50 Travel Bucket List Ideas

50 travel bucket list ideas around the world

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I have never really cared for the term “bucket list” because it refers to “kicking the bucket”, or dying, and it always seemed like a downer term to me. But then I looked up the definition of bucket list, and it’s pretty much what you think it is… it’s a list of the things that a person would like to do or achieve before they die. 

I announced on last week’s show, in Episode 133, a major travel goal that I have set for myself. In September 2025, I will turn 50 years old. I’ve always wanted to visit all 50 states in the U.S. I’ve been to 32 states, which is pretty good, but I really want to hit all 50 of them. I guess you can call that one of my travel bucket list items. Well, I decided to challenge myself even more… not only will I visit the remaining 18 states in 2025, but I will visit all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. next year! I’m still figuring out where exactly to go within each state, and when to visit each state. 

So, somewhat selfishly, I want to include travel bucket list ideas within the U.S. for my trips next year. I also hear from listeners that they want to travel all around the world, and they want to go on more cruises. Since I’m planning for my 50th year next year, and I am all for global travel (and I’m always for more cruises, one of my favorite ways to travel), let’s talk about 50 travel bucket list ideas. Some of these may excite you, and others won’t interest you at all. Not all of them interest me, and that’s okay. That’s why there are 50 of them! Hopefully, you can get some new ideas to add to your travel bucket list, because I certainly did as I was doing the research on this topic. And, because so many of these bucket list ideas appealed to me, I combined several if they are within the same state or country. So it’s 50-ish ideas, but more like 65 or 70 ideas. 

But first, why create your own travel bucket list? If you missed Episode 133, go back and learn about the benefits of setting long-term travel goals. Once you set goals and create a bucket list, those serve as motivation for you to make them happen. Part of setting goals is also prioritizing them, because as much as I’d love to make all my travel dreams come true in the next year, that’s just not possible. So I review my travel bucket list about once a year to determine what’s most important to me. 

Of course, sharing your travel bucket list may also inspire others. I’ll share later in the episode some travel bucket list items from the Me and the Magic community members. Plus, you may find that you share it with someone who has an unexpected connection to a location or to a resource for you. 

So without further ado, let’s get into this list of 50-ish travel bucket list ideas. 

Travel Bucket List Ideas

North America

North America includes Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the countries in Central America.

Idea #1: Explore the Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic natural wonders of the world, in Arizona.  Experience its majestic views from different vantage points and elevations. If you enjoy hiking, there are trails for every level. 

Idea #2: Visit Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.  Yellowstone National Park is packed with over 10,000 hot springs, mudpots, and geysers like the famous Old Faithful. If you enjoy spotting wildlife, you’ll likely spot bison, wolves, bears, and other animals roaming the park. There are activities for adventurers, like hiking, fishing, and boating in the summer, or snowshoeing and skiing in the winter.

Idea #3: Visit New York City – Even if you’re not a big city person, there is something for everyone in New York City. I may be biased because I lived there for 15 years, but New York City, with all its faults, is still one of the most fascinating places in the U.S. If you want a boost of energy, visit Times Square at night. Take in the lights and the bustling urban energy. If you love performing arts, take your pick from some of the world’s best theater, opera, dance, orchestral music, and more. Museums? So many to choose from. I love the Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA, and the American Museum of Natural History. There’s also the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and several more. If you’re into shopping, you have it made, from upscale Madison Avenue boutiques to thrift stores. If you’re a foodie, enjoy some of the best restaurants in the world. Or take a culinary tour of so many types of cuisines through the boroughs. You get the picture. For history buffs, take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In New York, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

Idea #4: Drive the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as California State Route 1. The Pacific Coast Highway was completed in 1934 and is one of the most famous scenic drives in the world. It stretches approximately 656 miles from its southern tip in Dana Point, Orange County, to its northern terminus in Mendocino County. Enjoy the scenic ocean views and charming coastal towns. There are several popular points of interest along the PCH, including the Bixby Creek Bridge near Big Sur, the Chandelier Tree in Leggett that cars can drive through, Malibu with its celebrity homes and beautiful beaches, and filming locations. If you’re a fan of “The Graduate”, “Point Break”, or the TV series “Big Little Lies”, you may recognize some of those locations driving down the PCH.

