50 destinations to consider for your bucket list

The Canadian online travel agency FlightNetwork has just released The World's Ultimate Bucket List of 50 travel destinations, many of which should be on your bucket list if they aren’t already.

This isn’t another list dreamed up by folks sitting around an office, fantasizing about places they’d like to visit. FlightNetwork worked in conjunction with more than 800 of what it terms “The world’s leading travel journalists, agencies, bloggers, and editors,” including TheTravelPro, to assemble the list that was released this morning.

Participants were asked to submit their personal top three bucket list destinations along with a brief description of why they are so eager to visit or return to those locations, or jump into or reprise those activities.

With TheTravelPro's focus is on upmarket travel, the destinations I recommended at least offer the opportunity to experience a bit of luxury. Other travelers prefer what Bounder of Adventure* refers to as "adventure holidays." Given the diversity of possibilities, there are some places on this list that you would expect, along with several that might surprise you. Some you'll want to add; others you won't.

Top spot on the list?

Take a wildlife safari in Africa.

“A wildlife safari is a moment of pure adrenaline,” according to Robin Kawakami of Today.com. “You feel called back to nature as herds of elephants and packs of lions roam freely around you. This experience is absolutely worth every second and an adventure meant for a lifetime.”

Photo provided by FlightNetwork.com.au

Not on my personal bucket list. Neither is No. 2 a priority, though I could be convinced to Embark on an expedition to Antarctica, if not exactly as suggested.

“Imagine a whale surfacing beside you to say hello as penguins leap at the bow of your boat all while you circumnavigate an iceberg by kayak,” effused The Planet D.

And if it chose to calf just as you were paddling by? Antarctica, yes. Kayaking there, no.

No. 3, however, was one of those that is on my personal bucket list and which I did recommend: See the Northern Lights.

Although the aurora borealis are legitimately called one of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomena on our planet and are visible from a number of northerly locations, they are not totally predictable. They are visible from late September to early April any time from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., but the night needs to be dark and clear. There must also be solar flares on the sun or a solar wind for them to appear and when they do, they could be visible for mere minutes or for several hours.

One bit of sage advice, then: Don’t go for the lights. Go for the destination, such as No. 9. If the lights make an appearance, it’ll be a bonus.

As with probably any destination, the next two will appeal to some but not others. Trek to Machu Picchu and Sail the Galapagos Islands occupy the No.4 and No. 5 spots. Not on my list at all, but perhaps on yours.

No.6, however, has my complete attention: Lose yourself in the streets of Paris.

The Eiffel Tower

“For the history, for the little gems to discover, for the fact that you can almost walk everything from a point to another – Paris, France, is a world unlike any other,” Vanessa de Montigny of the Journal de MontrĂ©al said.

Having had the briefest taste of The City of Lights – a mere eight hours some 15 years ago – I remain fascinated by this destination. Losing myself wandering the streets would be a delight, though I am still working to convince my wife that we should take a short-term apartment so we can truly live like locals.

Nos. seven, eight and nine fall into the aforementioned category of adventure holidays: Stay in an overwater bungalow, Gorilla trekking in central Africa, and Explore otherworldly Iceland.

At No. 10, Go island hopping in Greece can appeal to all types of travelers, from adventure seekers to those who prefer more luxurious settings. Whether in Athens, on Corfu or Crete, accommodations and activities range from basic to luxe. And don't forget to sample local ouzo. Opa!

The complete list of all 50 bucket list destinations is available here. Peruse it at your leisure.

Some of the destinations that appeal to me include Visit the Grand Canyon (No. 11), which I have done many times, during my childhood in Arizona as well as in my adult years. As my wife is fond of saying, people come from all over the world to see this natural wonder and those who have visited can surely see why. If this destination is on your bucket list, I can personally recommend the El Tovar Lodge, which offers what are arguably the best accommodations and amenities in the park, and which is situated right on the canyon's south rim.

Farther down the list, I could find myself drawn to Snorkel Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, See the Taj Mahal, and certainly Tour vineyards in Bordeaux.

No. 20 has been crossed off our personal bucket list - Take an Alaska cruise - while No. 23, Soak up city life in The Big Apple, is not something we’re willing to consider “crossed off” just yet. We’ve been to New York City several times and are eager to go back over and over again.

Mount. Rundle and Vermillion Lakes, Banff, AB

At No. 28, Ignite your senses in Tokyo, is also on my personal agenda. Though I’ve been there twice, both trips were for work and the visits were far too short. 

I could also repeat No. 29, Visit New Zealand’s south island. It’s home to the famous Marlborough wine region as well as the city of Christchurch, which is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2011.

Other appealing destinations include visiting The Canadian Rocky Mountains in British Columbia and Banff, Alberta; Hike through volcanos in Hawaii; Walk around historic Havana, Cuba; Soak up the sun in Sydney Harbour; Marvel at nature on The Na Pali Coast; and Take in the sights in Rome.

And those are just the ones that appeal to me. As every traveler’s taste is a bit different, look over the destinations and get ready to update your personal bucket list.

Bon voyage!

(* - Bonus points if you can identify the reference WITHOUT Googling it.)

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photo by Carl Dombek unless otherwise noted
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