Do you think you have seen the world and have exhausted all your travel opportunities? Do you still long to see new countries but think you have exhausted all that Europe, Asia, and Central America have to offer? Or do you just want to see something new that you had not considered before but don't know where to turn? Think again. Many counties are now open for tourism that never were before. And the great news is that they are less expensive travel options in many cases.
Cuba has been open for American tourism on a very restricted basis, and their person-to-person tours that have been approved by the Department of Treasury for approved providers might just be expanding in scope. You can look for that to start getting less expensive if Congress votes to lift the embargo. Right now nine days in Cuba, including air, tours, accommodations and meals is around $6,000. Tourists from other nations pay a fraction of that for the same amount of time. So with any luck, that will start to get less expensive, while still being a great destination. The Grand Circle Foundation is one such provider, and they offer regularly scheduled and excellent tips to Cuba under the current regulations
Central America has some great sights, and three countries which are not that well-traveled are El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. You can even take a pretty luxurious bus from one to the other as part of the same trip and the cost is low, while the safety factor is high. There are also tour companies which put nice two week trips together in case you don't want to plan it all yourself. Adventures Abroad is one such company that has a great two week El Salvador and Nicaragua combination. Overseas Adventure Travel does the same if you take their Route of the Maya trip and include a post trip and/or pre-trip. The price offered by each of the companies is outstanding, and everything is included.
The latest to join the club in South America is Columbia. If you own a timeshare, you can do timeshare exchanges in Santa Marta using Interval International. If you have hotel points to burn, Cartegena has good hotels with prices in both dollars and points what would make a great two week trip. And of course many of the tour companies mentioned in this article will be happy to accommodate you as well.
Asia always has a lot of offer. People are starting to go to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and even Bangladesh is getting some attention these days. Explore Worldwide has a great tip to Bangladesh that includes Nepal, Bhutan, and a corner of India that allows you to see the Himalayas, while still taking in all the local culture. Boundless Journeys has a nice Nepal and Bhutan combination. Overseas Adventure Travel also has a great offering for this comer of the world if you sign up for one of their India trips (Heart of India for the North and Soul of India for the South) with a post a post trip and/or pre-trip extension.
Wherever your wanderlust takes you in the coming year, rest assured there are always new and exciting destinations to visit.