What better way to get excited for 2018 than by checking off one of those epic vacation ideas on your travel bucket list? Whether it’s a classic destination, or something off the beaten track to make you the envy of all your Instagram followers, FlipKey has drummed up 11 can’t-miss destinations to throw your wanderlust into high gear!
From classic bucket list trips like catching the Northern Lights in Iceland or swimming along the Great Barrier Reef, to new experiences like eating your way through Japan’s culinary hotspot and whale-watching on the edge of the world, FlipKey has incredible rental properties that’ll be the perfect base for your bucket list vacation, without breaking the bank!
6 Classic Travel Bucket List Trips
1. Witness the Northern Lights in Iceland or Norway
The Northern Lights are on many travelers’ bucket lists and during the winter months, from Norway to Iceland, there are many incredible destinations to catch the Aurora’s mesmerizing colors.
Where To Stay: Explore Iceland’s raw beauty with a stay at this charming 3-bedroom cottage. Its remote location, with views of the ocean and mountains, is perfect for spotting the elusive Auroras.
Where To Stay: For equally spectacular views, this coastal 5-bedroom lodge in Norway’s Lofoten Islands offers the best of both worlds with a completely modern interior, while its picture windows are perfect for cozying up to watch the spectacular light shows at night.
2. Walk Along the Great Wall of China
Walk along one of the world’s most impressive architectural feats—the Great Wall of China. Located just outside Beijing, stay at modern apartment in the city for a dose of excitement from the Chinese cultural capital and a day trip to this impressive UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the 7th century.
Where To Stay: Enjoy the historical Chinese capital from your own private apartment near the Old City’s east gate. For as little as $21 per person, per night, this modern 1-bedroom apartment, which sleeps three, has easy access to the metropolis’ many sights and is a perfect base for your trip to the Great Wall nearby.
3. Unwind in a Balinese Paradise
With its unique culture, stunning scenery, and plethora of activities, it’s no surprise Bali was the top TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Destination for 2017. To experience the best of this Indonesian paradise, a modern villa in trendy Seminyak is the perfect base for this bucket list destination!
Where To Stay: Despite its central location, Villa Kailysa offers a relaxing private retreat in the Balinese hotspot. Just minutes from the beach, this beautiful open-concept villa lets guests make the most of Bali’s incredible weather, with a spacious veranda containing its dining, lounge and kitchen, leading to an inviting pool. For adventurous types, this villa is a great base to explore the beaches and nearby rice paddies, or for planning an early morning trek up Mount Batur.
4. Gaze At A Natural Wonder: The Grand Canyon
With its sheer size and majestic beauty, it’s no surprise the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Stay at a cozy vacation rental in nearby national parks to really explore and marvel at the rock formations of this expansive gorge, which date back billions of years!
Where To Stay: Relax at this charming, romantic, and secluded two-bedroom cabin near the Coconino National Forest. Just a few hours from the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon, it’s the perfect base for day trips to explore the Grand Canyon. After a busy day exploring, head home and relax among nature on the large wraparound terrace and cozy porch swing.
5. Head on a Wild South African Safari
Always wanted to spot a lion in the wild? What about a rhinoceros? If any of the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos) are on your bucket list, then pack your bags for a South African safari stay near Kruger National Park!
Where To Stay: This stunning modern 3-bedroom property sits in the heart of South Africa’s wildlife region. With its location on a secure private wildlife estate, you’ll get to know your four-legged neighbors from the expansive terrace, or find yourself sharing the pool with some unexpected furry visitors. Dining and shopping options are only minutes away in nearby Hoedspruit and, of course, don’t miss out on one of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park, which is less than an hour away.
6. See An Underwater World: The Great Barrier Reef
There’s no doubt exploring the underwater world is on many bucket lists, but while there’s many places in the world to grab the scuba gear, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate destination! Exploring this stunning aquatic wonder with a stay at a vacation home in nearby Port Douglas.
