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Bucket List Travel Experiences

Many of us dream of the opportunity to tick off travel experiences that are on our wish list, here Lisa de Silva explores ideas to help create and refine the perfect trip of a lifetime

Do you have a travel wish list of extraordinary experiences you would love to tick off? Often referred to as Bucket List Trips, many travel experiences of a lifetime require an elusive combination of time, money, and energy. In the past, these sorts of trips were associated with retirement and while this remains an ideal time to indulge your travel dreams, many more of us are using sabbaticals and time between jobs to explore and experience more of the world.

Defining your ultimate travel experience

To get the most out of a trip of a lifetime, travellers need to consider what is important to them. More specifically:

-       Do you have a desire to walk the path less travelled with an off-grid trip to some of the planet’s farthest reaches?

-       Do you have a need for the adrenalin rush of an active adventure?

-       Do you want to immerse yourself in a totally alien culture?

-       Would you like to see some of the world’s most iconic sights?

-       Is exclusivity and luxury part of your dream trip?

-       Are you happy to travel independently or would you prefer travelling as part of a small group?

-       Does your ideal trip involve a particular mode of transport such as cruising, train travel or self-drive touring?

-       What mix of culture, adventure, and the natural world most appeals to you?

-       What type of weather and environment are you hoping to enjoy?

-       What is your budget for the trip?

-       How much time do you plan on being away?

-       Are you fit, healthy and confident your trip will not be compromised by health issues?


Your answers will help you to create a list of all the places, activities, and adventures you would love to experience. These are the ingredients for your very own Travel Bucket List, which you can then use to design your ultimate trip.

Experiment by combining the elements that are important to you. For example, you could plan a trip to South Africa which takes in a luxury train journey, a safari, some wine tasting, the sights, attractions and buzzing food scene in Cape Town, and even fly up to Victoria Falls to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Ideally, you’ll be able to design several trips to add to your Bucket List. Family and friends can also provide inspiration from their travel adventures, recommending ideas to add to your list, so it is a constant work in progress.


Bucket List inspiration

To help inspire you we’ve put together some basic ideas for travel experiences.


Luxury travel

If the mode of transport is important to you, think about small ship luxury expedition cruising; taking one of the world’s luxurious trains such as Europe’s Orient Express or South Africa’s Rovos Rail or hiring a convertible to explore the US West Coast. Or if barefoot luxury is more your style, try an over the water stilted bungalow in the Maldives, or an idyllic beach retreat in Thailand or the Caribbean. Alternatively, push the boat out with a stay at one of the world’s top hotels such as the seven-star Burj Al Arab, the Ritz Paris, Hotel Bel-Air Los Angeles, or the Gritti Palace Venice.

Wildlife encounters

Whether you want to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda, meet the orangutans of Borneo, experience the thundering thrill of the Serengeti Great Migration, spot wild tigers in India, see polar bears in their natural habitat or swim with the epic marine life of the Galapagos Islands, the world offers endless scope for wildlife experiences.

Natural wonders

Everyone has their favourite type of landscape. Some of ours include the exquisite cherry blossom and bamboo forests of Japan, the haunting silent beauty of Antarctica, the dancing Northern Lights of Scandinavia, the epic majesty of the Grand Canyon, the hypnotic stargazing of the Atacama Desert and the gushing falls of Iguazu.

Adventure activities

Snorkelling and diving the Great Barrier Reef, hiking the national parks of Patagonia, heliskiing British Columbia, trekking through the jaw-dropping scenery of Nepal, or mountain biking in the Andes, the world is one big playground for those looking for thrills and adventure.

Culture & History

There is no shortage of options when it comes to cultural and historical attractions. Consider exploring the Egyptian Pyramids, the extraordinary Machu Picchu, Northern India and the Taj Mahal, watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat, experiencing the red rock majesty of Petra, attending a tea ceremony in Japan and soaking up the Old Havana vibe.

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