With over 193 countries in the world, there is no shortage of options. We traveled to Europe in July 2011 and visited London, France, Italy, and Switzerland, so we did not need to visit Europe for this trip.
Our timing had to coincide with school summer vacation here in the states, so that means summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern. Winter in the southern hemisphere lets us visit of some typically hot and humid destinations such as those in Africa and South America without overheating.
Fairly quickly, we had a list of potential areas of interest:
- China – Great Wall, Pandas, Terracotta Warriors
- Southern Africa (S. Africa, Kenya, etc) – safari
- Peru – Machu Picchu
- Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg)
- New Zealand
- Indonesia (Palau)
- Maldives or Seychelles (before they disappear)
With roughly 4-weeks to fill with adventure and travel, we couldn’t do all of these stops. We decided that we’d aim for 4 major destination where we could spend about a week. We quickly whittled our list down to China, Peru, and Maldives or Seychelles or somewhere tropical and one more To Be Determined destination. From here, it was easier to eliminate some destinations such as Russia (too far), New Zealand (not quite on the way), Fiji and Indonesia (we had a tropic destination), and Scandinavia (also too far). Our final destination ended up being Southern Africa.
Based on connecting flights and schedules, we added Singapore (6 hour layover), Dubai (26 hours), Rio (2 days), and Iguazzu Falls (1 day).
Here is our route: