecuador
Most people know this as where the equator is, and this is quite a popular tourist attraction. There are plenty of other reasons to visit. The capital city of Quito is 9,000 feet above sea level, offering stunning views. The food is fabulous, as is the Gothic architecture. The Galapagos islands are popular with their magnificent beaches and views.
Exotic Destination 6. Jamaica
This is one of those places that screams “exotic” just by mentioning the name. Besides the fabulous food, accommodations are $40 a night other than December and January. Montego Bay has abundant water sports. The capital city of Kingston has the Bob Marley museum, and non-stop music. There is a new high-speed highway connecting Kingston and the beach areas on the northern edge of the island, making it possible to spend time at the beaches and in the capital on the same trip.
Exotic Destination 5. Portugal
This is one of Europe’s most under-rated destinations. In the same general area of more famous (and expensive) places like Paris, London, Madrid and Barcelona, Portugal has its own excellent selection of wine and food. The economy has been poor here as well, which makes things more affordable. The city of Lisbon offers a city pass for less than $25, and gets you admission to monasteries, museums and tram cars. You can get a bottle of wine about the same amount as you would pay for a glass of wine in New York.
Exotic Destination 4. Peru
One of the most interesting historical periods is that of the Inca empire in Peru. There is much to explore here from that civilization, as well as excellent surfing and beach relaxation. There is the famous Machu Pichu for mountain-climbers. The food is fantastic, and of course Peru is home to the Amazon River, the second-longest river in the world.
Exotic Destination 3. Panama
You won’t be thrilled about the price of the flight, since this is not a Central American destination in high demand. However, once you arrive, you will find everything else on your vacation quite affordable. You will see cultural influences of Spain, the USA and France. There are fantastic beaches and scuba diving without the big crowds in places like Cancun. Casco Viejo features a very vibrant music scene in the evenings. Of course, there is the Panama Canal to see as well.
Exotic Destination 2. Thailand
If you do a search of cheap vacations, Thailand is going to appear on every list you see. However, the capital, Bangkok, is not cheap. But there is much more to Thailand than the capital. Head north to Chiang Mai and enjoy the mountains, forests, temples, and much cheaper accommodations – around $10 per night. If you are a fan of tigers, they are plentiful in Thailand.
Exotic Destination 1. The Philippines
This is another place, along with Thailand, that will show up on every search for cheap vacations. The Philippines is probably best-known for workers that will work for very cheap wages. That’s because everything in this country is inexpensive. You can vacation here for about $20 a day, which includes food and accommodations. Since it’s an island, there are certainly beaches. There are also Mayan volcanoes, the Banaue Rice Terraces and the Puerto Princesa underground river.
This is just a short list. There are many, many places in the world that are new, different, exciting, and yet are more affordable than most people realize. Some are far away, some are nearby. You just have to look a little more to get past the normal “tourist” places. Don’t settle for Disney World, the usual Florida beach, or other place where you have trouble moving with all the tourists packed in. You can see many places and make great memories.
So get out there and explore the world!