Have you been planning a round the word (RTW) trip? If you’ve been dreaming about RTW travel, what’s on your ultimate round the world bucket list?
We’ve been planning our trip for a long tome now. We even have a very large map of the world on a wall in our condo. Every time he reads about a new place, Halef dutifully writes it down on a sticky note and posts it on our world travel bucket list map.
That list is getting long!
He’s more of a planner than I am, so there’s not much there with my handwriting. Halef has a lot of great bucket list ideas and keeps track of them both on this map and in Google maps.
In August 2019, we finally took the plunge and quit our jobs. We’ve got a lot of stuff on our list. Some are with blogging and vlogging in mind. Some places are “just because” or for some personal reason. For example, Michael wants to go to Lebanon to see where his grandfather was born.
But there are other places that are probably on a lot of people’s bucket list, so those are the bucket list things we’re adding here.
Our bucket list is long. But that’s partly because my bucket list is slightly different than Halef’s. So we’ve included both here.
And it’s going to change. A lot. And often!
This is not just a list of places to see before you die. We want to see these places and live long enough after we see them that we can tell the stories that inevitably happen along the way! It’s the perfect bucket list for long-term travelers.
Planning a Round The World Trip
Our plan is to leave Atlanta and travel the world in October 2019 for about 2 years – at least. That could change. Most likely, it will change to longer. We expect there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to love it so much we’ll never want to come back.
Travel is a huge part of who we are. If you’re reading, it probably is for you, too.
That said, travel is expensive. Even a cheap trip is going to cost a good bit of money. We’ve been doing great for the past year and already have enough money saved to go for a year if we want.
But we want to save for at least another year. Our goal is to have more than enough money so, if we want to do a few expensive things, we can.
Still, to mitigate the costs of our world trip and (what we think is) the ultimate bucket list, we’re following two big rules:
We’re going to travel slow
The biggest cost for many RTW travelers is the cost of moving around. Our plan is to find a base and stay there for a while. For example, we may try to find an affordable AirBnB outside a major city and rent it for a couple of months.
This will allow us to see far more for far less.
We’re staying away from expensive destinations
This is a big one. We’ve already seen a lot of Western Europe, Canada, and the United States. Early in 2019, we’re going to Antarctica. So we’ll basically have the most expensive destinations in the world out of the way before we tackle the rest of our bucket list travel destinations.
In other words, we’re going to take our time and spend the bulk of our trip in South America, Asia, Eastern Europe, and other inexpensive places.
How did we create the best bucket list?
We’ve been dreaming of full time travel for a long time. We have aver 120 Lonely Planet books, and we’re going to travel for a long time, so it’s been fairly easy to make a bucket list.
That said, it’s not so easy to create a reasonable bucket list. But you should be able to create a list with easy bucket list ideas to start.
But who says your list has to be reasonable? Your “ultimate bucket list” should be about dreaming – not necessarily about doing! They don’t have to be realistic bucket list ideas.
Just create a list of things you want to see and do and do your best to make it a reality.
The best bucket list ideas are the ones that work for you!
We certainly won’t check off all of our bucket list destinations. After all, there are over 150 items on it so far – and some are super expensive. But in life, you should create goals and write them down.
If your goals are huge, you’re going to fulfill a lot more than if your bucket list goals are small!
“Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.”
David Joseph Schwartz
A good bucket list is a list of the places you WANT to see – not a list you know you’ll achieve. If it’s on your mind, write it down! Better yet, create a bucket list world map!
If you’re not in a place where you can take the time to do long-term travel, take bucket list vacations instead. Check them off one at a time!
Take a look at our bucket list examples below. Maybe there are a few you’d like to see before you kick it! If you have unique bucket list ideas, like diving with whales, add them to your list or map!
Our ultimate round the world bucket list
We’re not exactly a “bucket list family” – the types to check off boxes, but we do like to write things down that we want to see. However there are no absolutes.
We’ll add to it, rarely delete from it, and make other modifications, and find unique bucket list ideas that maybe we hadn’t considered before.
So, here it is – our ultimate round the world bucket list that will begin in 2019. And again, a lot of these places are places we’ve already visited [✓] – especially the expensive places.
Many of the links below are from other travel bloggers who’ve been there. We’ve chosen posts with lots of great information, so take a look at their personal experiences.
We hope you enjoy these good bucket list ideas!
North America travel bucket list
- Camp in Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona [✓]
- Hike Bryce Canyon National Park – Utah
- Arches National Park – Utah [✓]
- Visit the La Brea Tar Pits – Los Angeles, California [✓]
- Visit Kennedy Space Center – Houston, Texas [✓]
- Cruise down the Mississippi
- Canyonlands National Park – Utah [✓]
- Volcanoes National Park – Big Island, Hawaii [✓]
- Attend New Year Eve in Times Square – New York City [✓]
- Ride the Train across Canada [✓]
- St. Pierre and Miquelon [✓]
- Snorkel in Dry Tortugas National Park [✓]
South America travel bucket list
- Iguazu Falls – Argentina/Brazil [✓]
- Participate in Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Visit Machu Picchu – Peru [✓]
- Camp in Salar de Uyuni – Bolivia [✓]
- Cruise the Amazon River – Manaus, Brazil to Iquitos, Peru
- Visit Angel Falls – Venezuela
- Dive the Galapagos Islands – Ecuador
- Explore Easter Island – Chile [✓]
- Totumo Mud Bath – Colombia [✓]
- Visit Las Lajas Sanctuary – Colombia
- Learn about the Argentinian Wine Industry – Mendoza, Argentina
- Explore Valpairaso street art – Chile [✓]
- Hike in Patagonia – Argentina/Chile
- See wild Jaguars in Pantanal – Brazil
Central America travel bucket list
- Visit Chichen Itza – Mexico
- Celebrate the Day of the Dead – Mexico City [✓]
- Visit Tikal National Park – Guatemala [✓]
- Explore Antigua City Center – Guatemala
- Cross the Panama Canal – Panama
- Explore Teotihuacan – Mexico [✓]
- Check out the Blue Hole – Belize
- Dive the Sea of Cortez – Mexico [✓]
- Dive the Cenotes – Tulum, Mexico
- Canopy tour – Monteverde, Costa Rica
Caribbean travel bucket list
- Garden of the Queens – Cuba
- Visit a tobacco plantation – Cuba
- Caribbean’s largest cave – Dominican Republic
- Explore the underwater world of Bonaire
Europe travel bucket list
- The Solar Solstice at Stonehenge – England [✓]
- Kiss the Blarney Stone – Blarney Castle, Ireland
- The Rock of Gibraltar
- Sardine Festival – Lisbon, Portugal [✓]
- Bathe in the Budapest Thermal Baths – Budapest, Hungary [✓]
- Climb the Giralda Tower – Seville, Spain [✓]
- Visit Hagia Sophia – Istanbul, Turkey [✓]
- The Blue Mosque – Istanbul, Turkey [✓]
- The Acropolis and more – Athens, Greece [✓]
- Santorini – Greece [✓]
- Skiing in Andorra [✓]
- Hot-Air Ballooning in Cappadocia Region – Turkey
- Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway – Russia
- Visit the Hermitage – St. Petersburg, Russia
- Chernobyl (Yes, really!) – Ukraine
- Visit Pippi Longstocking’s hometown – Visby, Sweden [✓]
- Participate in La Tomatina – Buñol, Spain
- Hike Cinque Terre – Italy
- Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany
- Blue Lagoon thermal baths – Iceland
- Visit the Underground Vatican City – Vatican [✓]
- Chateau Versailles – Versailles, France [✓]
- Visit the Colosseum – Rome, Italy [✓]
- Explore Switzerland by train – Switzerland
- Visit the Fortified Churches in Transylvania, Romania
- Hike up the Eiffel Tower – Paris, France
- Visit the British Museum – London, England [✓]
- Visit the Louvre Museum – Paris, France [✓]
Southeast Asia travel bucket list
- Attend Waisak in Borobudur – Indonesia [✓]
- See the Ramayana Dance in Prambanan – Indonesia [✓]
- Watch the Sunrise over Angkor Wat – Cambodia [✓]
- Cruise Ha Long Bay – Vietnam
- The Songkran Ceremony – Bangkok, Thailand
- Dive Wakatobi – Indonesia
- Dive Raja Ampat – Indonesia [✓]
- Visit Komodo National Park – Indonesia [✓]
- Hang with Orangutans – Sumatra or Borneo, Indonesia
- Boat trip down the Mekong River – Thailand/Laos [✓]
- Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels – Vietnam [✓]
- Visit Kuang Si Waterfalls – Luang Prabang, Laos [✓]
- Explore the Temples of Bagan – Myanmar
- Visit Kelimutu Lakes – Flores, Indonesia
- Visit Gardens by the Bay – Singapore [✓]
- Stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel – Singapore [✓]
South/Central Asia travel bucket list
- Taj Mahal – Agra, India
- Visit Dhobi Ghat – Mumbai, India [✓]
- Explore Amer Fort – Jaipur, India [✓]
- Funerary ceremonies along the Ganges River – Varanasi, India
- Participate in Holi – India
- Explore Goa – India
- Chill in the Backwaters of Kerala – India
- Climb Sirigaya Rock – Sri Lanka
