Embarking on a signature cruise or lounging on a beach at an all-inclusive resort might seem attractive at first, but they leave you wanting more. The hordes of tourists, the low-quality foaod, and the feeling that you haven't really left home haunt you.
Instead, consider exotic vacations:
What makes an exotic vacation different from any other vacation? For starters, they're exotic. Merriam Webster defines that word as: Strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual. However, living on board a cruise ship for a week is definitely not unusual or mysterious.
But do you know what is?
Traveling the African Serengeti via hot air balloon or living in a treehouse at the top of rainforest in Central America.
If you want some creature comforts mixed into your exotic vacation, you can stay at a luxury hotel in the jungles of Thailand and watch elephants from your private balcony. None of those are the types of vacations that your yuppy aunt ever dreamt about. They are strikingly AND excitingly different.
They are exotic vacations.
A vacation is having nothing to do, and all day to do it in
Exotic Places to Stay for Your next Vacation
It's not every day that you wake up to elephants casually passing by below you, or you spend your afternoon trekking around the Australian Outback. The resorts and cruise ships don't take you far enough away from regular life, but you can guarantee that any number of exotic vacations will.
The most popular types of exotic vacations are to stay in exotic hotels or go glamping in a fully-furnished yurt. You can also stay in a treehouse, which is literally a full hotel room suspended in the canopy of a forest. For the adrenaline junkies, there are countless adventures you can embark on that will take your breath away.
Have a look:
The great thing about staying at an exotic hotel is that you get to live in absolute comfort while you marvel at the experience of it all. These luxury hotels can make your dream vacation a reality.
But they also have something unique that you won't get elsewhere:
Whether that's feeding giraffes from your balcony every morning, or spending your afternoon riding an elephant, is completely up to you.
1. Anantara Elephant Camp and Resort, Thailand
First, you'll notice that the Anantara "Golden Circle" elephant camp and resort is pure luxury. That's because the hotel bills itself as a spa and the idea is to rejuvenate your body and soul while you stay. This way, you get stunning views of jungle and lakes, and you can even see right into Laos and Myanmar from the safety of your hotel room. Ultimately, it's the elephants that make this all-inclusive resort truly exotic.
Well, that and the jungle of northern Thailand.
Either way, you'll have tons of fun learning to ride an elephant, and you can even help to train a baby elephant! As an added bonus, the hotel's free culinary school is top-notch.
The hotel itself is perched high on a jungle-covered hill. It features beautiful traditional Thai architecture fused with modern international style. Also, the rooms are stunning. We're talking teakwood floors, real silk, huge balconies, and oversized terrazzo tubs in each room. Thus, you're living in the height of exotic luxury when you stay here. The resort features three fabulous restaurants and bars.
First, the Elephant Bar and Opium Terrace serves casual meals, as well as great cocktails and imported wines.
But it's the Anantara Golden Triangle restaurant that will amaze you with world-class culinary cooking from Blue Seal chefs. Finally, the best time to visit Anantara Elephant Resort is over the winter, between October and April. This way you'll avoid the long monsoon season.
But if you must go during monsoon season, avoid August and September, because that's when northern Thailand gets the heaviest rain.
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2. Huilo Huilo Montana Magica Lodge, Chile
Next, we have Huilo Huilo. Perched on top of a volcano in the mountains of Chile is Montana Magica Lodge. You'll love staying here because every day that you wake up, you'll gaze upon the Andes Mountains and a stunning 700-foot waterfall tumbling away from you.
But that's not what makes this hotel exotic, although it certainly helps. The hotel itself resembles a giant cone built by the Keebler Elves.
Because it's in such an isolated area of the world, you won't be surrounded by tourists aside from other adventurous souls such as yourself. That's why Huilo Huilo is perfect for exotic vacations.
In addition, every room features modern conveniences, including a jacuzzi, silk sheets, and stunning views of the mountains and jungle. Because the lodge is located in a national preserve, you get to see some exotic animals, such as the Huilo (the world's smallest deer). Also, there are hot tubs carved out of massive tree trunks, and you'll love the mini-golf course which uses the jungle itself as obstacles.
Best of all, the world's longest zip line starts right outside the hotel.
The best time to visit is in the spring (September to November in Chile) and the autumn (March to May). During June and August the country basically shuts down, so you won't be able to visit even if you wanted to.
