52 epic travel experiences for your 2019 bucket list

Dec 13 2018, 12:07 am

It’s 2019 and all the worldly adventures await. Get a pen (JK, it’s 2019, open up your Notes app) — it’s time to start drafting that bucket list!

We’ve shared our top destinations for every type of traveller in 2019, but now it’s time to start setting goals around the specific experiences you want your year to bring.

And yes, we will be following up with you in one year to see which ones you checked off.

1. Go gorilla trekking

Mountain gorilla Uganda

Mountain gorillas in Uganda. (Shutterstock)

Coming face-to-face with a species that is 98% genetically identical to humans, but 20 times stronger, is the ultimate bucket list experience. Rwanda, Uganda, or the Democratic Republic of Congo are where you’ll need to go to make this happen. Check out our gorilla trekking guide for everything you need to know.

2. Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef

Scuba diving Great Barrier Reef

Scuba diving Great Barrier Reef. (Shutterstock)

It’s slowly deteriorating (major sad face) so 2019 is the year to check this one off!

3. Visit Machu Picchu

bucket list 2019

A cloudy day at Machu Picchu. (@kelliepaxian/Instagram)

Get that #llamaselfie. From trekking recommendations to the best time to go, here is everything you need to know before you go to Machu Picchu.

4. See orangutans in the wild

off the beaten path

Orangutan in Sandakan, Borneo, Malaysia. (Shutterstock)

Head to Borneo to see this hilarious orange ape. Along with orangutans, Borneo is where you can see sun bears (with their long tongues), proboscis monkeys (with their giant noses), and baby turtles being released to sea (with their adorableness). It’s a magical island and you need to get there now.

5. Go shark diving

bucket list 2019

Great White Shark cage diving in Gaansbai. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

Shark diving is a rush like nothing else. Photo taken in Gansbaai just outside of Cape Town, which BTW is an epic city that should also be on your bucket list.

6. Explore the ancient ruins of Petra in Jordan

travel in 30s

Petra, Jordan. (Shutterstock)

Step into ancient history as you explore the “Rose City,” named for its pink sandstone cliffs that have been carved into tombs and temples.

7. Ride in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia

travel in 30s

Cappadocia, Turkey. (Shutterstock)

Is this even real life? With its moonlike landscape and sky filled with whimsical hot air balloons, this World Heritage Site in Turkey is turning us into a human heart-eyed emoji.

8. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

bucket list 2019

Mt. Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park. (Shutterstock)

As Africa’s highest peak, one of the Seven Summits, and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania feels pretty bucket list worthy if you ask us.

9. Go ziplining

bucket list

Ziplining in Costa Rica. (Shutterstock)

If you haven’t ziplined before, it is an epic experience! You can do it anywhere from the jungles of Costa Rica to the Colca Canyon in Peru, or go for it right in your own backyard. Here are 9 places to zipline in BC, or enjoy five hours of ziplining fun in Mont-Tremblantl Quebec.

10. Participate in the Holi Festival in India

bucket list

Holi Festival in Nandgaon, India. (Shutterstock)

India is undoubtedly on the bucket list of every word traveller (and here are 10 tips for your first trip). The festival of love, Holi, is celebrated in the springtime and is the most vibrantly coloured bucket list experience to add to your list.

11. Ride a camel through the desert

bucket list

Camel riding in the Sahara Desert, Morocco. (Shutterstock)

Whether you’re in Morocco, Dubai, or Mongolia, the connection that you feel to your animal and the spectacular scenery during this experience will be something you won’t forget.

12. Party at the Full Moon in Thailand

bucket list

Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand. (Shutterstock)

With buckets and body paint galore, partying in Thailand is definitely something that party people should experience just once. It didn’t make our list of the 13 best party destinations in the world for nothin’!

13. Road trip through the Rocky Mountains

bucket list

Rocky Mountains in Banff, Alberta. (Shutterstock)

And stop at these picture-perfect lakes along the way.

14. Set foot in all seven continents

bucket list 2019

Seven continents. (Shutterstock)

Yes, we’re even looking at you, Antarctica.

15. Go on an African safari

bucket list

African safari. (Shutterstock)

The incredible animals of Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and beyond are calling your name! Time to get that flight booked.

16. Party at Mardi Gras in New Orleans

bucket list 2019

Mardi Gras, New Orleans. (Shutterstock)

Beads for everyone!

17. Experience the wildlife of the Galápagos Islands

bucket list

Mola mola at Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. (Shutterstock)

Bow down, humans. From blue-footed boobies to flamingos, Darwin’s finches to giant tortoises, the animals own the Galapagos. And we prefer it that way.

18. Go skydiving

bucket list 2019


You can skydive all around the world, but Dubai seems like a suitable bucket list choice. It’s a rush like no other.

19. Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia

bucket list

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. (Shutterstock)

As one of the largest and most famous temple sites in the world, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat is a must-visit on your tour through Southeast Asia.

20. Climb Mount Everest

bucket list 2019

Trekking Mount Everest. (Shutterstock)

Scaling the highest mountain in the world is a challenge you need to tackle in 2019. But first, check out these critical packing tips for your multi-day adventure trek.

21. Hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostela trail

bucket list

Camino de Santiago. (Shutterstock)

Yes, 2019 is all about embarking on journeys of self discovery, taking the path less travelled, and pushing your limits. And what better place to start than this pilgrimage route across northern Spain?

22. Go kayaking in Antartica

bucket list 2019

Kayaking with humpback whale in Antarctica. (Shutterstock)

Bonus: Kill two birds with one stone between this and #14!

23. Cruise the Amazon River

bucket list

Boat on the Amazon River. (Shutterstock)

South America, here you come! The Amazon and its tributaries flow through Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil. Here are eight other bucket list experiences in Peru while you’re there.

