22 Life-Changing Bucket-List-Worthy Trips
Modern life, with its seemingly endless stream of paperwork, commutes and chores, can be pretty overwhelming and repetitive. Every day, we feel trapped, overpowered and choked by the repetitive routines that we tend to slide into. Thankfully, though, there are a few things that can help us effectively break away from our routine and even change our lives, such as taking trips to new and wondrous places.
Going on life-changing trips, and breaking away from your home for a while can make you reexamine your habits as well as break the patterns that you’ve grown accustomed to. Moreover, experiencing a culture that’s vastly different than the one surrounding you will give you a different perspective, helping you grow as a person.
From soul-searching in Kyoto to wine-tasting in Napa Valley, the world is filled with awe-inspiring trips and once-in-a-lifetime adventures that can change for your life. Some are expensive and moderate, while others can be surprisingly affordable. But, all will you pay you back and reward you with experiences that you’ll treasure for the rest of your life.
Geared and pumped up for these experiences? Before hit the road, make sure to pack some handy travel essentials and carry a versatile travel bag. Check out these multi-purpose bags and travel accessories that we've handpicked for adventurers and travelers.
1. Enjoy moments of mindfulness in Kyoto
Yearning for life-changing trips in the “Land of the Rising Sun”? Japan’s LED-lit streets and sleek high-speed bullet trains take a backseat in Kyoto – the old imperial capital of temples and pagodas, where a tea ceremony can last for a few hours.
Visitors, here, can contemplate on the mysteries of life, while taking a stroll along the Philosopher’s Path, which runs under eye-catching cherry trees and near temples and shrines. To fully embrace meditation and mindfulness in Kyoto, go on a retreat at any of the city’s Zen temples, such as Shunkoin.
Book and save up to 70% today
2. Travel alone in Bali
Bali, billed as the “Island of the Gods”, is synonymous with “heavenly tropical paradise”, and with good reason. For decades, Bali has been a refuge for writers and artists seeking inspiration. From quite retreats and buzzing nightlife to excellent food and stunning scenery, Bali is a beloved solo travel destination that certainly has it all. While it’ draws flocks of tourists every year, Bali is still a perfect place to escape.
Whether you’re spending a week in a lavish resort or camping out in a backpacker lodge, Bali gives you a chance to re-calibrate by displaying an example of how to live.
3. Fall in love with countryside beauty of Provence, France
Searching for trips with endless photo ops? Provence – the impossibly picturesque southeastern region in France – is literally filled with salt marshes, storied second cities, sleepy villages, Roman ruins, lavender fields and tons of bucolic sights. Not surprisingly, Provence’s beauty has inspired numerous artists, including Picasso, Van Gogh and Cezanne.
4. A week in the Big Apple
New York – the city that never sleeps – is a pop icon all by itself. After all, it is the setting for an Avengers movie and a sea of world renowned sitcoms. What’s more, it’s the scene which brought us the Wu-Tang Clan, NYHC and Hip-Hop. Broadway theaters are another excellent reason to spend a week, or even a month, in the Big Apple.
5. Experience India’s Holi Festival
The riot of colors known as India’s Holi Festival is a beautiful festival celebrated across the world. In recent years, this one-of-a-kind gala has spread to some parts in North America and Europe as a spring celebration of colors, frolic and love. But, it retains a very special significance in Mathura – the spot revered as the birthplace of Krishna.
6. A taste of Ancient Egypt
The political structure in Egypt may be evolving, but the grandeur of its ancient civilization remains intact and constant, offering troubled souls dozens of epic bucket-list-worthy trips. Start your life-changing trip in Egypt on a high note with a visit to Giza’s legendary pyramids. Then, catch a Nile river cruise to Aswan from Luxor to hit the Temple of Edfu, the Valley of the Kings as well as the twin temple at Kom Ombo. Afterwards, sail on a felucca and dive into a smorgasbord of memorable cultural experiences, like a dinner in a Nubian village.
7. Uncover the mysteries of the Amazon
Small-ship cruises in the Amazon allow for an up close look at the diverse ecology of one the world’s largest rivers, which winds its way though areas of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil. In addition to cruises, there are operators that offer an opportunity to spot wildlife, hike deep into the jungle and kayak, with some of them staffed by environmental experts and naturalists.
8. Savor the delectable delights in Napa Valley, California
Even though every US state produces wine, the iconic grape-growing valley in California’s remains the go-to destination for travelers in search of cult wineries, Michelin-starred restaurants and rustic-luxurious hotels. To experience one of the best life-changing trips in Napa Valley, stay away from the crowds by visiting it early spring or during fall harvest.
