Exotic travel destinations don’t have to be merely a dream vacation.  With in depth research, and lots of planning, a visit to a Gorilla forest camp can be just as simple as a trip to the islands.  The devil is in the details, as they say, so pay attention to the details that can make the trip a simple one.

globe Here are some things to consider:

  1. Where do you want to go? Exotic destinations can be found on any continent, it merely depends on your definition of exotic.  Start with a long list of everywhere that interests you, and maybe a few briefs notes about why you’d like to go there, and narrow it down from there.
  2. What time of year do you want to travel? Pay attention to rainy and dry seasons to make sure that your interests coincide with the weather.  Don’t rule out off-season travel, though, as you can usually find good rates to accompany recommendations that you may otherwise overlook.
  3. How long do you have? If it will take you a long time to get to your travel destination, be sure to allow plenty of time to recover from your jet lag and enjoy your stay.  You’re going to want a longer vacation for a Uganda safari than for driving the road to Hana.
  4. Do you need a visa?  I’m going to assume that you already have your passport.  If you don’t, click on that link and go get one as soon as you finish reading this post!  Some countries will require a visa for entry, and if you need one in advance you’ll need to allow time (and money) to get it.  Remember, visas are issued by the country you are planning to visit.
  5. Do you need shots or special medication?  The Center for Disease Control lists recommendation vaccinations are special consideration for visiting various countries.  This is especially important when planning a trip to third world countries.  Check out what you’ll need and allow plenty of time to complete what may be a series of shots.
  6. Will your air travel be complicated? If arriving at your travel destination means several legs of air travel, be sure you’ve planned and accounted for something to go wrong.  This is where the help of an experienced travel agent can save you time and money.  Things can and do go wrong with air travel, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re protected in case that happens.  If the destination has limited flights, you may need to travel in and out on specified days.
  7. Should you buy travel insurance? I typically don’t buy travel insurance.  But it’s a sure bet that I would if I was shelling out a lot of money for an exotic destination.  And don’t forget to look into evacuation or medical insurance if you’ll be traveling abroad.
  8. What’s the unit of currency? While you’ll likely be able to use credit cards for buying your airline tickets and maybe your hotel, many smaller properties and businesses operate on a cash only basis.  Your bank or credit union can help you purchase local currency.  I recommend buying in advance as I’ve found the charges at home to be much less than purchasing after arrival.
  9. Where’s the local embassy? This is the kind of information that you hopefully will never need to use, but if you lose your passport or need other assistance, get thee to the embassy.
  10. What’s your budget? As you’ve answered each of these questions, you’ve hopefully started narrowing down your list a little bit.  Now it’s time to take that list and match it up against your budget.  Can you cut some insignificant corners to make it work, or do you need to change your destination?  Can you locate some additional sources of money (overtime, freelance work, or selling something)?  Are there changes in your budget that would allow you to make this dream vacation a reality?

Start dreaming about your exotic vacation plans, and if you already have a destination in mind, tell me about it in the comments.

Photo credit: SXC

NOTE:  This post was sponsored by Sanctuary Retreats; the opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.