Exploring the world is something we all dream about. But somehow, life always seems to get in the way of those trips of a lifetime. No longer having to focus on saving pennies or entertaining the kids, there’s nothing standing in the way of unleashing your adventurous side. So cancel the paper delivery, leave a spare key with your neighbour and start ticking off our 60 worldwide travel adventures!
No longer restrained by five-day working weeks, taking a holiday which lasts weeks, maybe even years, is no longer just a pipe dream. Take your time to really get to know a different culture by setting sail for several months.
1. Live the American road-tripping dream
From Prudhoe Bay in Alaska to San Diego in the south, a roat trip along the North American portion of the Pan-American highway is what dreams are made of. Rent a vintage car to drive in style between all the unique sights the diverse landscape of the US has to offer. Spend a few nights here and there along the way, including the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming and the sleepy California seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea – you’ll be en route for a several month-long adventure.
2. Backpack by bus through South America
Gone are the days when travelling alone on tours meant third-wheeling it at the dinner table – single-friendly holidays for seniors are on the upsurge. Getting a ‘hop on, hop off’ style bus pass will enable you to smoothly travel across the continent, making as many stops as you want along the way. Make sure to include a trip to the ancient city Machu Picchu in Peru, a grand, mysterious gem from the Inca era.
3. Take a Milford Track hike in New Zealand
With misty mountains, ancient forests and scenic waterfalls, New Zealand is well deserving of its reputation as one of the best places to take a long hike. Ultimate Hikes are a reputable company who offer group walks along the Milford Track. With pit stops along the way for cooked meals, hot showers and other amenities, you get to combine the benefits of getting back to nature with all the comforts of civilisation.
5. Get up close to Kenya’s wildlife
No nature documentary in the world will prepare you for the feeling of driving along dusty roads amongst lions, elephants and rhinos roaming freely. A popular route is to start and finish in the capital Nairobi, making stops along the way at the many lakes, mountains and open plains. Most of the guided tours include airport pickup, accommodation and three meals a day, making sure that all you need to worry about on your trip is keeping your binoculars and camera close to hand!
6. Cruise the world in 40 days
Cruises are one of the most popular ways to travel, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a convenient way of seeing many exotic destinations in one trip, whilst avoiding going back and forth between airports. In between exploring sites along the way, you’ll have plenty of time to snooze in a sun lounger with a drink in hand. Itineraries like this 28-night Italy to South Africa grand voyage let you enjoy sightseeing in several world cities, as well as relax amid a variety of award-winning onboard entertainment.
7. Chase the northern lights in Norway
Seeing a pitch-black sky slowly turn a sharp shade of green is an eye-opening experience that will leave you in awe of what nature’s capable of. Up in the north of Norway, you’ll be able to find the long dark nights needed for Aurora hunting. The local travel company Arctic Coast offers snow scooter tours to the polar region, in order to seek out the northern lights. It’s hard to predict when and where the lights can be found, so prepare yourself to stay in the area for a while.
8. Explore history with a battlefield tour
Historical sightseeing isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a recreational historian there’s an abundance of interesting tours available. Through taking a WW1 battlefield tour around France with an expert guide, you’ll be able to delve deep into history, learning more about the battlefields, war graves and other key monuments from the First World War.
9. Journey deep into the Amazonas
Rather than tour the kempt rivers of Europe, choose a cruise along the Amazon river that runs right through the heart of South America. Start in the Peruvian city Iquitos and travel on the largest tributary of the river. During the excursion, you’ll be able to explore the forests’ that with its savannah landscapes and multiple floodplains acts as a home to over 30,000 kinds of plants, not to mention the countless animal species you’ll spot along the riverbanks!
10. Rekindle an old friendship abroad
Throughout our lives, the friendships we form will often reflect on what stage of life we’re at. Now that the kids have flown the nest and are preoccupied with their own lives, it’s a good time to reconnect with lost longtime friends. Organise a long weekend trip to a cosy cottage in the Cotswolds and spend it taking long walks and catching up about old memories and future plans.
11. Learn the legacy of whisky in Islay
Tucked away on the south coast of Islay, you’ll find Lagavulin Distillery gazing out towards the Atlantic Ocean. Thought to be one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, this is the place to taste award-winning single malt whisky in one of the most serene environments you’ll ever come across. The easiest way to get to Islay is by car, with a drive from Glasgow taking about 5-6 hours. For those looking to stay overnight, there are several cosy B&B’s and hotels scattered across the island.
12. Soak up the scenery in Douro Valley
It’s a rare child that considers breathtaking, panoramic landscapes to be at the top of a holiday checklist. Taking some time out to get back to nature is the perfect way for you to unwind now they’re not around to complain about being bored. Book some time away in the Douro Valley near Porto in Portugal, and let the beauty of these wild, natural surroundings soothe away your stresses.
13. Revisit the magic of Disney
If your memories of visits to Disney World are replete with hours of queuing to catch a glimpse of Cinderella through a castle window and temper tantrums in the gift shops, then it may be time to get reaquainted with ‘the happiest place on earth’. From the luxurious decadence of the Epcot Resort to pampering spa treatments, world-class dining options to adult-tailored attractions including Epcot Park’s ‘Drink Around the World’ showcase, you will find that the faded magic can easily be reignited.
14. Walk on a volcano in Panama
Known as ‘the crossroads of the Americas’, Panama is home to the canal which binds together the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. With famously friendly locals and an affordable lifestyle, Panama is the perfect location to do some light travelling that includes freshly-caught fish and a vibrant atmosphere. Visit Volcán Barú, the tallest mountain close to the border to Costa Rica. Its volcano isn’t active, and can be reached by guided tours via the scenic trek Sendero Los Quetzales.
15. Throw rocks in Montenegro
Due to it’s proximity to the Balkan peninsula and Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is home to a wonderfully diverse landscape. The small country is a collection of picturesque villages and rolling green hills, with winding mountain roads taking you up to snapshot views of the surroundings. Plan your trip for the summer months and spend the 22nd of July in Perast’s islets, the day when the town celebrates Fašinada by throwing rocks into the sea from their boats at sunset.
16. Enter a fairytale in Estonia
Head over to Estonia during the year’s warmer months to enjoy vibrant cafés, stylish hotels and tucked-away bistros. In Tallinn you’ll find the city’s famous Old Town, where tiny cobblestone lanes and medieval markets create an almost fairytale-like feel. Traditional folklore exists side by side with cutting edge culture, all able to be experienced in a few days. In June, Estonia celebrates the welcoming of summer, where bonfires are lit all across the country, accompanied by celebrations well into the night.
17. Take a voyage in Vietnam
With its majestic scenery being featured in Bond blockbuster Tomorrow Never Dies, the World Heritage Site Halong Bay is quite the experience for even the most well-travelled of people. Xuan Hong is a floating seafood restaurant, where you pick your food when it’s still alive. A dinner here after a day spent in Da Nang’s crystal clear water snorkelling will make sure to get you into the ultimate holiday relaxation mode.
18. Touch the sky in Namibia
Taking a hot air balloon ride over the Namib desert will leave you amazed by the views of the iconic red sand dunes in Deadvlei. Try one of the local treats on tap as well – micro-brewed beer Swakopmund Brauhaus from Camelthorn is a must-try for anyone who enjoys the occasional tipple. Namibia is one of the few countries where you can spot desert elephants in the wild, so pay a visit to their home in Etosha National Park.
19. Get festive in Germany
Many of us will forget that it’s only 25 years ago that the Berlin wall fell, uniting the country once again. Berlin is a vibrant, affordable destination, and in parts you can still experience the cultural differences that came from Germany’s geographical divide. Visit during the winter months to experience one of the magical Christmas fairs the capital has to offer, with small decorations, local woodworks and other trinkets on sale.
20. Czech out Prague’s Gothic side
Prague has established itself as one of the most popular city break destinations in Europe, and rightly so. There’s a myriad of historic buildings to be found amongst the cobbled streets of the Gothic Old Town. The town hall boasts an enormous Astronomical Clock, which offers hourly shows of dancing medieval figures. For those who aren’t that interested in the cathedrals and castles, there’s always the Žižkov district, an increasingly trendy part of the city full of cafés and galleries.
21. Say ‘buenos dias’ to Buenos Aires
Due to its rich European heritage, Buenos Aires is often referred to as the ‘Paris of the South’. Although this in no way means that its latin roots are any less – wherever you walk, sidewalk cafés and tango dancing couples are never far away. In stark contrast with the bustling city life, journey north through Argentina to Iguazu Falls. These collection of 275 waterfalls straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil are one of the world’s most spectacular natural sights.
22. Meet the gorillas in Rwanda
Rwanda is taking determined strides towards becoming a diplomatic state and as a result, tourism is growing rapidly. In recent years, tracking rare mountain gorillas has topped the to-do lists for visitors. The Virunga Mountains are surrounded by tropical jungles, and the humid climate means that many trekking safaris are offered during the drier months of December to February.
