When the world of travel came to a grinding halt a few months ago, it really made me stop and reflect on the places I’ve been and those bucket list destinations I am still yet to visit.
I’m the kind of person who wants to experience every country at some stage in my lifetime. And I usually plan my travels around a destination that is affordable or offering a good deal at the time that I book.
The thought of not being able to travel at all for the foreseeable future has made me change my mindset.
Now I plan to prioritise those epic bucket list trips I have been REALLY wanting to do for a long time!
If you too have been itching to get on a plane and tick off some of those once in a lifetime experiences, here are my recommendations for the top 10 places to visit before you die. Something to look forward to in the future!
These are our favourite Bucket List travel destinations that we have had the privilege of visiting to date!
Bucket List Trip #1: Australia
I live in Australia. And I love my home country. So, I couldn’t write a post about bucket list destinations without having my own home country at the top, right?
The one thing I have noticed when I travel overseas is that there are so many more people at major tourist sites in other countries than there is at the tourist sites in Australia. Perhaps it’s because we are so far away from everywhere, flights are expensive, and it takes at least 10 to 24 hours to get to Australia from everywhere (except New Zealand). Perhaps this deters every man and his dog from visiting on a whim and is the reason why Australia is one of the TOP bucket list places to visit before you die!
You’ll should allow at least 4 weeks, but ideally 2 months, when planning your Australia bucket list trip!
Another thing that a lot of people don’t realise about Australia, is just how big it really is. It takes 5 hours to fly from one side of the country to the other and there are so many places to see in Australia! It’s not exactly one of those bucket list trips that can be ‘ticked off’ in just two weeks.
I highly recommend a minimum to 4 weeks to see the popular spots like Uluru, The Great Ocean Road, Sydney, The Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation & the Daintree Rainforest, Kangaroo Island, The Gold Coast, Melbourne, Byron Bay, and Perth – to name a few.
And that doesn’t even begin to cover the thousands of undiscovered places that most international visitors don’t see. Like the Blue Mountains, Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Katherine, Port Douglas, Brisbane, Noosa Heads, Canberra, The Top End, and Tasmania – the list goes on!
Want to see why Australia is the best country in the world? Check out these 50+ famous Australian landmarks.
Bucket List Trip #2: Jordan
Jordan was the last country I visited before we all went into lockdown. So, I’m sort of still living vicariously through my own memories of this epic bucket list destination.
I honestly haven’t previously experienced a country as impressive as Jordan. The people were lovely, the ancient ruins and rugged landscapes were a sight to behold, the accommodations were opulent, and the food was amazing! What more could you want?
Some of my highlights from Jordan include:
Amman Citadel – Ancient Roman ruins with absolutely stunning views over Amman city.
Luxury Glamping in Wadi Rum – We stayed in the original Martian tents at SunCity Camp and had sundowners overlooking the desert.
Canyoning the Siq Trail – Located near the Dead Sea resort area, this is a really fun adventure wading through the river and waterfalls in Wadi Mujib.
Snorkeling in the Red Sea – You’ll see some amazing World War II shipwrecks, tankers and submarines at the bottom of the sea.
Did you notice that Petra wasn’t on my list of highlights in Jordan? Petra is the reason that most people consider Jordan to be one of the top bucket list destinations, and it was the number 1 reason we booked our trip to Jordan. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Petra and am so glad I got to see it, but the sheer number of tourists is a little overwhelming, as is the animal cruelty that goes on there.
There are so many reasons why you should put Jordan on your bucket list!
Curious to know about visiting Jordan? Here’s more Jordan inspiration for you.
Bucket List Trip #3: Iceland
When people ask me what’s my favourite destination, I struggle to answer because there are so many (most of which a listed here). But Iceland is always up there. It’s one of those bucket list destinations that I could go back to again and again. There are so many things to see and do!
Have you been wanting to plan a visit to Iceland?
I’m already planning my next trip to Iceland! Last time we visited Iceland in winter and we only saw the Golden Circle and South Coast. Check out our 7-day Iceland road trip itinerary for some inspiration.
Next time we want to visit in summer, and we plan to spend two weeks doing a trip around the full Ring Road (the road the circles the entire island), plus visit the more remote West Fjords region. I still have so many things I want to tick off my Iceland bucket list!
Expert Tip: The best way to see Iceland is by doing a road trip! Most of the roads are well maintained and surprisingly easy to drive on during the winter.
Want more Iceland travel inspiration? Here are some great Iceland reads.
Bucket List Trip #4: Japan
Japan holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve already visited twice, and I know it’s a place I will go back to time and time again. I want to explore the entire country, especially the remote regions where no one speaks any English.
I learnt Japanese in high school and although I don’t remember much (it was a long time ago), just enough to get by, the Japanese people were very polite and helpful while attempting to communicate with me in Japenglish.
I love how organised everything is in Japan. The public transport is fast, efficient and very simple to navigate, making travelling around the country a breeze. You can read all our first time traveler tips and tricks on how to get by very easily. And you don’t want to get me started on how good the food is…
Japan is an incredible destination with beautiful people and should be on everyone’s bucket list places to visit after quarantine!
My favourite places in Japan were Kyoto, Mount Fuji and Hakone. Not many people have heard of Hakone. Its only 2 hours train ride south of Tokyo and it’s a stunning mountainside onsen town built around an active volcano with great hiking and stunning views.
Curious to know more about Japan? These Japan articles will help you plan your next trip.
Bucket List Trip #5: Morocco
I visited Morocco with a bunch of ladies on a Travel Girls Getaway trip back in 2019. Morocco had always been a bucket list destination for me, but I wasn’t really sure where to start with planning a trip there or how to get around the country. I typically avoid group trips, but Morocco has so much history to learn that I highly recommend having a tour guide.
