There’s a lot of hype about the fact we’re all heading into a new decade, so why not start the decade off with a bunch of interesting – and potentially hair-raising – bucket list activities? Forget the New Year’s Resolution, let’s make a New Decade Resolution: the decade of adventures!
These are our top 20 bucket list activities and experiences for 2020… how many have you already ticked off?
Stay in a treehouse
No, we don’t mean a treehouse in a back garden (aka potential death trap) we mean a beautiful holiday home made for adults in the jungles of Phuket or Ko Kut. Alternatively, if you’re not loving the idea of being in a treehouse, how about a place that looks like it’s been carved out of trees instead?
Have dinner in the sky while visiting Paris
A gorgeous dinner, unrivalled views over the Jardins des Tuileries gardens and world-class chefs… this is dinner with a difference! Get hoisted up in the air with lots of other diners, while chefs cook your dinner right in front of you. Unique, thrilling and definitely not for the faint-hearted!
Go wine-tasting in Italy
There’s nothing better than a good glass of vino, especially if you’re sat in a rustic vineyard learning about what goes into the perfect glass… and where better to do that than the rolling hills of Italy? Locally made wine paired with delicious food – an experience everyone will enjoy ticking off their list (maybe even more than once?!)
Try a local dish you’ve not tried before
We’re not talking fermented eggs or fried spiders – although each to their own – we’re just talking a locally made dish that you’ve not managed to tick off your list yet. Whether that’s a paella in Spain or a Pad Thai from a street food stall in Bangkok, make this the decade where you’re not afraid to try new foods. Your new favourite dish could be right around the corner!
Sleep in a castle
Whether it’s a fairytale chateau in the woodlands of France or a medieval castle in Scotland, there’s nothing quite like sleeping somewhere that’s hundreds of centuries old. The history, opulent interiors and surrounding land of any of our chateaux or castles make for unforgettable memories… perfect for a special occasion.
Hot air balloon over the French alps
Sure, skiing or snowboarding along the snowy slopes of the alps is pretty great. But how about seeing it from the sky instead? The dramatic mountainous snow-topped vistas are even more impressive when you’re suspended hundreds of metres above the ground – the feeling of gliding above the world is unlike anything else. And you’ll get some great photos for your scrapbook!
Camino de Santiago trail
Pilgrims have been walking this well-known pilgrimage since the 9th century – fast forward to the 21st century and hikers looking for a challenge have been traversing this trail, often stopping off at the towns, villages and cities the walk weaves through. Covering mainly France, Spain, Germany and Portugal – but also touching Austria, Italy, the UK, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, the routes criss-cross various national parks, wilderness spots and charming villages, ending up at the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in Galicia.
Swim under a waterfall
Whether it’s the holy spot of St Nectan’s Kieve in Cornwall, the seven-level waterfall of Erawan National Park in Thailand, the unique YS Falls in Jamaica or somewhere else you’ve got your eye on – take your bucket list to the water with a swim in the pools of a waterfall.
Embrace train travel in Europe
We don’t necessarily mean live like you’re on a gap year and interrail Europe for 5 months, but take some time out to embrace ‘slow travel’ – hop on a train to somewhere in Europe, or even tick two countries off your list by rail. It’s a laid-back, convenient and scenic way to travel, and a bucket list activity you should definitely tick off this year. It’s good for you, and the environment.
A classic experience that appears in a lot of people’s bucket lists, this imposing and mesmerising Neolithic and Bronze Age stone circle in the countryside of Wiltshire, England, spans a history of 4,500 years and has intrigued tourists for decades. Are you one of them?
Visit Alberobello in Puglia
This charming and quirky little town in Italy’s sun-baked heel has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. A higgledy-piggledy maze of traditional conical shaped Trullo buildings, Alberobello will give you a real taste of authentic Italian life. Amble along the pathways, dipping in and out of local shops, bars and restaurants.
Learn a language
Less of an activity and more of a skill, learning a language is a great way to not only immerse yourself in the countries you visit but it also helps to combat brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia by increasing the number of neural pathways in the brain. Basically, there’s no downside to learning a new language.
Camp under the stars in the Sahara
Just you, the ethereal desert dunes and the stars – what could be more romantic than that? Luxury Desert Camp Morocco do overnight excursions from Marrakech with a variety of options – private nomadic for couples and honeymooners, private for small groups or the main camp, which is more sociable.
Take up a traditional cooking class
One of the best things about travelling to different countries? The gastronomic experiences. So, whether you’re learning how to make the best Nasi Goreng in Bali or how to roll fresh egg pasta in Tuscany, it’s an experience you can take home with you (and impress your loved ones with!).
Colonial City of Santo Domingo
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, but this time on the paradise Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic. It’s the oldest European settlement of the Americas (it was founded in 1948, after Christopher Columbus’ arrival), and it’s a great place for wandering and admiring the colonial architecture and rich history.
Take a tuk-tuk ride in Bangkok
You’ve seen them – the nippy little kart-looking vehicles that speed along the bustling streets of Asia. Sometimes painted in bright colours, other times with ornaments hanging off them, they’re a must at least once in your lifetime. If nothing else, they’re fun. Just make sure to negotiate the price before you hop in to avoid being stung.
Benagil cave in the Algarve
You may have seen this picture on Instagram – the sea cave in sleepy Benagil is now world-famous due to its unique look… a light-filled dome lapped by vivid blue water. To get to the cave you can either hop on a boat, rent a paddleboard, grab a kayak or swim from Benagil beach; swimming is only advised if you’re a strong and experienced swimmer though, as the currents can change quickly.
Take a sunrise hike up Mount Batur
An active volcano on the island of Bali, Mount Batur is often hiked by tourists and travellers looking for breathtaking sunrise views. Most tour guides will pick you up and drop you off in Ubud, however, you can also make your own way to Kintamani by bus. If you are planning to go without a tour guide, make sure you ask around first to make sure the temperament of the volcano is okay. The vistas from the 5,633 ft crest will be worth the sweaty walk; a stunning crater lake, a stratovolcano and panoramic landscape views will leave you in awe.
Visit the Saklikent Gorge
The second-largest gorge in Europe, this spectacular gorge is about 40 minutes’ drive from Fethiye in Turkey. Giving off an otherworldly vibe, Saklikent Gorge boasts sculpted walls soaring into the sky, with locals setting up bars and quaint eateries tucked into the walls, suspending customers on wooden platforms above the water.
Sip a rum cocktail at sunset in the Caribbean
There’s no better place to grab a tasty rum cocktail than the Caribbean. Rum is entwined with the culture and history of the region, with a myriad of distilleries dotted across the islands… most notably, Mount Gay in Barbados. So, grab a seaside cabana, order your favourite rum-based cocktail and watch the gorgeous sunset from the beach – or your villa balcony, or a rooftop restaurant. Wherever tickles your pickle.
Now you’re armed with 20 travel experiences and bucket list activities to tick off in 2020, which ones do you think you’re going to aim for – or have you already ticked some of them off? Let us know in the comments below!