25 Ideas to Add to Your Travel Bucket List
One of the great ironies of travel is that it has the power to leave you speechless, before turning you into a storyteller.
There are so many incredible things to do around the world, that narrowing it down to just 25 bucket list ideas can be tough, but here's our attempt at getting it down to just that.
1. Dive the Great Barrier Reef
Located under the sea and off the coast of northeast Australia, you’ll find the Great Barrier Reef. Visible from outer space, this ocean masterpiece is the largest living organism on the planet. The Reef is comprised of hundreds of different coral types that make up thousands of smaller reefs and islands. This colorful ecosystem is a 2,300 km-long home to all kinds of plants and sea creatures. Thousands of different types of fish, sharks, shells, starfish, turtles and dolphins live and feed nearby. Grab a snorkel, or better yet, a GoPro, and you'll capture some of the best footage this planet has to offer. This is a must for every travel bucket list.
2. USA road trip along Route 1 in California
From one end to the other, this beautiful, coast-hugging road will take you from San Francisco Bay down to San Diego. You’ll never see as vivid a blue as you will from the Pacific Coast. As you wind down from San Francisco, you’ll pass through Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Los Angeles, and Orange County, before ending up in San Diego. You can camp at sites along the way, hang out at the golden beaches, ride the ocean swell, and grab a bite to eat in the vibrant towns along the way. It's a perfect road trip for those who have just finished at Summer Camp in America.
Hire a convertible, throw on some Beach Boys, and make sure to take your camera.
3. Capture the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights can be seen from many locations, but the further north you go, the brighter the lights will be. More formally known as the aurora borealis, these mysterious rays of light create an almost lava lamp-like spectacle in the sky. It’s the result of fast-moving, highly-charged electrical particles created by the sun. It's fair to say the Northern Lights will dazzle you, so make sure it's on your bucket list.
4. Inter-rail around Europe
An inter-rail pass is the ultimate way to tick off most European countries in one trip. It gives you the opportunity to visit historic cities and towns, dive deep into different European cultures, and discover some of the world's best landscapes, gateways and trails. Whether it's two weeks, one month or longer, it's the ultimate summer trip for the first-time gap year backpacker and definitely near the top of bucket list ideas.
5. Discover Petra, Jordan
Petra, or "The Rose City", was once a thriving trading city in the desert of Jordan. It was abandoned and left in ruins for centuries, and is now a world-famous archaeological site. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and one of the seven new wonders of the world .The entrance to Al Khazneh, carved into the red mountain rock, is 45 metres high, and dates back to around 300 BC. You might recognize it from the Indiana Jones film 'The Last Crusade'.
6. Visit the Taj Majal
No travel bucket list of ideas is complete without a trip to the Taj Mahal. Located in Agra, India, it was commissioned in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It’s now a world heritage site, and one of the most famed pieces of architecture in the world. It’s arguably the most easily recognizable symbol of India. Inspired by Indian, Persian, and Islamic influences, the mausoleum took over 20 years to build. Around 3 million people visit this spectacular landmark every day.
7. Explore Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom, located in Cambodia, was the last remaining city of the 12th century Khmer Empire. It represents one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring feats of architectural achievement. Most of the city has now disappeared, but these beautiful remains are definitely one for the bucket list.
8. Visit Lake Louise
Lake Louise is located in Banff National Park in Canada. The park itself is home to some of the best ski resorts, hiking trails, and lakes in the world - but none of them are quite as famous as Lake Louise. Often described as 'The Diamond in the Wilderness', it's surrounded by glaciers and waterfalls. Bring an extra battery for your camera - this is definitely one for your bucket list if you've just finished your summer with Camp Canada.
9. Catch a Sunset at the Grand Canyon
No travel bucket list is complete without The Grand Canyon This ruggedly beautiful formation of red rock stretches as far as the eye can see, in almost every direction. The canyon is more than just a pretty sunset spot - you can go hiking, camping, spot rare wildlife, and even catch a helicopter ride to the bottom for some casual white water rafting on the Colorado River. #BucketListGoals
10. Stand Before the Great Pyramids of Giza
Ancient Egypt is one of the most fascinating, often-studied cultures of all time. This ancient civilization left a gigantic footprint behind, in the form of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is the oldest and most intact of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World, and a symbol of the great Egyptian architecture. The pyramid took over 20 years to build, using techniques that scientists estimate took centuries to develop. To stand in its presence is awe-inspiring.
