Experts say spending your money on experiences rather than things will make you happier. And what better experience is there than travel? So start adding these trips to your bucket list — from swimming with pigs in the Bahamas, to eating like Italian royalty and ancient temple-hopping in Southeast Asia, here are 20 must do’s before you die.
Hiking and kayaking in patagonia
Exploring the Patagonian Fjords located at the southernmost tip of South America shared by Argentina and Chile is the perfect spot to spend some time outdoors hiking and kayaking. A popular travel route is to begin at the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Andes. The giant glacier spans 121 miles and is still growing; nearby there are several excellent hiking paths. Two other must-try activities are hiking through Los Glaciares National Park to see the rugged mountains and glacial lakes, along with kayaking past Mount Fitz Roy and Upsala Glacier.
Experience nature’s wonder in the Galápagos Islands
Swim with penguins, hear adorable seals play and snap pictures of stunning giant tortoises on these magical islands off the coast of Ecuador. Spot one of the many species that inspired Darwin on the volcanic archipelago, where sea iguanas and white-tipped sharks swim in the area’s crystal clear waters.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Rwanda is my top pick among favorite destinations for several reasons. Small in size which makes it an easy country for first time (solo) travelers in Africa, but its has all: a rich culture, ever green nature, riviera on Lake Kivu… But the main attraction is Volcanoes National Park near Musanze, former Rughengeri, known for gorilla trekking.
The park is known for sustainable and responsible tourism practices, with strict rules about how many people can visit per day, which comes with a price tag of 700 USD and probably makes is the most expensive hour in Africa. An hour in the depths of tropical forest surrounded by volcanoes, seeing gorilla family at their daily routine, which is often times eating bamboo and silly but also very human like interactions between the gorillas. Along with the fact that there are only around 800 gorillas left in the world, it feels like a big privilege to encounter all this in person!
Step into a fairy tale in Sintra, Portugal
Just 30 minutes from Lisbon, a visit to this UNESCO Heritage Site is like walking onto the set of a movie about medieval times. The main attractions include the Moorish Castle and the National Palace of Sintra, but dedicate some time to wandering through the windy limestone streets, lined with quaint shops and cafes.
Hunt for glaciers in Greenland
Greenland is relatively expensive and tricky to get to, but well-worth the effort—especially since it's one of the most untouched landscapes on the planet. Exhibit A: the hundred-year-old icebergs and glaciers floating off the mainland, which you can get up close and personal with during a cruise excursion.
Sleep under the Northern Lights
Ah, the elusive Northern Lights. So many factors are at play when it comes to seeing the technicolor phenomenon—location, time of year, weather conditions—but you can't lose with an excursion to Finnish Lapland. The arctic area is one of the planet's best for lights viewing, especially if you get to sleep in an igloo hotel or mobile Aurora Bubble Sled.
French Polynesia Cruise
In the heart of the South Pacific Ocean lie the French Polynesia islands, known for their sparkling lagoons and world-class snorkeling and scuba dive sites. Cruise from island to island so you can take advantage fo every opportunity to explore this slice of paradise.
Throw tomatoes at La Tomatina in Spain
Spain’s brightest feast is held on the last Wednesday of August when the whole town of Bunol goes covered in gooey red tomato paste. Early in the morning many trucks full of ripe tomatoes arrive to the city center. As the first brave soul climbs up into the back of the truck and throws a tomato – the Biggest Food Fight in the World officially begins! Yet La Tomatina is not all about practicing your accuracy by throwing tomatoes at random folks. It is actually a week-long festival also featuring music bands, parades, dancing, and loads fireworks. Right on the night before the great tomato fight, everyone is invited to compete in a paella cooking contest. Participation fee: 10€ (~$11.77).
TREK TO MOUNT EVEREST BASECAMP
The trek to Mount Everest Basecamp has been luring adventurers for decades to get a view of the world's highest peak. The classic route to from Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back is 40 miles each way and will require you to adjust to high altitudes. In Lukla, you will meet with your Sherpa guides, and the journey will take 14 to 21 days where you will ascent the south side of Everest in Nepal to the Mount Everest Basecamp at 17600 feet.
ROAD TRIP ON ROUTE 66
For the road trip of a lifetime, pack the car and explore the historic Route 66. The highway which is the most famous road in the United States has now been decommissioned, but you can still drive the 2400 mile route. Running through Chicago, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in California the drive can be done in two weeks if you only visit the most popular sites. Not to be missed landmarks on the journey are Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, Grant Park in Illinois, the Ghost Town of Calico in Daggett, and the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa.