When you think of an exotic vacation, Fiji might be the first place that comes to mind and for good reason. Fiji is located right in the heart of the South Pacific – talk about the perfect place for a private getaway.
The Fiji Islands are made up of 333 islands so choosing where to visit can be overwhelming. Visit Viti Levu for its vastness and ability to partake in several outdoor activities. For more privacy, go to Yasawas which is less developed but just as beautiful; here you can spot villages and more of the Fijian culture for an authentic experience. Make it a point to also see Taveuni, for its national parks, lush rainforests, variety of birdlife, and spectacular mountain hikes. Each island has its own personality – which one will you discover?
Languages: English, Fijian, and Fiji Hindi
Enjoy your vacation at the The Likuliku Lagoon Resort if you’re looking for peace and quiet. Located on Malolo Island, you won’t believe your eyes by your surroundings with an abundance of marine life and flora and fauna to make it a pristine vacation scenery. Get ready to listen to ancient Fijian mythology and folklore while you’re there – you’re staying at a place that’s a prominent place for all their stories!
Be in the middle of all the action at the Warwick Hotels and Resorts in Viti Levu whether you’re in the mood to relax at the spa or dive in the waters of the Coral Coast. The Warwick is only 10 minutes away from local dive sites to see turtles, sharks, and over 1,500 species of reef fish.
What to do: Fiji caters to a range of people, whether you’re in the mood to dive in the “Soft Coral Capital of the World” or came to simply enjoy the beaches and spas available. Take the chance to parasail over the South Pacific Ocean, surf through Fiji’s waves, and canoe through the coastline. For the sports lovers, Fiji is home to incredible golf courses and make sure to go horseback riding before you go home.
Temperature: year-round tropical island climate (30 C – 86 F)
Ignore the dilapidated entrance and step into Savusavu’s best restaurants, Surf ‘N’ Turf. With its breathtaking views, Surf ‘N’ Turf boasts its menu with the freshest fish in town and its homemade ice cream. If you’re in the mood, the piece de resistance is a six-course menu where the food is prepared right in front of you. Make sure to take plenty of pictures and videos.
Since Fiji has year-round tropical island climate, pack casual clothes without having to worry about sweaters. Bring your bathing suits, shorts, tops, and something nice to eat out at night. Don’t forget sun block for when you’re out on the beach or snorkeling in the water!
Travel to the Tahiti islands for an exotic vacation that can handle any standards you place on it. The beauty is unparalleled with the nature that surrounds the islands. You can drink out of a coconut, explore the underwater world, and admire the multiple waterfalls around Tahiti. Situated halfway between Los Angeles, California, and Sydney, start booking your next trip to Tahiti.
The Manava Suite Resort in Tahiti resides along the water with a picturesque view of the lagoon. Enjoy your trip to the Manea Spa, have a few drinks at the Punavai Lounge Bar, and tan by the deck during your stay at The Manava. No matter what you do in Tahiti, you’ll enjoy the infinity pool to make you feel right at home.
What to do?
Tahiti is the place to explore both your adventurous and relaxing sides because of its range of activities. Go from hiking the mountains, to diving into the coral reefs, to surfing in the most intense waves at Teahupo’o. Need a day to rest? What better place to lounge around than in an overwater bungalow. Don’t forget to see the Tahitian dance show every Friday and Saturday night before you leave. You need to see all aspects of Tahiti!
Where to eat?
Fine dining and authentic Tahitian cuisine combine forces at Le Grillardin, Papeete to give its customers a warm welcome and a taste of the best of the islands. Expect to have the best Foie Gras in your taste bud’s life.
What to bring?
Due to its tropical climate, pack the usual swimsuits, sandals, and sunscreen. However, pack a dress or suit for the nights to go out and treat yourself at one of the many five-star restaurants in Tahiti.
Welcome to The Last Frontier – where the summer is primetime to go visit the magic of Alaska. There, you’ll be able to see bears, glaciers, and even a few killer whales. Consider this destination one-of-a-kind experience that not many can experience.
Take a break from dog sledding and enjoy The Hotel Captain Cook where you can fine dine with a view of all of Anchorage. Spend some time in the onsite Jacuzzi’s and the steam rooms to feel relaxed amongst all the activities you’ll be doing throughout the day.
