Bucket List Ideas for the American Traveler Abroad

S-F/Shutterstock

Bucket List Ideas for the American Traveler Abroad

Bucket List Ideas for the American Traveler Abroad

Your ultimate adventure bucket list
Bucket List Ideas for the American Traveler Abroad

S-F/Shutterstock

Traveling the globe and experiencing its many different nations and cultures can open you up to life-changing moments, not to mention some great memories. If you’re looking to have the ultimate experience as a world traveler, here are 101 things you should do in your lifetime while abroad.

Attend Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Attend Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

iStock.com/miralex

There are plenty of colorful Carnival celebrations around the world, but none quite like Rio de Janeiro. The tradition started taking on its current form in the Middle Ages, with traditional Carnival marching songs and samba music added to the mix in the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively. A lot goes into a trek to Rio, especially during Carnival, making it a trip that should be planned at least a year in advance.

View cherry blossoms in Japan

View cherry blossoms in Japan

iStock.com/Sean Pavone

Japan is one of the best places in the world to see cherry blossoms, with the flowers in bloom from late March to early May all over the country. The most acclaimed cherry blossom festivals are in Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and Hiroshima, but you can also engage in hanami, the simple tradition of looking at and enjoying the beauty of these seasonal flowers.

Learn flamenco in Andalucia

Learn flamenco in Andalucia

iStock.com/leonovo

Like many other wonderfully clichéd travel experiences, when in Spain flamenco music and dance should be experienced where it originated, in the southern region of Andalucia. Seville, in particular, is where you want to be, as that’s where you’ll find the finest flamenco shows as well as the Flamenco Dance Museum, where you can take lessons and learn the genre’s history.

Get a geothermal spa treatment in Iceland

Get a geothermal spa treatment in Iceland

iStock.com/powerofforever

Iceland was one of the trendiest destinations of the past decade, and the Blue Lagoon is one of its top attractions, with spa-like water that averages between 99 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Rich in algae and minerals such as silica and sulfur, the water reputedly renews and moisturizes skin, as well as stimulates circulation.

Take a scenic train ride in Europe

Take a scenic train ride in Europe

iStock.com/-Marjolein-

One convenient way of getting acquainted with all the gorgeous countryside of Europe is by booking a ticket for a scenic train ride. In fact, buy a Eurorail pass and you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to travel across 33 different countries, giving you access to more than 40,000 destinations.

Spend Christmas perusing markets in Germany

Spend Christmas perusing markets in Germany

iStock.com/FooTToo

There are many magical Christmas towns and villages around the world, but they just don’t compare to those in Germany, such as Dresden and Nuremberg, which host just two of the more than 150 Christmas markets in the country. Try a sip of glühwein, enjoy a live choir and snap up some traditional German holiday crafts.

Take a culinary class

Take a culinary class

iStock.com/g_dasha

Trying new foods is one of the best parts of exploring a new country, and many companies offer culinary classes with local chefs that allow tourists to not only improve their cooking skills, but also bring new recipes and creative culinary ideas back home with them.

Cruise down the Nile River in Egypt

Cruise down the Nile River in Egypt

iStock.com/MaRebelo

Cruise past the beautiful scenery of the Nile Valley, from the iconic ancient Egyptian landmarks such as the pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza to the ruins and tombs of ancient cities such as Aswan and Luxor.

Celebrate Día de Muertos in Mexico

Celebrate Día de Muertos in Mexico

iStock.com/loeskieboom

The first two days of November, Día de Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is when people all over Latin America gather to remember and celebrate the lives of their friends and family who have died with heartfelt altars and colorful parades. Mexico is particularly well-known for throwing huge festivals in which those celebrating choose to embrace rather than fear death and take the time to remember the importance of family and friends.

Hire a gondola in Venice

Hire a gondola in Venice

iStock.com/bpperry

There’s no better way to experience this super romantic spot than to negotiate with a gondolier for a ride through the city’s famous canals. Sail slowly past the hotels on the main canal, with detours into “alleys” between charming homes during the day or even at night.

Hike to Machu Picchu in Peru

Hike to Machu Picchu in Peru

iStock.com/powappa3336

The famed and picturesque Incan ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru can be reached in a day trip from nearby Cuzco by taking the railway and then climbing more than 1,600 feet on a winding road up the Urubamba Valley. Visit in the winter (Peru’s summer) for a warm and affordable vacation, and you can also hike the Inca Trail leading to the site from the “Km 88” train stop, taking three to six days to get there.

