Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, it’s impossible not to daydream about all of the places you’d like to go. From trekking through the Andes Mountains to trying tapas in Spain or soaking up the sun in St. Lucia’s, here are my personal top 25 travel ideas to help you add to your ultimate travel bucket list!
1. Stargaze in San Pedro de Atacama Desert, Chile. This desert has the clearest skies in the world, making it the perfect place for observing the stars. As a self-proclaimed NASA nerd, I can’t think of anything more incredible than this.
2. Explore the rolling hills of Ireland! Must-see places include: Dublin, the Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle.
3. Head north to Canada. Hike in Banff National Park and visit Prince Edward Island, the setting for Anne of Green Gables.
4. Take a historical tour of Berlin, Germany; visit Museumsinsel, a World Heritage Site that consists of five museums on an island in the Spree River. I was in Hamburg and Munich over the summer and quickly realized that I needed (a lot) more time to explore this country.
5. Sightsee in Warsaw, Poland. Wander through Old Town and Wilanów Palace.
6. Revisit Italy! Traveling to Florence, Venice, Siena, and Cinque Terre made me realize that there are still so many places in Italy I need to experience— specifically Bologna, Rome, the Vatican, Pompeii, and the Dolomites— okay, maybe I should just move there.
7. Machu Picchu, Peru – is any bucket list complete without it??
8. Visit Prague and Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic.
9. Visit Alaska in the summertime. See the northern lights and hike in Denali National Park.
10. Take a cheap flight to Reykjavik, Iceland. Iceland offers adventures for everyone— you can hike along waterfalls, climb volcanoes, and take a dip in the hot springs.
11. Travel to Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia. Patagonia is located in the southernmost tip of South America, encompassing areas of both Argentina and Chile. The geography of this region is incredibly diverse— you can see everything from glaciers to deserts to fjords and grasslands.
12. Tour the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
13. Visit the Swiss Alps. Eat a lot of chocolate while I’m there.
14. Spend a week hiking the Appalachian trail.
15. Road trip out west. Visit Glacier National Park, the Grand Canyon, and Mount Zion.
16. Head to Portland, Oregon, try Voodoo Donuts and go to Powell’s Books, then drive along the coast to Washington.
17. Hop the Greek isles; specifically Santorini and Mykonos, which seem like two of the most picturesque places on the planet.
18. Take a Hobbiton tour in New Zealand and spend most of the trip pretending I’m in a Lord of the Rings movie.
19. Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park (seriously, look up pictures of this one) in Croatia and visit Dubrovnik, one of the main filming locations for Game of Thrones.
20. Take an ancestry tour of Denmark. Visit Funen, “the fairytale island,” from which my great-great grandmother emigrated.
21. Eat and salsa dance my way through Spain, and make use of the past seven years of Spanish class.
22. Take a cultural tour of Vienna, Austria. Visit the Schonbrunn and Belvedere palaces.
23. Explore St. Lucia’s, a Caribbean island known for its rainforests and twin volcanic peaks.
24. Stroll the streets of Aix-en-Provence, France. Relax in the countryside.
25. Go to Brussels, Belgium. Fall in love with their waffles, frites, palaces and museums. I can’t wait to check this one off my list in May!
Photos courtesy of Emily Alff, Katie Hackbart, Claire Krieger, Laura McGlynnn, Josie Sajbel, Natalie Sommers, Allison Streckenbach, Saskia Van Riessen