We all know what a bucket list is, or at least where the term came from. It’s a list of things to you want to do before you kick the bucket (die). Seems a little grim, doesn’t it? I like to think of a bucket list as more of a list of things you should do to make you feel more alive.
Bucket lists aren’t just about ticking things off a list. Coming up with great bucket list ideas brings out the creative side of you. Putting them into action pushes you out of your comfort zone and often brings out the daredevil in you. And ticking something off your list which you weren’t sure you could do gives you a sense of accomplishment.
I’ve put together a list of 50 incredible bucket list ideas to help you get started in creating your epic travel bucket list. If you want to delve deeper into creating your ultimate dream bucket list, sign up below to receive your free bucket list guide!
Table of Contents
- 1. See the penguins in Antarctica
- 2. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
- 3. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
- 4. See a show in the West End, London
- 5. Skydive over the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai
- 6. Try solo travel
- 7. See the Big 5 on safari in Africa
- 8. See the Northern Lights
- 9. Float in the Dead Sea, Jordan
- 10. Experience the thrill of dune bashing in the Arabian desert
- 11. Walk the Camino in Spain
- 12. Take a road trip on Route 66 in the US
- 13. Swing off Victoria Falls
- 14. Sleep in a treehouse in Thailand
- 15. See Rainbow Mountain in Peru
- 16. Relax on the white sandy beaches of the Philippines
- 17. Hike the Araroa Trail in New Zealand
- 18. Ring in the new year at Sydney Harbour Bridge
- 19. Walk underwater off the coast of Hoi An, Vietnam
- 20. Step onto the Giant’s Causway in Northern Ireland
- 21. Visit Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
- 22. Cave dive in Angelita Cenote, Mexico
- 23. Hike Maccu Picchu
- 24. Cruise through Alaska
- 25. Witness a hot air balloon sunrise in Cappadicoa, Turkey
- 26. Stay in an ice hotel in Sweden
- 27. Stay in a water villa in the Maldives
- 28. Have breakfast with the giraffes at Giraffe Manor
- 29. Walk the edge of the CN Tower in Toronto
- 30. Swim in Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman
- 31. Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
- 32. Walk the cobble-stoned streets of Paris
- 33. See the Pink Dolphins off the coast of Hong Kong
- 34. Gamble in Las Vegas
- 35. Take a cruise on HaLong Bay
- 36. Island hopping in Thailand
- 37. Discover Angkor Wat, Cambodia
- 38. Capture the Taj Mahal at sunset
- 39. Walk the Great Wall of China
- 40. Eat all the gelato and pasta in Italy
- 41. Visit St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow
- 42. Ride the Kandy to Ella train in Sri Lanka
- 43. Ski in Georgia
- 44. Explore Fingal’s Cave in Scotland
- 45. Camp overnight in Wadi Rum, Jordan
- 46. Go on a yoga retreat in Bali
- 47. Visit Japan during Cherry Blossom season
- 48. See the giant tortoises on the Galapogas Islands
- 49, Wonder at the pyramids of Giza, Egypt
- 50. Discover the Amazon Rainforest
1. See the penguins in Antarctica
Antarctica is one of those places we all dream of seeing, but few ever make it. It’s an expensive dream, admittedly, and takes time to get there. But what an adventure it would be, witnessing the ‘penguin highway’.
2. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
The highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro stands at 5,895 metres (19,341 feet). Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’m not a trained climber! This is the beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro – practically anybody can climb it. In fact, it’s more of a hike than a climb and you just need to be in somewhat of a good physical shape to reach the summit.
3. Drive the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
The Wild Atlantic Way stretches the entire coastline of the west of Ireland from Co. Cork to Co. Donegal. This scenic driving route offers breathtaking scenery around each bend (of which there are a lot on Irish roads!). You’ll have to stop along the way to soak in the Irish culture by way of ancient castles (see some of Ireland’s best castles here), beaches and small villages.
4. See a show in the West End, London
London’s West End is home to some of the best musical theatre shows and plays you will ever see. The feeling of excitement as you take your seat in the theatre and listen to the orchestra warming up, the only feeling as exciting is if you’re behind the curtains waiting to go on stage!
5. Skydive over the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai
One of the most scenic skydiving spots in the world, Dubai offers a jump directly over the manmade island of The Palm Jumeirah, with panoramic views of the Dubai skyline. See more about skydiving in Dubai here.
6. Try solo travel
Something everyone should try at least once in their life is solo travel. It’s exhilarating, empowering and allows you to discover more about yourself. You get to pick and choose everything you want to do, and you can even change up your itinerary at the last minute if you choose. Check out the benefits of travelling alone here.
7. See the Big 5 on safari in Africa
Get up close and personal with these incredible wild animals in their natural habitat. An African safari is an adventure of a lifetime, whether you’re just chilling at the lodge watching the animals around the watering hole, or heading out in search of the lions.