Explore the Amazon in South America

Explore the Amazon in South America

iStock.com/SL_Photography

The extremely biodiverse Amazon rainforest is full of an impressive number of exotic plants and animals to encounter via an adventurous hike or while on a comfortable cruise. And the sooner the better, considering the Amazon is one of the places travelers need to visit before it disappears.

Drink Champagne in Champagne

Drink Champagne in Champagne

© ayman Alakhras | Dreamstime.com

As any expert or aspiring sommelier will already know, Champagne can only be called Champagne if it’s from the Champagne region of France. Go on a wine tour for samples at the top wineries in the region and learn more about the production and history of Champagne itself.

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome

iStock.com/piola666

A destination best visited in the fall, Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain is not only a breathtaking 18th-century baroque work of art, but it’s also the site of a famous tradition in which tossing a coin into the fountain supposedly guarantees one’s return to the city.

Visit a holy site

Visit a holy site

Emily Marie Wilson/Shutterstock

Religion is a big influence in, if not a vital part of, many cultures, so checking out an awe-inspiring place of worship — particularly if it’s famous — is not only a great education in a culture’s architecture but its values as well.

Visit the Louvre in Paris

Visit the Louvre in Paris

iStock.com/orpheus26

Paris is a destination everyone should see in their lifetime, and anyone visiting Paris should check out the most visited art museum in the world, the renowned Louvre Museum. The museum is home to iconic works of art including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People,” and works by masters such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Vermeer and Michelangelo.

See the northern lights in Norway

See the northern lights in Norway

iStock.com/ansonmiao

There are plenty of great places to witness the natural wonder of the northern lights, but the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is the only place on Earth where you can see the aurora borealis during the day.

Drink and eat at Oktoberfest in Munich

Drink and eat at Oktoberfest in Munich

iStock.com/golero

Every year, about 6 million people attend Munich’s Oktoberfest, which occurs from the third weekend of September through the first weekend of October. Millions of liters of beer are served for patrons to drink every day, but the festival also includes fantastic German food, games, rides and a great parade as well as multiple shows.

Book a homestay

Book a homestay

JGA/Shutterstock

Instead of staying in a hotel, another option is to housesit for a local in exchange for free accommodations and sometimes even free food by booking through a trusted website or friend. Checking into a homestay is one of the best tricks for saving on accommodations and there may even be a furry friend that comes with the stay too.

Peruse the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Peruse the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Berke/Shutterstock

Dating back to the 15th century, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Istanbul is a top destination to visit in 2020, making it the perfect time to plan a trip to the market’s more than 4,000 stalls filled with carpets, antiques, spices, jewelry, food and more.

Visit a historic library

Visit a historic library

Courtesy of Staatliche Schlösser and Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Günther Bayerl

Gain knowledge and some Instagram-worthy snapshots by visiting some of the most stunning libraries in the world wherever possible when traveling. In addition to offering a different book selection than what’s back home, many libraries around the world have fascinating histories and impressive architecture.

Attend a meeting of parliament in London

Attend a meeting of parliament in London

Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

You’d be amazed at how many iconic landmarks were nearly demolished — including the Palace of Westminster in London. Luckily, the impressive architecture stands today, housing the U.K. Parliament, and visitors can even attend a debate or hearing of parliament in addition to taking a tour.

Go on a safari in Zambia

Go on a safari in Zambia

paula french/Shutterstock

There are quite a few countries with excellent safari experiences in Africa, but Zambia stakes claim as the birthplace of the walking safari, making it a trip every animal lover should take in order to get a bit closer to the African wilderness with a guided tour company or through a safari lodge.

Take a tour of the Vatican Museums in Vatican City

Take a tour of the Vatican Museums in Vatican City

iStock.com/holgs

A trip to the Vatican can be a life-changing travel experience even for those who aren’t Catholic or art history lovers, especially when visiting the vast and historically important collection of the Vatican Museums. They contain some of the greatest works of Western art in the world by legends such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, da Vinci and Raphael.

Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

iStock.com/chameleonseye

Located off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, with more than 400 different kinds of coral, 200 types of birds and about 20 types of reptiles as well as more than 1,500 species of tropical fish. Go snorkeling or scuba diving here so that you can see the reef up close and swim among fish, turtles, and dolphins.