Idea #5: Sail on an Alaska Cruise. Of course, we have the Me and the Magic group Alaska cruise coming in July 2025 on the Celebrity Edge! Go to the Events page on MeAndTheMagic.com to learn more about this 7-night cruise.  On an Alaska cruise, you’ll get up close and personal with glaciers and maybe witness the glaciers calving; see all kinds of wildlife, including whales, harbor seals, bald eagles, moose, deer, and bears; and take in the stunning natural beauty of the Arctic, including waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and deep blue waters with icebergs.

Idea #6: Enjoy a Hawaiian Islands Cruise. This is the perfect way to experience the different islands of Hawaii without having to book flights between the islands and accommodations at each stop. Most Hawaiian Islands cruises include Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Cruising provides stunning views of the Hawaiian coastline that you simply can’t get from land. Sail past dramatic cliffs, lush green valleys, and volcanic landscapes. You’ll also see marine wildlife, likely whales, dolphins, and sea turtles. At each stop, choose an excursion to experience the local culture, learn the history of that area, and explore its natural beauty.

Idea #7: Tour the monuments in Washington, D.C. I first went to D.C. on a field trip in 7th grade, a bus ride all the way from the Detroit area, where I lived for 3 years, in between my Indiana years. We did stay overnight, thank goodness, but that trip left an impression on me. It was the first time that I’d really seen that much history in one location. Growing up in the Midwest, we didn’t have many monuments or historical museums. Later in life, I had the opportunity to work in D.C. for several months. I probably didn’t take enough advantage of living there, but I did enjoy exploring the different museums, walking around the sites (and there’s a lot of walking in D.C.!), and sampling different cuisines in different neighborhoods. I highly recommend visiting Washington, D.C. for at least a few days to take it all in. It really does give one a deeper appreciation and understanding of the United States’ history as a nation.

Idea #8: Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana. I want to give a shout-out here to my friend, Mark Bologna, who has an excellent podcast and community called Beyond Bourbon Street. I’ve learned so much about New Orleans from Mark and his podcast and community. I have only been to New Orleans once, in February 2020 before we sailed on the Disney Wonder. It was actually Disney Cruise Line’s first sailing of any ship out of New Orleans, and the Wonder was perfect because Tiana’s restaurant and the French Quarter Lounge are on the Wonder. We were in New Orleans just before Mardi Gras, so it was fun to see the City preparing for the parades. Stands were set up for parade viewing. One thing Mark taught me is that Mardi Gras doesn’t have to only be a wild party on Bourbon Street. There are less rowdy and family-friendly activities during Mardi Gras. Participate in the vibrant parades and festivities that the different “krewes” organize. I recommend walking through the French Quarter, only maybe during the day if it’s Mardi Gras time before it gets really rowdy, unless that’s what you’re looking for. The architecture is beautiful, there are musicians playing out in the street, and there are so many great restaurants with delicious cuisine. Be sure to try King Cake, a traditional sweet pastry that contains a hidden figurine; the person who finds the figurine is expected to host the next King Cake party. Other must-try dishes include gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets.

Idea #9: Hike in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah. Explore its stunning natural landscapes and canyons. Some of the more popular places to explore are Zion Canyon, Angels Landing, Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, Watchman Trail, Observation Point, and Kolob Canyons. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including mule deer, turkeys, and occasionally bighorn sheep. 

Idea #10: Go to Walt Disney World, Florida. Yes, this is a very popular item that’s on many people’s travel bucket lists. As someone who’s been going to Walt Disney World since 1980, and now I live so close that I hear the Magic Kingdom fireworks every night, I realize that I can take it for granted. To some people, this is a once-in-a-lifetime magical trip, and it’s really good to be reminded of that because I think everyone who loves Disney and loves visiting Walt Disney World truly appreciates that it is a magical and memorable experience for both the young and the young at heart.

Idea #11: Road trip across the USA! The closest I’ve done this is driving north to south, from Michigan to Florida. I’ve also driven partway west to east, from Indiana to New York. There are so many different types of road trips. Possibly the most famous road trip across the USA is Route 66, which I’m considering doing, at least partly, next year as part of my 50 states challenge to myself. Often called “The Mother Road,” this historic route runs from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. It’s one of the original U.S. highways and offers a taste of classic Americana, including diners, vintage gas stations, and quirky roadside attractions. Another popular route is the Great River Road that follows the Mississippi River for over 3,000 miles from Minnesota to Louisiana. This route is perfect for exploring the American heartland, including rich farmlands, charming river towns, and historical sites. And one route that you probably learned about in school, or played the game if you’re an ‘80s kid like me, is the Oregon Trail. Follow this historic route from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon. This modern drive takes you through various landscapes, including prairies, mountains, and forests, tracing the path that pioneers once traveled westward.

Now we start to veer further north into Canada.

Idea #12: Visit Niagara Falls. I’ve been to the falls many times, both the New York and Canadian sides. I recommend experiencing the falls from both observation points, though the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side are especially breathtaking. Two activities that I highly recommend are taking the Maid of the Mist boat that takes you up to the base of the falls, and then on the Canadian side going through tunnels behind the Horseshoe Falls. 

Idea #13: Explore Quebec City in the Canadian province of Quebec. This city is definitely on my travel bucket list, not just because I love Paris, but I loved my visit to Montreal and want to experience the history and culture of Quebec City. Did you know that Quebec City is North America’s Oldest Walled City? Quebec City is the only city north of Mexico that still has its original city walls. The historic district, known as Old Quebec, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a European charm rarely found in North America. Quebec City is the heart of French-Canadian culture. French is the city’s primary language, which adds to its European feel. Quebec City is known for its vibrant festival scene. The Winter Carnival, held annually in February, is one of the world’s largest winter festivals and features snow sculptures, ice skating, and the famous Bonhomme Carnaval. The Summer Festival (Festival d’été de Québec) is another major event, drawing artists and musicians from around the world. Let’s talk food and drinks. In Quebec City, you’ll find a wonderful mix of French and Canadian cuisines. Must-try local dishes include poutine, tourtière (meat pie), and maple products. The city also boasts a range of artisanal cheeses and locally produced wines and ciders. 

Idea #14: Photography tour of the Canadian Rockies. Capture the stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. The Icefields Parkway, connecting Banff and Jasper, is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. 

Idea #15: See the Northern Lights in the Yukon, located in the far northwest of Canada, one of the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. The Yukon is situated directly under the auroral oval, an area around the Earth’s magnetic poles where auroras most frequently occur. This positioning means that the Yukon often has very active and intense auroral displays. Also, the Yukon’s remote location ensures minimal light pollution, providing dark skies that are ideal for observing the Northern Lights. The darker the sky, the more vivid and detailed the aurora viewing can be. In the Yukon, the Northern Lights can be seen from late August to mid-April, offering a relatively long viewing season. The winter months are particularly good for aurora viewing due to the long, dark nights.

Now, let’s head south of the United States to Mexico and Central America.

Idea #16: Visit Chichen Itza in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Tour the famous Mayan ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site. I talked about Chicken Itza in Episode 129 about the best places to visit in Mexico in the spring time. Visit El Castillo, the most famous landmark of Chichen Itza. It was built to honor the Mayan serpent god Kukulcan and demonstrates the Mayans’ astronomical accuracy—during the spring and autumn equinoxes, shadows cast by the setting sun create the appearance of a serpent slithering down the pyramid. There are other pyramids, buildings, and sites in this area to explore and to learn about the Mayan history.

Idea #17: Attend the Day of the Dead Festival, or Dia de los Muertos, in Mexico. Experience this famous cultural festival, particularly vibrant in Oaxaca, the largest city and the capital of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. If you’re a Disney movie fan, then I’m sure you recognize this festival from the movie “Coco”. This festival is celebrated annually from October 31st to November 2nd. It honors deceased loved ones with a variety of colorful and meaningful customs. As seen in “Coco”, families will make altars in their homes to welcome the spirits of the deceased. These altars often have photos and personal items of the departed loved ones. There will be comparsas, or musical groups, and parades in the streets. Participants often wear traditional costumes and face paint resembling calaveras (skeletons). These parades can be both solemn and festive, with lots of music, dancing, and performances.

