BUCKET LIST

25+ Of The Best Bucket List Travel Activity Ideas In 2024

I’ve always enjoyed reading a bucket list, but a travel bucket list opens your eyes to the adventures of the world. Reading and seeing what the world has to offer you can make the leap of faith wayyy easier. 

I see a bucket list as a form of encouragement, a way to give you that last push to book that flight, visit that friend, or even just take you out of your comfort zone. 

I get it. Not every activity you see is attainable but within this list, i think there are many ways you can find enjoyment all over the globe.

I hope this travel bucket list can act as a form of inspiration for any future travelling you plan to do. Within my travel bucket list are expensive activities like skiing but also cheaper travel alternatives like beach hopping, so I do hope there is something for everyone.

So grab a pen, or laptop, and jot down which of these travel experiences you want to add to your travel bucket list.

What Are The Best Travel Activity Ideas For Your Bucket List in 2023?

This travel bucket list will offer you ideas from the relaxing views of the Northern Lights to the adrenaline-pumping skiing in the mountains.

Are you ready? Let’s go…

1. Explore Ancient Architecture

Ancient Architecture can be found on every continent, each with its own rich historical and cultural heritage. Ancient Architecture allow us to acknowledge life 100s or even 1000s of years ago understanding where the native’s culture is derived from.

You can visit the Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat or the Acropolis to name a few which are all a must-visit.

Travellers can really appreciate the beauty of the buildings and discover how they were built so many years ago.

A key item to have on your bucket list.

Top Location – Every Continent.

2. A Safari Adventure 

Going on a safari in Africa is like stepping into a David Attenborough documentary. 

Imagine seeing lions, elephants, and giraffes up close in their natural homes. It’s not just a vacation; it’s a thrilling adventure where you get to explore vast savannas and beautiful deserts. Plus, you’re contributing to local communities and supporting wildlife conservation efforts. 

And let’s not forget the incredible cultural experiences you’ll gain, meeting friendly locals and learning about their way of life. It’s an unforgettable bucket list experience that is a MUST do.

This really is one of my dream bucket list destinations.

Top Location: Africa (Botswana/Kenya)

3. See The Northern Or Southern Lights

Seeing the Northern Lights is like stepping into a fairy tale. 

Imagine the night sky coming alive with vivid colours, dancing and swirling above you. It’s a breathtaking show put on by nature! Visiting the Northern Lights isn’t just a trip; it’s an adventure that fills you with happiness. You’ll feel a deep connection with the universe, reminding you of the incredible beauty of our natural planet. 

Trust me, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s one of the natural wonders of the world and MUST be on your bucket list.

Top Location: Norway (Northern), New Zealand (Southern)

4. Go Island Hoping

Picture this…

You get to explore multiple dreamy islands, laze on pristine beaches, dive into vibrant underwater worlds, savour delicious local cuisines, and soak in diverse cultures, all in one trip. 

Island Hoping MUST be on your bucket list!

I had the opportunity to do this in Greece and Thailand and can safely say island hoping promises a day full of fun before you crawl back to your bed knackered from the day’s antics. it’s an absolute must for any travel lover!

Top Location: Almost any country with beaches (just make sure you check the weather haha!)

5. Go Scuba Diving

Scuba diving offers an unparalleled opportunity for travellers to explore the mesmerising underwater world.

Picture yourself surrounded by vibrant coral reefs, gliding alongside graceful sea turtles, and marvelling at the sheer diversity of marine life. It’s something everyone should experience at least once.

My favourite underwater adventure from my recent trip was swimming alongside the whale sharks in the Philippines, a bucket list activity ticked off!

Top Locations: South-East Asia (Koh Tao – Thailand, Gili T – Bali, Great Barrier Reef – Australia).

6. Go Hiking

Hiking trails are no walk in the park; they’re an extraordinary adventure! 

These trails are famous for a reason – not only do they challenge your limits, they lead you to awe-inspiring vistas and immerse you in natures wonders. Trekking up renowned paths like the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (one of the seven wonders of the world!) or the Appalachian Trail isn’t just about the destination; it’s about the journey. 

You’ll meet fellow adventurers, witness breathtaking landscapes, and conquer challenges that leave you with lasting memories.

Difficulty level:

Beginner – Mount Batur – Bali

Intermediate – Kilimanjaro – Tanzania

Harder – Machu Picchu – Peru (alternative trail)

Top locations – Each continent has their unique trails for you to add to your bucket list!

7. Head Out On A Road Trip 

Do you want the ultimate freedom and flexibility for the best travel experience?

I recommend renting a car or bike and heading out on the road.

You can explore stunning landscapes up close, from rolling hills to coastal cliffs, and stop anytime to capture the perfect photo or take a spontaneous hike. Road trips allow you to escape rigid schedules, enabling you to be spontaneous and change plans on a whim.

Top locations: Route 66, USA – Great Ocean Road, Australia – and many MANY more.

8. Volunteer Abroad

Volunteering allows travellers to contribute positively, learn new skills, and make a genuine impact on local issues. To volunteer ethically, research is vital: choose reputable organisations (like Projects Abroad), ensuring they prioritise sustainable, community-driven initiatives. Understand local customs, respect privacy, and engage respectfully with locals. 

Alternatively, with sites like Worldpackers, you can exchange work for accommodation, creating a budget-friendly travel option. 

Always check you have the right permits in place if you wish to volunteer, it’s nationality-dependent!

Not all volunteer programmes are free, make sure to check the package before you book!

My volunteering highlight is sea turtle conservation in Nusa Penida, preserving and hatching new life safely.

9. Overnight Boat Trips

Let me paint two pictures for you…

Witness majestic Komodo dragons in their natural habitat, snorkel in vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, and relax on secluded beaches. It’s an immersive experience that blends nature, relaxation, and exploration. Now…

Imagine sailing through glacier-carved landscapes, surrounded by towering cliffs and serene waters. You’ll encounter cascading waterfalls, charming villages, and perhaps even the magic of the Northern Lights.

Both last 2 days and 1night whether you choose the tropical climate of Komodo or the maritime of Norway, these boat cruises can be done almost anywhere in the world.

Komodo Islands truly was a trip of a lifetime and holds some of my favourite ever travel stories. 

Top Locations: Labuan Bajo, Indonesia – Norwegian Fjords, Norway. Amongst many more!

10. Stay in Overwater Bungalows

Staying in overwater bungalows is usually a popular bucket list idea for many travellers.

Imagine waking up to the gentle lapping of waves beneath your feet, surrounded by the scenic turquoise waters and vibrant marine life which is just a step away from the bed you lay in. 

On the more expensive side, the Maldives has the most famous overwater bungalows however more affordable ones can be found throughout south-east Asia.

I stayed in these bungalows during my trip to Khao Sok National Park for around £60 (2500 Baht) on a 2 day-1 night tour including food and other activities like jungle hikes. This experience can be booked from your accommodation in the town of Khao Sok.

Top locations: Maldives – French Polynesia – Khao Sok.

11. Wake Up For A Sunrise

Almost anywhere in the world can hold the most spectacular sun rises, so don’t be lazy and set that alarm!

The world is peaceful, the air crisp. It’s a reminder of life’s simple beauty, grounding you. Each sunrise is a promise of a new day, full of possibilities.

BUT…

If you’re going somewhere specifically for a sunrise, make sure to check the weather forecast… Do not make the same mistake I did on my hike in Bali…

12. Await a Sunset

Witnessing a sunset is a profound travel experience. 

It’s nature’s art, painting the sky in mesmerizing colours, evoking awe and tranquillity.

For a traveller, it’s a moment to pause, reflect, and appreciate life’s beauty.

Catch a glimpse of the stars twinkling in the darkening sky as the sun sets. This is something you can do anywhere in the world and offers the perfect moment to interact with fellow travellers on similar routes to you.

13. City Tours

Embarking on city tours offers travellers a chance to delve deep into the heart of a destination and visit various landmarks. These journeys unwrap a city’s layers, revealing its history, culture, and hidden gems.

One minute you can be at the MahaNakhon Skywalk in Bangkok catching the views of the city or the Burj Khalifa in Dubai seeing one of the tallest buildings in the world and the next you’ve stumbled upon a dog café in the heart of Bangkok which actually turned out to be one of my favourite places to visit.

Some of the best views or unique adventures are right in front of you.

You never know what each city has to offer until you do your research. 

Trust me.

You won’t regret it!