Hike the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Hike the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Ocskay Bence/Shutterstock

Stretching for 5 miles and towering as high as 702 feet, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s many magical spots. With more than a million visitors every year, the spot offers amazing views of the country’s west coast. In fact, if the weather is clear enough, you’ll even be able to catch a glimpse of the nearby Aran Islands, Maum Turk mountains and the Dingle Peninsula.

Watch a sunset or sunrise in Santorini

Watch a sunset or sunrise in Santorini

iStock.com/mbbirdy

Cameras love the island of Santorini, and for good reason. The only thing that makes the contrasting blue domes and white buildings of the village of Oia more beautiful is viewing them at dawn or dusk. It's one of the most beautiful spots to see the sun rise or set.

Eat sushi in Tokyo

Eat sushi in Tokyo

Patrick.Wong/Shutterstock

Tokyo is a great place to experiment with all different types of foods and snacks. One thing food lovers can’t leave without doing, though, is trying the city’s sushi, whether that’s at a market or at one of the top sushi restaurants.

Dance the tango in Buenos Aires

Dance the tango in Buenos Aires

iStock.com/holgs

Visit Buenos Aires and go for a stroll in La Boca, home to some of the most colorful streets in the world filled with talented tango dancers, or Boedo, home to many tango houses. Take some tango classes if you’d like to try it out yourself and get some practice at one of the city’s many tango clubs.

Follow the Jordan Trail in Jordan

Follow the Jordan Trail in Jordan

iStock.com/RobertHoetink

The Jordan Trail runs more than 400 miles from the northern part of the country to the south. If you were ambitious enough to attempt the entire thing, it would take about 40 days to travel the trail, which takes hikers through 52 towns and villages as well as many famous Jordan sites, including the ruins of Petra, one of the most famous movie filming locations that you can actually visit.

Upgrade your plane seat

Upgrade your plane seat

Dmitry Birin/Shutterstock

Travel can be exhausting, especially when dealing with long flights. When traveling abroad, it’s not a bad idea to treat yourself to an upgrade at least once, with a seat in business or first class that has more legroom and better food.

Get into a tomato fight in Buñol

Get into a tomato fight in Buñol

iStock.com/JackF

Located in the Valencia province of Spain, the town of Buñol hosts a festival called La Tomatina on the last Wednesday of every August. About 20,000 people gather in the town square to throw tomatoes at each other for an hour, and by the end of it, the square and its people are covered in seasonal produce.

Stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

iStock.com/PobladuraFCG

Standing at 1,063 feet tall, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument that you have to pay for in the world, with nearly 7 million people coming to see the iconic landmark every year. Take a lift for an impressive view of Paris at the top of the tower, which is one of the many places you didn’t know might be haunted.

Explore the Great Wall in China

Explore the Great Wall in China

Flystock/Shutterstock

Of the many wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China is one of the most famous. Consisting of many walls and stretching for more than 13,000 miles across northern China, it has more than 4 million visitors every year.

Taste different wines in Italy

Taste different wines in Italy

iStock.com/wundervisuals

Italy is home to numerous wine regions, each with its own famously distinct variety. Book a wine tour with a tour company — some specialize in Italian wine trails. Or try some money-saving tips from a travel agent.

Trek up a mountain

Trek up a mountain

Vixit/Shutterstock

Enthusiastic hikers can find need-to-see majestic mountains on every continent. Taking on the challenge of at least one hike according to your ability level, whether it’s a short walk or days-long journey, is a great way to connect with nature and gain a new perspective.

Enjoy anticuchos in Peru

Enjoy anticuchos in Peru

iStock.com/aroas

When in Peru, tour the cities like a local and get some street food. Try the anticuchos, skewers of any kind of meat — but most popularly beef heart that’s been marinated in vinegar and spices — served with a traditional sauce made of lemon juice, beer, vinegar, garlic, cilantro and onion.

Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra

Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra

iStock.com/Instants

This monument of love was built in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. A famously photogenic spot, the iconic landmark sits on sprawling acres in a complex that also consists of a mosque, assembly hall and gardens.

Zip line in Costa Rica

Zip line in Costa Rica

iStock.com/THEPALMER

Because of the country’s incredible biodiversity, there’s a lot of natural beauty to explore in Costa Rica. Get a different perspective of its parks and forests by zip-lining through the landscape of this affordable celebrity vacation hotspot.

