Most travelers mistakenly think that it is more expensive to travel abroad than vacation within the United States. Vacation planners often hear about the relative weakness of the U.S. dollar and automatically calculate that a trip overseas will break their vacation budget.
However, this not always the case if you consider that parts of Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and South America are relative vacation bargains given that the value of the U.S. dollar against the local currency remains high along with the abundance of green and sustainable travel choices.
- Poland is blessed with striking mountains and rolling hills, as well as wild rivers and wetlands. It is a haven for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds as well as avid hiking enthusiasts. With 23 National Parks and forests covering nearly 30 percent of the country, travelers will marvel at unique wildlife viewing where guides can expertly show you Poland’s own Big Game including the European bison, lynx, stoats, martens and red deer.
- Croatia has focused on ecotourism and agritourism as a major differentiator with its neighboring European countries. As such, the experiences are focused on culinary tours that emphasize locally-sourced organic food and stays at family farms. In addition, nature tourism for adventure travelers is well organized as there has been some investment made by Italian developers. One can easily make his way to a hiking or biking trail in one of the national parks or find a rafting or canoe disembarkation point on its rivers. It’s scenic, relatively untouched and very easy on the dollar,
- Jordan is a fascinating mix of modernity, ancient wonder and hospitality with nature tourism slowly taking a foothold. Whether you mix it up in the modern city of Amman, travel through the timeless beauty of the desert to Wadi Rum, discover the spectacular city of Petra, take a dip in the salty waters of the iconic Dead Sea or trek through the Dana Nature Reserve with its stunning scenery and wildlife such as ibex and mountain gazelles, Jordan will impress you.
- Thailand is a feast for all the senses. Take an unforgettable ride aboard an elephant, visit indigenous hilltribe communities for a glimpse into traditional life, explore the Golden Triangle or go sailing around the famed islands. You may also want to cycle the streets of ancient Sukhothai before heading south to lounge on peaceful island beaches or to hike the magnificent lowland rainforest of Khao Sok National Park, where tigers still roam freely.
- Ecuador has a lot more to offer than a Galapagos Islands adventure. Try river tubing, rappelling, hiking, or horseback riding through the middle of the Mindo forest. The area is known for its bird-watching and abundance of wild orchids. Alternatively, you can hike the snow-capped volcanic cone of Cotopaxi, the world’s highest active volcano and one of only a few equatorial glaciers on earth.