Everyone has a traveler’s bucket list: a list of places to visit throughout one’s lifetime. However, choosing the places to visit can be difficult, especially if money and time are limited. So, how do you choose which places to visit?
Luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place! This list will help you choose the best places to visit with our picks for must see places in the world. Each of these selections has beautiful scenery, delicious food, and unique experiences that you will never forget.
Preparing For Your Ultimate Bucket List
There is no doubt that you need to prepare thoroughly in order to truly enjoy visiting your bucket list destinations. After all, when you travel the world, you want to make sure that you are prepared for any event, whether it is the local weather, using local travel methods, or even the occasional emergency.
1. Set Your Budget
The essential thing that you need to do when preparing for your ultimate travel bucket list is setting your budget. Setting a budget lets you pick the destinations that will give you the best bang for your buck, as there are places that are more expensive to visit than others. You also need to finalize how much you would need to spend for your flight, accommodations, and other travel expenses such as your local transport.
2. Narrow Down Your Options
After you’ve finalized your budget, you will be in a better place to choose the destinations that you want to visit. This means that you will have to prioritize. In all likelihood, there are destinations that you would want to visit more than others. Make sure to put those on top of your list so that you know how to best prepare.
3. Check Travel Websites For Advice
If you’re visiting a place for the first time, chances are that you won’t really know where to go to maximize your visit. In order to use your time wisely, you can check travel websites for advice regarding the best tourist spots, best restaurants, and even hidden gems!
3. Prepare All Your Essential Travel Documents
The quickest way to ruin any vacation is not to have all the required documentation. Passports are a must-have no matter where you go, but you might need other documents such as a visa or even medical records depending on your destination. Once you’ve chosen your travel destination, make a checklist of all the required documents you will need to visit. You should also take note of how long these documents would need to be processed. For first-time passport applications, the process generally takes around 4-6 weeks, so make sure to plan accordingly.
>> Be comfortable anywhere you go with all the must-haves travel accessories.
3. Check For Travel Deals
Creating your own travel itinerary is great if you love adventure and unplanned trips, but if you want something a bit more structured, you can always check for travel deals and vacation packages. Getting a travel deal can save you money, and you won’t need to worry about missing out on popular destinations or how to get around.
The Ultimate Bucket List Checklist
Planning for the ultimate bucket list vacation can be stressful, so here is a quick checklist that you can use to make sure that you have everything you need to enjoy your trip.
- Visa (if required by the destination country)
- Round-trip plane tickets
- Cash (it’s always best to carry cash in the local currency of your target country, as well as US dollars because these are easy to convert in an emergency)
- Credit cards (inform your bank that you are traveling to avoid any issues)
- Travel documents (some countries may require hotel booking or the contact information of a local resident at immigration)
- Emergency contact (make sure that you have the emergency contact number available in your luggage and wallet)
- Travel insurance (it always pays to be prepared for any eventuality on a trip, especially if you are in a country that doesn’t speak the same language. Consider getting insurance so that you and your property will be covered during your trip.)
Always check the local weather of any location that you are visiting and pack accordingly. You can also check weather forecasts for the dates of your trip so that you can be prepared for changes in weather. Take note that weather forecasts are much more accurate the closer to the actual dates.
When packing clothes, pack tops, bottoms, and underwear for each day of your trip, and at least two additional days in case you need to change your clothes.
- Light, waterproof jacket
- Sweater (if you’re going somewhere with cold weather)
- Cap or hat
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Flip flops
NOTE: If you are visiting countries that have culturally appropriate clothing, pack the right clothes. For example, if you are visiting temples or other holy places, it is not considered appropriate to wear clothing that shows too much skin, such as short skirts or spaghetti straps.
Today’s travelers should always be prepared when packing the right gadgets for both communication and navigation.
- Extra dumb phone (for emergencies)
- Local sim card (you can get these at the airport when you land)
- Power bank
- Universal power adapter (if you’re visiting a country that has a different power outlet configuration)
- Headphones or earphones
When packing toiletries, you should consider getting a travel kit so that you will save space in your luggage. Plus, it’s more eco-friendly!
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Alcohol/Hand Sanitizer
- Tissue paper
NOTE: For women, make sure to pack feminine hygiene products as you might not find the brands that you’re used to. The same goes for men when it comes to things like shaving cream and aftershave.