Visit the giant heads of Easter Island

Visit the giant heads of Easter Island

Gabor Kovacs Photography/Shutterstock

Chile’s Easter Island is one of the most mysterious places in the world, known for its Moai figures. More than 1,000 stand on the island, and no one knows just why they were built, but they make for an impressive sight along the shore or on the island’s volcano.

Discover a new-to-you species in the Galápagos Islands

Discover a new-to-you species in the Galápagos Islands

Discover Marco/Shutterstock

The stunning natural environs of the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador offer a relaxing getaway and the chance to see a vast and exclusive array of plants and wildlife. About 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, 80% of the land birds and more than 30% of its plants aren’t found anywhere else on the planet.

Carbo-load in Italy

Carbo-load in Italy

Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock

It’s not always good for your body to quit carbohydrates, and Italy is the best place to indulge thanks to the fact that Italian cuisine is so carb-heavy in almost every part of the country. Get some focaccia or a calzone off the street and try all kinds of pastas, impressively creative risottos, and of course, pizza.

Witness the great migration in Tanzania

Witness the great migration in Tanzania

iStock.com/Rixipix

Visit Serengeti National Park in Tanzania between late June and October to witness the yearly migration of about 1.5 million wildebeests, followed by roughly 350,000 gazelles, 200,000 zebras and 12,000 eland. Book a safari with a guide in order to ensure safety and the best chance of seeing the mesmerizing phenomenon.

 

Swim in cenotes in Cancún and the Riviera Maya

Swim in cenotes in Cancún and the Riviera Maya

iStock.com/Csondy

In and around Cancún lie cenotes, or natural freshwater wells, which can be as terrifying as they are stunning, as some of them lead to amazing water caves or caverns that you can explore.

Kayak in Ha Long Bay

Kayak in Ha Long Bay

iStock.com/Sean Kruger

Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay is an island destination that deserves a comeback, as it’s still as magnificent as ever. Characterized by limestone islands and other rugged rock formations and low caves, paddling a kayak through the bay is the best way to experience the surrounding beauty.

Go for a scenic drive in Iceland

Go for a scenic drive in Iceland

iStock.com/PEDRE

Running around the island nation and connecting most of inhabited Iceland, Route 1 — or the Ring Road as it’s popularly called — is a national road that’s perfect for taking in Iceland’s famed scenery. It’s best to visit in the summer when the weather is far nicer in order to enjoy the drive to its fullest.

Have some banana cue in the Philippines

Have some banana cue in the Philippines

iStock.com/junpinzon

A popular street food in the Philippines, banana cue — a play on the word barbecue — is made with skewered local saba bananas deep-fried and coated with caramelized brown sugar.

Swim with pigs in the Bahamas

Swim with pigs in the Bahamas

© Alexander Shalamov | Dreamstime.com

The Bahamas are known as a destination with some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, as well as some of the world’s top beaches. One of the most notable is Big Major Cay on the island of Exuma, also known as Pig Beach on account of the island’s population of about 20 pigs that are impressively good swimmers.

Sleep under the stars in Namibia

Sleep under the stars in Namibia

iStock.com/LuCaAr

Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, which means its skies in general are pretty clear and an awe-inspiring sight at night. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is a certified International Dark Sky Reserve with an educational center that offers visitors the chance to sleep under the stars for otherworldly stargazing and taking in astronomical events.

Cross the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

Cross the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

iStock.com/Onfokus

The largest salt flat in the world, the Salar de Uyuni is a natural wonder you have to see to believe. It’s a surreal landscape that seems to go on forever, and after it rains here, the land is so flat that the water on the ground is completely calm, turning it into a gigantic mirror.

Eat a gyro in Greece

Eat a gyro in Greece

iStock.com/miodrag ignjatovic

Enjoy fantastic weather and Mediterranean cuisine in Greece, home of the gyro. Made with sliced rotisserie meat — traditionally lamb, beef, chicken or pork — that’s been spiced heavily, gyros are served in a wrap of flatbread and filled with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.

Climb ancient ruins in Belize

Climb ancient ruins in Belize

iStock.com/VisionsbyAtlee

A lovely tropical destination, Belize is home to gorgeous beaches and great cuisine. The Central American nation is also full of ancient Mayan ruins that can be explored by foot and even climbed.

Relax with a natural spa in Pamukkale

Relax with a natural spa in Pamukkale

muratart/Shutterstock

The thermal waters of Pamukkale in southwestern Turkey are better than a splurge-worthy spa, being used as one since the Romans built the ancient city of Hierapolis around a sacred warm-water spring. Hot water filled with calcium flows over picturesque cliffs, cooling down into the travertines that form the pools.

