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Travel bucket list ideas:

20 Best travel experiences in 2024

  • Multiple countries

Last updated: 25 April, 2024

If you’re wanting to do something special this year – and not the classic big hitters like the Grand Canyon or Taj Mahal – take a look at these recommendations. From the thousands of bucket list experiences on our site, we’ve picked our favourites that offer something unique and compelling in 2024.

Table of Contents
  • Venice, Veneto, Italy

  • Bucket List Experience

Cicchetti are Venetian tapas, traditionally served in a bacaro (wine bar), and often eaten by the Venetians before lunch or dinner. Take a cicchetti tour – guided or independent –  and sample these weird and wonderful dishes.

Adult price: -

Good for age: 18+

Duration: -

Swim with blue whales

  • Mirissa, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

  • Bucket List Experience

Blue Whale underwater

Experience

The world’s largest mammal is surprisingly difficult to see – except here, on Sir Lanka’s southern coast. It’s the best, most accessible and most reliable place in the world to see – and snorkel – with the big blues. Tours depart from Galle and Mirissa between February and mid-March, when the whales feed on giant shoals of krill.

Adult price: 270

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 3 hours

Website >
  • Harads, Norrbotten County, Sweden

  • Official star rating:

Sleep in a UFO

Place to Stay

Sleep in a UFO

The ‘UFO’ is just one of the brilliantly unique treehouses you sleep in at this designer hotel in a Swedish Lapland pine forest. Other options include a bird’s nest or a biosphere. You may see the Northern Lights from bed.

Average

Extra beds

Pool

2+ bedrooms

Beach

Kids menu

Fitness center

Kids club

  • Mayan Riviera, Mexico

  • Bucket List Experience

This ancient Mayan purification ceremony is designed to cause intense physical, emotional and mental release – and a transformative feeling of rebirth by cleansing and reuniting the physical, mental and spiritual forms. The ceremony, led by a shaman, takes place in a small, circular ‘steam house’, made of rocks and mud.

Adult price: 80

Min age 13

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 3 hours

When: Daily

  • Kemi, Lapland, Finland

  • Bucket List Experience

Every year, this extraordinary real-life ‘ice castle’ in northern Lapland is rebuilt using giant blocks of ice cut from a nearby frozen sea. Guests sleep in icy rooms, buried beneath reindeer furs, and can dine in the icy restaurant. The next day, take a cruise on the nearby Sampo Icebreaker, transferring by snowmobile.

Adult price: 350

Good for age: 8+

  • Porto, Norte, Portugal

  • Bucket List Experience

Portugal’s only current tourist train, the ‘El Presidente’ uses 19th-century historic vehicles of exceptional quality to transport passengers through the Douro Valley for a gastronomic lunch and port and wine tasting at a family-owned private lodge.

Adult price: 475

Min age 12

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 10 hours

  • Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico

  • Bucket List Experience

Swim (cage-free) with American crocodiles in glassy-clear water in a pristine biosphere reserve on these 3-day adventures. Crocs aside, this wreck-scattered atoll on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera teems with sea life – so superb diving and snorkelling too.

Adult price: 850

Min age 16

Good for age: 16+

Duration: 3 days

  • Tuscany, Italy

  • Bucket List Experience

Learn about these extraordinary tubers – the most highly prized of Tuscany’s rich food harvest – on an expert-led truffle hunt in traditional Tuscan countryside. Hunts are often combined with truffle-based lunches or cooking lessons with truffles.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: -

  • Malaga, Andalusia, Spain

  • Bucket List Experience

The ‘World’s Most Dangerous Walkway’ is this vertiginous walkway, pinned 100m above ground to the walls of the narrow gorge in Malaga’s mountains. The 1.5 km-long boardwalk hike promises thrills, chills and hopefully no spills.

Adult price: 25

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 3-4 hours

  • Hafnarfjordur, Iceland

  • Bucket List Experience

A once-in-a-lifetime experience: the chance to travel down inside the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano, the only place in the world where it’s possible to do so. Tours last 4-5 hours, and see visitors descend by lift into the massive, hollow cone.

Adult price: 260

Min age 8

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 4-5 hours

  • Crete, Greek Islands, Greece

  • Bucket List Experience

The 7.5-km trail takes you from the ghost village of Aradena, along very old, cobbled mule tracks (called kalderimia), criss-crossing the riverbed and climbing up and down the sheer cliffs. The route ends at the pebble cove of Marmara, home to a fantastic authentic Greek taverna where you can lunch overlooking the beach.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 2-3 hours

  • Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

  • Bucket List Experience

There are not many places in the world you can climb a waterfall – and at 450m, this also happens to be the highest. Set on the shores of stunning Lake Wanaka, the via Ferrata-esque course has 3 levels to suit varying abilities. The full 5-7 hour climb to the top also goes behind the waterfall, and helicopters you back down from the top.

Adult price: 110

Min age 10

Good for age: 10+

Duration: 3-7 hours

Hot sand onsen

  • Ibusuki, Kyushu, Japan

woman's face sticking out of hot black sand

Experience

The world’s only natural sand bath sees participants buried up to their neck in the black sands of Ibusuki Beach for 15 minutes. Naturally occurring, geothermally-heated spring water flows under the beach, infusing the sand with 55°C steam. Benefits include improved blood circulation, elimination of toxins, reduced respiratory problems and relief from rheumatism.

Adult price: 7

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 30 minutes

Website >
  • Speyside, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)

  • Bucket List Experience

The lush countryside of Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries, and the only malt whisky trail in the world. There are eight famous distilleries on the trail, each offering tastings and insights into each distillery’s unique blend. There’s also the Speyside Cooperage, where you can watch the ancient art of barrel-making.

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

  • Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

  • Bucket List Experience

Built in 1746, this stunning marble palace (and famous Octopussy cult hideout) was the winter palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II of the royal dynasty of Mewar. Mesmerising from the outside, inside it houses a peacock-filled central garden, with fountains, pillared terraces and shady courtyards. It’s now a five star hotel, under the Taj Hotels brand. If that’s too far, why not stay in one of these other 14 great palaces?

Adult price: 700

Good for age: 18+

  • Mayan Riviera, Mexico

  • Bucket List Experience

Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is like a pumice stone, riddles with holes, caves, caverns and water-filled sinkholes. These natural wonders, every one uniquely shaped and decorated with hanging vines, glassy water, stalactites and stalagmites, offer spectacular swimming, snorkelling and diving. Explore beyond the usual tourist-magnets, and you can sometimes have them all to yourself.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 1+ hours

  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia

  • Bucket List Experience

For an unforgettable dinner in the desert under a carpet of a billion twinkling stars – that includes a fascinating lesson in astronomy – head for the ‘Sounds of Silence’ experience at Australia’s Uluru. While you’re there, walk around this magnificent, enigmatic ochre monolith (or fly over it by helicopter), try some ‘bush tucker’ and stay the night in a luxury tent at the incredible Longitude 131.

Adult price: 165

Good for age: 8+