The phrase “bucket list” has a macabre origin, having been distilled from the 17th-century expression “kick the bucket.” But the phrase that means “to die” has thankfully evolved to take on a different meaning. Now, a bucket list is a list of things one wants to do or complete before dying.
Some people create a list of new skills to learn. Some enumerate activities to experience or milestones to accomplish. But more and more people are creating a travel bucket list and going out into the world. So, we created one too. Here are 10 awesome places to add to your very own travel bucket list.
Bali, Indonesia is a tropical haven eight degrees south of the equator. You can lounge by its gorgeous beaches, surf and ride the waves, or just simply be enthralled by its natural beauty. The temples are a visual and mystical treat, too. The Tanah Lot Temple, Uluwatu Temple, and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple are some worth visiting. For the best beach experience, head to Amed Beach, Balangan Beach and Balian Beach.
The Eternal City of Rome, in Italy, carries a history that dates as far back as 753 B.C. This rich heritage is reflected in the city’s majestic structures. When in Rome, visiting the Vatican Museum, Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica and The Roman Colosseum are a must. Likewise, Rome’s food and wine scene deserve attention, too. One can opt for a more refined dining experience in sophisticated restaurants, or go for a local, more immersed Roman dining feel at neighborhood trattorias. Either way, outstanding food is guaranteed in this city.
Amsterdam’s culture per capita is deemed highest compared to any other city in the world. This fact is not surprising, as there are 75 museums—attracting 7 million tourists each year—within the city. The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House should be at the top of your museums-to-visit list. However, there’s more to the city than that. Visit the Dam Square to see the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk. Or check out the Jordaan—a charming neighborhood lined with 17th-century houses. You can also go to the Vondelpark to take a break from the city hustle.
Sydney’s breathtaking shoreline and impressive architecture are enough reasons to add this city to your travel bucket list. While Sydney is known for its iconic structures—like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge—the city is also blessed with natural beauty. Take a dip at the trendy Bondi Beach or the more laid back Coogee Beach, and marvel at the sights and aboriginal heritage experience of Royal Botanic Gardens.
Barcelona receives eight million tourists per year, making it Europe’s third most visited city. And why not? Barcelona has so much to offer. Come to Barcelona for the architect Antoni Gaudí—whose works were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sites include Park Güell, Casa Vicens, Casa Batlló and the most famous of his works, the Sagrada Família. Barcelona is also known for its festivals—there is actually a fiesta for every month of the year that you can look forward to.
You just can’t get enough of Phuket. There are many beaches to explore, islands to visit, restaurants and cafés to try, and so many night markets to splurge on. Phuket’s beaches are top-notch. Patong Beach and Karon Beach are ranked as two of the most popular shores in Phuket. In the mood for island hopping? Phi Phi Island, Coral Island, and Racha Islands are easily accessible by boat, and each offers distinctive wonders. Craving a blend of dining and shopping? You will be pleasantly surprised with the options Phuket has to offer.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan in Puerto Rico is a cultural, historical and tourism hub that has successfully fused old-world European charm with modern Caribbean. For a taste of history, explore Old San Juan by visiting the fort of Castillo de San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal. Want to know more about Puerto Rico’s heritage? Visit two of their top museums, Museo de las Américas, and Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. If you prefer the more vibrant Caribbean experience, the New San Juan offers luxurious beachfront accommodations, shopping, and exciting nightlife.
Besides being voted as the best ski destination in all of the United States, Breckenridge is also known for other things. The town is 159 years old, but its Main Street still exudes a cowboy-esque vibe with its breweries, saloons and shops. Breckenridge is majestic during winter but also glorious during summer. Tourists flock to the mountains to traverse, bike and hike the aspen-lined Boreas Pass Road. Finally, Breckenridge embraces all levels of skiers. The Breckenridge Ski Resort has different sections or peaks to match your level as a skier.
Santorini—or classically known as Thera—is an island in the southern area of the Aegean Sea. The island is part of a group called the Cyclades. A popular tourist’s destination, Santorini is known for its tours. Visit Akrotiri for a tour of an ancient town destroyed by a volcano. You may also take a dip at the nearby Red Beach and Vlychada Beach. Or you can explore the famous town of Oia, a village north of Santorini. This town is one of the most photographed places in the world and is known for its tiered white houses and breathtaking sunsets.
La Fortuna, Costa Rica
La Fortuna is a small town in Costa Rica and has become a popular destination offering a unique outdoor experience. Tourists will never run out of things to do in La Fortuna. One can start with a trail hike around Costa Rica’s famous Arenal Volcano. There are luxurious hot springs like Tabacon and EcoTermales around Arenal that you should definitely not miss. For an adrenaline rush, try white water rafting, zip-lining, and traversing hanging bridges.
A bucket list is not just a list of things to accomplish. Essentially, it is simply a reminder that life is fleeting, and that time does not wait for us. It is good to set our priorities in order. However, setting aside some time to accomplish the things that inspire us is also vital for our well-being. So, write that travel bucket list. Then see where your feet take you.