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Ultimate Travel Bucket List – 14 Ideas to Inspire Your Wanderlust

Catching a sunrise at Angkor Wat, hiking Machu Picchu or visiting the ancient city of Petra. What’s on your travel bucket list? While bucket lists seem a bit cliche, there’s never been a better time to dream up new destinations to explore. The world is full of incredible destinations and life-changing experiences that are just begging to be explored.

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite travel bucket list ideas and the world’s greatest adventures. No matter what part of the world intrigues you, our list of awe-inspiring journeys serves as an inspiration for future adventures. Pack your passport and let’s go.

Visit the Ancient City of Petra, Jordan

Man admiring the Treasury of Petra, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Man admiring the Treasury of Petra| GETTYIMAGES – CARLO107

Al Khazneh - the Treasury, ancient city of Petra, Jordan, travel bucket list

Photo| The Treasury or Al Khazna, Petra, Jordan| GETTYIMAGES – ANTON PETRUS

Petra is a UNESCO-listed site that has all the makings of a top travel bucket list destination. One of the 7 Wonders of the World, the “Rose City” is a sprawling wonderland of ancient architecture and history. Take a step back in time and discover meticulously preserved remnants of an ancient civilization. Don’t miss the photo-worthy facade of the Treasury building, then head to the impressive Roman Theater, Colonnaded Street and Ad-Deir monastery.

Where to Stay:

Petra Moon Hotel

Petra Moon Hotel, hotel near your ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Petra Moon Hotel| Provided by PETRA MOON HOTEL

Just 150 metres from the entrance, Petra Moon Hotel is a top choice for exploring Petra. Stay in one of the spacious Double, Triple or Twin rooms (Family Rooms can accommodate up to five guests), and enjoy flat-screen TVs and air conditioning. Along with hearty breakfast buffet options, the hotel boasts a beautiful roof garden and terrace and a seasonal outdoor pool.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Petra.

Spot Wildlife in Patagonia, Chile & Argentina

man resting on the rock in el chalten

Photo| Man resting on the rock in El Chalten| GETTYIMAGES – FRANCKREPORTER

Torres del Paine National Park, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Torres del Paine National Park| GETTYIMAGES – MANUEL BREVA COLMERIO

Most outdoor enthusiasts have hiking and wildlife watching in Patagonia at the top of their travel bucket list. For good reason. Chilean Patagonia offers limitless adventure in its untouched landscapes, which range from coasts and glaciers to mountains, lakes, fjords and rainforests. Hikers can embark on multi-day trips to glacier-fed lagoons, paddle next to penguins and sea lions in the Land of Fire. Explore the epic Torres del Paine National Park, which is home to Grey Glacier, Frances Valley and the Torres peaks.

Perito Moreno Glacier in Autumn, travel bucket list


Where to Stay:

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa| Provided by BOOKING.COM

With a near-perfect rating on HotelsCombined, Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa offers spectacular rooms with Torres del Paine National Park views. While there are no in-room TVs, the view from your in-room deep soaking tub is more than enough entertainment. Unwind with a soak in the spa’s outdoor hot tub, then dine on hearty stews at the restaurant.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Patagonia.

Hike to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, Peru

Ruins of Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, Andes, Peru, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Ruins of Machu Picchu, Inca Trail| GETTYIMAGES – GO GA

paved pathway overlooking Machu Picchu ruins, Peru, travel bucket list

Photo| Paved pathway overlooking Machu Picchu ruins| GETTYIMAGES – ANNA GORIN

It’s virtually impossible to leave Machu Picchu, Peru’s famed ancient citadel tucked within a cloud forest, off a travel bucket list. The secret city perched in the mountains is best seen on foot, with different hikes varying in length, altitude and difficulty. If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy photo souvenir, the scenic Huayna Picchu trek leads to a viewpoint overlooking the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Steps At Huayna Picchu, ultimate travel destination


Where to Stay:

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is the perfect place to rest your head before or after exploring Machu Picchu. Its whitewashed adobe casitas are set in an intimate Andean village, offering terraces with plunge pools and butler services. Its on-site spa uses natural products like mint, eucalyptus and orchids for its pampering treatments, while the restaurant pairs Peruvian cuisine with river views.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Machu Picchu.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Woman watching flying balloons at sunrise in Cappadocia, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Woman watching flying balloons at sunrise in Cappadocia| GETTYIMAGES – ANNA SHVETS

Flying over Cappadocia

Photo| Flying over Cappadocia| GETTYIMAGES – STANLEY CHEN XI

Set in central Turkey, Cappadocia is said to be the best places to enjoy a hot air balloon ride with its surreal landscapes and excellent flying conditions. The once-in-a-lifetime flying adventure allows you to float above the unique scenery of Cappadocia, over the picturesque valleys and volcanic “fairy chimney” formations and over rippled ravines. Upgrade to a VIP tour with a champagne toast for a romantic touch.