Be sure not to visit any country that has legalised hunting. An example of this is Botswana who have just recently legalised the hunting of elephants.
8. See the Northern Lights
As far as bucket list ideas go, this is one of the ultimate ones to add to a travel bucket list. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is an exquisite lightshow which occurs when the Earth’s magnetic field interacts with the sun’s charged particles. It is mostly seen in the northernmost countries during winter months. Check out my quest for the Northern Lights in Finland here.
9. Float in the Dead Sea, Jordan
The Dead Sea is a salt lake which borders Israel and Jordan. There is so much salt in the lake that it is next to impossible not to float in it. Before testing this out, it is customary to cover yourself in the Dead Sea mud, let it dry, and then wash it off with the salt water. I guarantee you will come out with baby soft skin after doing this! Be sure to cover up any cuts you might have – salt on a wound = ouch!
10. Experience the thrill of dune bashing in the Arabian desert
If you visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi, dune bashing in the desert is a must do for any thrill seekers and adventure lovers. You will ride in 4x4s, which are fully padded inside, and speed up and over huge sand dunes. The drivers are incredibly experienced and manoeuvrer the cars in such a way that you don’t slide back down the dunes. Arriving at the top of a dune, the driver is likely to hit the brakes, leaving you with an almost horizontal view of the bottom of the dune, before swerving around and heading back down. No video can really express the thrill you get out of dune bashing (other than hearing people screeching in the background).
11. Walk the Camino in Spain
The Camino de Santiago is a 500 mile pilgrimage through four of Spain’s regions to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The full walk takes, on average, four to six weeks, however many opt to just walk a portion of the Camino, starting at various points and ending at the Cathedral of Santiago.
12. Take a road trip on Route 66 in the US
Known as the ‘Main Street of America’ Route 66 is a historical route running from Chicago to Los Angeles. Americans and those from abroad drive Route 66 to experience almost 4,000 kilometres of contemporary America.
13. Swing off Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world, a majestic waterfall on the Zambizi River which borders Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is said that the waterfall is drying up due to global warming so best to put this towards the top of your travel bucket list.
14. Sleep in a treehouse in Thailand
One for nature lovers, spend the days visiting national parks and spotting wildlife, and the nights high above the jungles of Thailand in a treehouse resort.
15. See Rainbow Mountain in Peru
Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicunca, was only discovered in 2015 after the snow covering the mountain melted and revealed a marble effect of turquoise, red, gold and purple.
16. Relax on the white sandy beaches of the Philippines
The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia which comprises of over 7,000 islands. It has some of the most pristine and crystal clear beaches in the world.
17. Hike the Araroa Trail in New Zealand
New Zealand’s longest hiking trail, the Araroa Trail runs 3000km between both of the islands. This is one for avid hikers to add to their travel bucket list.
18. Ring in the new year at Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney has one of the most spectacular New Years Eve pyrotechnic shows in the world. Once way to ensure a perfect view of Sydney Harbour Bridge is to book a harbour cruise for the night.
19. Walk underwater off the coast of Hoi An, Vietnam
Walk along the sea bed off the coast of Hoi An in Vietnam and feed the fish as you go along. Read about my underwater walking adventure here.
20. Step onto the Giant’s Causway in Northern Ireland
Stemming from the legend of Irish giant, Fionn mac Cumhaill and Scottish giant, Benandonner, it is said that Benandonner challenged Fionn to a duel, so Fionn built the Giant’s Causeway for the two giants to meet. The scientific explanation is that the Giant’s Causeway was formed as a result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.
21. Visit Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Located beside the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Gardens by the Bay is a 110 hectare urban park in Singapore loved by horticulturists and nature enthusiasts.
22. Cave dive in Angelita Cenote, Mexico
For experienced divers only, be amazed by the underwater river flowing through the Angelita Cenote.
23. Hike Maccu Picchu
Located high in the Andes, Machu Picchu is a 15th century stone city which sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year to hike the Inca Trail. Witness incredible views of the surrounding valleys and meet Machu Picchu’s oldest residents, the Alpacas who maintain the lawn!
24. Cruise through Alaska
Alaska is home to over 100,000 glaciers, most of them inaccessible. With the progression of global warming, cruising through the Alaskan glaciers is fast becoming a once in a lifetime experience.
25. Witness a hot air balloon sunrise in Cappadicoa, Turkey
Cappadocia is famous for its hot air balloons, but is less famous for the unique rock formations and landscape. Stay overnight at a cave house while in Cappedocia.
26. Stay in an ice hotel in Sweden
The Ice Hotel in northern Sweden is the first and largest hotel to be made out of snow and ice. Each spring, the snow and ice melt and the hotel is reincarnated every year.
27. Stay in a water villa in the Maldives
Pristine water that you can just jump into right out of bed, a water villa in the Maldives is on everyone’s travel bucket list. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one of the villas that has a slide into the water!