Book and save up to 70% today
9. Dive the Great Barrier Reef
With over 2,500 individual reefs intermixed with hundreds of tropical islands, the magnificent Great Barrier Reef is by far unmatched by any underwater spectacle and other reef system in the world. Its immense size is a reminder of the vastness of earth’s oceans as well as the fragility of its ecosystems.
10. Find out why all roads lead to Rome
Wondering why so many people book trips to Rome? Praised for its atmosphere, culture and history, Rome is indeed a wondrous mash-up of world-class museums, breathtaking architecture and artistic masterpieces. As a matter of fact, just a walk on its streets will feel very rewarding and an absolute feast for your senses.
11. See old Asia in Myanmar
Myanmar is a country on the cusp of a great change, and there’s no better time to see it than today, before it starts to lose the look of ancient Asia. Yangon – an important port in the British Empire and the largest city in the country – is beautifully lined with colonial-era buildings and fabulous places of worship like the Shwedagon Pagoda. For a truly scintillating and mesmerizing experience in Myanmar, head to Bagan, and be wowed by its stunning silhouettes and collection of intricate temples.
12. Experience the Rocky Mountains by train
With its gourmet food, cushy seats and sweeping vistas of the smashing Rockies, it’s no wonder this train experience is often deemed as one of the world’s best bucket list trips.
13. Wander around the Amalfi Coast
From its deep green valley to its dramatic limestone cliffs, the beauty of the Amalfi Coast in Italy is nothing short of legendary. Plus, did I mention that it has impossible delicious fresh food?
14. Go on a safari adventure in Tanzania
Boasting over a dozen sprawling and surreal national park, Tanzania is, without a doubt, the perfect place to catch the annual wildebeest migration. Gazing on baby elephants playing with their pops and moms in the muddy Tarangire River is a memorable lifetime experience that you will cherish for years to come. Trust me, it’s one of the best and most amazing trips anyone can have in their lifetime.
15. Marvel at the striking Northern Lights in Sweden
On the lookout for surreal trips? Then, get totally bewitched by a dazzling phenomenon that Mother Nature has saved for the dwellers in north. Purple, yellow, indigo blue and green are just some of the colors that splendidly light up the skies. The Torne Valley and Abisko National Park and Jukkasjärvi are two of the best spots to catch sight of this wizardry.
16. Be utterly amazed by Machu Picchu
The idea of being inspired by Peru’s architectural wonder – Machu Picchu – is by now practically a cliché. But, make no mistake about it – this site still imbues a sense of wonder.
17. A wildlife expedition in the Galapagos
Get-up close and personal with blue-footed boobies and snorkel with sea lions in this highly protected eco-paradise. There are small-ship cruises that make it easy to visit its hidden coves and beaches, hike its dormant volcano, and search out marine iguanas and penguins.
18. Be utterly amazed by the architectural brilliance of China’s Great Wall
Contrary to popular belief, the highly acclaimed Great Wall of China isn’t visible from outer space. Nevertheless, it’s a majestic man-made spectacle that’s worth seeing up close and personal.
19. See the mystical charm of Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Angkor Wat, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-see sight and one of humankind’s most enduring architectural achievements.
20. Bask in the cultural achievements and beauty of Paris
Paris, known for its amorous ambiance, is a must-visit city for anyone, even for those who aren’t overly fond of romantic trips. From magnificent architecture and museums to theatre and sumptuous cuisines, the “City Of Lights” has something special in store for everyone.
21. Get lost in Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes
Iceland is a small and bizarre island-country that gave the world a plethora of talented musical minds, such as Sigur Ros and Bjork. Of course, it has otherworldly landscapes and an extraordinary culture primarily impacted by the Norse Viking culture, which is reflected by its language.
22. Channel your inner spiritual side in Jerusalem
Even if you’re not an extremely religious person, Jerusalem is a place that rightfully deserves a spot in your list of trips to take before you die. One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem has been for centuries a cultural and religious crossroad, flaunting a string of museums, religious buildings and architecture.
Book and save up to 70% today
Make your travel planning experience to any of these bucket list adventures as easy as ABC with Trekeffect - the world's ultimate trip planning tool!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks
Book your accommodations
Let's face it. Expedia, hotels.com (and all the other hotel booking engines) typically earn huge margins off of you. You might think you're getting a deal, but you're not getting a deal. Want the best deal when you book your hotels? Of course you do! With Trekeffect you can get FREE access to discounted hotel prices and save a bunch of money.
How does it work? Simple...
1. Sign up for Trekeffect [FREE]
2. Click the hotels tab in the navigation
3. Search for the city you are visiting
4. Book a hotel and save a ton of money
Shop for Travel Essentials
Book your flight
Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world. They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.
Don't forget travel insurance
Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!
Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported.