What’s on your travel bucket list?
This is the question I’m often asked as a travel blogger. Truthfully, my travel bucket list is so long I could write a whole book about the places I’d love to visit and the experiences I’d love to try. These are some of the travel experiences I think everyone should have on their bucket list!
Venice is one of my favourite cities as it’s unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s so pretty you feel like you’ve stepped into the pages of a fairytale. My favourite thing to do in Venice is to simply stroll through the narrow streets, get lost and explore.
There are so many tiny wine bars and secret nooks and crannies all over the city, so you could happily spend a whole weekend meandering around Venice with no aims and no destination in mind.
There’s one thing you have to do while you’re in Venice and that’s taking a ride in a gondola. Yes, it’s touristy and yes, it can be pricey and yes, you’ll probably only do it once in your life, but it’s so worth it. You’ll get to see Venice from a different perspective and take part in a fabulous Venetian tradition.
You may be wondering why I haven’t suggested watching the sunset from the Eiffel Tower, but I think you’ll get a better view if you can actually see Paris’ famous tower too as well as that beautiful sunset over the city.
I recommend visiting Montparnasse Tower where you can take a lift to the 56th floor and enjoy a spectacular view over Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the limelight. Check what time sunset is and arrive at least an hour early so you can see the spectacular show from beginning to end.
Jump right into a scene from Finding Nemo by snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. With warm, clear water and the most colourful coral and flamboyant fish you can imagine, the Great Barrier Reef is an incredible place to snorkel whether you’re an experienced diver or completely new to snorkelling.
For the full experience, take a live-aboard boat for 2-3 days. The boat will travel to various spots around the reef and you’ll have the opportunity to see as much marine life as possible.
If you’ve got longer in Australia, it’s also worth travelling over to the other side of this enormous country and snorkelling or scuba diving the Ningaloo Reef on Australia’s west coast. This area is, arguably, even more incredible that the Great Barrier Reef and has fewer visitors so you’re more likely to get a whole beach to yourself!
And with Admiral Travel Insurance, snorkelling is covered as standard.
The Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world at over 5,500 miles. To put that into perspective, that’s almost the same distance as travelling from London to Thailand! This is one of the seven wonders of the world and it would take about 18 months to walk the whole length of the wall.
Unless you’ve got a spare 18 months for a very long hike, most people visit small sections of the wall close to Beijing. Badaling is the most popular section but there are more remote sections to hike along if you’d prefer a quieter and more isolated experience.
I was fully prepared to be unimpressed by the Taj Mahal. I felt like it had been so hyped up it couldn’t possibly live up to the high expectations of the thousands of tourists who flock here every year.
Thankfully, I was completely wrong and the Taj Mahal was just as magnificent and spell binding as you’d hope to imagine. This beautiful building is best enjoyed at sunrise and sunset to see the way the sunlight dances over the dazzling white marble.
There will be crowds no matter what time you visit, but if you arrive at about 5.20am before the gates open at 6am you’ll stand the best chance of getting an uninterrupted view of the stunning mausoleum.
Seeing the Northern Lights has been on my bucket list for so long but despite many trips to Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden, I’ve yet to glimpse the dazzling lights dancing in the sky.
The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, is a natural light display in the sky, usually seen around the Arctic and Antarctic. The best way to describe it is like wisps of green, yellow, blue, pink and purple light flickering across the night sky.
It looks magical, but the Northern Lights are difficult to predict and aren’t always visible due to cloud, so this one is still firmly on my bucket list.
There’s no better country in the world for a road trip than the USA. Those long roads and dramatic scenery were just made for a road trip. The Pacific Coast Highway and Route 66 are two classic road trips that show off some of the country’s most incredible and iconic sights. You’ll get a true taste of America and the freedom you can only get from a road trip.
I took a two-week road trip from LA to San Diego, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Big Sur, Santa Barbara and back to Los Angeles. It was incredible!
Step aboard a traditional junk boat and be prepared for an adventure as you sail through Halong Bay!
With the emerald green water and towering peaks, Halong Bay has got to be one of the most beautiful and dramatic places for a boat trip.
If you can, take an overnight boat trip for the ultimate experience, but if this isn’t an option, a day trip around the bay is equally enchanting. You’ll be served a seafood feast aboard the boat and have the chance to dive from the boat into the water.
This one is not for the faint-hearted but you can’t have a bucket list without at least one adrenaline fuelled adventure on the list!
Queenstown in New Zealand is the capital of extreme adventures and bungee jumping is a must while you’re in the area. Taking the leap of faith will fuel you with enough adrenaline to keep you going for months (or keep you shaking for months!)
If you can, look up and enjoy the view because this is one of the most beautiful places in the world to throw yourself from 134 meters high!
Visiting Tokyo should be high on any travel bucket list but visiting this incredible city during blossom season is the cherry on top. The prettiest season of all is in full bloom during the first week of April and many of the streets look like a magical fairytale with pink blossoms exploding from each tree.
Not only is it up there with the most Instagrammable places on the planet but this is a once in a lifetime experience and a perfect excuse to visit Japan!
I’m the founder of The Travel Hack, one of the UK’s leading travel blogs focusing on travel tips and hacks to make your travels as easy and affordable as possible. I began blogging in 2009 during a two year backpacking trip through Asia and Australia when I lived and travelled in an old VW campervan. I studied journalism when I returned home, but quickly realised traditional media wasn’t for me. I now live in Wales and have two little boys, so I also blog about family travel and my weekend adventures around Wales.