This week I asked you guys on Instagram about places to travel after quarantine and where you hope to go when it is safe to travel again. I know we are all itching to get traveling, so I thought I would create a list of bucket list places to travel after quarantine to inspire you for when we can all start traveling again!
There were so many responses spanning all across each continent! It’s inspiring to read where everyone’s bucket list travel destinations are. It got me so excited to share my top MUST SEE places in this world!
In no specific order, here is my list of once in a lifetime destinations YOU NEED TO VISIT BEFORE YOU DIE!
BUCKET LIST DESTINATION #1: THE MALDIVES
The Maldives are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 154 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean.
It’s one of those places you only dream of visiting for your honeymoon. It was always on my list. You know – the list you make of dream romantic places to go with your partner.
The Maldives was that place for me, so when I finally got to visit in 2018, it didn’t feel real. How can a place be that beautiful!!!
I had actually been given the opportunity to visit the year before, but I turned it down, not because I didn’t want to go but because I didn’t want to give up on the idea that the Maldives would be better visited with a partner than a girls trip. And I have to say I’m glad I waited! It was everything I had hoped for and more.
We spent 2 weeks exploring some of the best islands and resorts. It truly was the most romantic trip I have ever taken.
The one thing to keep in mind about the Maldives is that every hotel occupies their own island, so it can get expensive real quick! If you are someone who is wanting a cultural or more local experience or someone who is looking to experience the Maldives on a budget, I would consider staying on some of the local islands.
You can read all about how to spend your time there and our favourite hotels in my Maldives Island Hopping Guide.
BUCKET LIST DESTINATION #2: EGYPT
Egypt is an incredible country I always dreamed of visiting. I wanted to go partly because my dad was born there and partly because I studied fine arts. I love learning about history & architecture.
History buff or not, it’s hard not to be impressed with this country. Egypt is considered one of the oldest countries in the world, but even I underestimated how impressive seeing some of the world oldest monuments and first hieroglyphics would be.
It’s insane to think that for a country so old, Egyptians say that they’ve only uncovered 30% of their history! Every month in Egypt there are at least one or two new discoveries.
Typically I avoid group guided trips, but because Egypt is a country so rich in history, this is one of the few destinations I would highly recommend hiring a guide. I can honestly say that I don’t think we would have enjoyed the country or had the same takeaways if we didn’t have someone to give us a history lesson.
Here are some of my favourite must experience places in Egypt:
Valley of the Kings was by far my favourite temple for history! To date, 63 royal tombs have been discovered here. However, there is one tomb that they know is buried here but has yet to be discovered.
Karnak Temple blew my socks off. It was even more breathtaking in person than I imagined! Karnak is also the biggest temple in Egypt and the second biggest temple in the world.
Saqqara – You have to crawl through a 100 ft tunnel with a 4 ft ceiling. Once you reach the center of the pyramid, the ceiling opens up and you can stand. This is when you get your first glimpse at some of the oldest hieroglyphics.
Abu Simbel – I loved this temple for it’s history. Can you believe this temple was carved out of one single piece of stone?!!
Looking to plan a trip in the near future? Use my 10 day Egypt itinerary as a guideline to make the most of your time and to get tips for how to stay safe, what to pack and which time of year to visit.
BUCKET LIST DESTINATION #3: CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY
Cappadocia was personally one of MY BIGGEST BUCKET LIST travel destinations! I had been dreaming of going here since learning about it in university. I even had the coordinates engraved on a bracelet. I remember learning about Cappadocia’s famous fairy chimneys in school and being completely captivated by them.
I have secretly always wanted to celebrate an anniversary or get engaged on a hot air balloon ride. I’m not really sure why, but something about it seemed so magical to me. If I got engaged here, it would be ultimate bliss!
Be prepared, this destination is for the early risers. If you really want to experience Cappadocia, it will have you up well before sunrise. But it’s all worth it for the view of hundreds of hot air balloons rising into the sky at sunrise!
Insider Tip: While it looks peaceful in photos you see on Instagram, there are dozens of other people there trying to get the same shot you are. This means you will have to wait your turn or work around the others who are enjoying the same sunrise views.
It also gives you the opportunity to find a different angle than the ones which are seen all over social media. Check out my Instagram highlights on Turkey if you want to see more BTS of my trip and IG vs Reality moments.
For more tips on the best Instagrammable places and hotels in Cappadocia you need to check out my in depth blog post to help plan your trip!
BUCKET LIST DESTINATION #4: OMAN
When asked which country surprised me the most, my answer is hands down Oman! Oman is still one of those hidden gems that has yet to be discovered by so many.
Over the past few years, Oman tourism has been increasing, but it is still a place unknown to most. Most people wouldn’t even be able to place it on a map.
Oman borders the United Arab Emirates and is only a 1-hour flight from Dubai. Plus, it is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. Not what you might think for the Middle East but Oman has a virtually non-existent crime rate.
You probably wouldn’t guess it, but Oman has some of the clearest turquoise waters I have ever seen! The Daymaniyat Islands felt like if the rocky landscape of Greece and waters of Tahiti had come together. This country has everything from emerald colored waters to deep gorges, infinite orange sand dunes, historic villages, and spectacular mountain peaks.
Oman had no shortage of breathtaking photo spots, but after the islands this was the spot I was most excited for. Wadi Shab means gorge between the cliff and is a must-visit!
My biggest tip for hitting this spot: Plan to spend about 3 – 4 hours at Wadi Shab. To avoid the midday heat, getting there in the morning would be the best option. Pack a swimsuit and wear good shoes as it’s a 45 mins hike to reach this spot.