What to do:
Going to Alaska in the summer means it is still cold and snowy, so a dog sled has to be on the top of your bucket list. You might even see puppies-in-training! Board a cruise to see glaciers crash into the water and make huge waves. Alaska trips are not complete without seeing bears catch salmon and even better – getting to eat your very own smoked salmon.
Where to eat:
There is no fresher place to eat smoked salmon than Alaska’s own Bridge Seafood Restaurant. Dine with an overview of Anchorage while you taste Alaskan Oysters, Alaskan King Crab Legs, and local Halibut. Experience the best that Alaskan seafood has to offer that you’ll want even more to take home.
What to bring:
Although it’s summer, Alaska is still quite cold. Bring plenty of warm layers and prepare your snow boots to play in the snow even when it’s June.
Northern Lights, geysers, and lagoons make up a small portion of what makes Iceland one of the best exotic destinations to take this year. Look up at the night sky to see the bright dancing lights of the aurora or take a road trip through Iceland to explore every corner of the country.
Language: Icelandic, English
Very few people can say they’ve slept in a bubble in the middle of a forest – but only in Iceland can you stay in the Buubble. Consider your see-through bubble the perfect place to count the stars right from your bed. You can enjoy being one with nature within a heated bubble structure that is sure to be the highlight of your trip.
What to do:
With so many things to see and do in Iceland, there are few must-dos to make sure you visit the quintessential parts of the country. Enjoy relaxing at the Blue Lagoon, the geothermal spa with an outdoor lagoon that is considered one of the wonders of the world. To explore Iceland, drive through the Golden Circle and experience the world-famous Geysir Geothermal Area, Pingvellir National Park, and the Gullfoss Waterfall.
Where to eat?
The Food Cellar has dishes such as Duckleg Confit, Icelandic Langoustine, and the Fish of the Day. The restaurant also has a Secret Menu so when you stop by, you’re in for a surprise and a treat. Enjoy the live music with a lounge feeling that helps music accompany your meal – try your best to eat and move your feet to the beat.
What to bring?
To prepare for your trip to Iceland, bring clothes to keep you warm as you visit the waterfalls and geysers that make up the country. Ironically, you’ll also need a swimsuit for the lagoons that are warm enough for a swim. Pack for all kinds of weather since Iceland has it all.
Cape Town, South Africa
The elusive Cape Town in South Africa is the perfect exotic vacation to experience the other side of the world and still appreciate its beauty. Whether you’re in the mood to hike, go wine tasting or check off “Swim in the Indian Ocean” from your bucket list, Cape Town offers both relaxation and adventure, all in the most southern tip of the African continent.
Language: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English
What to do: Cape Town is incredibly versatile for having so many activities all in one place. If you’re in the mood to explore the cities and beaches, Cape Town has plenty of historical importance to keep anyone interested. You can’t leave without hiking Table Mountain to get a 360 view of the beautiful city. For the person in the mood for a safari in Hazyview and surfing off the coast of Durban, the perfect time to visit is during the summer – so get your summer plans in order to even see penguins on the beach! Cape Town is also known for its wine in Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek, which is best enjoyed from November to April.
Where to eat: With so much wildlife around South Africa, your trip would not be complete without enjoying Bunny Chow, which is Malay-style chicken or lamb curry, and game meat at several restaurants that will cook up a crocodile for you. Your vacation must include a trip to The Backyard Grill, which serves up South African barbeque, or Braai. It’s the only way to really taste South African culture and high-quality meat.
What to bring: If you’re planning on hiking, bring appropriate shoes to make sure you don’t get hurt climbing Table Mountain in just flip flops. Due to Cape Town’s proximity to the equator, you’ll need sunglasses and sunscreen more than you think. For those planning on surfing, bring your favorite bathing suit and above all else, a camera to well-document your vacation in Cape Town.
Palaces, ruins, and temples, oh my! Thailand is not only exotic, but full of wonder as one of the most interesting countries in Asia. Explore the food culture, learn about the historical dynasties, and vibrant nightlife that make up Thailand. With its many islands to tour through, the question won’t be “what to do” but “how do we do it all while we’re here.”
Hotel: The definition of Thai magic lies in the atmosphere at The Siam. This green paradise is filled with fountains, plenty of foliage, and an unmatched serenity. The place oozes luxury the only way Thailand knows how to do. Enjoy your time in one of the suites, the Pool Villa Courtyard, or the several restaurants and bars to entertain yourself.