Idea #18: Visit the Panama Canal, one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. I know many people who have cruised through the Panama Canal, which is one way to experience it.  One of the best spots to view the canal is the Miraflores Visitor Center. It has a large, well-designed observation deck that allows you to watch as ships traverse the locks. The center also features a museum with interactive exhibits explaining the history, construction, and operation of the canal. If you’re not on a cruise, various boat tours allow you to experience the canal from the water. 

Idea #19: This next bucket list item straddles North America and South America, depending on where exactly you’re going, and that is to visit the Caribbean. Caribbean Cruises are very popular overall, or of course you could choose to visit one or more of these Caribbean areas. The Me and the Magic community sailed on our first group cruise last November on the Disney Fantasy to the Caribbean, stopping at Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands, and Saint Thomas, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. What makes up the Caribbean? The Caribbean region includes many islands and countries, each offering unique cultures, landscapes, and histories. There’s the Greater Antilles, that includes some of the larger islands in the northern part of the Caribbean, like Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico. Then there’s the Lesser Antilles. This group is divided into the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands. The Leeward Islands include the Virgin Islands (both U.S. and British), Anguilla, St. Martin/Sint Maarten, St. Barthélemy, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat. Windward Islands, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Barbados. There’s also the Lucayan Archipelago that includes the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are technically in the Atlantic Ocean but culturally and historically part of the Caribbean. Lastly, there’s the Caribbean Coast of Central and South America. Several countries on the mainland of Central and South America have coastlines on the Caribbean Sea, including Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela. Each area and island of the Caribbean has its own distinct flavor, different musical traditions, culinary influences, and historical backgrounds. This diversity makes the Caribbean a particularly rich and fascinating region to explore.

South America

Idea #20: Explore the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. Visit the iconic Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains.

Idea #21: Attend the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Join the world’s most famous party with samba music, dazzling costumes, and jubilant parades. The festival officially starts on the Friday preceding Lent and ends on Ash Wednesday, with the main days of celebration being from Saturday to Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. If you prefer a less party-centric atmosphere, go at a different time of year to Rio. Enjoy the vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

Idea #22: A Galápagos Islands Cruise is most definitely on my bucket list, after seeing the incredible photos and videos that Beci Mahnken, owner and CEO of MEI-Travel and Mouse Fan Travel, recently shared on her Galapagos Cruise. The Galapagos Islands are located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The islands are famous for their unique biodiversity, hosting a variety of plant and animal species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. For example, the Galápagos tortoise and the marine iguana are iconic to the islands. Many species are native to the islands and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Beci said that the animals weren’t afraid of humans because they didn’t know that they needed to be. 

Idea #23: Go on an Amazon River Cruise. Dive into the biodiversity of the largest tropical rainforest on Earth. A river cruise allows you to travel deep into the heart of the Amazon Basin, accessing areas that are often difficult or impossible to reach by land. Most Amazon cruises include guided excursions led by knowledgeable naturalists or local guides. These experts can provide insights into the ecosystem’s flora and fauna, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the rainforest. Activities might include jungle hikes, canoe trips, fishing, bird watching, and visits to local communities. The Amazon is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including pink river dolphins, caimans, piranhas, exotic birds, and perhaps even the elusive jaguar. Cruises often schedule activities at different times of the day, such as early morning bird watching or nighttime wildlife spotting, to maximize your chances of seeing a diverse range of animals.

Asia and Africa

Time to travel across the Pacific Ocean to Asia and Africa. I combined these two continents because this next bucket list destination is actually transcontinental between Africa and Asia.

Idea #24: Visit the pyramids of Giza, Egypt. Explore one of the most famous archaeological sites. The main highlights to see are The Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Khufu), The Pyramid of Khafre, The Pyramid of Menkaure, and The Great Sphinx.There are guided tours, or you can go on your own. A half-day is recommended to see all these sites.

