If there is one dream that unites us all, it’s the desire to see the world – and to see it in a way that our perspectives are forever changed. This is not just a trip, but a life-altering experience. We call it the ‘bucket list holiday’.
It goes without saying that this trip of a lifetime requires some planning. To help, we’ve created a guide to six bucket list destinations to assist you on your way.
A dream destination for honeymooners and adventurers alike, the Maldives boasts year-round heat, with sprawling white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. This is a top bucket list destination and experiences here are likely to be incomparable to anything you’ll come across elsewhere. Possible activities include anything from snorkelling with turtles to helping the natural ecosystem by planting coral on the seabed.
It’s by no means necessary to have any activities booked in, though – the views of this place are more than enough to keep you inspired. For a laid-back trip, unwind in one (or many) of the region’s luxury spas.
It’s the extreme biodiversity of Peru that attracts many a scientist and researcher each year. It goes without saying, then, that for the nature enthusiast, Peru has a lot to offer – and is probably already on your list of travel dreams. Other reasons to visit include the region’s many culinary delights, which draw upon African, European and East Asian influences, as well as many historical points of interest.
The famous 15th-century Incan citadel Machu Picchu sits in the Vilcabamba range of the Andes Mountains and guided hikes in the area vary from day-long to weeks depending on preference.
Always dreamt of catching a glimpse of the northern lights? You can even view the elusive sight from one of the country’s many glass igloo resorts. For families, you can visit Santa’s hometown, interact with reindeer and soak up the festive atmosphere.
But, believe it or not, Finland’s beauty is not just reserved for the winter months. When the snow begins to melt away in May, the country’s vast forests and lush foliage are revealed. Once hailed ‘the land of a thousand lakes’, water sports are popular here – you may even spot a bear or two foraging in the greenery as you kayak the serene waters.
Perhaps one of the more underrated destinations on the list, France may seem less exotic (and a little closer to home for those of us in Europe), but it’s by no means lacking in the department of bucket list experiences.
Those of us who consider themselves romantics can lose themselves in the eyes of the Mona Lisa for hours by day, perhaps only stopping to sample a macaron or two at a quaint Parisian café by lunch time. As evening draws in, mosey on down to see the Eiffel Tower light up in the night sky. If the hustle and bustle of the city isn’t your thing, there’s always the opportunity to explore the country’s southern regions – hire a car to do this, and feel the wind through your hair as you cruise each winding country road.
Ever thought you would get to have breakfast with a giraffe? We didn’t either. Giraffe Manor in Nairobi is the reason this destination made it onto our bucket list – but it is by no means the only reason to visit this stunning country. There are safaris aplenty here, and balloon rides available for booking should you want to view the wildlife from a higher perspective. Plan your trip for early September and you may just be in for a treat as you catch sight of wildebeest migrating across the Masai Mara.
Last but not least, you could consider stepping back in time to experience the marvellous wonder of Giza’s pyramids for your bucket list holiday. Standing tall at 66 feet, The Great Sphinx is just one of the sights not to be missed. Once you’ve had your fill of all the ancient gems of Egyptian history, the sights and smells of Cairo await explorers just half an hour’s drive away. Khan el-Khalili is a popular destination for treasure-seeking tourists, with vibrant market stalls rich with everything from local fashion to spices.
Six stunning destinations, each from a different corner of the globe, and each one a world to be discovered. Spread them over a lifetime, or pack a bag and start backpacking tomorrow – either way, these are sights you don’t want to miss.