22. Jetset across Thailand
Travelling through Asia is a common rite of passage for people who’ve just left school, however it’s an option with a lot to offer later in life as well. This time round, opt out of grimey hostels and rickety bus journeys, and focus on making your trip a bit more comfortable. Relax at a boutique hotel on the idyllic Phuket coastline, before heading out for a shopping trip at one of the markets or local tailors.
23. Weekend on a yacht in Ibiza
Despite earning a reputation as a non-stop clubbing scene, there is a lot more to this Spanish island than all night partying. Head to the coastal town Santa Eulalia in the east and rent a yacht for the day. Some of the sights you’ll get to enjoy on the trip are the uninhabited island Es Palmador and spectacular flying fish.
24. Turn up the tunes in Roskilde
Music festivals are often a messy, muddy affair where binge-drinking is a rule rather than an exception. However, visit Denmark’s Roskilde festival, fondly known as the Nordic Glastonbury, for a more relaxed experience. The eight-day extravaganza draws a crowd within a broad age range. You’re free to come and go as you please, meaning that if you need a break from camping life you can take a trip around the town of Roskilde for some sightseeing and delicious food.
25. Hit the Alpine slopes
Ski trips aren’t just for the overtly athletic ones amongst us – on the contrary they can be a slice of icy, alpine luxury to warm your cockles, even as a ski novice. To hit the slopes in style, check into a lavish resort in Switzerland’s postcard-perfect town St. Moritz. For the ultimate holiday experience, spend the day stirring up some snow and finish it off with soaking away the evening in a mountainside hot tub.
26. Take a leap of faith
Not one for the faint-hearted, skydiving and bungee jumping can add an adrenaline kick to your holidays like nothing else. The city of Cairns, one of the gateways to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is a hot spot for taking the plunge, with varying heights depending on how brave you’re feeling.
27. Trek the eastern tracks by train
The Trans-Siberian Railway spans from Moscow to Beijing, and makes stops in several countries along the way. Popular sights include the medieval city of Vladimir and Lake Baikal, the largets freshwater lake in the world. Jump off and on the train to create your own adventure for a few weeks.
28. Play your cards right in Las Vegas
Start off the autumn season in style by staying at the swanky Wynn hotel in the US’s iconic Sin City. Hit a casino during the day to try your luck at cards, and end the night at the dimly lit jazz venue in the Downtown area. And don’t worry if gambling isn’t your choice of activity – Vegas has plenty of wholesome activities too such as cooking classes at The Bellagio, dazzling shows and long strolls along the boulevard.
29. Stay in a Bora Bora ocean bungalow
With glittering turquoise lagoons and ample rainforests, there’s a reason why Bora Bora has become one of the most popular luxury getaways of our time. There are many activities on offer, such as diving and snorkelling, however it’s the island’s overwater bungalows which perhaps generate the greatest buzz – they’re the perfect spot to put your feet up and read that book you’ve been meaning to sink your teeth into.
30. Make the hotel the main event
On most trips, our hotel will merely act as a place to rest our heads after a long day of sightseeing. Sometimes though, it can be nice to splash a little bit more cash during your stay by checking into one of the world’s many finer hotels. In Prague you can find Aria hotel, where the city’s symphonic connection is honoured by each suite dedicated to a different musician or composer. Or journey into Turkey to stay at Kayakapı Premium Caves – where cave houses built into the mountains of Cappadocia have been restored into unique and opulent accommodations.
31. Cruise the Caribbean waters
Luxury doesn’t come much purer than the white sandy shores of the Caribbean islands, so how better to grab a slice of the good life than with a cruise that lets you enjoy them all at once? Booking an indulgent trip along the ‘Eastern Route’ will deliver all the glorious scenery and world-class beaches you could ever want, whilst you sail away into bliss. Treat yourself properly, and opt for a month-long excursion to really rest, recharge and rejuvenate.
32. Find all that glitters in Dubai
Dubai‘s resorts and hotels are among the world’s most opulent – sinking into serenity is instantaneous in this decadent destination. From the sparkling fronds of Atlantis Palm Beach resort and world-class cuisine in oceanfront restaurants, to spa and retail therapy of every kind imaginable. Check into one of the countless five-star resorts on offer and explore a place where luxury is a way of life.
33. Live the high life in the Highlands
The railway journeys of Great Britain are legendarily panoramic, and what better way to experience one of the best than with a trip on the Belmond Royal Scotsman? This journey lets you steam your way through the rolling hills of the Scottish highlands, whilst enjoying lavish carriage decor, (featuring regular accents of tartan, naturally), and sumptuous, locally sourced cuisine – all aboard!