First Aid Kit:
Have a small first aid kit handy in your luggage so that you can be prepared for minor injuries or other travel-related issues like motion sickness.
- OTC medication (Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Mefanamic acid, etc.)
- Sunburn cream
- Insect repellent
- Motion sickness pills
NOTE: If you have any personal prescriptions or medications that you take regularly, make sure that you have enough for your whole trip. You might not be able to find the same pills at your destination.
These items aren’t a necessity, but they are still handy to have in your luggage.
- Wet wipes
Bucket List Destinations in the Americas
The Americas are one of the best places to visit when it comes to fulfilling a bucket list because of the diversity of the countries! From beautiful and natural destinations to popular festivals, the Americas has something for every traveler.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
From the iconic Jesus statue called the Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer) to the colorful and beautiful Carnival, Rio de Janeiro is a must-visit for those who love a vacation filled with music, dancing, and exotic locations. Considering the beauty of the city and the friendliness of the locals, it’s no wonder that the country is one of the must see places in the world and has been the subject of countless movies, such as Once Upon a Time in Rio and Road to Rio.
Do you have a desire for picturesque beaches, lush resorts, and sipping a Mai Tai on the shore while listening to the crashing waves? Then you need to book a flight to the Barbados Islands! For adrenaline junkies, swimming with the gorgeous marine life up close at the Folkestone Marine Park will definitely be a hit. You can also go exploring at Harrison’s Cave.
Machu Picchu, Peru
For history buffs, Machu Picchu, Peru, is a destination that should be on the top of a bucket list! You cannot visit Machu Picchu without taking the time to see the beautiful ancient ruins of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu, where you will feel like you’ve stepped back in time. You can also gaze at the beautiful scenery at Mandor or hike on the Inca Trail.
New Orleans, Louisiana
From delicious and authentic Cajun cuisine to the world-famous Mardi Gras, New Orleans is a 24/7 party! If you want to be close to the action, make sure to get a hotel at the French Quarter, which is considered the beating heart of NOLA. (That’s New Orleans, Louisiana, for all you non-locals).
New York, New York
The city so nice, they named it twice! New York is considered to be one of the most exciting, diverse, and unforgettable cities to visit in the USA. As the city that never sleeps, you’re sure to find something new to do every time you turn the corner, from going up the Empire State Building to visiting the Statue of Liberty, making it one of the must see places in the world. If you get hungry, make sure to grab a bite at Katz’s Deli, which many New Yorkers say serves THE best pastrami sandwich in the city.
Los Angeles, California
Another amazing melting pot of cultures, Los Angeles, is home to famous landmarks such as Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard, and Universal Studios. LA is also a must-visit destination for Potterheads who want to get a sip of butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If nature is more your style, make sure to visit La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, and imagine what it’s like to step into a time machine to see the Ice Age in real time.
Bucket List Destinations in Europe
Europe is such a unique place because it is where the old meets the new. Almost every city in the continent has classic architecture nestled against modern buildings, and each place has its own rich history and culture begging to be explored.
Paris has certainly earned its title as the city of lovers – from the moment you step in, you feel the romance in the air! You’ll certainly never run out of places to visit in this beautiful city, from the iconic Eiffel Tower to the historic Notre Dame. You might want to consider getting a guided tour so that you can really appreciate the history of each landmark in Paris.
Walking around Rome, Italy will make you feel like you’ve magically stepped back in time because of the numerous ancient landmarks dotting the city landscape. From the Pantheon to the Colosseum to the ruins of the Roman Forum, you’ll be able to walk the same cobblestone streets that were populated by the likes of Plato and Pliny the Elder. Don’t forget to visit the Trevi Fountain and throw in a coin so that you’ll get a wish granted!
A beautiful island off the coast of Greece, Santorini has everything you need for a magical vacation. From picturesque cliffs overlooking the southern Aegean Sea to quiet little vineyards around the island where you can taste the local vintages, Santorini might be as close as you can get to a fairytale. Make sure to book a hotel in Fira, the largest town on the island, so that you can taste the best local fare that Santorini has to offer.
Bucket List Destinations in Asia
Everywhere you go in Asia, you are sure to find something that will make you want to extend your vacation a little bit more. From the pristine beaches in Bali to the ultra-modern city of Singapore, Asia is truly a world-class destination that should be on every bucket list.