- Gates of Hell – Turkmenistan
- Ranthambore National Park – India
- Changing of the Guard Ceremony – Pakistan/India
- Everest Base Camp Trek – Nepal
- Jantar Mantar Observatory – Jaipur, India [✓]
- Dive the Maldives – Maldives [✓]
- Train adventure through India – India
East Asia travel bucket list
- Climb the Great Wall of China
- Visit The Forbidden City – Beijing, China
- Wulingyuan Avatar Forest – Hunan, China
- Honor the Hiroshima Victims – Hiroshima, Japan
- Stay at a Japanese Capsule Hotel – Japan [✓]
- Visit the Golden Pavilion – Kyoto, Japan [✓]
- Great Buddha – Kamakura, Japan [✓]
- Visit the Terracotta Warriors – Xi’an, China
- The Gates of Hell – Derweze, Turkmenistan
- Visit the DMZ – South/North Korea
- Attend a Kabuki Theater performance – Japan [✓]
South Pacific and Oceania travel bucket list
- Go camping in the Outback – Australia
- Visit the Pink Lake – Perth, Australia
- Visit Hobbiton – Matamata, New Zealand [✓]
- Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge – Sydney, Australia [✓]
- Swim with Humpback whales – Tonga
- Visit the Cook Islands [✓]
- Visit Uluru (a.k.a. Ayer’s Rock) – Alice Springs, Australia
- Dive the Great Barrier Reef – Cairns, Australia
- Dive with Jellies – Palau
- Take a cruise on Milford Sound – New Zealand
- Jump from New Zealand’s Highest Bungy [✓]
Middle East and North Africa travel bucket list
- Visit the Great pyramids of Giza – Egypt [✓]
- Cairo Museum – Cairo, Egypt [✓]
- Explore Petra – Jordan [✓]
- Observe the Haj – Mecca, Saudi Arabia
- Visit Persepolis – Iran [✓]
- Float on the Dead Sea – Israel/Jordan [✓]
- Camp in Wadi Rum – Jordan
- Cruise the Nile – Egypt
- Visit Alexandria – Egypt
- Visit Luxor – Egypt
- Leptis Magna – Libya
- Shiraz, City of Poets – Iran [✓]
- Explore the Chefchaouen – Morocco
- Timbuktu – Mali
- Dive in the Red Sea – Egypt/Jordan [✓]
- Attend a Christmas Mass – Bethlehem, Palestine
- See the Western Wall – Israel
- Tel Aviv Gay Pride – Israel
Africa travel bucket list
- Hike to Victoria Falls – Zambia/Zimbabwe
- Cage dive with Great White Sharks – Gansbaai, South Africa [✓]
- Visit mountain gorillas – Great Rift Valley, Rwanda
- Explore the Okavango Delta – Botswana
- Walk with elephants – Botswana
- Visit Djibouti
- Join a Safari Tour- Kenya
- Timbuktu – Mali
- Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – Nairobi, Kenya
- See the Great Wildebeest Migration – Serengeti, Tanzania
- Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro – Kenya/Tanzania
- Visit Lalibela Churches – Ethiopia
- Lake Malawi on a boat
- Explore Mauritius
- Climb Tabletop Mountain – Cape Town, South Africa [✓]
- Explore the Wine Region – South Africa [✓]
- Boulders Beach – Cape Town, South Africa [✓]
- The Nubian Pyramids – Meroe, Sudan
Antarctica bucket list
This is one of the top bucket list travel destinations for us and we checked it off in March, 2019!
- Dive under the ice
- But really, just go and do all of these things!
Our other top bucket list items
Here are some bucket list experiences we want to do that don’t fit nicely within one of the regions above.
- Cross an ocean on a cargo ship
- Cross another ocean on a sailboat
- Be a passengers on Virgin Galactic (!!)
- Run seven marathons on seven Continent
What’s on your bucket list?
So that’s our world travel bucket list. What are your top bucket list destinations? Do you have any bucket list holidays planned?
This is a huge planet, and there’s no way we could ever list all of the wonderful things there are to see out there – or even all the things to add to your bucket list.
But we hope you find some of our bucket list suggestions useful.
It’s a growing list for us, and what we end up seeing will largely depend on how much time we have and, more importantly, how much money we have.
Pin this for later
So, have we missed anything really important? Are there any cool bucket list ideas we should know about?
What are your bucket list travel destinations?
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Michael is originally from Canada but now resides in Atlanta, GA with his husband, Halef, who also writes here. He is a Couchsurfing expert. Michael has traveled to over 50 countries learning how to experience more for less as he travels.