34. Escape into the sandy Sahara
If you’re fond of sand dunes… book yourself onto a luxury desert camping retreat in the heart of the Moroccan Sahara Desert. Stay in an exotically opulent campsite, complete with Berber guides, gourmet cuisine and even your own personal camel. You’ll experience one of the planet’s most breath-taking natural environments, complete with all the home comforts you could ever wish for (and a few more besides).
34. Make yourself at home through a house swap
Exchanging your home with other like-minded silver surfers is a cosy and cost-efficient way to vacation in another country. There are luxury beachside villas, city flats or small country houses to choose between, all for a fraction of the normal cost. With websites such as HomeBase Holiday, you can have a look at the different options online before deciding which house gives you the homeliest feel.
35. Holiday in your hometown
Because the place we call home is the backdrop for our day-to-day life, we often take the sights it has to offer for granted. But by buying a travel guide and treating your excursion as you would any other overseas trip, you’re almost certain to find hidden gems you’d never even heard of! Visit your local tourist office and ask them for recommendations on the unusual sights you might have overlooked.
36. Become a senior au pair
Travelling abroad as an au pair has been a popular post-grad trip for ages. With more life experience on tap, and a greater sense of responsibility than younger counterparts, more and more parents are realising the advantages to having a senior au pair come to stay. Nowadays, there are travel agencies such as Granny Au Pair that specialise in pairing you up with the right family.
37. Get your glamp on in Dorset
Do you love going to sleep to the sounds of nesting owls and breezy leaves, but hate waking up with a crick in your neck? By saying good bye to camping and hello to glamping, you’ll have all the benefits of sleeping outdoors without letting go of any comfortability. On the grounds of country estate Stock Gaylard you’ll find stylishly furnished Mongolian yurts, which include everything you could possibly need during your stay!
38. Volunteer on a ‘golden gap year’
Spend a ‘golden gap year‘ abroad, using your skills and experience to do something good for others. Whether it’s wildlife conservation in Africa or social development in India you’re passionate about, there’s plenty of oppertunity out there.
39. Break the language barrier
If you’re itching to travel, but are worried about making your money last, working as an English teacher abroad is a good way to earn an income whilst exploring the cultures of countries like China, Argentina and South Korea. Requirements vary from country to country, but wherever you choose to go, a TEFL certification will almost always be needed.
40. Keep your cool in an Icelandic hot pool
Often featured as a dream destination in travel magazines, Iceland has a lot to offer for all kinds of travellers. Top on the list are the country’s natural hot pools, providing outdoor bath sessions all year round. A single dip will leave you with increased blood circulation and relaxed muscles – not to mention the wonders the mineral-rich water will do for your skin!
41. Tickle your tastebuds in Tuscany
A nutritious diet based on fresh ingredients is the backbone of a healthy lifestyle, but can sometimes seem like a daunting project to take on. By taking a weeklong trip close to the sunny slopes of Siena for an organic cooking class, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks you need from the wonderful local chefs in the area.
42. Become a yogi in India
It’s said that those who can’t do, teach. But sometimes, it’s actually those who can do who teach the best. If yoga’s the thing that helps you get in shape, teaching courses could be something for you. The Bihar School of Yoga in India focuses all its sessions around mental and physical wellbeing. Spend anything from a few days to several months in the original birthplace of yoga to learn all there is to know about this spiritual sport.
43. Digitally detox by revisiting your childhood
With more and more of us spending too much time on our phones, tablets and computers, a digital detox gives you a much-needed break from our society’s information overload. Travel back in time with Camp Grounded in the US, where you’ll spend your days reconnecting with the simpler things in life through childhood activities. Who knew ‘capture the flag’ could still be this much fun?
44. Dance your way through Latin America
Reboot relaxation by travelling to Uruguay, the secret capital of the tango. Academia Uruguay in Montevideo offer a combination of dance lessons and Spanish classes, which will help you walk the walk and talk the talk of the locals in no time. So pack your dancing shoes and a red rose, and prepare to discover Latin America’s best-kept secret.
45. Sail into tranquility
Recharge your batteries with an indulgent ‘wellness cruise‘ onboard a luxuriously decadent, floating spa. Peel back the years with pampering treatments from massages to exfoliating facials, and breathe in the crisp sea air to really revive and rejuvenate – your troubles will soon float away!