Explore Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Explore Angkor Wat in Cambodia

iStock.com/MikeFuchslocher

The largest religious structure in the world, Angkor Wat was originally built as a Hindu temple in the first half of the 12th century, though it was soon converted for Buddhist use. The extremely intricate architecture of the temple and its surrounding complex has stood the test of time, a testament to the cultural and architectural achievements of the Khmer empire.

Ride in a classic car in Havana

Ride in a classic car in Havana

iStock.com/MaboHH

One of the most underrated tourist spots in the world, Havana has a colorful culture and fascinating history that can be discovered with a drive around the city in a classic vintage car, courtesy of a tour guide.

Stand on the equator in Ecuador

Stand on the equator in Ecuador

Fotos592/Shutterstock

The name of the South American nation of Ecuador is derived from its location straddling the equator. Visit Mitad del Mundo — Spanish for “middle of the world” — just outside Quito where there’s a monument to the equator with a yellow line painted on the ground to designate it. There’s also a museum that teaches visitors about various physics and weather phenomenons there.

Spend the night in an igloo in Finland

Spend the night in an igloo in Finland

Flystock/Shutterstock

The northern Lapland region of Finland is known for being a magical Christmas destination thanks to its reindeer, evergreen trees and an abundance of snow. In the village of Saariskelkä, Kakslauttanen Hotel and Igloo Village has glass igloos that guests can sleep in and enjoy the northern lights and surrounding scenery.

Watch the changing of the guard in London

Watch the changing of the guard in London

iStock.com/peterspiro

Buckingham Palace is a popular tourist attraction by itself on account of it being the queen’s official London residence and administrative headquarters, but if visitors come at the right time, they can catch the changing of the guard in all its pomp and ceremony. The 45-minute changing of the guard occurs nearly every day at 10:45 a.m., weather permitting.

Shop at the floating markets in Bangkok

Shop at the floating markets in Bangkok

iStock.com/izzetugutmen

As long as you avoid going in the summer, there’s a lot to do in the capital of Thailand, but the floating markets of Bangkok are an experience like no other. Vendors take to the rivers in their boats selling produce, crafts, clothes, jewelry and more, and the best way to experience it is by getting on a boat yourself.

See the ‘big five’ in South Africa

See the ‘big five’ in South Africa

iStock.com/BirdImages

South Africa is home to Kruger National Park, which offers access to all kinds of wildlife. Home to 507 species of birds, 336 kinds of trees, 147 mammal species and 114 kinds of reptiles, Kruger is notable for being a place where safari-goers can catch a glimpse of all the “big five” animals: Buffalos, elephants, leopards, lions and rhinoceroses.

Experience fine dining in Lyon

Experience fine dining in Lyon

iStock.com/lauradibiase

Considered the gastronomic capital of the world by food lovers with a preference for the more high-end, Lyon, France, has quite a bit of significance as a food destination. Lyonnaise cuisine has greatly influenced French cuisine as a whole, and subsequently fine dining served at some of the most expensive restaurants on Earth.

Have some fish and chips in England

Have some fish and chips in England

iStock.com/Shaiith

A symbol of British culture and cuisine, fish and chips are the perfect quick lunch when in England. Made with battered and fried fish that's then sprinkled with salt and vinegar and served with french fries, you can get all kinds of dips on the side, such as ketchup, curry sauce or tartar sauce.

Marvel at the Terracotta Army in Xi’an

Marvel at the Terracotta Army in Xi’an

iStock.com/dndavis

Accidentally discovered in 1974, the Terracotta Army is a collection of thousands of life-size terracotta sculptures of warriors, infantrymen, horses and chariots that were buried with Emperor Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of a unified China, in the third century B.C. Even better you can snag major savings on a trip to Xi’an.

Slide down volcanoes in Nicaragua

Slide down volcanoes in Nicaragua

iStock.com/dimarik

Volcano-boarding may sound like an odd concept at first, but it’s a pretty great bucket-list item. Cerro Negro in western Nicaragua, one of several volcanoes around the world that you may not know are active, is most popular for this purpose, with many people often making the hike up to slide down sitting or standing on a thin plywood and metal board.