Also, remember that Chile doesn't get too warm, especially up in the mountains, so pack a pair of pants, a sweater, and a decent windbreaker at all times of the year. (Designer_start) Please put this information into an interesting box of some sort to make it more visually appealing than just a list.
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3. Loisaba Star Beds, Kenya
When it comes to exotic vacations, Kenya has it in buckets. Loisaba Star Beds lets you sleep outdoors under the African sky, up on a beautiful veranda lit by soft lanterns. There's a mosquito net to keep you bite-free, and your hotel room with all of its conveniences is just a sliding door away.
For the ultimate in exotic hotel romance, there is nothing better.
The hotel is perched on a kopje (a small hill in a flat area), with sweeping views of the beautiful African savannah all around. During the morning you'll see herds of animals going about their business, and at night you can listen to the heckling of hyenas and the roar of lions off in the distance.
Best of all, your welcome to the hotel starts with a team of Samburu warriors greeting you by doing a traditional dance. They're all decked out in red, and their footwork is really something. You can end your day with drinks around the hotel's massive fire pit in the lounge, where a three-star dinner gets served every night.
Weatherwise, Kenya is beautiful all year. The best time to visit is between June and October, and again from February to March. You may want to avoid visiting between late March and early June because it rains a lot. Rain kind of ruins the concept of sleeping under the stars.
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Yurt Camping and Glamping
The Mongol Kahns conquered Asia, the Middle East, and half of Europe. They did so while living in extreme luxury in huge yurts. If a yurt is good enough for a Mongol emperor, then it will be great for you. A yurt is a spacious, round tent held up by a collapsible framework.
4. Pacific Rim Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada
Canada's Pacific coast is one of the most majestic and unspoiled mountain landscapes you'll ever see. The Cascade and Rocky mountains flow down into the sea, while lush rainforests thrive in a year-round sub-tropical climate. Beautiful cities such as Victoria and Vancouver get rated as the best places in the world to live. But you don't need to live here to experience the beauty of this area. Instead, rent a yurt in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island.
The average yurt is about 30 feet in diameter and includes soft beds, flushing toilets, running water, electricity, and Wi-Fi. You'll have a balcony with an amazing view of the forest down to the Pacific Ocean. You'll love yurt glamping in British Columbia (called "BC" by Canadians) because you'll be surrounded by nature.
The rainforests here are thousands of years old. There are sequoias as wide as a Dodge Grand Caravan. Wildlife abounds, yet thankfully there are no grizzly bears on Vancouver Island. The same can't be said for the mainland.
The region is full of nature and wonder, which is why BC's motto is "Super. Natural." You can enjoy surfing in Tofino, or head to Cathedral Grove and stand where some Ewok scenes were filmed in Return of the Jedi and where the Twilight series was shot.
There are pubs and restaurants dotted along the Pacific Rim in small fishing villages. Meanwhile, the bustling cities of Victoria and Nanaimo are only an hour two away. Best of all, you don't have to leave the developed world, because you're in Canada, with low crime, good roads, and excellent emergency services.
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5. Sal Salis, Australia
If Canada is a little too close to home for exotic vacations, but you don't want to give up the first world lifestyle, then head to Sal Salis in Australia's Cape Range National Park. Here, you can glamp in a yurt near the coast where you can snorkel along the Ningaloo Coral Reef. And here's the best part:
Sal Salis takes the exotic vacations cake because there is no cell signal and no Wi-Fi. The entire park is environmentally sustainable, so that means renewable energy.
While most of the tents at Sal Salis are not yurts, they are glamping tents. That means you can expect large queen-sized beds and plush pillows, along with running water and electricity.
And get this:
There are only 15 tents here. So instead of being swarmed by tourists, you camp with a few other families. The sense of community you gain during your short vacation is unparalleled.
What makes Sal Salis one of the most exotic vacations is how isolated you are when you're here.
My best vacation is somewhere I could hide, somewhere warm, and not a lot of people around
There's nothing around. You can spend your days swimming and relaxing, or trek through the sand dunes. Other than that. the nearest towns require a vehicle to reach, so you'll want to stay stocked up on food and drink. That's great for wildlife viewing, but not so good if you want some adventure.
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6. Lanzarote, Spain
Located on the stunning Canary Islands, Lanzarote offers some of the most luxurious yurt glamping on the planet. The island itself features a tropical yet rocky coastline and an active volcano you can visit. Thanks to its position near the equator, Lanzarote has nice weather all year round.
