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How to Pick Your Exotic Destination

The world is vast, beautiful, largely unexplored and awaiting your discovery.

But if you are someone with a thirst for exotic destinations but with limited time and budget, and with the knowledge that there are countless places around the world worthy of weeks of exploration and appreciation, it is nearly impossible to choose just one destination.

Continue reading for helpful tips on choosing an exotic destination for your next trip, or get in touch with AAA to speak with a seasoned travel expert about your practical needs and desires for your upcoming vacation.

A person using a notepad
Photo by Kittiphan/Adobestock.

Tips For Choosing an Exotic Destination

Narrowing down your options is one of the most difficult parts of travel. Every destination has a unique flavor, fragrance and heritage that’s yearning to be uncovered and savored.

No destination will disappoint. But if you’re forced to choose just one, use careful planning to help you pick the best possible spot for your future trip.

The following sections are filled with useful tips for narrowing down your exotic destination choices and having a well-organized, stress-free vacation.

1. Determine Your Budget

The first step in planning any great escapade is figuring out how much money you can spend on your trip. Your budget is perhaps the biggest determining factor as to where and how long you can go and what activities you can do while traveling.

The good news is that adventures abroad don’t have to break the bank. Trips to exotic destinations can be relatively affordable yet still memorable.

Tips for figuring out your trip budget include:

  • Research destinations of interest and make a list of the most affordable to least affordable.
  • Research hotels, hostels, resorts or other accommodations in your desired location.
  • Use online cost of living resources to investigate typical prices in your chosen destination.
  • Don’t underestimate costs. Always err on the side of greater spending as this will ensure that you don’t run out of funds mid-trip.

If your goal is cost-effective travel, consider booking budget accommodations, cook your own meals or visit a country with a favorable currency exchange rate as these steps will help you get the most out of your money.

2. Determine Trip Duration

Now that you’ve determined how much vacation you can afford, next it’s time to designate your trip duration.
Taking into consideration your budget, your available time off from work and various other household schedules (such as school schedules and partner work schedules), you can now determine the length of time you can take for your vacation.

3. Make a List of Destinations

By now your budget has probably limited you to a few destinations. It’s time to make a list detailing all the pros and cons of each location. Take a vote among co-travelers to rule out any destinations that don’t interest one or more members of your group and narrow down your options as much as possible.

4. Determine the Best Time of Year to Travel

Different destinations have differing peak seasons, rainy seasons, hot seasons and cold seasons. Once you’ve decided on a destination, spend some time researching the best time of year to visit and book your flight or cruise accordingly.

5. Determine Your Why

Give yourself time and space to ponder your motives for the trip and ask yourself what experiences you want to have abroad. Create a mood board or list the emotions that you want the trip to elicit.
If you’re hoping to have a calm, reflective vacation, consider spending part of each day journaling or walking in nature. Or, if you want to go on as many excursions as possible, make sure that you book all activities well in advance and find meet-ups for like-minded hobby enthusiasts.

Determining your motives for traveling ahead of time ensures that you get the most out of your vacation and come away with ample memories and having had the experience that you truly wanted.

6. Work on Your Language Skills

Now that you know where and why you’re going, take some time to brush up on your language skills. Take an online language class, join a meet-up group with others who are trying to learn your target language or buy a dictionary to take with you on the road.

Learning some basic foreign phrases is one of the most respectful, culturally sensitive things you can do when visiting another country.

7. Partner With a Travel Agency

If you are feeling apprehensive about planning your upcoming trip on your own, partner with a seasoned travel agency, like AAA Travel, to ease the planning stress. Our travel specialists can take care of all the logistics of your trip so that you can devote your time and energy to other aspects of your upcoming adventure.

arashiyama bamboo in Kyoto, Japan
Arashiyama bamboo in Kyoto, Japan. Photo by Adobestock.

10 Exotic Places to Vacation

Every destination lends its own unique flavor to the term “exotic.” Some cultures offer exotic dishes, with fragrant flavors and eye-catching colors, while others offer exotic experiences deep in rainforests or hillsides.

