Trips of a Lifetime: 10 Most Epic Bucket List Destinations to Visit


Planning your next travel adventure? If you are like most people, deciding where to go next could be the biggest challenge. Your list of best places to visit keeps growing every day, but there’s only so many trips you can take in one lifetime.

To make sure you do not miss out on the most important ones, we have curated a list of the most incredible trips of a lifetime. These are some of the best places in the world that you have to visit at least once. They are extraordinary destinations that top all others.

Though the definition of a life-changing trip may differ from person to person, all these places have one thing in common. In one way or another, they will blow your mind. They also happen to offer a delicate blend of experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you are a nature lover, a history or culture buff or an adventurous traveler, there is something for everyone.

Without much further ado, here is the ultimate vacation bucket list of once in a lifetime destinations that you have to visit.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia


Visit the world’s largest coral reef in Australia for a breathtaking underwater adventure. This UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of more than 100 islands across the vast reef. Get to see some of the most colorful corals in the world. The diversity of marine life here is astounding – there are more than 1,500 fish species with over 150 species of sharks. Snorkeling or scuba diving here offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet them up close.

If underwater exploration is not your thing, get a bird’s eye view of this natural wonder by taking a helicopter tour. Culture lovers will relish the opportunity to interact with the local Aboriginal community.

(Due to climate change, the Great Barrier Reef is at risk; plan your trip to this bucket list destination before it is too late.)

Machu Picchu, Peru


For the perfect blend of spectacular scenery and historical significance, you must visit the Machu Picchu. Popularly described as the Lost City of the Incas, this archaeological wonder dates back to the 15th century. For nearly four centuries however, it remained uninhabited and forgotten. An American historian rediscovered it in 1911. Since then, it has been the subject of much speculation.

It sits at the top of a hill, offering a stunning view of surrounding mountainous terrain. Due to the high-altitude location, there is almost always a mysterious mist enveloping the lost city. Apart from the visual feast, you will enjoy an immersive experience in the local Peruvian culture and its delicious food. The best part about this bucket list destination is that there is no off-peak season.

The Maldives


This tropical paradise on the Indian Ocean often takes top spot on the list of the world’s most beautiful islands. You have to see it for yourself to understand why. Consisting of nearly 1,200 islands, this archipelago is the stuff of fantasy.

From the vibrant coral reefs and turquoise lagoons, to the pristine white sandy beaches – everything is spectacular. The beaches are secluded, making it ideal for a honeymoon. If your idea of a dream vacation is luxury and tranquility, this should top your vacation bucket list.

To get a front row seat to this natural wonder, spend a night or two in the iconic overwater bungalows. Enjoy the privilege of watching fish swim underneath from the comfort of your couch. Step out into crystal clear waters every morning and explore the diversity of marine life on a snorkeling tour.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia


Your once in a lifetime vacation list is not complete without a trip to the island of Bora Bora. Located in the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, it is renowned for its idyllic setting and vibrant culture.

As proof of its volcanic history, the island has a dramatic hill known as Mount Otemanu right at the center. All around it, tiny coral islands of white sand (motus) dot the lagoon. They stand in stark contrast to the ocean’s vibrant colors. (The waters surrounding the island have 50 varying shades of blue).

On these small islands sit beautiful overwater bungalows providing a remarkable view of the scenic paradise. You will likely not have much company on this unspoiled, isolated island. While you are here, learn about the rich culture of its people. (By the way, they invented the tattoo). Spice up your vacation with the abundant water sports available here.

African Safari Destinations


If you love up close and personal encounters with wildlife, this is one of the most epic trips of a lifetime. In an African Safari, you get to meet the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard) in their natural habitats.

In addition to the wildlife, you will get to see diverse landscapes, from lush jungles to vast savanna grasslands. There are majestic mountain ranges like the Ruwenzori, swamps and deltas teeming with life.

Watch the Great Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti plateau and enjoy birdwatching by the Nile River. It might well be one of the most incredible trips of your lifetime.