Light a floating lantern in Chiang Mai

Light a floating lantern in Chiang Mai

iStock.com/NeoPhoto

Taking place on the night of a full moon every November, the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is held in honor of the Goddess of Water or the River, and includes a tradition of launching sky lanterns into the air to bring good fortune and happiness.

Hit the beach in Mykonos

Hit the beach in Mykonos

iStock.com/Gargolas

One of the most popular of the Greek Islands, Mykonos is known for its nightlife and beaches. Discover charming cafes, hidden churches and marble streets in the island’s towns, try the local Aegean specialties and have fun with some water sports at the beach — making sure to be safe, of course.

Learn about the ancient Mayans at Chichen Itza

Learn about the ancient Mayans at Chichen Itza

iStock.com/JoseIgnacioSoto

Located on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, the ruins of the ancient city of Chichen Itza are world-famous and a top place to explore before you turn 50. Check out the iconic El Castillo, also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkan, and the other surrounding temples for a look into the culture and history of this impressive civilization.

Stroll through the villages of Cinque Terre

Stroll through the villages of Cinque Terre

iStock.com/Anna_Om

Located on the Italian Riviera in the northwest region of the country, Cinque Terre (literally “five lands”) is a gorgeous area made up of five quaint villages: Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore and Vernazza. One of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, Cinque Terre is known for pesto, olive oil, lemons and seafood, particularly calamari and anchovies.

Eat a bánh mì in Vietnam

Eat a bánh mì in Vietnam

Numandy/Shutterstock

When in Vietnam, an absolute must-try for anyone who enjoys good food is the iconic bánh mì, a sandwich made with one or more meats such as grilled chicken, pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, pork liver pâté, or canned sardines in tomato sauce on a Vietnamese baguette with vegetables and your choice of condiments such as spicy chili sauce or mayonnaise.

Walk through the ruins of Pompeii

Walk through the ruins of Pompeii

iStock.com/JayBoivin

The ancient city of Pompeii was buried under ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., and its ruins weren’t discovered until the 18th century. Located near modern-day Naples, Italy, the site of the ruins is open to history-loving tourists who can see the remains of homes, roads, temples and somber plaster casts of victims.

Hope for peace in Hiroshima

Hope for peace in Hiroshima

iStock.com/leodaphne

Dedicated to the 70,000 people instantly killed and the additional tens of thousands who died as a result of radiation injuries, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is meant to help people comprehend the full horror of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The museum heavily promotes peace with videos and tours, as its mission is to prevent such an event from ever happening again.

Discover the opulence of French imperialism in Versailles

Discover the opulence of French imperialism in Versailles

© Chon Kit Leong | Dreamstime.com

The Palace of Versailles, located just outside Paris, was the royal residence of the kings of France for more than 100 years until the French Revolution deposed the royal family in 1789. The impressively built palace, which has 2,300 rooms, contains the royal apartments, a museum, beautiful gardens, a chapel and the famous Hall of Mirrors.

Appreciate the Alhambra in Grenada

Appreciate the Alhambra in Grenada

iStock.com/alxpin

Visit an actual enchanting castle by taking a trip to Grenada’s Alhambra, a testament to the cultural and architectural legacy left by the Moorish rulers of Spain. Millions of people visit the mid-13th century palace and fortress complex every year to appreciate the best of arabesque and Islamic art and architecture.

Drive through the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland

Drive through the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland

iStock.com/DieterMeyrl

Planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress visitors approaching their mansion, the Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees made famous after being featured in “Game of Thrones.”

Find happiness at Lotte World in Seoul

Find happiness at Lotte World in Seoul

Guitar photographer/Shutterstock

One of the happiest places on Earth is Lotte World, located in the South Korean capital of Seoul. It’s home to the world’s largest indoor theme park, as well as an outdoor amusement park, ice skating rinks, luxury hotels, a folk museum, shopping mall and spa.

Stroll through the Red Square in Moscow

Stroll through the Red Square in Moscow

iStock.com/oonal

The main city square of Moscow, Red Square is picturesque by itself and is also surrounded by top attractions such as the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral, just one of the many European landmarks every traveler should see.

Dance to reggae in Jamaica

Dance to reggae in Jamaica

iStock.com/peeterv

In addition to having great Caribbean cuisine and some of the best beaches in the world, the music in Jamaica is hard not to dance to. It’s particularly the perfect place to catch a reggae concert, as the island nation is the birthplace of the genre.