As for luxury yurt glamping, we're talking the real deal here. Stone fireplaces, silk sheets, a personal swimming pool out front of every yurt. There's even room service! Plus every yurt has a tasteful, sophisticated style that you'll want to fill your Instagram feed with. One reason you'll love staying at Lanzarote is that your rental includes a Toyota hybrid car for the duration of your stay. You also get a shaded lounge area with a hammock, a big barbecue, complimentary wine, babysitting, and more.
Lanzarote is the ultimate in exotic vacations.
All around there are beaches. Beaches galore. You're on an island, after all. And when you tire of the beach, join in one of the many festivals celebrated on the island. You can visit a valley of palms, or visit the historic Teguise Market.
For something really different, you HAVE to check out the pirate museum!
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Living in a treehouse is a lot like reliving your childhood memories, but this time there's running water and a soft bed. There's also a marked lack of bugs. Best of all, when you wake up in the morning, you get to see what a squirrel sees, giving you a new perspective on the lives of our little furry friends.
All joking aside, you'll come across some luxury living in treehouses, but there are also more modest accommodations. As this trend continues to grow, we're expecting to see more treehouse become available for all price ranges. Because you're looking for exotic vacations, why not try a treehouse?
7. Harads Treehouse Hotel, Sweden
There isn't much exotic about a hotel in Stockholm, but as soon as you lift that hotel into the treetops, suddenly you're doing something different. Especially when that hotel is in a forest near the Finnish border.
Meet Harads Treehouse Hotel.
You've probably never had a vacation quite like this one.
Every hotel room is its own unique shape and theme. Each one is suspended high in the air with its own trees. You may be sleeping in a flying saucer while your neighbors a dozen feet away live in a bus.
Each hotel room is filled with amenities, from running water to comfy beds and sofas. These are more furnished apartments than hotel rooms. Every single one of them is decorated in gaudy traditional Swedish decor.
The cool thing is:
All around you, there are things to do, so long as you like the outdoors. The forest is filled with hiking and cross-country skiing. There are fishing and rock climbing. You can even go white water rafting in the summer. Thanks to excellent roads, getting to the local towns is easy. That's where you'll find some fantastic restaurants catering to tourists. Finally, if you love winter, then this is the place to be.
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8. Treehouse Lodge, Punta Uva, Costa Rica
When Sweden seems too cold, then head to Costa Rica and climb into your treehouse for an exotic vacation. The Punta Uva Treehouse Lodge features your choice of four different treehouses, including a beach suite and a jungle canopy suite. You get a double room, but here's the bad thing:
You need to share the showers and toilet.
The entire lodge has a zany, fun design that you can only understand once you've been to Costa Rica. You'll love the massive King size bed located in every room, and there are plenty of hammocks for you to lounge in. Several hanging bridges connect the different treehouses, which makes it fun to visit new friends.
At night, you can enjoy the beautiful open-air bar and restaurant right on the beach, and watch fire shows. This isn't your typical all-inclusive vacation. It is one of the more exotic vacations you'll find. If you feel bored, there are yoga lessons, tours through the jungle, and a massage spa on site. Don't forget to learn how to surf while you're here, otherwise, what's the point?
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9. Lion Sands Hotel, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Lion Sands Hotel, formally known as Lion Sands Game Preserve in Kruger National Park, South Africa, will Blow. Your. Mind. The treehouses blend traditional rustic African tribal art with modern IKEA-style luxury. We're talking wood and grass with floor-to-ceiling glass and modern furniture.
Your treehouse overlooks the African Savannah. You'll see lions, giraffes, and thousands of migrating birds of every color.
Your room doubles as a treehouse and a star bed. You can sleep under the sky with thick mosquito netting, or choose a fully enclosed treehouse with chill air conditioning. Either way, you get all the amenities, such as running water, Wi-Fi, electricity, and fresh bedding. Every morning the staff will leave rose petals on your bed, just because.
Every treehouse has its own tree, and although lions and hyenas roam about, they can't get at you. In fact, if you want, you can go on a guided safari in a park Land Rover and see the animals close up. At the end of the day, you'll wine and dine on delicious food from the hotel's own Blue Seal chef. It's one of those exotic vacations you won't soon forget.