Where to Stay:

Cappadocia Cave Suites

Cappadocia Cave Suites, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Capadoccia Cave Suites| Provided by BOOKING.COM

A perfect home base for ticking this travel bucket list item off your list, Cappadocia Cave Suites offers spacious suites carved directly out of “fairy chimney” rock formations, some adding cosy fireplaces. Toast with local wines and live music at the bar, get pampered at the spa’s Turkish bath or wake up early to see the hot air balloons at sunrise from the terrace.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Cappadocia.

Raft the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA

Mesa Arch, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Mesa Arch in the Canyonlands National Park| GETTYIMAGES – TOBIASJO

Couple portrait inside Antelope Canyon

Photo| Couple inside Antelope Canyon| GETTYIMAGES – FILIPPOBACCI

While the Grand Canyon National Park is full of epic hiking trails, why not see the great gorge from a completely different perspective? Viewing this majestic natural wonder is at the top of almost everyone’s travel bucket list, but seeing it from below is something that many rarely get to experience. Book a rafting rendezvous and capture views of side canyons, Puebloan sites and swimming holes – and of course, plenty of wild waters.

Where to Stay:

El Tovar Hotel

El Tovar Hotel is one of the top Grand Canyon hotels, located directly on the canyon’s South Rim. The crown jewel of the Historic National Park Lodges, it has hosted the likes of President Bill Clinton, Oprah and Sir Paul McCartney. If you can peel yourself away from the captivating canyon views, see if you can spot the moose head in the lobby donated by Teddy Roosevelt.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Grand Canyon.

Cruise Around the Whitsundays, Australia

Heart Reef at the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays Queensland

Photo| Heart Reef at the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsundays| GETTYIMAGES – BYRNECK

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, Queensland, travel bucket list

Photo| Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays| GETTYIMAGES – ABSTRACT AERIAL ART

Swimming with sea turtles, sailing crystal-clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef and digging your toes in one of the world’s most beautiful beaches – that is what it’s like to visit the Whitsundays in Australia. An archipelago of 74 tropical islands, the pristine and pure sands of Whitehaven Beach might be calling your name, but how about a sailing adventure? Hop in a catamaran and venture to secret beaches and secluded bays and soak up the incredible island views.

Where to Stay:


Qualia, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Qualia| Provided by QUALIA

Qualia is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious Great Barrier Reef hotels and a top spot for snorkelers, beloved by its prime location on the northern tip of Hamilton. Along with a lavish spa, outdoor pools and gourmet waterfront restaurants, Qualia also boasts luxe water-facing accommodation. Expect panoramic Whitsunday island views, spacious living rooms, private sundecks and infinity-edge pools in top-tier Pavilions.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels in the Whitsundays.

Float in the Dead Sea, Israel

Salt crystals on surface of Dead Sea, Israel, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Salt crystals on the surface of Dead Sea, Israel| GETTYIMAGES – IDO MEIROVICH

Body mud treatment, travel bucket list

Photo| Woman wrapped with natural mineral-rich mud of Dead sea beach| GETTYIMAGES – RUSLANDASHINSKY

Considered the lowest point on earth, floating in the Dead Sea is travel bucket list-worthy. Feel the surreal sensation as your legs slowly rise when you enter the water, as the high salt content makes you incredibly buoyant. As a bonus, the high mineral content of the water is said to have health benefits. Make sure to cake yourself in genuine Dead Sea mud before soaking in the sea, but don’t shave anything at least 48 hours before you go – it will burn!

Where to Stay:

Herods Dead Sea

Herods Dead Sea is an award-winning hotel set on the shores of the Dead Sea, boasting its own private stretch of beach. Take in spectacular sea views from the terrace of the on-site restaurant, then get rejuvenated in the spa’s Turkish hammam or relax poolside. Most accommodation options have Dead Sea views, while upgraded rooms add outdoor Jacuzzis.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near the Dead Sea.

Road Trip Along Iceland’s Golden Circle, Iceland

The Geyser Strokkur Iceland in the early morning light.

Photo| The Geyser Strokkur Iceland| GETTYIMAGES – ANDREAS JONES

Spectacular Gullfoss waterfall in southwest Iceland. ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Gullfoss waterfall in southwest Iceland| GETTYIMAGES – SIZUN EYE

Easily accessible from its capital city Reykjavik (which is home to the famed Blue Lagoon), Iceland’s Golden Circle is a self-drive adventure with spectacular stops. Along the way, you can see tectonic plates at the stunning Þingvellir National Park, watch the boiling water erupt at Strokkur Geysir and take the majestic views of the powerful Gullfoss Waterfall. Bonus points if you also stop at Kerið Crater Lake created from a cone volcano that erupted.

Kerid Crater Lake In Iceland, ultimate bucket list

Photo| Kerid Crater Lake In Iceland| GETTYIMAGES – BORCHEE

Where to Stay:

Hilton Reykjavik Nordica

Hilton Reykjavik Nordica, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Hilton Reykjavik| Provided by ICE PORTAL

Hilton Reykjavik Nordica is one of the best Northern Lights hotels in Iceland. Go all out with a stay in the posh Presidential Suite for top floor-corner views of Reykjavik Bay and Mt Esja. After road tripping, indulge in Iclandic and Scandinavian cuisine at Vox restaurant, sip cocktails in the chic Lobby Bar or recharge at the spa, sauna and hot tubs.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near the Golden Circle.

Watch the Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, ultimate travel bucket list


Monk exploring old ruins

Photo| Monk exploring old ruins | GETTYIMAGES – WANDERLUSTER

No visit to Siem Reap is complete with a visit to Angkor Wat. The largest religious monument in the world, it stretches for over 400 square kilometres and is home to the magnificent remains of the Khmer Empire. Wake up early (we’re talking like 3am) and prepare yourself to see one of the most famous sunrises in the world. Bonus tip – scope it out and buy your tickets the day before.

Where to Stay:

Angkor Palace Resort & Spa

Angkor Palace Resort & Spa, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Angkor Palace Resort & Spa| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Offering easy access to the ancient wonders of Angkor Wat, Angkor Palace Resort & Spa is a popular spa hotel in Siem Reap. Nestled within a spacious 11-hectare estate, the opulent resort boasts a driving range, tennis court, cooking classes, a lagoon-style pool and spa. Opulent multi-bedroom villas feature private pools.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Angkor Wat.

Take in the Views from Burj Khalifa, UAE

Dubai Skyscraper and Burj Khalifa, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Dubai Skyscraper and Burj Khalifa| GETTYIMAGES – NIKADA

Dubai Skyline in early morning fog, bucket list

Photo| Dubai Downtown Skyline in early morning fog| GETTYIMAGES – © NAUFAL MQ

You can face your fear of heights at Burj Khalifa. Standing at over 800 metres tall, it is the tallest structure in the world and an iconic piece of Dubai’s glittering skyline. Come and experience the 160 stories of architectural genius, and if you’re brave, step out onto the observation deck at 555 metres. Your reward will be jaw-dropping panoramic vistas of Dubai and the surrounding ocean and desert.

Where to Stay:

Manzil Downtown

Manzil Downtown, hotel near your bucket list

Photo|Manzil Downtown| Provided by ICE PORTAL

One of Dubai’s top hotels, Manzil Downtown offers visitors plenty of opulence. Bask in the sunshine at the temperature-controlled pool, lounge on the sundeck and dine on Arabic cuisine at The Courtyard or enjoy a delightful brunch at Boulevard Kitchen. Alternatively, opt for big-screen TVs playing live sports at Nezesaussi Grill. Upgrade your stay in the Deluxe Burj View room or Burj View Suite, which both offers views of the iconic skyscraper.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Burj Khalifa.

Take a Bullet Train, Japan

Night Train in Japan, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Night Train in Japan| GETTYIMAGES – RICH LEGG

Tokyo Skyline with trains Shinkansen, bucket list

Photo| Tokyo Skyline with trains Shinkansen| GETTYIMAGES – SANDRO BISARO

Exploring Japan is a must for any travel bucket list, famous for its glittering temples, high-tech cities, sushi specialties and unique accommodation like traditional onsens (like these in Tokyo and Kyoto) and capsule hotels. The best way to see this incredible country is by high-speed Shinkansen bullet trains, which reaches speeds of 320 kilometres an hour. You can travel from Tokyo to Kyoto in about 2.5 hours! Sit back and enjoy the scenery zip by.

Where to Stay:

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo, hotel near your bucket list

Photo|Park Hyatt Tokyo| Provided by ICE PORTAL

Featured in the film Lost in Translation, the iconic Park Hyatt Tokyo is a luxury retreat. Starting on the 39th floor of the 235-metre-tall Shinjuku Park Tower, it has numerous rooms with direct views of Tokyo’s iconic landmarks. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji from the hotel’s contemporary Japanese restaurant, Kozue. Don’t miss the glamorous on-site pool at the spa.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels in Japan.