Where To Stay: Base yourself only 300 feet away from the famous Four Mile Beach at this modern 3-bedroom Port Douglas villa. The gated property offers guests plenty of privacy and entertaining options with its outdoor swimming pool, lush gardens, and al fresco dining. Located in a quiet residential area of Port Douglas, this villa is a perfect base for vacationers keen to explore an incredible underwater world at the Great Barrier Reef.
5 Fresh Travel Bucket List Ideas To Add
7. Immerse Yourself In Argentina’s Cultural Mecca
Latin passion and classic European glamour converge in electrifying Argentina. With its dual-heritage, the city’s public squares could easily be mistaken for European piazzas, while its cobblestone streets and vibrant colors ooze Latin charm. Stay near the city’s historical Recoleta Village and watch as the two worlds collide.
Where To Stay: Immerse yourself in Buenos Aires’ rich history with a stay at this stunning 19th century apartment within minutes of Recoleta Village. The 3-bedroom, 4-bathroom property exudes old world charm, with its 15-foot ceilings, exposed beams, and brick walls.
8. Explore Chinese & French Influences In Vietnam
Small, chaotic, yet utterly charming, Hanoi is a full-on sensory experience. The city’s old quarter exudes energy, as mopeds whiz through the narrow roads, street hawkers sell their wares, and crowds spill into the streets. Explore the city’s dynamic fusion of Chinese and French influences, insanely cool local culture, and raw charm from a bright Vietnamese vacation rental.
Where To Stay: This stunning zen apartment offers travelers a quintessential fusion of Vietnam’s Chinese and French influences, with an added modern touch. The one-bedroom rental sits a short walk away from the city’s Old Quarter, making it the perfect retreat from Hanoi’s energy. Soothing whites and neutrals in the apartment complement the greenery and florals throughout, while exposed brick and a heritage clawfoot bathtub add to the magic.
9. Escape To Fogo Island
Explore nature from one of the world’s four corners. Fogo Island’s intimate and profound entanglement with the sea and forces of nature have helped create the island’s unique culture. From striking landscapes and incredible wildlife, to a much-buzzed about art-scene and delightful gastronomic experiences, a charming rental property along the Atlantic is a great way to see why this small island draws visitors worldwide to its shores.
Where To Stay: Enjoy Fogo Island from this charming colorful Newfie cottage perched along the Atlantic Ocean. Hike along the nearby towering cliffs, watching majestic whales swim along the shores below. If you’re spent after a busy day exploring this historical island, cozy up in front of the cottage’s large picture windows and watch as icebergs float by your living room window.
10. Eat Your Way Through Japan’s Foodie City: Osaka
From sushi, to yakitori and Okonomiyaki—arguably the region’s most famous export—Japan’s second largest city offers an unparalleled culinary experience making it a must-visit bucket list destination for any foodie! Base yourself in a comfortable Osaka rental to eat your way through this culinary region.
Where To Stay: Live like the Japanese in a traditionally styled apartment. Neutral colors and minimalist aesthetic adorn the apartment, creating a spacious feel. Located near the historical Osaka Castle, this property boasts wonderful Japanese features, like calligraphy on the walls, a traditional Japanese dining table, as well as Japanese double futons, sleeping up to eight people.
11. Combine Culture & Beaches in the Indian Ocean
If you can’t decide between stunning coastlines and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, why not combine the two and tick Zanzibar off your bucket list? Stay at your own stunning beachside villa to explore the island archipelago’s miles of unspoiled beaches, impressive cultural mélange, awe-inspiring architecture, and delectable aromas.
Where To Stay: Located on the opposite side of the island from bustling and historical Stone Town—yet still within an hour’s drive—this gorgeous private villa puts the warm waters of the Indian Ocean right at your doorstep. This fantastic coastal property features two masters, each with its own en-suite. Both bedrooms have balconies leading to the terrace, with incredible 180-degree views of the beach. The property also boasts an infinity pool, perfect for a night swim.
This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor Rentals blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.