Most people who love travel have a bucket list.

A bucket list refers to a list of things you want to do before you die.

The term derives from the phrase “kick the bucket,” which means “to do”.

So, before you start traveling, ask yourself, “What do I want to do before I kick the bucket?”

Do I want to see the Northern Lights?

Do I want to visit the Sistine Chapel?

Do I want to go to Easter Island or travel around the Cinque Terre?

Whether you love road trips, scuba diving, hiking, or cycling, there’s something on my bucket list for you.

In this blog, I’m talking about bucket list travel adventures.

It’s on mine … is it on yours?


Ultimate Travel Bucket List

First, let’s just get some ideas out, and then I’ll delve in deep about how to make some of these dreams come true.

When you make your bucket list, it may feel a lot like dreaming.

But hey, if you don’t get it down on paper, then you can never make it happen.

1. Visit Raja Ampat, Indonesia
     a. Hike to the top of Piaynemo
     b. Go scuba diving

2. Attend Easter mass at the Vatican with the Pope

3. Kiss the Blarney Stone in Cork, Ireland

4. Pull an all-nighter in Ibiza, Spain

5. Hike to the top of Mount Vesuvius in Italy

6. See the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

7. Swim in Jellyfish Lake in Palau

8. Walk through the Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Bali, Indonesia

9. Go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda

10. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway in California

11. Cruise through Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay

12. Hike the Grand Canyon

13. Visit Cathedral Cove in New Zealand

14. See a show at the Sydney Opera House in Australia

15. Sleep in an ice hotel in Sweden

16. Snap a picture in front of the Taj Mahal

17. Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal

18. Visit the carbon neutral country of Bhutan
     a. Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

19. Trek in Sapa, Vietnam

20. Take a gondola ride in Venice

21. Get up early to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat in Cambodia

22. Explore the ancient ruins of Petra in Jordan

23. Hike the Cinque Terre in Italy

24. Climb Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania

25. Visit Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania, Romania

26. Dive the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia

27. Swim with whales in Tonga

28. Hear the call to prayer at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

29. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

30. Go on an African safari and see the “Big 5”

31. Visit the Great Wall of China

32. Rent a vintage car in Havana, Cuba

33. Learn to haggle in the souks of Morocco

34. Picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

35. Float in the Dead Sea

36. See the Northern Lights

37. See the Southern Lights

38. Tour the Sea Caves in La Jolla, California

39. Walk in the Sequoia National Park

40. Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand

41. Take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia

42. Visit your roots – wherever that may be

43. Drink beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

44. Spend St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland

45. Visit the tulip fields in Holland

46. Go dogsledding in Greenland

47. Visit Bagan in Myanmar

48. Visit the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

49. Climb Mount Fuji in Honshū, Japan

50. Visit the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

In this next section, I’ll pull out just a few of the above ideas to show you how you can make them come to life!

This is just the start of your bucket list travel adventures.

If you need more help planning your itinerary, Brillini Travels is always happy to help.


Hike to the Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world.

It is the volcano that destroyed Pompeii, which you can visit nearby.

Vesuvius is still active and has erupted dozens of times since destroying Pompeii.

Experts estimate that it has erupted about 40 times in the last 2000 years.

That said, it is the only volcano to have erupted on mainland Europe in the last century.

When this occurred, lava flowed to the rim and huge clouds billowed into the air.

This event could be seen from Naples.

While this doesn’t sound like a huge deal, Vesuvius is still considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world despite being safe to hike.

There are warning signs before any volcanic activity, and technology provides days of warning before there’s a predicted eruption.

The hike to Vesuvius isn’t terribly long (only about 30 minutes up and 30 minutes back), but you will need a moderate degree of fitness.

It does get rather steep at points.

You can get to Mount Vesuvius a few ways from Naples, Rome, or the Amalfi Coast.

Most people will do it from Naples where there isn’t a lot to see, but there is great pizza to eat.

You can do a day trip (or two) from Naples to see Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.

To get to Vesuvius, there are a few options:

  • Book a tour: This will drop you at the starting point of the 30-minute hike. If you’re coming from Naples, this may be the best option depending on your budget. This option sometimes exists if you’re coming from Rome or the Amalfi Coast as well.
  • Drive yourself: Driving yourself is convenient until you have to park. Vesuvius reserves parking for tours and buses, so those who drive themselves will need to park at a lower parking lot. This adds about 30 minutes of walking on top of the 30-minute hike. Depending on your fitness, you may not love this option.
  • Take public transport. If you’re backpacking, you may opt to take a train from Naples to either the Portici-Ercolano station or the Ercolano Scavi station. Then, you should grab the Vesuvio Express bus up to the starting point of the trail. The bus leaves every 40 minutes or so and costs 20 euros. This includes the 10-euro entry fee you’d have to pay at the top anyway. Once you arrive, you’ll have 90 minutes to explore before you have to meet the driver to head back down.