24. Walk the Great Wall of China

bucket list 2019

Great Wall of China. (Shutterstock)

This epic landmark is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World for a reason. Fly into Beijing and take it in the wall in all its glory.

25. Visit the Salt Flats in Bolivia

bucket list

Salt flats in Bolivia. (Shutterstock)

This dreamy mirage is going to bring you all the Insta likes.

26. Go up the tallest building in the world in Dubai

bucket list

Burj Khalifa towering over Dubai. (Shutterstock)

Burj Khalifa isn’t the only stunning building in this futuristic metropolis. All the inspo you need for your trip to Dubai is right here.

27. Take a gondola ride through the canals of Venice

bucket list

Gondola ride in Venice. (Shutterstock)

Venice really is the dream. Explore the canals by gondola with your charming Italian captain, and top it off with all the gelato.

28. Swim in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

bucket list

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland. (Shutterstock)

Iceland’s landscapes will take your breath away. It’s definitely a must for 2019.

29. Witness an active volcano

bucket list 2019

Lava flowing at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. (Shutterstock)

You can see volcanic steam in places like Ubud in Bali or Colca Canyon in Peru, but seeing the flowing lava IRL is insane. Check out Hawaii’s Big Island for five (!) active volcanos.

30. Run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain

bucket list

Running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. (Shutterstock)

This one’s for all you daredevils out there. Just please be careful, okay?

31. Raise your glass and “Prost” at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

bucket list

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. (Shutterstock)

Yes, drinking beer can be a bucket list goal. We approve this message.

32. Witness the northern lights

bucket list

Aurora Borealis, Norway. (Shutterstock)

Here’s an Instagram-worthy island in Norway that is the perfect place to see them.

33. Check out the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

bucket list

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. (Shutterstock)

Just please don’t climb to the top and enjoy an “adult cuddle”, like these people did

34. Visit 30 countries by age 30 (or insert your own numbers!)

travel in 20s

Cable car in Medellín, Colombia. (Shutterstock)

Here are 20 places to travel in your twenties or 30 places to travel in your thirties if you need some inspo!

35. Marvel at the Hong Kong skyline

bucket list

Hong Kong skyline. (Shutterstock)

Hong Kong’s skyline is a dancing spectacle of twinkling lights, and it’s something that needs to be seen to be believed. Check out our Hong Kong travelogues to plan your trip.

36. Release a wish lantern into the sky

bucket list

Sky Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (Shutterstock)

Here are some beautiful Insta photos from last year’s festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that will give you all the feels.

37. Go skiing in the Alps

bucket list 2019

Skiing at Valle Blanche in the French Alps. (Shutterstock)

Fresh pow-pow, epic views, that European charm — your 2019 is set up for success.

38. Trek through rice fields in Vietnam, Indonesia or the Philippines

bucket list

Rice terraces in Banaue, The Philippines. (Shutterstock)

Did you know these terraces are often called the Eighth Wonder of the World?

39. Fall in love in Paris

bucket list

Lovers in Paris. (Shutterstock)

These Paris travel guides will make you fall in love with the city itself before you even get there.

40. Gamble in Las Vegas


Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority/Facebook

Put $50 on red for us, kay? (If you win, we would like to receive our portion. It’s [email protected], thanks!)

41. Spend a night in an overwater bungalow

bucket list

Overwater villas in Bora Bora, French Polynesia. (Shutterstock)

Or, you know, an underwater bungalow like this one that just opened in the Maldives.

42. Island hop in Greece

bucket list 2019

Sunset over Santorini. (Shutterstock)

Santorini, Mykonos, Ios… we’re coming for you. Start pouring the ouzo.

43. Party at Carnival in Brazil

Brazilian women dancing samba music at Carnival party. (Shutterstock)

Rio is sizzzzzling and arranging your visit around Carnival is the ultimate party. Let our travel guides help you make the most of your trip.

44. Dive the Great Blue Hole in Belize

bucket list

Great Blue Hole in Belize. (Shutterstock)

Just like this Vancouver-based submariner and Richard Branson.

45. See a Broadway show in New York City

Broadway show New York

Broadway shows Times Square New York. (Shutterstock)

New York is just one giant bucket list experience, and Broadway is calling singing your name. Here’s everything you need to know for your trip.

46. Cruise through Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

where to go in Asia

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. (Kellie Paxian / Daily Hive)

The emerald waters and limestone islands are absolutely breathtaking. Here are 10 tips to travelling in Vietnam like a boss.

47. Attend a luau in Hawaii

bucket list 2019

Hula dancers at luau in Hawaii. (Shutterstock)

Enjoy a delicious feast and then loosen up those hips and to go join the hula dancers.

48. Encounter a Komodo Dragon at Komodo National Park

bucket list

Komodo Dragon on Rinca Island, Indonesia. (Shutterstock)

49. Go wine tasting in the world’s best vineyards

bucket list 2019

Vineyard in Stellenbosch outside of Cape Town, South Africa. (Shutterstock)

Hit up the iconic vineyards of Napa, Tuscany, Cape Town, or wherever your thirsty taste buds take you.

50. Go trekking in Patagonia

bucket list

Hiking boots in Patagonia, Chile. (Shutterstock)

For views unlike anywhere else in the world.

51. Catch a sunset in Oia, Santorini

bucket list

Sunset over Oia, Santorini. (Shutterstock)

It is the sunset capital of the world, after all.

52. Go to the hottest place in the world

hottest place on earth

Danakill depression. (Shutterstock)

The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia really does look like a psychedelic neon explosion.

Those are just a few of our faves, but we want to hear from you. What are the top items on your bucket list? Leave us a comment and share the wanderlust!

Kellie PaxianKellie Paxian

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