Get a bird’s-eye view in Florence

Get a bird’s-eye view in Florence

iStock.com/sankai

Make sure to pack a camera among your vacation essentials, especially when heading to Florence. Officially called the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the duomo (cathedral) of Florence is an iconic landmark of Tuscany and worth exploring from the outside and inside. The city can be appreciated even more if you climb the 463 steps to the top of Brunelleschi’s dome, where the view will take away any breath you have left.

Catch a sumo match in Japan

Catch a sumo match in Japan

J. Henning Buchholz/Shutterstock

Sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan. Wrestlers are highly disciplined and impressively strong, which makes for an entertaining match.

Taste some currywurst in Germany

Taste some currywurst in Germany

Christin Klose/Shutterstock

Germany’s sausages can put even America’s best hot dogs to shame. A popular street food, currywurst is found throughout the country with some variations, but generally it’s made of sliced pork sausage that’s been steamed, fried and topped with curry ketchup and curry powder.

Learn how to surf in Australia

Learn how to surf in Australia

iStock.com/davidf

When looking to book an affordable, last-minute beach vacation, consider Australia. With a long coastline and many beaches, the country has a strong surfing culture. Learn the ropes if you’re a newbie or hone your skills if you’ve hit the waves before.

Stay in a riad in Marrakech

Stay in a riad in Marrakech

Jon Chica/Shutterstock

A riad is a traditional Moroccan home characterized by a central garden or courtyard. Many throughout the country have been converted into spectacular hotels that provide a stay that’s both authentic and luxurious. You’ll find the best riads in Marrakech, with awe-inspiring architecture and fantastic views for alfresco dining or simply relaxing in the sun.

Eat doubles in Trinidad and Tobago

Eat doubles in Trinidad and Tobago

pansticks/Shutterstock

When in Trinidad and Tobago, doubles are a street food every world traveler must try. A testament to the deep influence of the twin islands’ large ethnically Indian population, doubles consist of fried bread filled with curried chickpeas and can be topped with all sorts of things such as cucumber, mango, pepper sauce and tamarind.

Hit the city’s hottest clubs

Hit the city’s hottest clubs

Pressmaster/Shutterstock

When traveling with a group of friends, most people make sure to check out an area’s most popular bars, but if possible, take it up a notch by seeking out the trendiest clubs. It’s a great way to meet locals, as well as learn about local fashion, music and dance moves.

Learn how to roll a cigar in Cuba

Learn how to roll a cigar in Cuba

Ricardo Canino/Shutterstock

Although avoiding smoking is a healthy habit to help you stay young, Cuba is known for its cigars, and its torcedores (workers who hand-roll cigars) are highly respected professionals there. Visit a cigar factory in the Viñales Valley, which is particularly known for growing tobacco, and learn all about tobacco farming and production, as well as how to roll a traditional Cuban cigar.

Visit Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

Visit Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

iStock.com/klug-photo

An iconic Copenhagen attraction, Tivoli Gardens is a garden and amusement park that’s been around since the 1800s. You'll find plenty of rides, attractions, food vendors and shows to entertain you, as well as carnivals and events throughout the year, making it the perfect place for the entire family to enjoy a vacation.

Go on a candy binge in Sweden

Go on a candy binge in Sweden

Martin Stoychev/Shutterstock

The Swedes love their candy so much that the whole nation has a day dedicated to it each week. As a result, you’ll find that corner stores and supermarkets have bins filled with mixed Swedish candies for you to choose from every Saturday.

Travel the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan

Travel the Karakoram Highway in Pakistan

Aranya 22/Shutterstock

Part of the historic Silk Road, the Karakoram Highway in northern Pakistan is the highest international highway in the world. Karakoram will take you past historic attractions, calm rivers, and through beautiful mountain towns such as Gilgit, Abbottabad and Skardu, as well as the picturesque Hunza Valley, eventually crossing into the autonomous Xiangjing region of China at its northern end.

Try the poutine in Quebec

Try the poutine in Quebec

iStock.com/MmeEmil

Poutine is so ubiquitous in Canada that you’ll even find it on the menu at chain fast-food restaurants. The best poutine, however, can be found where it originated: Quebec. Consisting of french fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy, you can also sometimes find it with chicken, bacon, sausage or Montreal-style smoked meat.

Sing karaoke in Tokyo

Sing karaoke in Tokyo

iStock.com/bbossom

 

While there are some top-notch karaoke bars in America, karaoke in Japan is something to experience. Not only is Tokyo the safest city in the world, but it’s also super high-tech. As a result, karaoke in Japan is next-level; karaoke bars here have excellent equipment and some even encourage dressing up in anime cosplay while singing.

