Some people also reject down for reasons of animal welfare.

Some people also reject down for reasons of animal welfare.

The art of finding exotic species

However, the search for new goals is not always just about tracking down the boom goals of tomorrow, but also offering something really exotic. Some time ago, North Korea found its way into the catalogs. In which according to the USA "axis of evil" Counting north, the visitor can marvel at a unique political relic: the system of state communism. "It is mainly regulars and experienced travelers who book such unusual destinations" says Edwin Doldi from Studiosus. "The demand here is of course at a relatively low level." New destinations are still being discovered even in Europe. For example Moldova. The country has been sovereign since independence from Russia in 1991. The conflicts between the western part, which is more closely related to Romania, and the eastern part, which is closer to Russia, continue. "This ethnic, religious and ideological diversity and the rich heritage of the Orthodox monasteries make Moldova an extremely interesting study trip destination" says the Königstein travel company Ikarus Tours, which has had the country in its program since 2005.

Iraq is not taboo either

Even a destination like Iraq is not strictly taboo for the organizers. Since the invasion of US troops in 2003, the country has been officially in a state of emergency. The Federal Foreign Office warns against traveling there. But that could change soon. To date, there is no longer any international hotel chain in Baghdad. However, the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism is already planning for the time when security has returned to the Tigris. Between two and five billion euros are to be spent on a new tourism complex on the two-square-kilometer wedding island in the Tigris in Baghdad alone. Several luxury hotels, wellness facilities, a marina, boutiques, restaurants and a golf course are planned. Tour operators such as the Californian provider Distant Horizons and the French company Terre Entière have been offering trips to the north of the country again since 2008. German organizers are also following the events with excitement. The main attractions include the Bible city of Babylon, the Sumerian royal cities of Ur and Uruk, the Assyrian metropolises of Nimrud, Nineveh and Assur, the Parthian ruins of Hatra and the Muslim cities of Karbala, Najaf and Samarra.

Vacation in Afghanistan

Another exotic destination could soon experience a renaissance: Afghanistan. The country in the Hindu Kush has appeared on the tourist map for the first time in many years. Local organizers are already offering tours to the Buddha statues of Bamian, which were blown up by Taliban warriors in 2001, are taking trekking tours to the northern province of Badakhshan, snowboarding tours in the Hindu Kush and rafting on the Panshir River.

And what does the conscience say?

But can I, as a guest, travel safely to countries where injustice, kidnappings and violence are on the agenda? "I am convinced that isolating these countries does nothing for the local people. Leaving them to their fate is the wrong way to go" says Edwin Doldi. "We are of the opinion that tourism that calls itself socially acceptable and not only takes it, but also gives something to the travelers, brings benefits to the travelers and the people in the countries." This applies to many countries in this category. In Burma, for example, where a military regime has ruled for years, his company is supporting a convent school by purchasing medical equipment for the school clinic, says Doldi. "The school is visited by around 6,500 students – and our guests on study trips. That brings something to both sides." Further information:

Sudan: The 14 Day Expedition Study Tour "Sudan – in the realm of the black pharaohs" costs at Studiosus ( from 4295 euros per person. Colombia: the 14-day adventure tour "Undiscovered El Dorado" can be booked at Gebeco ( from 2895 euros per person. North Korea: 17-day study tour "North and South Korea – the comprehensive Korea tour" bookable at Studisosus ( from 4590 euros per person. Moldova: Ikarus Tours ( has an eight day trip "Unknown Moldova" from 1735 euros per person in the program. Iraq: The US tour operator Distant Horizons ( is offering a twelve-day trip under the title "The changing faces of Iraqui Kurdistan" for 5890 US dollars, the equivalent of about 4200 euros. The French cultural tour operator Terre Entière ( also has Northern Iraq in its program. Afghanistan: Great Game Travel Company ( and Afghan Logistics and Tours ( offer various tours through Afghanistan.

If you want to buy a caravan, you have to pay attention to many details. There are caravans in a wide variety of designs. Whether as a collapsible caravan, a caravan with a height-adjustable roof or a standard caravan, your own taste decides. The caravan has either one axle (two wheels) or two axles (four wheels).

Buying a caravan: make sure it is the right size

The size of the caravan plays an important role in the purchase and is influenced by many factors. The available budget, the number of available beds and your own sense of well-being are important parameters. Pay attention to the permissible load and the size and pulling force of the vehicle that is to pull the caravan.

If the towing vehicle is not quite as powerful, it is advisable to buy a caravan with only one axle. In general, it can be said that a larger caravan is more expensive, offers more comfort, allows more payloads, can accommodate more people and requires a large and powerful vehicle.