14. Visit A Market

In bustling markets, one can savour diverse cuisines, shop for unique handmade crafts, and interact with friendly locals, creating unforgettable experiences. 

Or with Christmas markets, adorned with festive lights, exuding a magical atmosphere, enhancing the holiday spirit. Such markets are littered with culture, making travel memorable, enriching, and truly immersive.

Christmas is a magical time of the year and a Christmas market is definitely something you should add to your bucket list.

Top Locations: Chatuchak Weekend Market, Thailand – Cologne Christmas Market, Germany.

15. Experience The Nightlife Of A New City

One of the BEST ways to socialise with locals and fellow travellers.

Let your hair down and take part in all sorts of drinking games. I can say with complete confidence these nights will help you make new friends you will keep for life!

Each city has a different but vibrant nightlife for you to enjoy.

It’s a great way to break barriers and truly immerse yourself in the essence of a city, making each journey all the more memorable… or not depending on how much you drink haha. 

Craziest Nightlife – Thailand

Biggest Surprise – Da Lat (Check the maze bar out!) & Hội An, Vietnam

16. Go To A Music Festival

If you want to join the party lifestyle then a music festival should be at the top of your bucket list.

These festivals showcase local and international talents, immersing travellers in the essence of a destination. Attending such events allows travellers to connect deeply with the local culture, forging unforgettable memories.

Music festivals are more than just music. They are epic spectacles that ignite senses and emotions, just look at Tomorrowland!

These festivals can be found all over the world so make sure to check the party calendar so you don’t miss out!

Top Locations: Tomorrowland, Belgium – Coachella, USA- Glastonbury, UK

17. Attend a Country’s National Festival

The only national festivals I have ever attended are Chinese New Year and Songkran in Thailand.

Now let me tell you, they really are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities you MUST add to your bucket list. Although I 1000% will be back for Songkran lol.

These national festivals present a golden opportunity to witness a country’s soul, making connections with locals and fellow travellers alike. Embracing these celebrations means truly immersing yourself in a new and exciting culture.

Engage in alllll the fun activities a Country has to offer because they truly are unique to that moment of the year. When will you really be back again?

Top Festivals: Songkran, Thai New Year – Carnival, Brazil.

18. Visit Some Waterfalls

These natural beauties should be high up on your bucket list destinations. 

They are simply breathtaking.

They provide you with such an incredible experience: the sound of rushing water, the cool mist on your face, and the lush greenery surrounding you, all provide the PERFECT backdrop for your Insta feed.

Make sure the weather is good thou, as it can make or break your trip when visiting one of the top places on your bucket list. 

Waterfalls are something everyone wants to visit and luckily they can be found almost anywhere on your adventures.

Top Locations: Niagara Falls, USA, Canada – Iguazu Falls, Argentina, Brazil both known to be some of the top waterfalls in the world.

19. Swim With Dolphins

Swimming with wild dolphins is a cherished experience, attracting travellers globally. 

These sites offer pristine blue waters, rich marine life, and opportunities to witness dolphins in their natural habitat. Engaging with these intelligent creatures fosters a deep connection with nature, promoting conservation awareness. 

Swimming with dolphins really should be considered one of the top activities on your bucket list as it is not every day you can swim alongside these magnificent mammals. 

Top Locations: Bahamas, Hawaii, New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, and Lovina – Bali

20. Go To A Theme Park

This one kinda sells itself.

Entertaining, creative, and different depending on what part of the world you’re in.

This one is bound to get the adrenaline going.

This bucket list idea is sure to fill your day with A LOT of fun!

Top Locations: PortAventura, Spain – Universal, USA.

21. Go Skydiving 

This one is for the brave souls with big cojones!

This is one I’m yet to do but is definitely one to add to your bucket list.

You can’t talk about outdoor adventures and not mention skydiving. 

It fosters courage, conquers fear, and not only fuels personal growth but also provides a unique perspective on life from high above, making it an unparalleled adventure.

Top Locations: New Zealand – USA – Dubai.

22. Try A Local Cooking Class

Now this one can impress your family or significant other.

Taking part in cooking classes provides first-hand insights into regional cuisines, culinary traditions, and local ingredients. Engaging in these classes promotes cultural understanding, encourages social interaction, and allows travellers to bring a piece of the destination home through its authentic flavours, making their journey richer and more memorable.