Remember the Holocaust in Poland

Remember the Holocaust in Poland

iStock.com/gatsi

A visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum is a sobering reminder of just how far people can go when they forget the humanity of others. A tour of concentration camps and hearing stories of what happened in them during the Nazi Holocaust in World War II definitely provokes some thought and conversation about how politics and social issues can affect peoples’ lives and the world at large.

Float in the Dead Sea

Float in the Dead Sea

iStock.com/RuslanDashinsky

Actually a lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west, the Dead Sea is so-called because of its high salt content, which results in uninhabitable conditions for fish. Because it’s so salty, the water is very dense, which makes it easy to float and relax in, while keeping all water safety rules in mind.

Get some street tacos in Mexico

Get some street tacos in Mexico

Bran M./Shutterstock

Nearly everyone loves delicious tacos, but having them in Mexico is another experience entirely. Get them from a street vendor, as they tend to have tacos that are not only cheap but amazingly delicious and fresh.

Hit the slopes in Whistler

Hit the slopes in Whistler

© Edgar Bullon | Dreamstime.com

The magical mountain town of Whistler, Canada, is home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America and a top destination for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, tobogganing and snowshoeing. Even if you’re not into winter sports, it’s a great place to enjoy the scenery and maybe take part in other activities such as hiking, axe throwing, or just eating or relaxing at local spas.

Attend a local food festival

Attend a local food festival

Anna Levan/Shutterstock

 

When deciding when to travel to a destination, consider calendar events. Find the best food festivals in a city or region for a fun and easy way to get exposed to as much local cuisine and culture as possible within a day.

Have a blast at Europa-Park in Germany

Have a blast at Europa-Park in Germanyv

Luke. Travel/Shutterstock

A trip to Walt Disney World can be expensive and require a lot of planning, so perhaps try an alternative. The largest theme park in Germany, Europa-Park is home to dozens of rides, 13 of which are roller coasters, scattered across 15 distinctively themed areas.

Indulge in chocolate in Switzerland

Indulge in chocolate in Switzerland

iStock.com/assalve

Swiss chocolate is world-renowned, and the nation’s reputation for producing high-quality milk chocolate means you definitely have to try some. There are plenty of great chocolate shops and factories throughout the country offering tourists a chance to see how Swiss chocolate is made and get some samples while they’re at it.

Stroll through a futuristic nature park in Singapore

Stroll through a futuristic nature park in Singapore

iStock.com/Nikada

Another one of the safest tourist spots in the world, Singapore is home to Gardens by the Bay, a nature park that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. Part of a green initiative by the city-state, it’s characterized by its iconic Supertrees (which are really vertical gardens) and the largest glass greenhouse in the world.

Shop till you drop in Dubai

Shop till you drop in Dubai

iStock.com/Nikada

A super expensive destination due to luxury hotels and flights, Dubai is also a great place to buy textiles, gold and electronics, the latter of which are cheaper here. Visit the Gold Souk, a market filled with gold and fine jewelry, and the Dubai Mall which has over 1,200 stores, hundreds of food and drink options, an aquarium, a theme park, ice skating rink and more. Come sometime in January or February and you can even attend the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Get in touch with nature in Patagonia

Get in touch with nature in Patagonia

Agnieszka Gaul/Shutterstock

The Patagonia region is on the southern end of South America, spanning across both Argentina and Chile, and it’s an outdoor adventurer’s dream. Hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, sailing and birdwatching are just some of the many activities you can take part in out here, so make sure to start planning a summer trip as soon as possible.

Wade into bioluminescent waters in the Maldives

Wade into bioluminescent waters in the Maldives

PawelG Photo/Shutterstock

On Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives, there is a beach known as the “sea of stars.” Bioluminescence, a chemical reaction caused by marine microbes known as phytoplankton, results in a dazzling color on the beach at night, with glowing specks of blue creating one of the world’s strangest natural wonders. If you’re looking for an adventure closer to home, check out the 101 things every American should do in the U.S. in a lifetime.

More from The Active Times:

Best Beach Towns You’ve Never Heard Of

Island Vacations You Don’t Need a Passport For

Vacation Horoscope: Your Zodiac Sign’s Perfect Trip

Beautiful Abandoned Churches Around the World

Hidden American Gems You Need to Visit