23 Ultimate Travel Bucket List Ideas
Want to live a happy life with no regrets and full of unforgettable memories? Are you looking for some inspiration for your next big adventure? Whether you’re an extreme adventurist or someone who enjoys gazing on Mother Nature’s masterpieces, we’ve listed down a handful of remarkable travel bucket list ideas that can give you fabulous travel experiences and blissful memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.
Without further ado, here are the top travel bucket list ideas that everyone, who has a serious case of wanderlust, must experience at least once in their lifetime.
1. Visit the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon, blessed with splendid towering rock formations and massive expanse of gorges, is truly a mesmerizing sight that will awestruck even the most seasoned photographers and skeptical travelers. Known as the one of world’s most magnificent natural wonders, this UNESCO World Heritage site attracts millions of visitors all over the world each year, thanks to its striking panoramas and sheer majestic beauty. No matter how many Grand Canyon photos you’ve seen and blogs you’ve read about it, nothing will prepare you for the awe-inspiring sight of this globally beloved natural marvel.
2. See the dazzling Northern Lights
The lure of Northern Lights, or also referred as Aurora Borealis, is simply timeless. As matter of fact, it’s so brilliant and phenomenal that most travel junkies inscribe it on the top of their travel bucket list. Ethereal and elusive, it is, after all, a mysterious prismatic show wherein the night sky is lit up suddenly with a wondrous glow that swirls and twists like a sublime lava lamp. Often revered as one of the greatest and timeless thrills of traveling, it is nature’s finest display, and a shifting and gorgeous whirl of nocturnal rainbows that most spectators find as a spiritually lifting and humbling experience.
3. Admire Santorini’s grandiose sunset
Sounds so cliché? I’ll admit this travel bucket list idea won’t bag home the originality reward for retreats and vacation. Taking your partner to cuddle up, and gaze the beautiful sunset over Oia is, for most people, almost as popular and common as ordering a café latte in a Starbucks outlet. But trust me, it is one truly gorgeous and mesmerizing latte! The views of the beautiful sunset, blue domes and whitewashed houses here never get old.
4. Skydiving in Queenstown, New Zealand
They don’t called Queenstown as New Zealand’s adventure capital for nothing. Surrounded grandly by the Southern Alps, this world renowned resort town has a plethora of heart-pumping adventures, including parasailing, mountain biking and AJ Hackett Bungy – the first commercial bungee jump in the world.
But of all the adventurous thrills in Queenstown, nothing is as mind-blowing and exciting as skydiving. With a skydiving adventure in Queenstown, you get to free fall for a minute or more at terminal velocity, reaching speeds up to 200 kilometers per hour. Then, it will let you soak up views of the remarkable mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Not a bad addition to your travel bucket list, right?
5. Visit the Galapagos Islands
Do you love animals? Then, a visit to the beautiful Galapagos Island should be on top of your travel bucket list. Famed for its quantity and sheer variety of exotic creatures, the Galapagos is literally brimming with wildlife at each turn. Here, you’ll get to face-to-face with some of the most curious, fearless and intriguing creatures on the face of the earth. What’s more, it is a secluded and picturesque land of quintessential tropical beaches, turquoise bays, lush green highlands, cactus forests and stark lava formations.
6. Dive the Great Barrier Reef
Lauded as one the seven wonders of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef is a magnificent World Heritage Site that every diving enthusiast should include to his or her travel bucket list. Not only is it the world’s largest coral reef system, but it is also the largest protected marine area in the planet, supporting over 3,500 types of mollusk, 1,000 fish species and 300 types of coral.
7. Explore the Hawai’i Volcanoes Park
Hawaii is, without a shadow of a doubt, a dream destination that inspires a plethora of travel bucket list ideas. From hiking the legendary Na Pali Coast to humpback whale-watching, there is no shortage of amazing things to do in this American state. But if you really want to experience something different and unforgettable in Hawaii, we strongly suggest that you explore the Hawai’i Volcanoes Park. Not only is it a thrilling outdoor adventure, but it will also offer fascinating sights that will leave you in awe.
8. Trek to Machu Picchu
The lost city of the Incas in Peru is a captivating and magical place. Built for the Incan emperor Pachacuti in the 15th century, this awe-inspiring historic wonder was tucked away hidden beneath the mountain and jungle mist for over 400 years. A glimpse of its breathtaking collection of palaces and temples, when the sun rises, is a spiritual experience the certainly deserves a spot in every travel junkie’s travel bucket list.
9. Visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy
Whether you’re roaming around Sorrento or Ravello, it is hard to take a bad photograph in the Amalfi Coast. Giving Santorini a run for its money, this Italian hub wows travelers with superbly colorful homes that dot vertically the rugged cliffs.
10. Conquer a glacier in Iceland
While the city of Reykjavik is an essential base, and the Blue Lagoon is justifiably a charming attraction, the best way to truly experience Iceland is to find a glacier and conquer it like a boss. A short mini-bus ride from the Icelandic capital will take you away from the tourist trail of waterfalls and lava fields, and into endless frosty oblivion. Armed with pickaxes and crampons, here, you can explore the precarious ridges and endless crevices of Iceland’s vast yet receding glaciers. If you are into outdoor trips, this Icelandic adventure is certainly something you want to include in your travel bucket list.
11. Swim with the Pink River Dolphins in Amazon
The Pink Freshwater Dolphin is by far one of the more pleasant and remarkable surprises hidden in the Bolivian Amazon’s muddy waters. With the yearly floods, these charming creature glide dreamily amidst tree trunks, and chase fish between twisted and drowned branches. For animal lovers, there is nothing as exciting as diving into these unknown murky depths, to swim alongside these fabulous and surreal animals. In my book, it is a far cry from frolicking with Seaworld’s dolphins.
