Most of us have a general list of goals we’d like to accomplish and milestones we’d like to reach: purchase a home, meet career aspirations, become best friends with Mindy Kaling (maybe just me?), and so forth. Alongside these goals, it’s a great idea to put together a list of places you’d like to visit in your lifetime. Having a travel bucket list will help you learn more about the places you’re most interested in, and act as a guide when you’re wondering where in the world to go next. While you may not make these trips in the next ten, twenty, or even thirty years, these ten spots are more than worth the wait.
Beach hop in Thailand.
Source: Mark Fischer
Thailand has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so why not make a trip of seeing a handful of them? Whether you’re into diving, sunbathing, eating, or rock climbing, there’s a beach in Thailand for you. Koh Phi Phi is one of the most famous and beautiful out there, but Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Railay Beach should all be on your list for their equally picturesque sands. Though flights to Thailand from the U.S. can be pricey, once you arrive there you’ll find very affordable food and lodging options to help offset the travel costs.
Go on an African Safari.
Source: Scott Presnell
It’s safe to say that going on a safari is a dream for any animal lover. Throughout the African continent, there are several incredible options if you want to get up close to some amazing wildlife. The incredibly vast Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is consistently one of the best places to go, in addition to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which is contiguous with Serengeti National Park. There are several tour operators ready to help you plan your safari whether you’re looking for something rugged or ultra-luxurious.
Relax in Bora Bora.
Source: Stylish Petite
Who doesn’t want to stay on turquoise waters in a luxurious bungalow? A trip to Bora Bora is the ultimate indulgent beach vacation, and since many of the resorts here are built on their own islands, you’ll find a sense of privacy you can’t get in many other places. Though Bora Bora is all about relaxation, there are also ample opportunity for watersport activities and hiking nearby if you need more action.
Explore Rio De Janeiro.
Source: Lukas Schlagenhauf
Located on the coast of Brazil, Rio De Janeiro is a stunning city that is home to a lively culture and beautiful scenery. This Brazilian city has much to offer year round; however one of the best time to go is during Carnival, if you’re looking for a real party. Copacabana and Ipanema are two of the most popular beaches to visit, and no trip to Rio is complete without a visit to see the famed Christ the Redeemer statue. Round out your trip with a stop into the Tijuca National Park to see the rainforest.
Head to the Greek Islands.
Source: Stephanie Sterjovski
The Greek Islands are some of the most recognizable travel destinations with their picturesque blue waters contrasting the white architecture on many of the islands. There are thousands of Greek Islands (though not all are inhabited), so the first step in making this bucket list item come true is to narrow down which ones you’d like to visit. Santorini is one of the most traveled for its beautiful scenery, while Mykonos is great if you’re looking for a bit of nightlife. Crete has great hiking options, and is home to spectacular food—but there are several less traveled islands out there so don’t be afraid to stray off the beaten path.
See the Northern Lights in Iceland.
Source: David Phan
Due to efforts made by the Icelandic tourism industry and Icelandair, planning a trip to Iceland is now easier than ever. A new program was recently unveiled that allows you to plan a stopover in Iceland for up to seven days (at no additional cost!) while on your way to or from Europe flying Icelandair. The best time to see the Northern lights are from November through February (the darkest months), but try to give yourself as much time as possible as weather conditions can affect your ability to see them.
Source: Dimitry B.
Adventurous travelers will find themselves right at home exploring Patagonia, a region on the southern tip of South America spanning across Chile and Argentina. Here you can see glaciers, whale watch, explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, hike, discover the Dinosaur Route… the list goes on. There are few trips out there as diverse and varied as a Patagonia vacation, so it’s perfect for those constantly in search of the next best thrill. Be sure to give yourself ample time to explore the area because as you’ve probably gathered, there is a lot to see.
See the Taj Mahal.
Source: Brian Gratwicke
Nearly 8 million visitors flock to the Taj Mahal each year and with good reason: It’s one of the most impressive structures in the world. Completed in the 1600s, this marble wonder is worth braving the crowds to see. Though the city of Agra doesn’t have too much going on beyond the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and New Dehli are both just a few hours away. It’s easy to work a day trip to Agra into your itinerary while traveling in India.
Dive into the Great Barrier Reef.
Source: A Crafty Traveler
Off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is one of nature’s wonders, and one that all travel fanatics will appreciate. It is the largest coral reef system in the world, so large that it can be seen from outer space! Of course, the best way to experience the reef is by either snorkeling or scuba diving. You can easily take a scuba or snorkeling day trip, and the reef is quite accessible, so you don’t have to have extensive past experience snorkeling to enjoy it. For a really unforgettable experience, you can opt to view the reef from the air, a great way to truly grasp the magnitude of this ecosystem.
Discover Easter Island.
Source: The TerraMar Project
It’s likely you’ve seen images of the iconic Moai statues that number in the thousands on Easter Island. Its extremely remote location may lead you to believe you’ll never be able to visit, but that’s far from the truth. Since the island is Chilean territory, you can find regular flights from Santiago that will take you straight to some of the most mysterious statues on the planet. We recommend stopping in Hanga Roa just outside the airport to find everything from budget to luxury accommodations. The best way to see the island is with one of the tour groups that lead daily treks to all of the top spots.