11. Hike the Great Inca Trail Picchu
The most popular tourist destination for travelers to Peru, this lost Incan city of Machu Picchu is a sight to behold. With its awe-inspiring location, it is the best-known and most spectacular archaeological site on the continent. Apart from a few indigenous Quenchuas, nobody knew of Machu Picchu's existence until American historian Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911.
12. Fall in Love in Paris
France's capital is one of the most historic and beautiful European cities. It’s famous for everything from the language, to the food, the art, and the culture. Everything about Paris will leave you wanting more. From its quirky cafes to its scenic landmarks, Paris will find a place in your heart.
13. Visit the Isle of Skye
A trip to the Isle of Skye will give you landscapes and views to rival anywhere in the world. From its pure sandy shores, to the picture-perfect waterfalls, it's an island full of hidden treasures. This Scottish destination is somewhat remote, but it’s well worth the effort to check off of your travel bucket list.
14. Get Lost in Venice
Stunning architecture. Mysterious passageways. And of course, the canals. Venice is one of the most alluring cities in the world- the type of place where, as a visitor, you'll welcome getting lost.f
15. Go on an African Safari
An African safari is surely high on the dream list of any wildlife enthusiast, intrepid traveller or adventure seeker. Safaris in Africa are unforgettable – and quite unlike any other experience.
16. Walk the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is one of the true wonders of the world. Good luck walking all of it in one go - it winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains, and rivers for around 13,170 miles. It's over 2000 years old, and a famed tourist spot for its architectural grandeur and historical significance.
If you're interested in exploring China in the summer, then find out more how you can with Adventure China.
17. Visit the National Khao Sok Park
This lowland jungle is Thailand's rainiest spot, and, at over 160 million years old, one of the world's oldest rainforests. Dramatic limestone formations and waterfalls cascade through juicy thickets drenched with rain and morning dew. Whether it's riding in the back of an open Tuk-Tuk, or racing across the waves in a longtail boat, a journey through the Thai islands always feels like a real adventure. Thailand’s beauty has no ends.
18. Walk Through Ashikaga Flower Park
This one will make you feel as if you’ve just been shot through space and landed on the surface of the planet Pandora in James Cameron's "Avatar". Bucket list ideas don't come much more unique than this.
19. Visit Rome
They say all roads lead to Rome, and it's easy to see why. It’s a city steeped in history and culture, that paved the way for many cultures of today. From the architecture of the ancient Colosseum, to Michaelangelo’s frescoes in nearby Vatican City, you are surrounded by history and beauty in Rome.
20. Visit Santorini
Santorini may well have conquered a corner of your imagination before you’ve even set eyes on it. The main island of Thira will take your breath away, with its snowdrift of white Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops. When the sun sets, the reflection on the buildings and the glow of the orange and red in the cliffs can be truly spectacular.
21. Sail Around Halong Bay
Recognized as a Natural Wonder of the World by UNESCO, Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful destinations in Vietnam for travelers who love discovering nature. One of the best ways to explore this wonder of the world is on a cruise trip through the rock islands, caves, and spectacular beaches.
22. Hike to the Wulingyuan Scenic Area
With its towering sandstone pillars, dizzying stone bridges, and mysterious caves, the Wulingyuan Scene Area is one of China's most aesthetic natural sites. Travel bucket list ideas don't get cooler than this!
23. Explore Bagan
Bagan (also known as Pagan) is an ancient city that was once the capital of the first Burmese Empire. Bagan serves as home to temples and buildings built from the 11th century to the 13th century. There are more than 2000 pagodas and temples that were built by ancient kings.
24. Stand on Preachers Rock, Norway
"The Pulpit Rock" is a square formation of rock resembling a pulpit, standing 604 meters above the Lysefjord. The hike takes about two hours, and when you face the view on the top, you will immediately see why this remarkable rocky plateau receives well over 200,000 visitors every year.
25. Iguazu Falls, Argentina
The exquisite Iguaza Falls are also known as the Iguassu Falls or Iguacu Falls. The magnificent spectacle of these 275 individual drops has served as a natural source of inspiration for tourists, locals, and indigenous inhabitants for centuries. Although the last on our list of bucket list ideas, it's certainly not least.