Morocco is a relatively affordable destination so it’s easier to splash out a little and plan an affordable luxury adventure! Some of my favourite experiences in Morocco were:
- Exploring the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen.
- Staying in completely decked out luxury glamping tents in the Sahara Desert.
- Floating over the Atlas Mountains in a hot air balloon at sunrise.
- Dining at some of the most amazing restaurants in Marrakech.
- Exploring the Yves Saint Laurent Museum and Marjorelle Gardens.
- Staying in a stunning Moroccan Riad in Marrakech.
I honestly could have spent another few weeks exploring Morocco. But the good news is, I didn’t take my husband with me last trip, so we’ll have to return together someday!
Morocco is one of the more affordable bucket list places to visit!
Start planning your trip with these great Morocco reads.
Bucket List Trip #6: Bali
I cannot even begin to describe how much I love visiting Bali – it feels like a second home for me (and many Aussies alike). My husband and I have talked at length about moving there, but our business is keeping us in Australia right now.
Bali is so much more than a once in a lifetime bucket list trip for me!
There is so much to discover in Bali. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve been and I’m still yet to explore the other islands of the coast of Bali. We have spent so much time exploring the island that I know all the best places to visit in Bali.
After all this exploring, I decided to piece together the perfect 2 week Bali itinerary which covers all my favourite spots – Uluwatu, Canggu, Ubud, Candidasa and North Bali.
Feeling inspired to visit Bali? We have a ton of Bali articles to help you plan your trip.
Bucket List Trip #7: Peru
Hiking to Machu Picchu was one of my biggest bucket list trips I always dreamt of doing. And it didn’t fail to impress.
But what surprised me the most, was just how much more, aside from Machu Picchu, that Peru had to offer.
You can visit the Amazon, fly over the Nazca Lines, hike Colca Canyon, take a train ride to Lake Titicaca, or visit Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain! And the food scene in the capital city, Lima was absolutely to die for!
Expert Tip: Most visitors start their journey to Machu Picchu in Cusco, and then head to Machu Picchu before finishing off in the Sacred Valley. Cusco is actually the highest in elevation, while the Sacred Valley is the lowest of the three. By doing it this way you are more prone to altitude sickness due to ascending too quickly. I highly recommend flying into Cusco but spending the first night in the Sacred Valley to acclimatize before catching the train to Machu Picchu (or doing the hike). Finish off your trip in Cusco before flying out.
Peru was one of those destinations that completely surprised me!
Feeling inspired to plan your own Travel Bucket List? This Ultimate World Travel Bucket List might come in handy!
Bucket List Trip #8: The Maldives
I only have one word to describe The Maldives – PARADISE! This bucket list destination was the closest I’ve ever come to heaven.
My husband and I were supposed to have our honeymoon in The Maldives five years ago. But we ended up spending way too much money on our wedding, so we put it off and went to Bali instead (much more affordable). By the time we eventually visited The Maldives, we kept calling it our second honeymoon.
We actually loved The Maldives so much, we were supposed to go back in March 2020, but a tiny little micro-organism had other ideas!
There are over 1000 islands and atolls that make up The Maldives. Most islands only have one resort and the neighboring islands are a long way away. So, you are generally stuck at the same resort for most of the time, but don’t let this deter you. Most resorts offer an array of activities to keep you well and truly busy for an entire week.
You can read all about our first experience in The Maldives and what to expect before you visit.
Honeymoon or not, The Maldives is still one of the BEST bucket list places to visit before you die!
Ready to book a trip to the Maldives? Here some more Maldives inspiration.
Bucket List Trip #9: Hawaii
I actually wasn’t all that fazed about visiting Hawaii in the beginning. That was until I took a trip to Oahu with my family two years ago. Now I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the Hawaiian Islands!
There’s so much more to Hawaii than Waikiki Beach!
For some reason I thought that Hawaii would be completely overrated – I seemed to associate it with over-priced all-inclusive resorts, too many tourists crowded around pools sipping Mai Tai’s and a generation of YouTubers and Instagram stars chasing bucket list glory trips.
I take it all back. I loved Hawaii and the laid-back lifestyle.
We decided to rent an Airbnb on the North Shore to get away from the craziness of Waikiki. We spent most of the week seeking out the best places to eat on the North Shore. I felt that I actually got to experience more of the real Hawaii, rather than the parts that are completely hyped up for the benefit of those on an annual all-inclusive family beach vacation. I cannot wait to return someday!
Feeling inspired to visit Hawaii? Check out more Hawaii articles.
Bucket List Trip #10: Italy
A big reason why I travel is for the food. The second reason why I travel is for the scenery. The third is the vibe. Italy is one of those bucket list destinations that ticks all three of these boxes.
Here are some of the reasons you might want to visit Italy:
- Rome – for the ancient ruins and the food
- Cinque Terre – for the hiking and scenery
- Positano – for the ultimate seaside vibes
- Venice – for the romance, scenery and opera
- Tuscany – for the wine tasting and medieval villages
- Lake Como – for the ultimate George Clooneyesque getaway
I could name so many more places to visit in Italy, but it would take one months to explore them all!
Which of these bucket list destinations is next on your list to visit?
Looking for more bucket list ideas? Here are 150+ places to add to your list!
We hope this series of bucket list places to visit after lockdown has inspired you to create your own travel bucket list and book a trip soon! If you have any other recommendations or questions about any of these destinations, please leave them in the comments below.
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About the Author:
Amanda Twine is the founder and creator of Fly Stay Luxe – a luxury travel blog sharing informative travel guides, food guides, hotel reviews, itineraries and tips about how to make luxury travel more affordable.