Can you walk?

Someone always asks this question.

Whether they love hiking, or they want to avoid paying, they always want to know if they can just walk the whole thing.

The short answer is that there is technically a marked park within Vesuvius National Park, but it often has locked gates blocking the way.

Thus, the only guaranteed trail is to walk alongside cars and buses, which makes it pretty dangerous.

Save yourself the trouble and plan to go with one of the above options.


Hike the Grand Canyon

Hiking the Grand Canyon is an incredible way to see nature up close and personal.

The type of tour you select ultimately depends on what type of bucket list you’re building.

Do you want something more adventurous?

Do you like camping?

Do you like fitness?

How old are you?

Where do you want to sleep?

Fortunately, the Grand Canyon caters to a wide audience, and there’s certainly something for you.

Here are some of the options for you if you want to hike the Grand Canyon as part of your bucket list travel adventures:

  • Day hikes: If you’re not up for anything super adventurous or you don’t want to camp, then you can spend the day hiking the Grand Canyon and call it quits. You still saw it! I won’t tell. The Grand Canyon has day hikes and rim tours that offer an introduction to what a more in-depth hike would look like. And who knows, if you love it, then you may end up wanting to go back and do something more strenuous.
  • Lodge-based hiking tours: Not everyone wants to sleep on the ground – no shame! The Grand Canyon has lodge-based hiking tours where you can spend several days in the Grand Canyon hiking and touring. When you get back? Hot shower and cozy bed. But be careful – this option gets booked up quickly!
  • Basecamp hiking tours: This option has a well-appointed camp at the rim. After you’re done hiking for the day, you’ll head back there.
  • Backpacking tours: This is probably what you initially thought of when you heard “hiking the Grand Canyon”. It’s the full experience. You’ll carry everything on your back during a guided tour that’ll fulfill all your bucket list travel adventures.

Read more about trips to Grand Canyon National Park on the official website here.


Tour the Sea Caves

Welcome to San Diego!

If you’ve never heard of La Jolla, it’s a picturesque seaside town known for its rugged coastline.

Its posh boutiques and waterfront restaurants make it a favorite vacation spot for just about everyone who visits it.

That said, it still has plenty of adventure, and today I’m taking you to the sea caves.

The La Jolla sea caves are a chance for you to experience San Diego’s vibrant marine life.

You’ll see leopard sharks and sea lions gliding beneath your kayak as you head into the sea caves.

This is a great family activity, and it’s safe for all involved.

You’ll be fitted with a helmet and a personal flotation device.

You’ll also have a guide who gives you a 15-minute paddle instruction to prepare you to maneuver in the ocean.

There is no experience required, so you can go into this activity ready for something new and exciting.

The entrance into the sea cave is dependent on weather and ocean conditions (for safety purposes), so be sure to do it on a day with good weather.

Fortunately, San Diego nearly always has good weather so your chances of experiencing this bucket list travel adventure is high.


Walk in the Sequoia National Park

The best thing about adding Sequoia National Park to your bucket list is that it works for everyone.

They have trails that are short, easy, and paved to long, steep, and rugged.

Some of the top-rated hikes that you may want to look into include:

  • Big Trees Trail
  • Crescent Meadow Loop Trail
  • Congress Trail
  • Tokopah Falls Trail
  • Hazelwood Nature Trail
  • Alta Peak Trail
  • High Sierra Trail to Bearpaw Meadow

But you may be asking, why Sequoia?

Sequoia National Park (along with contiguous neighbor Kings Canyon National Park) allows you to escape into California’s High Sierra region.

There are giant sequoias, granite domes, marble caves, and alpine landscapes that swirl together.

It’ll feel like you’re stepping into a Bob Ross painting, and you’ll never want to leave.

How do you decide where to go?

Sequoia National Park is divided into four main areas.

Read about each so you can decide which one fits into your bucket list travel adventures.

  1. Foothills – Located in the southwest corner of the park, the Foothills are filled with twisted blue oaks and hills with dense vegetation. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails that weave themselves through grasslands and wildflower patches. The hilltops are prime lookout spots.
  1. Mineral King – This area is the highest place accessible in the park by car, so if you’re not looking to do as much on foot than this may be your go-to. Crystal Lake Trail is a 1.5-mile trail with stunning views of the valley. Mineral King also has a ranger station where you can pick up trail maps, permits, and bear canisters to prep before heading out.
  1. Giant Forest & Lodgepole – If you want to see sequoias, then this is where you should head. The name “Giant Forest” is kind of a giveaway after all. You can also climb beyond the canopy on the Moro Rock Trail and see views in all directions. Pretty cool!
  1. Crystal Cave – Sequoia has both giant trees and an incredible cave system. These features are must-sees on your visits. The park offers ranger-led tours of Crystal Cave where you’ll learn about the stalactite and stalagmite formations. If you want to reach the caves, you must do a guided tour. These tours can sell out quickly, so make sure you buy your ticket in advance. These caves can also get chilly, so pack a jacket for your trip!