Take a Tour of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Female tourist on Salar de Uyuni, Altiplano, Bolivia, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Tourist on Salar de Uyuni, Altiplano| GETTYIMAGES – HADYNYAH

 Laguna Colorada in the Bolivian Altiplano , Bolivia, travel bucket list

Photo| Laguna Colorada in the Bolivian Altiplano| GETTYIMAGES – RENZI TOMMASO

Sometimes called the “World’s Largest Mirror”, Salar de Uyuni is actually the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometres, located in southwest Bolivia at 3,656 metres above sea level. The landscape of bright-white salt and rock formations were left behind by prehistoric lakes that went dry long ago, and left behind a desert like landscape covered by polygonal patterns of salt rising from the ground. Pro tip – Take a tour of this incredible natural wonder from December to April for that beautiful mirror effect.

Cars On Salt Flat, bucket list

Photo| Cars on salt flat| GETTYIMAGES – KAZUKI KIMURA – EYEEM

Where to Stay:

Hotel De Sal Luna Salada

Hotel de Sal Luna Salada, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Hotel de Sal Luna Salada| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Made completely out of salt, Hotel De Sal Luna Salada is a few metres from the largest salt flats in the world. Disconnect and enjoy its remote location, which offers an on-site restaurant serving local specialties, a spa with a steam room and hot tub and stargazing tours. When you’re not relaxing in your spacious room made of salt, visit the game room or book a Shiatzu, Swedish or hot stone massage.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near Salar de Uyuni.

Ride a Gondola, Venice

Gondola in a Venice canal, bucket list

Photo| Gondola in a Venice canal| GETTYIMAGES- APOMARES

Boats In Canal, ultimate travel bucket list


Venice is the city of canals, so it only makes sense that your journey here takes you on the water. After filling up on Italian cuisine, crossing the historic Rialto Bridge and marveling at the beautiful St Mark’s Basilica, see the sights from a new perspective on a romantic gondola ride. After your journey, treat yourself with a glass of local Italian wine or cool down with a scoop (or two) of gelato.

Where to Stay:

The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

The Gritti Palace A Luxury Collection Hotel, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| The Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel| Provided by LEONARDO

Looking for captivating canal views? The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice offers some of the best, with its elegant suites boasting dramatic canal views as well as rare antique furnishings. Dine on Venetian culinary specialties on the terrace of Club del Doge Restaurant or raise a glass champagne at the waterfront Gritti Terrace. Afterwards, unwind with a massage at the posh Gritti Spa.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels in Venice.

Drink Whisky in the Scottish Highlands, Scotland

Glenfinnan viaduct with a steam train, ultimate bucket list

Photo| Glenfinnan viaduct with a steam train passing over it| GETTYIMAGES – WESTEND61

Lonely highland cattle on a country road

Photo|Highland cattle on a country road| GETTYIMAGES – TOMMASOT

Scotland is a country brimming with natural landscapes, beautiful castles and cultural traditions, but one of the top experiences is tasting local whiskies in the picturesque Scottish Highlands. A drive through this epic region is a bucket list experience within itself, offering majestic mountains, mysterious lochs and sensational seascapes. The country’s largest geographical whisky producing area, it would be a shame not to stop and taste the region’s array of distinctive malts and blends, from Glenturret at Crieff and Balblair at Tain to Isle of Raasay Distillery on Skye.

Where to Stay:

Invergarry Hotel

Invergarry Hotel, hotel near your bucket list

Photo| Invergarry Hotel| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Invergarry Hotel is steeped in history and character, ideally located in the Highlands between Fort William and the Nevis Range. It’s an ideal spot for road tripping through the region, offering a cozy on-site restaurant with locally sourced cuisine. There are several room options available, from single rooms to interconnecting family rooms, as well as a Super King Double Room with double-aspect windows overlooking the River Garry and mountains beyond.

Check out HotelsCombined’s other top hotels near the Scottish Highlands.

Add These Around-The-World Experiences to Your Travel Bucket List

Mature woman hiking Bryce Canyon National Park, ultimate travel bucket list

Photo| Woman hiking Bryce Canyon National Park| GETTYIMAGES – NYCSHOOTER

Have you created your own bucket list? There’s no time like the present! With so many incredible destinations across the globe, it’s an excellent time to start planning your dream adventures so that those dreams can become a reality. Don’t dream of what might have been – get out there and do it.

Which of these destinations do you want to add to your travel bucket list? Let us know in the comments below.

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