Traveling internationally is an experience that every person should have if they can. It’s an opportunity to broaden your horizons, to delve into other cultures, and to meet new people. Of course, what many forget is that planning a vacation abroad does require some legwork ahead of time. If you’re thinking about setting out on your first journey across international borders, here are a few tips to help make your planning and travel experience a little bit less stressful and more enjoyable.
Author: Amanda DiSilvestro
For Zarek, growing up in Kenya meant growing up with a keen understanding of conservation, both for the nature and wildlife in his country. Today, Zarek shares his passion with travelers from around the world, and digs deep into education and creating impact with Discover Corps travelers who want something more on their vacation.
On our Kenya: Safari & Conservation trip, you go behind-the-scenes at wildlife reserves, track lions, collect data on cheetahs in the savannah, and marvel at the last northern white rhinos in the world. In addition to safari drives and hands-on interaction with conservation projects, meet with the indigenous Masai communities that inhabit the reservers and experience their traditional ways of life.
If your family is 5 or more people, you already know the hiccups that arise when trying to plan a fun and meaningful vacation for the family. From organizing every detail and double checking room capacities to making sure your youngest is entertained and your oldest is engaged, planning a vacation for a family of 5 can be quite the ordeal. Fortunately there’s a simple solution you may not have considered yet: group travel. Group travel is an organized, fun, and efficient way to travel, taking all of the headaches away that come with a family of 5 vacation.
From camel festivals to water to colors, traveling in time to catch one of the following festivals can create an even more memorable trip. Consider some of the world’s most unique festivals and Discover Corps’ trips that operate during these times below:
“This trip and this experience ignited a passion in me to save them. I’d like to do more. The volunteering is helping out, but I want to be an elephant activist. It definitely sparked something in me to help them and save them.” – Linda S.
For Linda, the 8-day Thailand: Elephants & Islands trip ignited a passion for elephants that she plans to act on for the rest of her life. Linda has always been a believer in traveling with purpose and volunteering, specifically called to work with wildlife, and after a life-changing experience working with elephants the effects of the trip will be long lasting. Specifically, the relationship she formed with one of the elephants at the sanctuary, Nicole.
There is no better way to connect with country than through its people, and in South Africa, the locals will tell you that conservation is a part of their culture.
On our South Africa: Wildlife Volunteer Adventure trip, you volunteer at two reserves in the area that are spearheading conservation work for the rest of the world. First, Somkhanda Game Reserve was created by the local Gumbi Tribe who was dedicated the land to conservation. Due to challenging terrain and a small team, monitoring the reserve’s array of wildlife is a massive undertaking. While volunteering, travelers join these dedicated conservationists to protect critical populations of black and white rhino through radio tracking and set camera traps to record information on leopards. Second is Nambiti Game Reserve, the only reserve in the area with the Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino – and boasts 22,000 acres of African bush hosting over 40 species of wildlife. Travelers venture out each day to record key data on elephants, buffalo and wild dogs that helps the reserve keep track of their vulnerable wildlife population.
So what is the trip really like? Watch the video below and get to know native South African William, one of Discover Corps’ guides on the Wildlife Volunteer Adventure vacation.
If you’re interested in experiencing a safari in Africa, chances are you’ve heard the term Big 5. Despite the term originating as a game hunting term, these animals – lions, elephants, Cape buffalo, rhinoceroses, and leopards – are considered some of the most incredible to see while experiencing a safari in Africa, as well as a favorite of conservationists who look to protect each species. However, the Big 5 and other “big” animals such as giraffes or wild dogs are not the only animals to keep and eye out for as you experience Africa.
According to Trip Savvy, Africa’s Little 5 was a term introduced by conservationists who wanted to draw attention to the smaller creatures of the bush who can be just as fascinating as the rest. Interestingly enough, the Little 5 actually correspond to the Big 5 (pay attention to the names!). Take a look at what makes these animals unique below:
There is no better way to connect with country than through its people, and in Costa Rica, the locals will tell you that wildlife is a part of their culture. As one of the most biodiverse countries in Central America, Costa Rica is home to jaguars, toucans, sloths, gibbons and howler monkeys, and so much more. Our newest Costa Rica: Wildlife Safari nature & wildlife adventure aims to offer travelers experiences with wildlife that will leave them inspired as they experience the symphony of the forest. It is our guide that brings the experience to live.
Watch the video below and get to know Karla, Discover Corps’ guide on the Wildlife Safari vacation. As a local Costa Rican, Karla is one of the most knowledgable naturalists around, and Discover Corps is incredibly lucky to have her. Learn more about the trip from the ground in Costa Rica from Karla below!
Questions for Karla or for Discover Corps? Email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 619-758-3030 for more information. We can’t wait to travel with you!
It’s hard to plan your travel these days without hearing the term “ecotourism” – fortunately, a trend in the right direction. Choosing green hotels or eco-lodges as your travel destinations have risen in popularity in recent years, so exactly constitutes as an eco-lodge, and is there any difference between an eco-lodge and a green hotel?
In short, both terms are often taken for granted and used interchangeably. While both of these institutions rely on using materials made from naturally renewable sources and are greener, or taking initiatives to preserve the nature of our planet, in practice there are some important things that differentiate an eco-lodge from the green hotel:
- Green Hotels. No matter how green they tend to be, hotels are demanding large infrastructure and a great amount of cash to build and maintain. It is not out of the question that a large conglomerate or multinational company is behind the entire concept of the hotel. This is not a bad thing, and in fact it’s great to see larger businesses focusing on the planet, it just means you will likely have a more traditional experience. Oftentimes green hotels are positioned inside the large urban areas and cities, which is the main differentiator between green hotels and eco-lodges.
- Eco-Lodges. One can say that eco-lodges are a little bit less mainstream and a little bit greener than green hotels. They are often made of natural materials from the country you’re visiting, which often means you’ll see the architecture of the country and feel immersed in nature and the wildlife that surrounds you. Almost always situated in a remote area set amongst impressive terrains, eco-lodges take into consideration all that their presence touches and what it means for those native to the land.
So where do you find the coolest eco-lodges today? Below are just a few of our favorites:
With the turn of the New Year and getting back into the swing of things, most of us are ironing out our resolutions and making exciting plans for the year ahead. If one of your resolutions is to travel more, we’ve got you covered on which Apps will help you breeze through the tough parts so you can enjoy the journey. Between transportation, finding places to eat, getting lost, language barriers, right down to how to pay for your plane ticket in the first place, the right apps can make the whole experience seem like a breeze (and no, you don’t always need wifi). Check out our top picks below: