We all have one, whether it’s scribbled in a journal, plotted out on a map or kept as a lofty ambition to be dreamed out… a travel bucket list is essential.
However you keep note of your travel bucket list ideas, we believe that this is the year you should make it a reality, and rename it your ‘book-it list’. Whether you have always wished you could see wildlife in action, natural wonders, take a journey back in time or discover a new culture, the time is now to venture beyond the ordinary and see those travel gems to remember forever.
See some of our top picks that we think should be on any travel bucket list and be inspired to venture far and wide this year…
1. galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador is a travel bucket list must for any wildlife fan. Many of the creatures here cannot be seen anywhere else on the planet and the bio-diversity of these volcanic islands is simply mind-blowing. With few natural predators and minimal human interactions, the animals are playful and curious, while the landscape is like a land before time. See them with the guidance of an expert expedition team with a Silversea Expedition Cruise.
2. The Northern Lights, Iceland
Over the next decade, the Northern Lights in Iceland are predicted to start fading from view, meaning this natural spectacle should have a priority place on your list of bucket list ideas. The result of solar particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere, getting your head around the science is nothing compared to comprehending their beauty. You should also take the chance stop by the increasingly trendy Reykjavik to explore the culture of the world’s most northerly city.
3. Machu Picchu, Peru
Possibly the world’s most famous ancient city, nothing prepares you for the impact of magnificent Machu Piccu. Our Luxury Peru Adventure takes you on a journey of cultural and historic discoveries, from Lima to the Amazon and Sacred Valley, where you can explore the farms, gallop the landscape on horseback and learn the artisanal secrets of the local people. Every travel bucket list should include this Mayan marvel.
4. Great Migration, Tanzania
The Great Migration across Tanzania‘s Serengeti Desert is one of the most impressive wildlife spectacles you can witness. Over 1 million wildebeest and zebra charge their way to safer grounds as the season changes across the striking plains. There is also the stunning Ngorongoro Crater to explore, plus the tropical islands of Zanzibar, with pristine beaches and coral reefs waiting when you have done.
A journey to otherworldly Antarctica promises to reignite your love for exploring. The ultimate wilderness experience for your travel bucket list, see nature at its most extreme with staggering icebergs, inhabited by fascinating species of seal, penguin and whale. The best way to see this frozen wonderland is with a luxury cruise expedition, such as those offered by Polar Latitudes. Find out what our Senior Travel Consultant, Alison Lester, saw on her first journey on board.
6. Venice Carnival
The Venice Carnival is one of the most vibrant celebrations in Europe, taking place 40 days before Easter. The traditional masks and elaborate costumes are a sight to behold, and lively events take place across the city. There is also a fascinating history behind it, too, and a host of museums and galleries to feed your curiosity. Add this iconic carnival to your bucket list ideas for a pop of colour and culture.
India is a huge country with a whirlwind of temples, flavours and dazzling landscapes. Every bucket list traveller should make sure they see the iconic Taj Mahal, along with Delhi’s fascinating Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb. India is also home to 4 of the world’s 35 biodiversity hotspots, and wildlife-lovers should definitely visit Madhya Pradhesh to see a magnificent Bengal Tiger.
8. Victoria Falls, Zambia
Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular water displays in the world. Here, Zambia’s Zambezi River plummets 108-metres into the First Gorge, spraying a cloud of water that can be seen from over 50 kilometres away. Any trip to see Victoria Falls should be complemented by visits to Africa’s outstanding game reserves, so see our expertly tailored journey, combining it with South Africa and Botswana, for the ultimate bucket list ideas.
9. Eastern & Oriental Express
Everyone should experience the glamour and excitement of the Golden Age of travel on the Eastern & Oriental Express. On board this luxurious train, you can see Asia’s most magnificent landscapes in total comfort, with destinations including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and everything in between. After all, half the journey is getting there…
10. Uluru, Australia
One of the most striking natural wonders of planet Earth, Australia’s 348-metre-high ochre monolith began its formation some 550 million years ago, becoming a site of deep spiritual importance to the local Aboriginal people, the Anangu. Witness the stunning sunrises and sunsets that ignite the rock in tones of orange, and discover the ancient rock art of the people who lived here 5,000 years ago. Nothing says ‘bucket list’ quite like this.
Botswana is simply one of the best safari destinations in Africa. Landlocked by Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, its unique characteristics make it home to diverse eco-systems; from the dry Kalahari Desert to the watery Okavango Delta, you can spot elephants, hippos, leopards and much more. You can also see more than 3,500 ancient rock paintings at Tsodilo Hills, said to be a resting place for spirits. See our Luxury Botswana journey for more information and add Botswana to your travel bucket list now.
11. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat in Cambodia is a sprawling temple nestled in lush swathes of forest. While big in scale, the details are just as impressive in their intricacy, with reliefs and sculptures depicting epic stories of the gods. Dating back to the 12th century, there is plenty to learn about the history and stories behind this magnificent monument, making it a top travel bucket list idea.
13. Chichen Itza, Mexico
Located in Mexico’s Yucatan, the pre-Hispanic city of Chichen Itza stands as a testament to the strength of the Mayan Empire that once reigned over South America. The Temple of Kukulkan is the most recognised structure; comprising 365 steps – one for each day of the year – a serpentine shadow appears to weave its way down them as the sun sets, demonstrating the Mayans heavenly magic. Stay in a luxury hacienda in Yucatan to incorporate it into your travel bucket list plans in Mexico.