Heading more into Asia, let’s go to China.

Idea #25: Visit the Great Wall of China. Did you know that the Great Wall stretches over thousands of miles? There are paths for leisurely strolls, and there are more challenging hikes as well. At some of the more tourist-friendly sections like Mutianyu, you can take a cable car up to the wall. This is a great option for those who want to save their energy for walking along the wall rather than climbing up to it. The Mutianyu section also offers a fun toboggan ride down from the wall. 

Idea #26: Walk through the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Experience its unique blend of traditional and modern culture. Explore different neighborhoods, each with its own character. Shibuya is known for its bustling crossing and fashion; Shinjuku for nightlife and skyscrapers; Asakusa for the historic Senso-ji temple and traditional shopping streets; and Akihabara for electronics and anime culture. For panoramic views of the city, head to Tokyo Skytree or the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku, which offers free access to its observation decks. Also, check out the several guided tours offered, including food tours and photography walks. 

Idea #27: Here are two bucket list items for India, which has so much to offer travelers:

  • Participate in a meditation retreat in India. Find peace and learn mindfulness in its spiritual homeland. India is the birthplace of various meditation traditions, including Vipassana, Transcendental Meditation, Zen, and yogic meditation practices like Kundalini or Kriya Yoga. Research those practices and then choose the one that resonates most with you. Also, consider whether you prefer a secluded mountain retreat, a peaceful rural setting, or a more accessible location near a city.
  • Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Witness the stunning marble mausoleum and symbol of love. The gardens of the Taj Mahal, known as Charbagh, are a classic example of Mughal garden design, split into four quarters by walkways or flowing water. They are meant to symbolize the four rivers of Paradise and provide a serene setting that contrasts with the grandeur of the mausoleum.

Idea #28: As I was doing research on this topic, I came across two bucket list items in the Maldives that I think are very worthy of being on this list. The Maldives is a country and archipelagic state in South Asia in the Indian Ocean.

  • Enjoy a beach holiday in the Maldives, known for its stunning tropical beauty and pristine beaches. Reethi Beach (Baa Atoll) is famous for its beautiful white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Cocoa Island is home to some of the Maldives’ most beautiful beaches, with soft white sand and turquoise waters.
  • Now this next one may not appeal to everyone, and that really goes for any of these bucket list items. But it certainly appeals to me, and it’s quite unique, so I want to share it with you. You can stay in an underwater hotel in the Maldives. The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island opened the world’s first-ever underwater hotel residence. the two-story villa is set more than 16 feet below the Indian Ocean. Its name is “Muraka,” which means “coral” in the Maldives’ local language Dhivehi. The top floor is above the water with a relaxation deck for sunbathing and to enjoy the view from above the water. The Muraka also has an underwater 5-star restaurant, Ithaa. And believe it or not, that started more hotels to create underwater restaurants, spas, and accommodations in the Maldives. So now you have your pick of underwater experiences in the Maldives, at various price points.

Idea #29: Now let’s head to Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation in between Vietnam and Thailand. Explore the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Angkor Wat is one of the largest religious monuments in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was originally constructed in the early 12th century as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu, then later transformed into a Buddhist temple. Learn about the history of the Khmer empire. Given that this is a very large site, the main complex covers over 400 acres, give yourself more than one day to explore it all.

Idea #30: Next, let’s head to the East African country of Tanzania to take a safari through the Serengeti National Park, one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in the world. You’ll see what’s known as the “Big Five” — lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and rhinoceros. The park also has cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, all sorts of antelopes, and over 500 species of birds. The annual Great Migration is often described as the greatest show on earth. It involves over a million wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of zebras, and other herbivores relocating in a seasonal pattern in search of water and fresh grazing. Of course, these animals on the move are followed closely by predators, providing dramatic wildlife viewing opportunities. The dry season (from late June to October) is generally considered the best time to visit for wildlife viewing as animals congregate around water sources. The wet season (from November to May) brings lush scenery, calving in the early part of the year, and better bird-watching opportunities.