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When I'm on vacation, there is no schedule
Sometimes living in luxurious yurts or sleeping in a tree isn't good enough.
Been there. Done that.
You want something different.
That's when it's time to think outside of the yurt, so to speak. We've wrangled up some of the craziest and wildest exotic vacations that you'll love to go on. We're certain you haven't been on one of these....yet.
Look at these:
10. Balloon ride through the African Serengeti
So far we've suggested sleeping under the stars in the Serengeti and living in a tree in the Savannah.
But how about this:
...spending a few days floating above it all in a hot air balloon.
While the idea of hot air balloons won't get the adrenaline junkies pumped up, if you're looking for exotic vacations for two, this is just the ticket.
There are several packages to choose from. You can do a day trip and enjoy a small piece of Kruger National Park, or why not take a couple of days traveling across the entire Serengeti? You'll sleep in comfortable luxury tents at night, and spend your days floating in the sky.
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11. Storm chasing in Tornado Alley
Sometimes you don't have to head overseas for your exotic vacations. There's plenty of action to be found right here at home.
Case in point: tornado alley.
For a few weeks every spring, head to Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri and watch massive twisters do their thing. It used to be that people ran for their lives, but thanks to a booming tourism industry, professional storm chasers now offer tours.
You need to be a real adventure junky to want this type of crazy vacation. Not only do you skip out on things like silk sheets and room service, but you also put your life in danger. You'll spend all day in an SUV, speeding along country roads for the next big twister. When one appears, you'll get as close as possible to it, hop out of the car, feel the fury, and then scramble away before it sucks you in.
Holy mother of nature. You'll eat at truck stops and diners, and spend your nights in roadside motels. On the other hand, storm chasing is guaranteed to be one of those exotic adventures you'll never forget!
(Designer_start) Please put this information into an interesting box of some sort to make it more visually appealing than just a list.
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12. Travel the Australian Outback
We had a hard time deciding between visit Antartica or travel the Outback, but in the end, we settled with the Outback. Why?
Because the Outback is a place that will take your breath away. This can be quite literal if you're not careful. The Outback is one of the most inhospitable places in the world, yet despite that, thousands of years of aboriginal culture is found here. And of course, insane Australian gator-wrestlers.
The best part about an Outback adventure vacation is that you don't need a tour guide to go. You can rent a 4x4 and head out on your own. You'll want to bring plenty of paper maps because cell signal is spotty or non-existent. There are pit stops and campgrounds along the way. Technically you can stay on one of the paved national highways, but what fun is that?
Instead, head off on a dirt-road Outback adventure for real fun.
Just remember this:
Bring plenty of water and a jerry can of gasoline.
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How to Plan Exotic Vacations
Once you know that your life needs exotic vacations in it, it's time to start planning.
Here's where to start:
It's extremely important that you don't attempt to micro-manage every small detail. Not all things will work out as you wanted them to, and you need to remain flexible. Instead, think of your overall goals and let the small details happen as they come about.
Choose your destination
The first step in planning exotic vacations is choosing where you want to go. Where you land will determine what you can do. For instance, if you want to ski, Costa Rica may not be the best destination for you. One way to choose where to go is to close your eyes and think of what you're doing on your ideal holiday. Are you sitting near the beach, soaking in rays? Perhaps you're riding an elephant along a jungle river, orchids in your hair. Once you've done a tiny bit of soul-searching, you'll know where to go.
Every 60 seconds, 146 yards of sand castles get built around the world
Now that you've chosen your destination, the next step is to determine what documents you'll need to go there. Some places require only a passport. Others require a visa. Hit up Google and learn about the entry requirements for the country you want to visit.
No matter where you choose to go, you'll need travel insurance. We highly recommend getting full coverage for every eventuality, especially if you're going on a crazy vacation. Cancellation insurance is good to have, as well.
Make a budget
You'll also need to make a budget. How much will this vacation cost you? Include the cost of hotel and food, but also incidentals such as souvenirs, nights out on the town, and of course, airport food.
I learned a long time ago that trying to micro-manage the perfect vacation is always a disaster
Plan Your Crazy Vacation
Riding elephants in the morning, floating above the Serengeti in the afternoon, and sleeping in a yurt in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains at night are all excellent exotic vacations. We've only touched the surface of the possibilities here. What about you? Where would you like to go for your next exotic vacation? Let us know in the comments.