Angkor Wat

Top 10 Bucket List Destinations

Julie RTW 8 Comments

There are so many life-changing places in the world to visit. Some are magical, some are ancient, and some are just downright gorgeous. All will have you wistfully dreaming about them before you arrive. After you visit them, they become a part of you, forming lifelong memories and altering the way you see the world.

Here is our list of the top 10 bucket list destinations that deserve to be on your list.

Italy

Italy is a country rich with history, art, and one of the world’s best cuisines. Throw in gorgeous vistas, epic hiking, wine, quaint villages, and coastal towns. From Florence to Venice to the Amalfi Coast to the Dolomites, there is something here for everyone.

Read more: Travel Inspiration: Italy Photos We Love

10 Bucket List Destinations

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is magical…a remote, crumbling city perched atop a mountain in the Andes, built by an ancient civilization. This is one of the few places we have visited that we would describe as mystical. Machu Picchu is accessible to everyone, whether you want to hike the four day Inca Trail or arrive by a scenic train ride.

Read more: Magical and Mystical Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

African Safari

An African Safari is an epic adventure and there are so many ways to do it. From luxury safaris in Kenya and Botswana, to budget self-drive safaris in South Africa and Namibia, to camping out in the wilderness in Tanzania, going to the zoo will never be the same again.

Read more: On Safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Botswana

The South Island of New Zealand

It is no secret that we are huge fans of New Zealand. If you are a fan of spectacular scenery, cruising the fiords, scenic car rides, wine tasting, paragliding, bungy jumping, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, and any other adventure sport you can imagine, the South Island of New Zealand will be your playground. Around every corner is another stunning view…this is truly an amazing place.

Read more: Becoming Adrenaline Junkies in Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, the cultural heart of Japan, offers an abundance of fabulous temples. Delve into a different world, as the Japanese are some of the friendliest, most interesting people we met while traveling. Kyoto is a great place to visit in the spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming and later in autumn, when the Japanese maples turn yellow, orange, and red. While you are here, dine on sushi, drink sake, and try to find the elusive geisha. This is a city full of surprises, cultural experiences, and delicious food.

Read more: Kyoto, Japan in Photos

Kyoto

Bagan, Myanmar

A land of thousands of temples…coming here is almost like stepping back into time. The landscape is dotted with thousands of Hindu and Buddhist temples, almost 1,000 years old. Explore them by bicycle, on foot, or get a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon. From the top of a temple, this is one of the best places in the world to watch the sunset.

Read more:  A Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan

The Himalayas

The world’s tallest mountains…what more can we say? The Himalayas can be visited from Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Tibet. They are accessible by foot, helicopter, yak, car, and airplane, making it possible for people of all ages to stand among these mountains. They are truly breathtaking, in more ways than one. We trekked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, one of our top travel experiences, ever.

Read more: Everest Base Camp Trek in 18 Amazing Photos

10 Bucket List Destinations

Siem Reap, Cambodia

If temples and ruins are your thing, this is the place to go. Most people think only of Angkor Wat when thinking about Siem Reap. Angkor Wat is just the beginning; like Bagan, the area around Siem Reap is home to hundreds of temples.

At Bayon, 216 giant carved smiling faces of Jayavarman VII stare down at you. At Ta Prohm, gigantic trees spread their roots over ancient, crumbling walls. Siem Reap is a great place for kids, as they can explore these temples, feeling like they are Indiana Jones. Plus, the town of Siem Reap has so much to offer in the way of great, cheap restaurants and bars…temple hopping in the morning and bar hopping in the evening. Siem Reap may be getting overcrowded and “over-touristy,” see it now before it changes too much.

Read more:  Temple Overload in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ta Prohm

Tasmania, Australia

Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, and Sydney are all great but Tasmania is phenomenal. Hobart, the largest city on Tasmania, is a harbor town offering great food and accommodations. With a car, you can explore Bruny Island and slurp down some of the world’s best oysters. Drive the other direction and you will find great hiking trails, abandoned penitentiaries (one that is supposedly haunted), and wildlife galore. This is the last habitat for the endangered Tasmanian Devil, so visiting a sanctuary is a must do. Tasmania may be a small island, but there is plenty to do here to fill two to three weeks of your time.

Read more: Wild and Wet Tasmania

Bruny Island

The Great American Road Trip

Here’s one still on our bucket list…but hopefully not for long. There is so much to see across the contiguous 48 states and what better way to explore this country than by car. Traveling from coast to coast, visiting the highlights of the United States along the way, what a cool adventure.

Santa Monica

So, what’s on your bucket list? Do you think we missed something? We’d love to know what you think!

Next: 12 Great Travel Books to Feed Your Wanderlust

Top 10 Bucket List Destinations

 

Comments 8

  1. We are two retired couples with a trip planned to Costa Rica next February. Have you been there (west coast), and if so, any suggestions? Zip line already on our bucket list.
    Love your blog and photos, especially Cinque Terra, where we spent time in Monteroso al Mare a few years ago. Thanks, and safe travels.

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      Author

      Hello Marcey. No, we have not been to Costa Rica yet (sorry!). I have heard that zip lining in Costa Rica is amazing. Have a great time and let us know how it goes! – Julie

  2. We got some valuable information from your travel experience to Norway as we are heading there in a few weeks. We are amazed how both your kids are following you on these challenging terrains.

    We strongly recommend the American Road Trip. We did one part last year on the west from Los Angeles to Bozeman, it was truly amazing. The highlight was definitely Yellowstone ! Such a variety of wildlife and nature.

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      Hello Pierre and Ruixie. You are so right!! We would love to do the great American road trip. We strongly considered it this summer but Scotland and Ireland won. I would love to drive across the US as a family. Tim and I did some of the western highlights on our own before kids, but I’d love to go to Zion, Monument Valley, and through that area. Yellowstone is incredible! Did you get to Glacier National Park? That one is absolutely beautiful. If you haven’t been there yet, look into it. And if you have enough time, you can cross the border into Canada and visit Banff and Jasper National Parks. Cheers! – Julie

      1. After a lifetime of travel, I must admit Zion is my favorite spot in the world. Awesome scenery, best hikes (Angel’s Landing and the Narrows are the best but there are many more!) If you get the chance, hopscotch across southern Utah, Zion to Bryce to Capital Reef to Goblin Valley to Arches and Canyonlands. They are each different, each incredible! Thanks so much for your site. I love sharing your adventures

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          Thank you, Stephen. I know, we have to get to Zion. What is taking us so long?!! :) It looks amazing!! We are just trying to get our timing right between visiting during the right season and not missing school (for Tyler and Kara). Hopefully we will get there someday soon! Cheers, Julie

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      Author

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