We all have things we want to do in life, and taking trips that will stay with you for life tend to be high on people’s agenda. What truly constitutes as a once in a lifetime trip will be personal. But there are some locations that everyone agrees are the ‘must-see’ type. For this list, you’ll probably need a great pair of hiking boots, a bike, and a passport!
The Svalbard Islands are the home to many beautiful Polar Bears. They are located in the Arctic ocean, between the North Pole and Norway. Much of the area is completely untouched and could be described as rugged. Only around 3000 people are living across the islands and 2000 of those line in Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and admin center.
You will be treated to Arctic food, and they pride themselves on a high standard of delectable treats. In fact, you can visit the world’s northernmost sushi restaurant! You’ll probably need to get the by plane. But it is worth it to see the two-thirds of the protected Svalbard area. Flights take 3 hours from Oslo. You’ll need to pack your thermal for this trip and, when you arrive at the visitor’s center, check out tours and activities.
Millions of people visit Italy every year. But, many people tend to stick to the tourist areas. But if you step outside of those spaces, you are in for a treat. The Lake District has a lot to offer. It is in northern Italy and surrounded by mountains and stunning lakes. The largest lake is Garda, closely followed by Como and Maggiore. This is more for people who love natural beauty and some history. The Aeolian Islands are situated in the northeast of Sicily and the perfect getaway if you are ready to take it easy for a while. It comes highly recommended to scuba diving, and you can find active volcanoes here too. More than just great food!
This is where those trusty walking boots will be your best buddies. Dolpo is a part of the Himalayas that is only accessible by foot. You will want to book a tour for this one, as it takes around 13 days. The trails are untouched, and you will see various villages too. The region is culturally Tibetan which means you’ll get a real feel for how the ancient Tibetan people lived. And, of course, you’ll see Kathmandu’s temples, shrines, and the beautiful Phokosundo lake.
This one isn’t so much to a specific location but rather the experience itself. If you think about the cost of flights, hire cars or public transport, a week or two in a hotel plus food and experiences, a cruise will always be cheaper. Even luxury cruises will have a better price point. The all-inclusive nature of them means that you are never going to be worried about how much a meal is going to cost, or the snack breaks. You will probably need to add on a drinks package if you are partial to an alcoholic beverage.
There are specific tour companies like G Adventures’ that have a 10-day tour package that involved living nomadically during that time period. You’ll get to ride on horseback, stay overnight at a nomadic camp – where you’ll sleep in a ger, which is a bit like a yurt. Mongolia is looking to increase their tourist visits in the next few years, which should go some way to showing it doesn’t see nearly as many tourists as many places.
Many people want to see the northern lights. It is quite the experience to see different colors dance across the skies. But it is a different experience entirely from sleeping under them. The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland has a range of glass igloos. There is a glass compartment next to a more traditional log cabin – so privacy isn’t an issue. If you are going to check this one out, then you will want to book between August and April.
If the idea of giant turtles doesn’t entice you, then maybe the opportunity to swim with penguins might? You can also watch seals playing and swimming off the coast too. The Galapagos is made up of 19 islands and was untouched for millions of years. Each of the islands has an entirely different makeup, so you should check out maps long before you go. There are also some entry requirements to visit the Galapagos Park because they pride themselves on the protection of the habitat and inhabitants they are vigilant with bag checks, fees, and alien species.
If you love to have your breath taken away repeatedly, then you should consider temple hopping. Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia are relatively close, and the flights between each country are affordable and fast. If you choose two or three places that you want to visit, you can make a round trip in a matter of days. They recommend Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the White Temple in Chaing Rai, Thailand as the perfect spots for avid photographers.
Yes, it has thousands of tourists, but with good reason. When the sunsets and the city noise dulls down to a hum, the Eiffel Tower lights the sky. It is something spectacular and one of the most iconic structures on the planet. You can even have dinner in Les Ombres if you want to experience dinner and a view of the tower. There are of course other things that may draw your attention, like the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe or bag a bargain at Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen.
When it comes to once in a lifetime trips, they don’t need to be expensive or in a far off place. What matters the most is that you do something that means something to you. Watching wild horses run across fields, sitting in a safari car in Africa, or trying sushi in Japan. Travel well by doing what you love.