You can read more about exploring and hiking in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks here.


How to Create Your Own Bucket List

Creating a list of your own bucket list travel adventures doesn’t sound hard … until you pick up your pen.

Some people create bucket lists under pressure.

They hear terrible news about a friend or a family member – a life ending too soon.

Other people just believe you should have one, yet they don’t know how to start creating one.

If you’re taking your bucket list “seriously,” here’s one piece of advice.

Don’t wait for that “perfect time,” and don’t be afraid to allow it to change or grow with who you are as a person.

I’ll give you some simple steps to create your own bucket list, but feel free to make it your own.

Step 1: Name your list

Don’t overthink this.

Some people don’t love the idea of having it called their bucket list, because of its association with death.

That’s totally fine!

Here are some other name ideas.

If you like these better, then use them instead or brainstorm something else.

  • Dream List
  • My Lifetime Goals
  • Amazing Experiences To Be Had
  • My Life’s Must Dos
  • Things to Conquer

Step 2: Keep your bucket list in an accessible spot

Creating a bucket list is all about storing these thoughts somewhere.

Your list stands as a sincere desire and commitment.

You want to do these things one day.

Studies have shown that those who write down their goals are far more successful at achieving them.

Just writing them down holds you more accountable.

So, find something that works for you.

Use the “Notes” app on your phone, a Word document, or a little notebook.

There are plenty of apps and websites that can help you record your dreams wherever you may be.

Our suggestion is to make it portable.

Often, inspiration may strike you when you’re out, listening to a story, reading an article, or watching a movie.

You may want to record that idea right then, and you may forget it if you wait to write it down in a physical notebook you don’t have with you at the time.

If all you have to do is pull out your phone, you’ll be more likely to keep up with your bucket list.


Step 3: Consider length

How will you create this list?

Are you aiming to get to a certain number?

As you check things off your bucket list, will you automatically add new things to maintain that number?

It’s really up to you and what you think is most realistic for you.

You never want your bucket list to become a burden.

You want it to be something you look forward to achieving someday.

Here are some ways you can do it:

1. Start with a set list of objectives
     a. Have at least 25 items on your bucket list
     b. Make them varying levels of difficulty
     c. Create a goal that something will be checked off every so often (you set that amount of time); this way, you’re always working towards something
     d. While some items may be lifelong journeys, others may be weekend projects

2. Slowly build it over time
     a. Perhaps you have a handful of strong desires you can list out at once, but there’s no way you can come up with 25. That’s okay – don’t force it!
     b. Instead, write down what you have right now and slowly add goals whenever they come to you. If you keep an accessible list, your bucket list should build up over time.

3. Break it up
     a. If you’ve built up that bucket list and suddenly you’re overwhelmed, consider a new system so you’re not scrolling through hundreds of items. Categorize them in an excel sheet or set deadlines on certain items so you’re actually checking items off!

Step 4: Be realistic but consistent

Bucket lists are really easy to procrastinate.

Everyone always thinks they have time to spare, but the years fly by.

Create your list as young as possible, so that you can dedicate a little time each year to your passions and goals.

One way to do this is by creating mini-lists within your main lists.

It may look something like this…

  • Seasonal bucket list – What items will you only be able to do at certain times of the year? For example: Oktoberfest or Easter at the Vatican. Divide your bucket list into winter, spring, summer, and fall. This way, you can either group trips together or pick based on the time of year that is easiest for you to travel.
  • This year’s bucket list – At the beginning of each year, decide on your bucket list travel adventures. It’s much more exciting than New Year’s resolutions, and you’re much more likely to keep them. What items do you want to complete in the next 12 months? What’s realistic?

Step 5: Seek ideas

Have you been feeling a bit lackluster about your bucket list lately?

Never fear!

You can spice it up whenever you want – it’s your bucket list after all.

One of the best ways to stay excited about your bucket list (and your life!) is to constantly seek out new bucket list travel adventures.

What can you add to your list?

What can you work towards?

If nothing exciting is jumping out at you, find new things!

There’s so much out there.


Final Thoughts

Are you ready to make your own list of bucket list travel adventures?

I hope I’ve inspired you to not only create your own list of dreams and goals, but also to get out there and start traveling if you haven’t already.

If you need more help, check out International Travel Tips for First-Time Travelers.

It’ll make achieving your bucket list that much easier.

Sometimes it just takes one trip to help you fall in love with travel.

What are your recommendations for bucket list travel adventures? If you have any, comment below!

If you simply do not have the time to plan your next trip or you just don’t want to do it, why not let us help you? We will create the perfect bespoke itinerary just for you!


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