At budget-friendly prices, cooking classes are definitely a bucket list item.

Top Locations: Anywhere with a distinctly different culture to where you live.

23. Book a World Famous Bike Tour

One of the places I wanted to go, and unfortunately missed out on, is the Hà Giang Loop which is a must for your bucket list. 

Bike routes and tours can be seen all over the world but this one has been called by many ‘the highlight of Vietnam’.

Being one of the top tourist spots for its breath-taking landscapes, and challenging roads that offer an adventurous experience. The loop provides an opportunity to explore the stunning karst mountains, and terraced rice fields, and interact with local hill tribes, immersing oneself in the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

Get plenty of practice beforehand else you’ll end up shutting a whole road down like I did in Chiang Mai…

24. Ride The Sand Dunes 

One of the BEST places to both admire the view and experience the thrill of off-road driving.

Fly down the dunes with yourself at the wheel, or with a guide, and do your best not to roll the buggy.

This adrenaline-filled activity provides an authentic taste of these regions’ raw, untouched beauty, making it a must-do activity for those seeking both adventure and cultural immersion.

A top tourist attraction, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Top Locations: Mui Ne, Vietnam – Huacachina, Peru.

25. Go Canyoneering

Canyoneering offers travellers an exhilarating adventure through natural canyons, involving activities such as swimming, climbing, and jumping off cliffs into clear water pools.

This activity can be a perfect way to break the ice with new people as everyone is just there to have fun.

An excellent activity to add to your bucket list.

Top Locations: Moalboal, Philippines.

26. Go Surfing

Now this is wayyy harder than it looks.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert most places in the world offer great surfing spots.

Bali was one of the most amazing places that offered beginner surfers great value and expert tips when stepping onto a board for the first time.

Put your fear aside, grab a board, and let the waves wipe you out 100 times before you finally catch that wave that will give you a mad rush – you won’t regret it!

Top Locations:

Beginners: Bali, Indonesia (Kuta Beach)- Costa Rica

Advanced: Bali, Indonesia (Uluwatu/Java) – Nazare, Portugal (it’s best left for true experts this one haha).

27. Go Skiing/Snowboarding

“Skiing is easier to learn but harder to master… whereas Snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master”. A common saying you will encounter and in general this is true. 

These snow sports offer travellers, a more expensive but seriously fun activity that is considered a top travel destination.

Whether you are brand new or an expert, mountains all around the world offer unique slopes posing a different challenge each time. You can even consider going off-piste if you have the confidence to tackle the tough terrain. 

I have been skiing over 10 times now and can safely say it is one of the best activities in the world, you’ll be addicted after you start carving up the slopes and therefore must be on your bucket list.

Top Locations:

Beginners: Borovets, Bulgaria – Aspen, USA.

Advanced: Chamonix, France – Squaw Valley, USA.

28. Hold A Monkey

Now I don’t know of my places where this is possible but let me tell you Monkey Forest in Bali was one of the best places to visit.

It must be one of the world’s only places you can hold a monkey.

HOW COOL IS THAT!

It is totally ethical too.

I won’t tell you how they take the picture but it is so so clever.

Without a doubt one of the coolest places around the world.

Top Location: Monkey Forest, Bali.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have an idea of some activity ideas you can use while travelling, book some now! Choose one or many of the ideas above and have fun!

My number 1 would have to be skiing but let me know what you think!

FAQs:


How Do You Entertain Yourself While Backpacking?

Simple!

Some ideas to keep yourself entertained include: Reading, socialising at hostels, making a blog/vlog, and taking part in local sport amongst many more.

The list is truly endless but there are just a few ways to keep yourself entertained while backpacking.

Which Country Has The Most Outdoor Activities?

Countries all over the world have activities for you to do but here are some of the top-ranked destinations for adventure…

  1. Brazil
  2. Italy
  3. Greece
  4. Spain
  5. Thailand
  6. Portugal
  7. New Zealand
  8. Australia

What Is A Bucket List Adventure?

A bucket list adventure refers to an activity that is a MUST do when you are on holiday/travelling.

These activities are the ones I deem essential when composing a bucket list. The activities above allow you to experience a variety of challenges and discover the inner workings of a new destination each time you visit.

Reading different content can give you an idea of the activities that will interest you when you travel.