12. Climb the mighty Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro, revered as one of the world greatest trekking summits, certainly deserves a spot on everyone’s travel bucket list. After all, no other mountain on the face of the earth manages to combine such a combination and wealth of wow factors. It’s an aesthetically amazing monolith that pokes out the plains in Africa, and it is a tough yet very achievable challenge – standing at 5,895 meters (it is the roof of Africa). Plus, it is climatologically odd, proving that snow can virtually sit in the equator.
13. Climb Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge
Australia’s Sydney Harbor Bridge is the world’s undisputed steel arch bridge, measuring 400 feet above the water level. Climbing this towering bridge is, as far as I’m concerned, the ultimate test and thrill for adrenaline-seeking travel junkies, taking more than a couple of hours for a moderately fit person to climb from the bottom up to the topmost part. Once you’re at the top, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the magnificent Sydney Harbour, which is something you must see while you have the chance.
14. Raft the great Zambezi River in Zambia
Raft this great African river while you can! Often deemed as one of the most iconic waterways in the world, Zambezi River slices its way through the southeast of Africa before plunging famously over the Victoria Falls. Rafting it, whether you choose a beach-camping multi-day expedition or a short trip from Livingstone, is up there with greatest river journeys in the world.
With this travel bucket list idea, you’ll get to tackle spine-tingling rapids with fitting nicknames, such as The Devil’s Toilet Bowl and Oblivion. Not to mention, you’ll get a chance to spot crocodiles on the banks as well as hippos lazing in the beautiful channels.
15. Set foot on Antarctica
For most travel junkies, it is really hard to escape the rat race these nowadays. Let’s face it, there are long queues to reach the ritzy hotels in the rainforest, direct flights to the secluded Pacific islands and the summit of Mount Everest. People have colonized and tamed most of the planet, but there’s one vast stretch in this world that remains beyond the human’s grasp – Antarctica.
This frozen and secluded continent has never been and may never be occupied by man permanently. Accessible from November to March only, Antarctica has no expedition hut, villages and towns. In other words, it’s simply a grand, unpredictable and super icy wilderness. Even if you are traveling there on a cruise ship (like most folks do), the emptiness, solitude and sheer grandeur will bring you down to scale and envelop you.
16. See the mystical Stonehenge in England
Steeped in beauty, culture and history, this mysterious ancient site in England is definitely a worthy entry to your travel bucket list. Heralded as one of Europe’s archaeologically rich heritage sites, Stonehenge is home to some of the most important Bronze and Neolithic Age structures and finds in the United Kingdom.
17. Visit the Taj Mahal
No travel bucket list is complete without a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal in India. One of the world’s most architecturally beautiful and well preserve tombs, it is an exquisite masterpiece of Indian-Muslim architecture and a romanticized world heritage site that beckons millions of people from all over the world.
18. Tour the gardens and temples of Kyoto
While Tokyo is all skyscrapers, flashes of neon and high-speed trains, Kyoto moves to a completely different beat. A calming antidote to Japan’s futuristic buzzing capital, Kyoto is synonymous with centuries-old craftsmanship, traditional ryokan inns, tea ceremony masters and ancient Oriental temples. This hardly comes as a surprise given the heritage of the city, as the imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years. Kyoto was spared from the wartime bombing that blitzed the Japanese capital, and it is today still home to 2,000 Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
19. Hike China’s Great Wall
The Great Wall of China is more than just a triumph of human creativity and engineering. It’s a direct link with China’s past legendary emperors, and an embodiment of our sense of this nation, as a country separate from the rest of the world. Seeing the wall – made from wood, tamped earth and brick – is to imagine a couple of millennia of political resistance and cultural isolation.
20. A canopy tour in Costa Rica
Costa Rica, in recent years, has been at very forefront of eco-tourism and green getaways, offering a ton of interesting diversions to eco travelers. But whether you are environmentally conscious or not, there are very few adventures that could compare with a canopy tour of a verdant tropical rainforest. Not only will it give you an adrenaline rush, but will let you gaze in awe, as flocks of prismatic birds go about their daily business and howler monkeys sweep through the huge trees.
21. Visit Easter Island
Moai – the monolithic statues of Easter Island – are sublimely gorgeous works of art. Carved out of volcanic rock by the Polynesian settlers between the 11th and 14th centuries, these tall figures have brooding brows, hawk-like noses as well as unsmiling long faces. They can seem enthralling and alienating, depending on your mood, the weather and light.
22. Hot air ballooning over Bagan at sunrise
There’s nothing more awe-inspiring than marveling at the majestic sunrise and 2,000-plus temple in Bagan’s central plain while riding a hot air balloon. Rivaling Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, it is a great archaeological site that will utterly amaze you with its fabulous collection of ruins, stupas, pagodas, Buddhist temples and other-worldly silhouettes.
23. Skydiving in Dubai
Skydiving is easily the ultimate outdoor trip in Dubai, and a worthy entry to anyone’s travel bucket list. It’s a heart-pumping one-of-a-kind aerial trip that will let you jump off an airplane, and skydive more than 10,000 feet above the ground. As an added bonus, this birdlike adventure will give awesome panoramas of Palm Jumeirah and other notable landmarks in Dubai, such as Burj El Arab and World Island.
Honestly, the travel bucket list ideas mentioned in this post are just the tip of the iceberg. We have a wonderful world that is filled alluring sights, incredible natural wonders, engineering marvels and mind-blowing adventures. So, start filling your travel bucket list now, and explore our beautiful planet.