Cheap beachfront hotels, delicious food, and a rich heritage are some of the reasons why people flock from all over the world to visit Bali, Indonesia. Aside from the numerous beaches, Bali has a special place in the heart of nature lovers because of the unique attractions, such as Mount Agung and the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
Paro Valley, Bhutan
Bhutan might not always be included in popular destinations in Asia, but for those willing to have an adventure, Paro Valley should not be missed! This historic town is filled with many sacred temples and buildings where you can steep yourself in the heritage of the country. There are so many landmarks to visit that you might want to consider booking a longer stay just to be able to enjoy everything!
Singapore is one of the most modern countries in Asia, and even though it’s a small place, you’ll never run out of things to do! Try the local fare at one of the countless hawker centers around the city, or pay a visit to Sentosa Island to experience Universal Studios, Resorts World, and the S.E.A Aquarium. Even the airport itself is a marvel, making it one of the must see places in the world; with a cinema, dozens of restaurants, and the largest indoor waterfall in the world, Changi Airport has certainly earned its title of “Best Airport in the World.”
Bucket List Destinations in Africa
When one thinks of Africa, images of a safari immediately come to mind. However, Africa offers so much more! From the beautiful nature parks in Kruger to the historical pyramids in Cairo, Africa is an exciting and unforgettable place that travelers should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Cape Town, South Africa
Located on the most southern tip of Africa, Cape Town’s endless beauty is the stuff of social media dreams. To get the best views, ride on the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and greet the sunrise. Then, head on over to District Six Museum to learn more about the unique history of Cape Town. Finally, take a stroll through the colorful neighborhood of Bo-kaap to get some of the best travel pictures ever.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Get up close and personal with Africa’s Big 5 (lions, elephants, African buffalo, rhinos, and leopards) at Kruger National Park. To get the best experience, sign up for a guided tour. Pro tip: the night safaris are the best because this is when the lions are most active!
Are you a fan of ancient architecture and amazing artifacts? Then make sure to visit the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, Egypt. This museum houses hundreds of relics and treasures that showcase Egypt’s vibrant heritage. Don’t forget to visit the Nile River so that you can truly feel the deep historical connection of the city to its past.
Bucket List Destinations in the Middle East and Australia
Finally, let’s wrap up this bucket list guide with some of our picks from the Middle East and Australia. These destinations are sure to be filled with exotic locations and unforgettable experiences that will make you want to plan another visit in the future.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you have never visited the Middle East, Dubai is a great starting point. It showcases much of Middle Eastern culture and heritage, but it is a bit more casual and tourist-friendly compared to neighboring countries. You’ll marvel at man-made wonders such as the luxury beach found at Palm Jumeirah. For those pressed for time, plan a visit to Dubai Mall (the largest mall in the UAE), which is a haven for shopping, dining, and entertainment choices. Make sure to pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes, because you’ll be strolling around a lot!
Jerusalem, Israel, is a favorite destination for both religious pilgrims and those who appreciate its religious history. You need to dress appropriately when you visit Jerusalem, especially if you plan to visit religious or sacred sites such as Yad Vashem (The World Holocaust Remembrance Center) or the Old City of Jerusalem. However, if you’re in the mood for something a bit more laidback and casual, plan a visit to the open air Mahane Yehuda Market. You’re sure to find some interesting souvenirs and delicious local food items to try!
With world-class entertainment, a bustling dining scene, and eye-catching architecture, Sydney, Australia is no doubt a solid bucket list entry. Everyone will find something to do here. Nature lovers will love Bondi Beach and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Architectural buffs should not miss the Sydney Opera House, and everyone will love hanging out at Sydney Harbour for a beer or two.
To Wrap It Up
There you have it, our picks for must see places in the world that you should include in your travel bucket list! Each of these places have their own charm and unique offerings, so you’ll never get bored. While there’s something to be said about being spontaneous when it comes to travel, planning your trip ensures that you’ll be able to make the most of your time and money. Check here to see more bucket list places to travel!
Who knows, you might find a hidden gem or two when you visit these bucket list places that you haven’t read about on Internet travel sites! Never be afraid to chat up with the locals and ask for recommendations. You might discover a new beloved dish at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or find a great local band at the neighborhood bar. There are endless possibilities for those who love going on adventures!