No matter the type of destination you’re looking for, here are 10 of the most exotic vacation spots in the world:

  1. Forest of Knives, Madagascar
  2. Easter Island, Chile
  3. Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
  4. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan
  5. Petra, Jordan
  6. Taha’a, French Polynesia
  7. Cappadocia, Turkey
  8. Isle of Skye, Scotland
  9. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
  10. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo by Davidionut/AdobeStock.

AAA’s Exotic Destination Packages

AAA offers several exotic destination packages that are suitable for all types of travelers. Whether your idea of the perfect vacation includes hiking, cruising, wildlife viewing, sampling authentic dishes or staying in world-class resorts, AAA has a package that will help you have a truly unforgettable experience.
The following sections contain overviews of some of AAA’s best vacation packages to exotic destinations.

Galapagos Islands Cruise

Immerse yourself into the cultures of South America and the Galapagos Islands on this all-inclusive celebrity cruise vacation. With six unique cruise itineraries to choose from, over 30 ports of call and visits to multiple islands, this adventure cruise showcases black sand beaches, coastal tide pools, grottoes and forests teeming with tropical wildlife.

Tropical Costa Rica Adventure

There are few things more exotic and exciting than forests teeming with wildlife, cascading waterfalls and guided riverboat cruises through whimsical nature-scapes.

This nine-day journey gives adventure travelers a taste of luxurious resorts, rope suspension bridges, zipline routes through forests and volcano views from the comfort of your hotel room.

Highlights of Peru

Uncover the Peruvian Amazon, Chile and Easter Island on this unforgettable 15-day deep dive into South America. During this exotic destination adventure, you will marvel at the intricacies of Incan culture, peruse colorful markets and learn about the mysteries of Easter Island.

Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil Discovery

Wander through the tango district’s antique markets in Buenos Aires, sample local wine at the vineyards of Mendoza and relax at five-star accommodations overlooking the mist-shrouded Iguazú Falls. Delight in ambrosial Argentinian cuisine and the medley of fragrant flavors local to the region during this unforgettable 11-day discovery expedition.

Costa Rica Eco Adventure With Guanacaste

Enjoy a 10-day excursion deep into Costa Rica’s prolific natural beauty on this exclusive AAA travel package. During this eco-focused adventure, travelers will be guided through protected wetlands, visit sea turtle conservation centers, make friends with locals, set out on sunrise hikes and uncover azure thermal pools.

Not only will travelers on this excursion immerse themselves in nature of every kind, they will also have the unique opportunity to engage in and contribute to the local communities they are visiting through the package’s MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experiences.

What to pack
What to pack. Photo by AdobeStock.

What to Pack When Visiting Exotic Countries

Every country is unique, has different value systems and various definitions for appropriate attire and behavior. Your behavior abroad should always reflect the respect and gratitude that you feel at being welcomed into another culture.

One of the best ways to show your appreciation for another culture is by doing sufficient research before embarking on your trip. Look into cultural customs, definitions of politeness and standards of attire prior to boarding your plane or ship.

red-eyed tree frog in Costa Rica
Red-eyed tree frog in Costa Rica. Photo by Kikkerdrik/AdobeStock.

How to Choose Safe Exotic Places to Travel

If you have concerns about traveling to a specific destination, you can check on the travel.state.gov website to see what types of travel advisories are issued in various countries. In general, many exotic destinations around the world are highly safe and entirely worth an extended visit.

Uncover the Most Exotic Travel Destinations With AAA

Whether your ideal vacation is a cruise to Tahiti, hiking through Costa Rica’s lush forests, uncovering the wonders of the Galapagos Islands or strolling through Moroccan markets, AAA has a premium travel experience waiting for you.

AAA has been a leader in the world of travel for more than a century and during that time has amassed much wisdom in curating travel experiences near or far.

Contact AAA today to speak with a seasoned travel agent about your upcoming trip or to inquire about AAA’s numerous vacation packages.

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Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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