Is there a better feeling than realising you’re standing in the middle of a bucket-list moment? When you look at most people’s general bucket lists, travel features highly. Now, if there’s anything we know it’s travel so we've put together 15 bucket list ideas. If you’re in the mood for some wanderlust, we’ve got it in spades.
*While travel restrictions are constantly changing, it’s hard to know what the next few months will look like. We recommend following the guidelines from the Australian Government and also reading our guide ‘How to Travel Safely During Coronavirus’.
1. Pizza in Naples
If you haven’t eaten pizza in Napoli, you haven’t eaten pizza. There aren’t sufficient words to describe how unbelievably tasty the pizza is in its birthplace. The tomato sauce is otherworldly, and the cheese is oh-so-stretchy. It’s simple, soggy perfection.
Bonus - Take a quick day trip to Pompei and have your mind absolutely blown – no pun intended. - I don’t really understand what this refers to Babs, but it could be just me!
2. Christmas in New York
You’re not guaranteed a white Christmas in New York – in fact, unfortunately, it’s pretty unlikely. But if you want to experience a holiday like no other, the Big Apple at Christmas time is the place to do it.
The luxury store windows, the lights in Central Park, the crazy cab drivers… It’s like walking through a romantic comedy, which is why it’s a bucket-list holiday item for so many couples.
Bonus - You can go ice skating at a bunch of different places in the city!
3. Christmas in Cusco
Alternatively, while we’re on the subject of Christmas, the ancient Peruvian city of Cusco is also an incredible place to spend it.
People travel from all over the local region to be blessed by the priest on Christmas morning. Families line the town square’s pavements and camp out for their blessings while the traditional markets are in full swing.
Bonus - If nativity scenes are your thing, pick yourself up a handmade Peruvian inspired one here. They are beautiful.
4. Watch the sunrise over Inti Punku
While you’re in Cusco, take a moment to swing by Machu Picchu. Watching the sunrise over Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) is one of the most spiritually beautiful natural experiences ever. And knowing you’re walking the same trail as the ancient Incas did thousands of years before is next level.
Bonus - Instead of jumping the train out of Aguas Calientes the same afternoon you leave Machu Picchu, book a hotel, enjoy the local markets and soak in some hot springs. The town plays host to thousands of tourists every day, but most leave on the 4pm train.
5. Cruise past Antarctica
There’s a reason most people travel through Antarctica in their later years – it’s just too expensive for backpackers! But if watching a pod of whales swim past you as you hang out with penguins, in one of the most remote places in the world, is your idea of fun, pop this one on the list.
Bonus - Very few people get to travel there, so if bragging rights are what you’re after, this is the ticket.
6. Attend a smoking ceremony here ‘at home’
If you want to see something extraordinary, find your way to a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony.
This ritual symbolises the strong connection Aboriginal people have had to the earth for over 60,000 years. And burning local plants with its accompanying dance and music is an incredible way to experience something that’s been around for longer than… well, mostly anything.
There are so many adventure holidays to be had in Australia, but this is an excellent opportunity to slow down, here Down Under.
Bonus - Head to the Tiwi Islands on a day tour out of Darwin for an immersive experience. It’s one of the most remote holiday destinations in Australia.
7. Party in New Orleans
On the other hand, a trip to New Orleans during carnival season is a must-see for any party person. The food, the music, the drinks... What’s not to love?
Bonus - Beignets. That is all.
8. Swim with dolphins...or pigs
Swimming with dolphins is all sorts of magical, and you can do it all over the world. But what about swimming with pigs?!
There’s an uninhabited island in the Bahamas (beach holiday destination extraordinaire) that’s home to a bunch of feral pigs, who are now insta-famous, and no one’s quite sure how they got there.
Best of all, if you’re lucky enough to hitch a ride to ‘Pig Beach’, you can jump in the water as they swim out to meet the boats. We know, right!?
Bonus - You need more? PIGS!
9. Wander through Marrakech square
You know those places you go in the world that are so full of people and activity, it changes your worldview? Marrakech Square is one of them. Eat the street food, get your cards read or watch the snake charmers. It’s must-see travel at its finest.
Bonus - Pack some small cosmetic items in your pockets. Moroccan women love to swap their (amazing) products for Western ones. Mascara is a HUGE hit!
10. Ride a gondola over mountain tops
Looking down over snow-covered mountains from the warmth of a gondola gives you one of the most incredible views in the world. Even if heights aren’t your thing, this is another must-see travel experience.
Bonus - For those with strong stomachs, the Titlis Rotair in Switzerland rotates as it travels.
11. Stand in front of Guernica
For art lovers, seeing Picasso’s Guernica in Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía is nothing short of a religious experience. But even for the cultural philistines among us, this giant artwork is gasp-worthy.
Bonus - Museo Reina Sofía also houses many works by Salvadore Dali.
12. Wander through the gardens of Alhambra
This palace and fortress complex in Granada, Spain has one of the most spectacular gardens you’ll ever see. It’s one of those places that makes time stand still – living history at its best.
Bonus - If you make it to Alhambra, you're in tapas heartland. Enjoy.
13. Attend a Holi festival
The Hindu festival that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring is a literal colour explosion. So if throwing colourful powder all over your friends sounds like fun to you, pop this on your list.
India is the most obvious place to get your Holi on, but there are Holi celebrations all over the world.
Bonus - Malpua, a traditional Indian sweet, is a celebration of its own. Holi is the perfect time to enjoy it.
14. See the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are on many a travel bucket list. And although you’re never guaranteed to see them, if you head up to Alaska, Canada, Sweden or Lapland at certain times of the year, there’s a very good chance you’ll get lucky.
Bonus - There’s also such a thing as a reindeer safari. Look it up – it’s all sorts of amazing.
15. See the cherry blossoms in Japan
Every year between January and May, Japanese cities turn pink as the cherry blossoms (sakura) bloom. Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties are common, celebrating vitality, renewal and beauty.
Bonus - In the Lake Kawaguchiko area, you can see cherry blossoms with a backdrop of Mt. Fuji.
Travel is about experiences, not destinations
Although we’re all about getting people to their bucket-list destinations, we also believe experiences are what really matter. So in this uncertain time of international travel, if you focus on the ‘why’ more than the ‘where’, you’ll still get to cross a bunch of bucket list items off.