The best way to experience this country is by car. I spent 6 days on an unforgettable roadtrip discovering this unseen place. To learn more and map it out for yourself, check out my complete Oman Roadtrip Guide. FYI, 6 days was not enough!!
BUCKET LIST DESTINATION #5: BALI
It’s hard to put into words my deep deep love for this island. Bali is a place everyone needs to experience for themselves once in their lifetime. I’ve been 4 times already, and I still can’t get enough! Last time I even brought my mom along! It’s beauty, adventure and spirituality all in one.
Let me give you a quick breakdown to get the lay of the land:
Kuta/ Seminyak: The hub of the island, this is the city and the busiest traffic area. Personally I don’t like to spend a lot of time in the city, but I have to admit, some of the best shopping and restaurants can be found here.
Canggu: About 30 mins from the city, Canggu is my favourite place to be on the island. Canggu is the food mecca! It’s got some of the best vegan cafes and more just keep opening up. I also love that Canggu has beach access, and the beaches are much nicer than Seminyak beach which is so polluted.
Ubud: A yogi’s dream! If you ever sign up for a yoga or wellness retreat in Bali, it will most certainly be here. About 2 hours north of the city, you will find yourself in the lush greenery of Ubud. Here you can find the monkey forest and those famous Bali swings.
The Gilis: The Gili’s are a set of 3 islands about 1.5 hours off the mainland of Bali. Gili Trawangan, is known as more of the party island. It’s definitely the most popular island but if you want a quieter experience the other side of the island is a much slower pace. It takes about 45 mins to bike ride around the entire island and highly recommended!
Gili Air is the quietest island known best for honeymooners or those who want the ultimate relaxation. Gili Meno, lands somewhere between the two, making it the perfect balance for a fun experience and unwinding.
After revisiting Bali 4 years in a row, I’ve managed to eat my way through this magical island. Bali is home to some of the best and healthiest cafes I have ever tasted, and it seems like a new one opens every week! Especially for vegans, welcome to heaven! Read all about my favourite Bali cafes and save these to keep you fuelled throughout your time on the island.
After a full day of adventure you’ll want to unwind in one of these Balinese oases. Check out my list of the best hotels in Bali, giving you the lay of the land for you to plan your next trip.
My goal next time I visit is to explore more of Indonesia and immerse myself in more of this incredible country!
BUCKET LIST DESTINATION #6: NAMIBIA
Namibia is world famous for the highest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei and for the Etosha National Park, one of world’s greatest conservation areas.
Namibia is also one of those destinations that really surprised me. We went on a family trip back in 2013 before it was more commonly known. At the time, I would have to point it out to people on a map or say it was located on the west coast, right above South Africa for reference.
My brother was moving there for a restaurant opportunity, so we swapped our Euro trip and went for 2 weeks. I have to say, it was one of the best decisions we made. My brother’s friend who lived there organized a complete itinerary for us to get the most our of our 14 days there.
I don’t have a blog post up about our trip, so you will have to take my word for it and enjoy these throwback pictures of my pre-Instagram or blog days when I was just starting out with photography. hahaha!
We did so much in our two weeks visiting the country, but my biggest highlights would be skydiving over the dunes! We dove in Swakopmund right above where the dunes meet the ocean. The view is seriously as epic as it sounds!
You can’t go to Africa without experiencing a safari. We stayed at Erindi Private Game Reserve – staying here was absolutely incredible. It felt like we stepped into the Lion King!
Imagine laying by the pool and having a herd of zebras, impalas, and springbok come right up to say hello! The staff was also beyond incredible. They sang to us every night over dinner and shots of Amarula!
BUCKET LIST DESTINATION #7: TAHITI
Tahiti was another one of my biggest bucket list travel destinations that I got to cross off in 2018! Maldives, Fiji and Tahiti, all my honeymoon destinations in the same year! Realizing that was a huge wow moment!
Tahiti was a really exciting trip for me because our time focused on exploring the lesser known islands. I’m sure you know the most popular islands like Bora Bora and Moorea, but I bet you didn’t know that there are 118 islands that make up Tahiti.
Moorea was the island I was most excited about! Moorea is filled with fish, stingrays, black tip sharks, turtles and so much more. Swimming with stingray and nurse sharks was a huge moment for me that I had been dreaming of for so long!
I’m a mermaid at heart so I felt right at home in the water with them. If you are still unsure about this experience, don’t be scared, the stingray are super playful, like sea pups.
Ahe is one of the lesser known islands we got to explore, and where do I even begin with this hidden gem! I’m so thankful we got to experience an island less discovered. It’s home to only 500 habitants!
The “island” itself is actually a coral reef. That is why you’ll notice the beaches have a hint of pink – they are broken up pieces of coral, not sand.
If you are or have been considering a trip to Tahiti but thought it was out of your budget I would definitely reconsider. I hope this Tahiti budget travel guide to give you a bit of a better look into how you can make crossing Tahiti off your bucket list a reality sooner rather than later.
Remember that traveling to lesser known islands will definitely be less expensive and most likely leave you with an even more unique experience than the more tourist saturated areas.
I hope this blogpost keeps you daydreaming a little while longer through quarantine and gives you time to map out your next destination!
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know if the comments – what are some of your once in a lifetime destinations you want to visit before you die?
LIKE THIS POST? PIN IT FOR LATER AND SHARE IT WITH OTHERS!