28. Have breakfast with the giraffes at Giraffe Manor
This once in a lifetime experience does not come cheap. At $900 per person sharing, per night, there’s a reason it’s once in a lifetime. However, if you stay at Giraffe manor, you will get up close and personal with the giraffe residents, share breakfast with them and watch them in their natural habitat.
29. Walk the edge of the CN Tower in Toronto
The CN tower is a 556 meter tower in downtown Toronto. Adrenaline junkies flock to The Edge at the top of the tower, where you can walk, hands free, around the outside on a ledge. After your walk, you have the chance to lay back out over the edge, held with a harness.
30. Swim in Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman
Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman is known as Hawiyat Najm in Arabic, which means ‘the deep well of the star’. It was originally believed that the sinkhole was formed by a meteorite but was later found to have been the due to the collapse of the limestone.
31. Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier reef is the world’s largest coral reef system with 900 islands and over 2000 reefs. Snorkeling is a fantastic way to explore the reef and the incredible marine life.
32. Walk the cobble-stoned streets of Paris
The romantic city of Paris has always been in my heart and I have visited many times. One of my favourite things to do is walk the cobble-stoned streets around Montmartre, sitting outside a Parisian cafe and watch people and the world go by.
33. See the Pink Dolphins off the coast of Hong Kong
Scientists have been investigating as to why the dolphins off the coast of Hong Kong are pink in colour but are still none the wiser. Take a cruise out of Hong Kong and witness these incredible creatures dancing through the water.
34. Gamble in Las Vegas
Almost a right of passage when visiting Vegas! I don’t suggest you gamble away your life savings, however risking a couple of dollars on the slot machines is definitely one for the bucket list (and winning money is an even better one!).
35. Take a cruise on HaLong Bay
One of Vietnam’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, HaLong Bay is famous for it’s towering rainforest islands and stunning emerald waters. Kayaking around the bay at sunset should be on your travel bucket list.
36. Island hopping in Thailand
Thailand has almost 1,500 islands to choose from when planning your Thailand island hopping itinerary.
37. Discover Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, and one of the world’s most popular tourist spots. Because of this, the best time of day to visit Angkor Wat is just after sunrise.
38. Capture the Taj Mahal at sunset
Made completely out of marble, the Taj Mahal is India’s most iconic structure. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the mausoleum in loving memory of his wife, who died during childbirth,
39. Walk the Great Wall of China
This magnificent ancient structure is one of the 12 wonders of the ancient world. At just below 30,000 kilometres, its unlikely you will walk the entire length of the wall (correct me if I’m wrong!) but there are different sections of the wall you can choose to walk.
40. Eat all the gelato and pasta in Italy
Of course, there are many beautiful and interesting sights in Italy, but for me Italy is about the food.
41. Visit St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow
St Basil’s Cathedral is a colourful magnificent building on the Red Square in Moscow. While the view of the Cathedral is stunning from the outside, it’s well a worth a look inside also.
42. Ride the Kandy to Ella train in Sri Lanka
This train journey is said to be one of the most scenic train journeys, not just in Sri Lanka, but in the world. With stunning views on each side of the train, you will wind through mountains and tea plantations and over bridges with huge drops below.
43. Ski in Georgia
What used to be a well kept secret, Georgia, which borders Europe and Asia, has seen increases in visitors coming to ski in the past few years.
44. Explore Fingal’s Cave in Scotland
Fingal’s Cave is one of the most popular sea caves, located on the island of Staffa in Scotland. You can visit the cave and the uninhabited island, capturing breathtaking coastal and mountain views on the journey to the cave.
45. Camp overnight in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum is a protect UNESCO World Heritage Site desert in south Jordan. Often called the ‘Valley of the Moon’, Wadi Rum has been used in many movies which are set on the moon. Camp out overnight under the stars and travel through the desert in open top 4x4s.
46. Go on a yoga retreat in Bali
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or just enjoy from time to time, experiencing yoga with mother nature in a Balinese jungle under the sunshine is one for the travel bucket list. Connect with nature and disconnect from everything else in your life.
47. Visit Japan during Cherry Blossom season
Japan’s cherry blossom season runs from March to April. During cherry blossom season parties, festivals and celebrations are held through Japan, welcoming the Spring.
48. See the giant tortoises on the Galapogas Islands
The giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands are the largest and oldest tortoises in the world. The tortoises spend their day grazing grass, napping and basking in the sun (sounds like me on the weekends!).
49, Wonder at the pyramids of Giza, Egypt
As one of the original seven wonders of the world, the Giza pyramids are the best preserved pyramids in Egypt. They are so big in stature that they can be seen from space.
50. Discover the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon rainforest, the largest in the world, takes up almost 40% of South America. Another one for you nature lovers, the Amazon rainforest is home to 40,000 species of plant, thousands of species of birds, four hundred different types of mammals and a whopping 2.5 million different insects!
Have you spotted any bucket list ideas you want to add to your travel bucket list? Have you already done any of these? Let me know in the comments below!