Idea #31: Next, let’s go to Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy a cultural journey through Morocco. There are four imperial cities in Morocco – Marrakech, Fes, Meknes, and Rabat. Marrakech is the most popular of the four and is known for its vibrant markets. Or choose to embark on a desert tour in the Sahara. Spend a night in a Berber tent under the stars, ride camels, and enjoy the vast, scenic sand dunes of places like Merzouga or Zagora.

Now let’s travel just about as far south as one can go in this world, to Antarctica.

Antarctica

Idea #32: Sail on an Antarctic Expedition Cruise. Experience the untouched landscapes in this last frontier. Expect to see incredible wildlife, including penguins; seals; different species of whales such as humpbacks, orcas, and minkes; and an array of seabirds including albatrosses, petrels, and skuas. See glaciers flowing from the continental ice sheet into the sea.

Idea #33: Visit the South Pole, part of Antarctica. Stand at the Earth’s most southerly point, a bucket list item for the ultimate adventurer. The South Pole is encompassed within the Antarctic Treaty System, which regulates international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth’s only continent without a native human population. The area is devoid of permanent residents, but it hosts seasonal personnel who reside at research stations, the most notable being the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. This station is managed by the United States and is used for scientific research, including astronomy, atmospheric science, and environmental science studies. Be warned that traveling to the South Pole is a much more challenging and less common endeavor than visiting other parts of Antarctica, typically involving very specialized expedition tours that can be quite costly and demanding due to the extreme conditions and remote location.

Idea #34: Witness the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis). Although rare, seeing the southern lights is an awe-inspiring experience with vibrant colors illuminating the polar night sky. The best time to view the Aurora Australis in these areas is during the Antarctic winter, particularly from March to September, when the nights are longest and the skies are darkest. 

Oceania

Let’s head back northward, to a beautiful area known as Oceania. Oceania is made up of Australia, New Zealand, the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, and several other Pacific island nations.

Idea #35: Visit the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Explore the world’s largest coral reef system, home to an incredible diversity of life, including about 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, one-third of the world’s soft corals, 134 species of sharks and rays, over 30 species of whales and dolphins, and six species of sea turtles. You can explore and enjoy the reef by snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, or paddleboarding. If you prefer to stay dry, take a glass-bottom boat tour or even view it by helicopter.

Idea #36: Visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the Northern Territory of Australia. Uluru, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre”. The nearest large town is Alice Springs, 450 km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta (informally called the “The Olgas”) formation. Witness the stunning red monolith, especially at sunrise or sunset.

Idea #37: Try out some adventure sports in Queenstown, on New Zealand’s South Island. Known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’, Queenstown offers bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, paragliding and hang gliding, white water rafting, mountain biking, zip lining, and hiking. In the winter, enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Lastly, try canyoning, which combines climbing, jumping, swimming, and abseiling down waterfalls and rock faces. 

Idea #38: This next one is on a lot of people’s vision boards, I think, and that’s a South Pacific Cruise. This area of the world is where I picture being the epitome of relaxation, with the turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, and the bungalows perched out over the water. Explore the exotic islands of Fiji, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Samoa, Tonga, and more. I love the Polynesian culture, so this is very high on my travel bucket list. 

Europe

Last, but certainly not least, we make our way to Europe. Did you know that Russia’s land makes up 39% of Europe and also 15% of the European population? Europe has the third largest population of any continent, behind Asia and Africa. 

Idea #39: Here are two ideas for France.

  • See the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. A classic symbol of romance and architectural beauty. Of course, there’s so much more to see in Paris – Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and other incredible museums, a riverboat ride down the Seine. I’ve only been to Paris once, and I fell hard for it and definitely need to return soon.
  • Wine tasting in Bordeaux, France.  Bordeaux is often referred to as the wine capital of the world. Enjoy a wine tour, or explore on your own, as you compare and enjoy varieties of wine while enjoying classic French architecture. Also, don’t miss the Rue Sainte-Catherine, one of the longest shopping streets in Europe, lined with both high-street brands and local boutiques.