Some of the best places to visit on an African safari include:

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
  • Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
  • Kruger National Park and Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
  • Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Amazon Rainforest, South America

For all the nature enthusiasts who also love adventure, this bucket list destination offers the ultimate blend of the two. In this incredibly biodiverse ecosystem, unspoiled rainforests are home to one of the world’s widest array of wildlife species.

Besides the stunning variety of birdlife, you might meet the Amazon’s biggest cat, the jaguar. It is one of few places on the planet with pink, freshwater dolphins and is also home to tapirs, ocelots and howler monkeys.

The region accounts for more than 50% of the planet’s remaining forest cover. In addition to the adventures, the food and the culture of its fascinating people are also worth exploring. It also happens to be one of the world’s best places to watch the sunset.

The Northern Lights, the Auroral Zone


Few things hold as much mystery as the Aurora Borealis. Seeing the Northern Lights is an awe-inspiring experience that deserves a spot on your list of once in a lifetime trips. This natural phenomenon is visible in a wide spectrum of colors. It is highly elusive and close to impossible to predict, and it puts on a different show every single time.

Hunting for this mystical light show in the far North is in itself an adventure. It will likely take you far from civilization into vast, unspoiled Arctic wilderness. Just like the Aurora, the weather here is unpredictable.

There is plenty here for the cultural traveler to learn from the natives. And for the photography enthusiast, the visual feast is incomparable.

Antarctica on a Cruise Ship


If you would love to see some of the world’s most fascinating sea creatures up close, you must visit Antarctica. As one of the world’s most remote destinations, it is home to vast colonies of Gentoo, chinstrap, Adelie and emperor penguins, as well as seals and whales. You are also likely to spot the wandering Albatross, petrels, fulmars and shearwaters among other unique bird species.

A cruise will take you through the formidable Drake Passage, past Deception Island and through the Lemaire channel into Paradise Bay and beyond. It is an entirely new world consisting entirely of ice, rock and black seas. The icebergs are incredibly huge, the skies impossibly blue and the jagged, snowy mountain peaks will take your breath away.

As expected, the weather in the southernmost continent is extreme, a new experience for most travelers. This remote region is vastly empty, ideal for anyone who cannot stand crowds. It is also perfect if you are eager to connect with nature on a deeper level.

Santorini, Greece


This Greek island is famed for its white-washed buildings with blue domes. These stand in sharp contrast to clear blue skies and sparkling turquoise water. Due to its volcanic origins, the pavements lining the streets are exceptionally steep. The entire city appears like it is just about to tumble into the sea.

One of the reasons it makes our list of lifetime trips is the intriguing architecture. Terraced homes sit on the winding streets at precarious angles. An earthquake in 1965 left a ghost town in Mesa Gonia, currently home to a thriving population of wild cats.

Santorini is one of the most popular romantic getaways worldwide. It has scenic beaches, perfect for unforgettable photoshoots. The island also makes our list of the best sunset views in the world. The sun dips into the horizon against a backdrop of shimmering, golden waters.

During the day, you can enjoy island hopping and a variety of watersports. Take a wine-tasting tour around the vineyards and indulge your love for seafood in tavern eateries.

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt


The Great Pyramids of Giza deserve a special mention – they are the sole relic of the seven wonders of the ancient world. For history lovers, this is the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime destination. It offers a peek into one of the most vibrant civilizations of all time.

Some of the most famous pyramids here are the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Menkaure and Pyramid of Khafre. In addition to the pyramids, Giza is also home to intriguing tombs and remarkable structures, such as the Sphinx.

While you are here, be sure to visit archaeological sites like the Solar Boat Museum. Quench your thirst for the ancient world power’s history with a tour of Grand Egyptian Museum and the Pharaonic Village.

trips of a lifetime: The Epitome of Travel Experiences

There are many compelling reasons to plan these trips of a lifetime now. Just going through the options and making your pick will ignite the adventurer in you. It could be the motivation you need to get out of your comfort zone and try out a new destination. Some of these attractions may not be there in the next decade. Some will be there but the winds of change could have taken a toll on them. Whatever your reasons, visiting these unique destinations will be a life-changing experience.

If your idea of a dream vacation involves uncovering urban destinations, here is our guide to the best bucket list cities in the world.

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