46. Discover the pursuit of happiness
How better to find your own perfect ‘happy place’ than to visit the official happiest country on earth – Switzerland? Wedged between two lakes, Interlaken is a village so beautiful it will put a smile on your face that will last a lifetime.
47. Sport around the world
As exciting as it is to watch sporting events from the comfort of our sofas, nothing beats sitting in the front row, supporting your favourite team. Formula 1 is a sport which has captured the interest of many people, with devout fans following the tyre tracks from Monaco to Bahrain.
48. Birdwatch at the end of the world
At the very-most western point of the Scottish mainland, you’ll find The Outer Hebrides – a large cluster of islands which is home to exotic bird species such as the white-rumped sandpiper. Thanks to regular boat trips going back and forth, birdwatching between the islands is relatively easy, giving you a unique insight to the local lifestyle in this remote haven.
49. Follow the footsteps of Nordic crime
Scandi crime fiction has found worldwide fame over the last few years, partly due to the fact that they’re often set in idyllic Nordic settings. Due to the upswing of tourists who travel to the Nordic countries just to take a look at the backdrop for their favourite books, there are now tours available in both Sweden and Denmark based solely around the successful series Borgen and Wallander.
50. Knit Fair Isle jumpers in the Faroe Islands
Made famous by police detective Sarah Lund in tv-series The Killing, Faroe Isles knitwear is a hot commodity amongst knitting enthusiasts worldwide. The Faroe Islands consist of 18 small islands, which will make you feel like you’re time-travelling when visiting. Knitting is a strong tradition in the country, and whilst clubs are often for locals only, many of the hotels such as Gjáargarðoffer lessons from time to time.
51. Live life through a lens in Morocco
Photos help us keep hold of wonderful memories, and are a lovely insight to our past. The highly esteemed photo courses organised by National Geographic will take you to various countries across the world, teaching you the basics of taking great pictures. Spend 14 days in Morocco on camelback, snapping shots of local villages and rocky mountains.
52. Learn a language abroad
With courses in a variety of subjects designed specifically for mature students, studying abroad is a fun way to meet new people. Combining lessons with organised cultural activities allows you to not only learn a new skill, but also immerse yourself in the ways of a different part of the world. For these types of trips, accommodation will usually be provided, with the option of staying with a host family or in your own studio flat.
53. Find your inner artist in Florence
Brush up on your art skills with an art course in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. The home of many of the greats, including Michelangelo and Raphael, the landscape itself creates the ultimate blank canvas for learning the techniques needed to create inspiring art.
54. Play ‘trip poker’
As the name suggests, it’s all about taking a gamble when choosing your travel destination. Create a numbered list of places you’ve always wanted to visit, and let the toss of a dice decide which place will be next in your agenda.
55. Travel app-solutely
If you’re ready to embrace technology into your travelling habits, you’ll find the benefits can extend far beyond being able to chat to your loved ones from the other side of the globe – travel apps are your new best buddy. XE Currency will let you know exactly how much you are spending on souvenirs, TravelSafe can connect you to any embassy or emergency service worldwide, and FourSquare will provide you with endless tips, ideas and inspiration on any given location from real travellers in real time!
56. Trace your family history wherever it leads
Researching your family history can teach you many unexpected things, and will create a stronger connection with the past. After tracing the roots of your family tree, visit all the different places your kin have called home. Prepare yourself for an unexpected journey with many twists and turns.
57. Hitch-hike for charity
Channel your inner wayfarer and hit the road with your best hitch-hiking thumb. Do it the safe way, and hitch as part of an organised event like Link Community Development‘s adventure to Moroccos or Croatia, and start flagging down lifts to far-flung destinations all for a worthy cause!
58. Go Eco
Eco travel is no longer reserved for hemp-wearing ‘free spirits’. The sustainable tourism industry is booming, with various companies offering all manner of environmentally responsible travel experiences. Enjoy the majesty of the Zambezi river by checking into one of Zambia’s premier eco lodges on the beautiful Sindabezi Island.
59. Cruise with a twist
We all love a cruise, but why not inject a bit of adventure and exploration into your trip across the high seas? Jump aboard a charming and characterful tug boat for a whistlestop tour around the breath-taking seascapes of British Columbia, and spot some of the world’s most elusive wildlife. This a real cruise with a difference, complete with trusty sea-captain of course.
60. Travel with words
Let your travel experiences live forever and inspire others by writing them down! Start your own blog, or contribute to a site like matador network and let your creative juices flow – sharing records of your adventures will encourage others to get out there and do the same.
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