If you don’t have a travel bucket list, then it’s time to start building one. Life is short and the world is big, so why not plot out all the incredible destinations and travel experiences you’d love to see before you run out of time? That way, by the time you reach the years beyond those milestones, you’ll have made memories that last a lifetime. None of us are getting any younger, so why put your dreams off? Grab your passport and get ready for swashbuckling travel experiences!
Now, scroll down and tag these travel experiences to tick off before turning 50.
Party on Rio’s Ipanema and Copacabana beaches
Sun, sea, sand, bronzed skin and bright bikinis – the beaches in Rio de Janeiro are known for socialising and partying. Tourists and locals play football and volleyball, go surfing and dance to loud music lending to the beaches’ energetic vibes. Watch the sunset on Ipanema behind Morro Dois Irmãos before partying on the beach until the early hours.
Get active in Queenstown
Known as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown offers any activity you can imagine in dramatic surroundings. The town is centred around Lake Wakatipu with The Remarkables mountain range in the background. Winter brings skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and helicopter rides. Summer is a great time for hiking, mountain biking, wine tasting, boat rides, white water rafting and skydiving – not to mention attempting the highest bungy jump in the world. Get the biggest adrenaline rush of your life on the Nevis Bungy with the 8.5-second, 134-metre fall between two mountains.
Camp in a US national park
The US National Park Service has been in action for a century. From its humble beginnings, it now plays host to 59 breathtaking, wild escapes. From world-famous Yosemite and Yellowstone to little-known treasures like the tropical parks tucked away in South Florida, the NPS has no shortage of natural wonder. If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, camping in a US national park should definitely be on your list.
Go on a safari in Africa
Safari is pretty much synonymous with Africa. Let’s just say that South Africa lives up to the hype, with adventure travellers coming in droves to steal glimpses of exotic wildlife. Expect bush-style accommodation with spectacular views and service to match. Limpopo Province, the Cape, and Zululand have some of the best private game reserves in all of South Africa, putting a luxurious twist on the whole experience. Kapama Private Game Reserve, Aquila Game Reserve, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, and Addo Elephant National Park are among our top choices.
Hit up the Vegas strip
As the old saying goes: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” This literal hot spot in Nevada rises up out of the desert in a whirl of madness, sights and sounds. Gambling, live shows, and non-stop partying are all on the menu, making it a top pick for last-minute fun.
Hit the zip-line in Costa Rica
Travel experiences of Costa Rica are for people who wish to seek thrill in this tropical wonderland. Zip-lining is a must – what better place to take in the views at high speed than the rainforest? For an out-of-this-world experience, check out Arenal Volcano National Park. The national park boasts 12 cables and 16 platforms (many of which start out in a tree canopy 90 feet above the ground). Be prepared for fantastic views and a heart-racing adventure.
Go cage diving with sharks
For those seeking truly out-there experiences, diving with sharks has to be one of the most daring. Mossel Bay, on the Southern Cape of South Africa, is your best bet for catching sight of a great white in its natural environment. Here, you can float above the surface in a protected metal cage. Isla Guadalupe in Mexico also has spectacular opportunities for diving with white sharks.
Go off-roading in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates boasts two different types of off-roading adventures; dune-bashing (in the desert) and wadi-bashing (in the mountains). Either way, you’re in for a wild, bumpy ride. Our experts compare it to flying through extreme turbulence, only with much better views. It’s perhaps the best way to observe the raw beauty the UAE has to offer.
Take a jaunt in the rainforest
There’s more to experience within a rainforest than adventure sports. Simply wandering around on foot is an adventure in itself. Whether you’re in Costa Rica, Malaysia, or somewhere in between, the jungle is nature at its most exotic. Guided tours are recommended, as traversing solo can be dangerous. Once you’re there, spot tropical birds and absorb the extraordinary sights and sounds all around. For something more immersive, opt for an eco-lodge.
Go diving in the great big blue
You don’t have to be an expert diver to experience below-the-surface adventures. While most minds jump to famous sites in Thailand and the Galápagos Islands, which are indeed noteworthy, the world is full of other lesser-known spots for exploring the big blue. Iceland, for instance, offers deep-sea views of the Silfra Ravine – the exact point where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates come together. You can even go fresh water diving in Missouri. In other words, think outside the box.
Get lost in South America’s wine country
France, California and Italy aren’t the world’s only vineyards worth visiting. In Argentina, the low humidity and warm climate create the perfect winemaking conditions. La Rioja, Salta, Mendoza and San Juan are among the top provinces for a winery tour. Some even make wine the old-fashioned way, pressing the grapes by foot
Kick back on the shores of Mexico
As far as divine beaches are concerned, Mexico is hard to beat. This beautiful country touts thousands of miles of seemingly untouched coastlines. From easy-going favourites like Paradise Beach in Tulum and bustling hot spots like Playa del Carmen to hidden gems in the Campeche region (known for its jungle views and limestone cliffs), you really can’t go wrong.
Get up close with volcanoes in Hawaii
Hawaii goes beyond stunning beaches and warm locals. The teeny US state has so many volcanoes, there’s even a national park named after them. Two deserve a special shout-out: Kilauea, which is said to be the world’s most active, and Mauna Loa, the biggest one on earth. You can sneak a peek at both on a trip to the island’s Volcanoes National Park.
Dial up the travel experiences in Jordan
Stunning Red Sea reefs, epic desert landscapes, and emotionally moving sites are the norm in Jordan. This ancient part of the world is home to the alluring Dead Sea, as well as the city of Petra, a real jewel of southern Jordan that houses the Royal Tombs. Jerash, in the northwest, is another ancient city to explore.
Go to Disney
You can’t very well let 60 pass you by without experiencing the most magical place on earth. Luckily for you, there are now many magical places around the world. From Orlando to Los Angeles, Hong Kong to Shanghai, there seems to be a Disney park at every turn; not that we’re complaining.
Fill your life with such travel experiences and cherish these memories for a lifetime.