Idea #40: Acropolis of Athens, Greece – Visit this ancient citadel which includes the Parthenon and other historic sites. The best time to visit Athens and the Acropolis is either in the spring (April to early June) or fall (September to early November). During these months, the weather is pleasant, and there are fewer tourists compared to the summer. Don’t miss the Parthenon, the Erechtheion with its famous Caryatids, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Each has its unique history and architectural details.

Idea #41: European cruises are very popular, so let’s add 3 more to the travel bucket list, starting with a Mediterranean Cruise. This is a great way to visit multiple countries and experience their rich histories and cuisines. A Western Mediterranean cruise may include stops in Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France: Monaco; Rome, Italy (via the dock in Civitavecchia); and Naples, Italy. An Eastern Mediterranean cruise may include stops in Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Idea #42: If you’re more interested in northern Europe, check out a Norwegian Fjords Cruise. Explore the deep blue waters and dramatic landscapes and quaint villages of Norway. Try a nature excursion for hiking, kayaking and boating, or fishing. 

Idea #43: Choose a Baltic Sea Cruise if you’re interested in this part of Europe. Visit historic cities like St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Helsinki, Finland. The cities and all they offer tend to be more the focus on a Baltic Sea cruise, but there will still be a lot of natural beauty to take in. Plus, enjoy the regional culinary delights, from Swedish meatballs (yum) and Danish pastries to Russian borscht and Estonian black bread, foodies will find plenty to enjoy.

Idea #44: Experience the Northern Lights in Iceland. The Northern Lights provide a breathtaking natural light display. The best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is during the darker months, from late September to early April. Clear skies are crucial for Northern Lights viewing. Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s beneficial to stay flexible with your plans and check the weather forecasts regularly. Areas with little to no light pollution, such as Þingvellir National Park or the Westfjords, provide better viewing conditions.

Idea #45: Hiking trip in the Swiss Alps. Experience some of the world’s most famous trails. A suggested itinerary is to arrive in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city. From there, take a train to Zermatt, a car-free village, and acclimate to the higher altitude. One popular hike that may take half a day is the Five Lakes Trail. You’ll see views of the Matterhorn reflected in the lakes.

Idea #46: Now, let’s go to Italy. And really, how can I choose just one bucket list item from this amazing country? So I’m giving you 5 ideas, starting with Rome.

  • In Rome, visit the Colosseum, constructed in AD 72-80 in ancient Rome. The Colosseum could hold between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators who watched gladiators fight each other to death, reenactments of famous battles, and plays based on classic mythology.
  • The Sistine Chapel, located within Vatican City – Famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling and The Last Judgment, which Michelangelo completed decades after the ceiling artwork. Throughout the chapel, there is more artwork and tapestries to enjoy. 
  • Experience Venice – Visit St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and wander around St. Mark’s Square. Enjoy a coffee or gelato at one of the cafes in the square to take in the ambiance. Take an evening gondola ride through the canals. Venice can be very crowded during peak tourist season (late spring through early fall), during Carnival, and during the Biennale art exhibition. Off-season visits can be less crowded and more enjoyable.
  • Tour the Amalfi Coast – Explore the spectacular coastline with beautiful villages like Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi. Also, the island of Capri, known for the upscale hotels and shopping, the Blue Grotto, and stunning views from Monte Solaro, is a popular day trip from Positano and Amalfi. 
  • Enjoy a culinary tour in Italy. Take a wine tasting tour in the Chianti region of Tuscany. In Emilia-Romagna, enjoy tours of Parmigiano Reggiano factories, balsamic vinegar tastings in Modena, and visits to prosciutto producers in Parma. In Sicily, try street food tours in Palermo, seafood in Catania, and cooking classes focused on traditional Sicilian recipes. 

Idea #47: Take a historical tour of London, England. Visit sites significant in world history, including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the House of Parliament, the Tower Bridge, and Buckingham Palace.

Idea #48: The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Take in the breathtaking sea cliffs on Ireland’s west coast, offering spectacular views of the North Atlantic Ocean. The cliffs stretch for about 14 kilometers along the Atlantic coast of County Clare. Enjoy hiking along the cliffs, bird watching, and learning about local history. 