What to do: Tap into your luxurious side and visit the Grand Palace to see how the residence-turned-museum palaces used to house the royals of Thailand. After sightseeing through Thailand, cruise to the Phi Phi Islands to relax by a cabana on the beach and scuba dive in the Andaman Sea. Take your trip to Lopburi, only two hours north of the capital, to hang out with Thailand’s monkeys. If you’re there on the last Sunday of November, partake in the Lopburi Monkey Festival to monkey around at the Khmer ruins!
Where to eat: Thailand boasts its culinary scene – and for good reason. When you’re not exploring the street food and night markets in Thailand, enjoy fine dining at La Table de Tee; the restaurant was recently voted the Top 10 Best Restaurants in Bangkok. Fun fact: Thai food is eaten with a fork in your left hand and a spoon in your hand right, so start practicing your etiquette.
What to bring: Due to Thailand’s culture of taking off one’s shoes before entering a temple, someone’s house, or even a café, packing slip-on shoes is a must. Other than that, pack your warm weather clothes, and even a swim suit or two for your trip to the Phi Phi Islands. Don’t forget your bug spray and even a rain jacket in case Thailand’s weather decides to rain during your trip.
Easter Island, Chile
If your goal when traveling is to go where no one else has, then Easter Island in Chile is your answer. Famous for its monumental Moai statues, the island has been a World Heritage Site since 1995. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world – and the next stop on your travel bucket list.
Hotel: When on an island, the only appropriate place to stay is in a cabana or a bungalow. Stay right on the beach at the Te Ngahu Bungalows to start your day overlooking the water and ending your day with breathtaking sunsets from the comforts of your balcony. If cabanas are more your style, then Cabañas Tautira is your solution. Stay only three minutes away from the beach surrounded by gardens. Here, you’ll have easy access to restaurants, cafes, and pubs that make up the ambiance of Easter Island.
What to do: Easter Island is home to multiple beaches and volcanoes, but its main treasure is the Ahu Tongariki. These famous statues face the sunset during the Summer Solstice and seeing them during the sunrise is a real treat, even if it means waking up extra early. Although an earthquake caused the statues to topple in 1960, the statues have been restored and they’re ready for you!
Where to eat: Indulge in Chilean food at Te Moai Sunset with its local beer and food on hanging wicker chairs watching the sun go down. The restaurant features Chilean staples with a modern twist so you can still enjoy an authentic experience. For a more colorful experience, stop by Makona, where each plate features a different colorful flower, accompanied by even more colorful drinks. The portions are huge and the food is divine, so come with an empty stomach.
What to bring: Bring your hiking shoes and sandals for the ability to enjoy hiking the terrain and still laying by the beach. Easter Island boasts its tropical climate, so pack accordingly. The weather always gets a little chilly at night, so a sweater might be your best friend on the trip.
Take the time to visit the smallest Asian country with a big reputation – the Maldives. Made up of 1,000 coral islands, the Maldives have an incredible fish market with beaches, lagoons, and reefs to match with it. Be prepared to relax by the water and indulge in all the seafood your heart wants.
Hotel: The best place to stay in the Maldives has to be Gili Lankanfushi for its romance and privacy – it’s the #1 Luxury Resort in Asia and incredibly tucked away on a private island. Get ready to wine and dine right above waters that are so clear, you’ll need to swim in it to believe it. Relax at the spa or go on an excursion to explore the underwater world of the Maldives; trust me, you’ll enjoy all of it.
What to do: Due to its many islands, the number one thing to enjoy at the Maldives is all the snorkeling to do and the beaches to tan on. Pick from Maafushi, Meeru Island, or Hulhumalé – or visit them all! At Ari Atoll, you’ll be able to see manta rays and even whale sharks on your scuba diving trip. By the end of your trip, you might consider living on land an underwhelming experience.
Where to eat: For a place that boasts its underwater world, it is only applicable to eat there too. Enter Ithaa Undersea Restaurant for an experience like no other. It has been rated as “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” by the New York Daily News and it’s not surprising. Here, you can dine inside a tank where the fish swim above you in a 180-degree see-through glass.
What to bring: Swim suits, swim suits, swim suits! The Maldives is all about its water adventures, so bring enough swim suits to enjoy it all. However, the Maldives is also a Muslim country so when you’re not in the water, make sure to dress conservatively out of respect.
Always on the hunt for great places to stay? Take a look at our roundup of the 9 best luxury vacation rental properties.
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