The disadvantage of the larger caravans is that the transport uses more fuel. If you buy a larger caravan, be aware that some campsites charge higher pitch fees.

Buy a caravan: Pay attention to the interior fittings

Usually your own taste decides on the interior design. If you buy a caravan, pay attention to the size of the beds when installing the interior. The kitchen should enable pleasant cooking without causing back pain and the light switches should be installed at a child-friendly height.

Safe on the move: camping insurance – various options Motorhomes: Buying a caravan – What you should consider Motor vehicle insurance: The caravan insurance consists of the legally required liability insurance and a part Potential savings: Rent a motorhome – tips on quality and prices The right sleeping bag: polyester or down Flexible travel: Used camper van: Take a cheap vacation

You can find out whether the interior design meets your own requirements and camping practices by living in a test room. This is possible with the providers on request.

A sleeping bag can be filled with either polyester fibers or down. Both variants have their advantages and disadvantages, which you should consider when making your purchase decision.

A real classic: the down sleeping bag

In contrast to the polyester sleeping bag, a down sleeping bag is filled with a mixture of goose or duck down and support feathers. The ideal ratio should be 90 to 10 percent. Down sleeping bags have the advantage that they provide excellent warmth, but at the same time weigh very little and can be rolled up to save space.

However, their disadvantage is that they are mostly water-repellent, but not waterproof. Therefore, you should not sleep in the open air, but always in a tent. Some people also reject down for reasons of animal welfare.

Good and cheap: sleeping bags made of polyester

A sleeping bag that is filled with polyester fibers is much more resistant to water, but also a little heavier and bulky. Except for high mountain tours, it works just as well as a down sleeping bag for most purposes. In addition, these sleeping bags are usually easier to care for, as they are easier to wash, and they are also cheaper than the down-filled models.

How well a sleeping bag warms depends not only on the filling material but also on its thickness and cut. When buying, make sure that the hood can be pulled as far as possible over the face. In any case, when choosing a sleeping bag, you should always try it in a store.

Buying advice: the best sleeping bags in comparison Pros and cons: sleeping pad – tips on air mattresses and sleeping mats Important information: Buying a caravan: What to look out for Important utensils: Camping equipment – what do you have to bring? Noble vacation: luxury camping – comfort and camping are not a contradiction in terms

For extreme tours, the combination of a down and a thin polyester sleeping bag pulled over it can be recommended in order to guarantee maximum warmth with simultaneous water resistance.

Corals and fish on the Great Barrier Reef (Photo: Tourism Queensland) It can be seen from space, shimmers in all colors, fascinates visitors and is a tourist magnet: the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland in Australia is the largest coral reef in the world . It consists of over 3000 individual reefs, over 600 islands and extends over a length of 2000 kilometers from the Torres Strait in Papua New Guinea to the southern end of the reef, Lady Elliot Island. In 1981 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and also bears the title "Natural wonder of the world". With around 1.5 million visitors, the reef is one of the most popular attractions in Australia. The year 2008 is that "2nd International Year of the Reef" and is intended to remind of the importance of these natural marvels.

Impressive biodiversity off Australia

Over 1500 species of fish and many other sea creatures live on 350,000 square kilometers. The enormous biodiversity and an impressive, dazzling world of colors of the reef inspire divers and snorkelers in particular. The Great Barrier Reef runs almost parallel to the Australian coast, with the distance varying between 30 and 250 kilometers. At the same time, it is the largest structure on earth created by living beings and, due to its biodiversity, is one of the most important ecosystems on earth.

Experience the reef without getting your feet wet

Since countless tourists want to marvel at the reef, there are no longer a manageable number of providers who make this possible. Most tours depart from Cairns or Airlie Beach. Whether the visitor prefers to travel by small airplane or helicopter is up to them. Diving and snorkeling tourism is booming, but there are also alternatives. For example, water-shy tourists can get to know the beauties of the underwater world with a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat. Vacationers should definitely take the advice of the tour guide to protect the reef seriously, as the extremely sensitive ecosystem must be protected.

Look at skyscrapers, go shopping, enjoy culture or experience the unique wildlife at the gates of the metropolis – a visit to Melbourne can have many reasons and each one is worth the trip. The second largest city in Australia has grown into a multicultural city thanks to many immigrants, which has been awarded the title several times "most livable city" the world was allowed to decorate. Located directly on the Yarra River, which flows into Port-Philip Bay, the metropolis has a lot to offer, especially culturally: from the largest museum complex in the southern hemisphere, the Melbourne Museum, to the numerous theaters and the large art scene.