Let’s end with two seasonal travel bucket list items.

Idea #49: Oktoberfest in Germany. Traditionally held in Munich, Bavaria, it usually starts in late September and runs through the first weekend in October. That just happens to fall around my birthday, so maybe I’ll need to celebrate my birthday there one year soon! The festival kicks off with a grand parade featuring horse-drawn beer wagons, traditional costumes, and marching bands. You’ll find beer tents that also serve food, with live music to enjoy as you eat and drink. You’ll hear a lot of “oompah” music from brass bands, and it’s common for guests to sing along and dance on the benches.

Idea #50: Peruse the festive Christmas markets throughout Europe. Here are some of the top-rated Christmas markets: 

  • The Vienna Christmas World at Rathausplatz in Vienna, Austria is famous for its spectacular decorations and a huge ice-skating rink.
  • Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik is known as the “Capital of Christmas” in Strasbourg, France.
  • The Dresden Striezelmarkt was established in 1434. It’s one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets. It’s famed for its stollen (fruit bread), which is celebrated in a festival of its own, the Dresden Stollenfest.
  • In Prague, Czech Republic, the Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square Markets are a short walk from each other and light up the city with their extensive Christmas decorations.
  • In Brussels, Belgium, the Winter Wonders Christmas market is known for its light and sound show, a large Ferris wheel, and numerous stalls that stretch from the Grand-Place to Place Sainte-Catherine covering about 2.5 kilometers. 
  • And in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Tivoli Gardens historic amusement park becomes a Christmas market during the holiday season, with more than half a million lights, market stalls, and festive decorations, offering a magical Christmas experience.

Well, there you have it – 50-ish travel bucket list ideas!

Just in case you need more, here’s some inspiration from the Me and the Magic community.

Me and Magic Community’s Travel Bucket List Ideas

  • Angela said the Alaska cruise we are sailing on next July is checking off one of her family’s travel bucket list items – for me as well, Angela! I am so excited for our group Alaska cruise.
  • Chandler also wants to go on an Alaska cruise.
  • Angie said that our September Adventures by Disney trip to Southern California and Disneyland is checking off one of her bucket list items, and I’ll echo that! I didn’t even realize that it was possible to visit the Jim Henson Studios until I read this ABD itinerary, plus all the other amazing visits to the Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Archives, and Walt Disney Imagineering. And then staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is definitely one of my bucket list items, so I’ll be able to check that off!
  • Angie also wants to visit Italy, Germany, Paris, and all Disney parks.
  • Carol said that Dollywood is now on her bucket list thanks to me! I love that, and I love Dollywood! I’ll be going back to Dollywood in October, yay! Carol also wants to visit family in Italy. 
  • Beth wants to go on a safari, and also to visit Australia and New Zealand.
  • Nobia really wants to visit Normandy, and she wants to take solo trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. She also wants to visit Yosemite National Park.
  • Christine is dreaming big, and I am here for it. She wants to visit Paris, including Disneyland Paris (of course), see the Northern lights, visit Hawaii, do an Adventures by Disney California vacation, and visit Tokyo Disneyland.
  • Karen is going to check two items off her travel bucket list this fall, staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and then sailing on the Disney Magic for a Halloween on the High Seas cruise. She also hopes to take her son to Disneyland.
  • Jackie wants to visit Italy and Disneyland. She also wants to stay in a savannah view room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and she wants to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with a view of Cinderella’s Castle.
  • Robin has been visiting a lot of US states to check off her bucket list, and she really wants to visit London.

Thanks to everyone in the Me and the Magic community for sharing your travel bucket list items. My wish for you all is that they happen for you!

Wherever you’re dreaming of going next, take those next steps to make your dream a reality. Revisit and update your travel bucket list at least once a year. Prioritize what’s important to you, and get out there, explore the world, and connect with others as you travel.

Resources

Learn more about New Orleans from the Beyond Bourbon Street podcast.

Explore the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and the world’s first-ever underwater hotel residence.

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