The inspiration behind planning adventures, alongside adding destinations to our travel bucket lists’ can come from anywhere. From chatting to friends who plan carefree getaways around idyllic Islands. Or by listening to travel stories told by fond family members who wish they could do it all again!
So, we decided to ask our free spirit team. They’ve provided some bucket list ideas to encourage you to plot that energising adventure you’ve forgotten about. Or that restful – but exotic – holiday soon.
The first destination on the list happens to be the closest to home, just over the North Sea…
See the Northern lights in Norway
Jan would love to see the Northern Lights on a Norwegian Cruise. The best time to embark on a cruise to admire the aurora borealis is from late September to early April. In terms of the best cruise line for the Northern Lights, many of the top liners sail around Greenland. Iceland, and Norway.
Alternatively, if sailing is not for you, you could fly to Norway and stay in cultural Tromsø. Tromsø is the capital of the Artic – the best destination to capture the Northern Lights because it’s situated at the centre of the Northern Aurora Zone! Why not book your northern lights tour here? Then you can admire a magical landscape of mountains, deep fjords (narrow inlets) and wistful, snow-capped islands.
In contrast, if you’re looking for a bucket list break in a warmer location (for the winter months) Australia will tick that box – and is on Mike’s bucket list.
Cover Australia by rail
It goes without saying that Australia is a large country. In fact, it is around 32 times larger than the UK. So, if it’s been on your bucket list for some time you may want to cover as much ground as possible and see this changeable and contrasting continent in all its glory. One of the best ways to do so is by embracing slow travel. Learn about Australia’s past and present on an Australian adventure by rail.
There are several train holidays to choose from. For instance, fly to Sydney and swing into your new time zone by having “brekkie” with the locals. Then board a luxurious train that follows the Indian Pacific Trans-Australian Railway route. With local cuisine and outback experiences included, you’ll see, taste and hear more than you imagined.
Another bucket list destination – also an exciting place, is far from home in Japan.
Watch Japan’s beautiful blossoms bloom in Spring
James was inspired to add Japan to his bucket list after watching the film The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Japan is one of Asia’s oldest civilisations, where the first inhabitants settled in 50,000 BC.
Today, its bustling cities sit amongst the stillness of snow-capped mountains and blissful blossoms. One of the best places to see the blossoms is in the city of Osaka from April to May. Hanami –or flower viewing- is one of Japan’s cultural festivals.
Another famous aspect of Japanese life is enjoying sushi. Not only does it make Japanese cuisine one of the healthiest in the world, but sushi also highlights Japan’s history of ingenuity, precision and drive for perfection.
If you see yourself as a foodie or like enhancing your health on holiday, would you stay at a vegan retreat? Our free spirit Rob has been on the lookout for one…
Experience a stay at a vegan retreat
While the main draw of a vegan retreat is following a plant-based diet, the is much more to them than you may expect. Some combine yoga, detox and focus on your health and well-being. However, others include adventurous activities, such as hiking, snorkelling, and swimming.
For instance, a vegan retreat in Hawaii exposes you to an incredible location for delicious fresh food. There’s a unique basket of fresh fruits to taste such as exotic pineapples, lychees and bright kumquats. Plus, you can learn a range of yoga styles within the archipelago’s jungles.
To find more tropical jungles and action, head to a vegan retreat in Belize, South America. Spend the day canoeing through the jungle or dive into The Bleu Hole Natural Monument (a divers Pilgrimage). All while staying at an eco-hotel, which sources all its vegetation from local farmers. In fact, Belize has a new project in place to strengthen the livelihoods of 7,000 farmers by enhancing their crops and livestock yields. So, adding Belize to your bucket list supports their initiative while staying at a vegan retreat.
As we all like to chill out on holiday within attractive destinations like Belize, one of the most colourful is on Rosalind’s bucket list…
Spend Christmas on a Caribbean island
The Caribbean is made up of 13 colourful countries. To pinpoint one to visit, the safest are usually British overseas territories such as the “Emerald Isle” Montserrat, the cheerful Cayman Islands or laid-back Anguilla.
Once you’ve decided which Caribbean Island to visit, book this bucket list break outside hurricane season, which falls from December to May. When you’re aware of this the Caribbean becomes a desirable destination for winter sun holidays – and unique Christmas breaks. If you’d like your pick of churches to attend on Christmas Day, the island of Jamaica is home to the highest concentration of churches in the world.
Whichever island you choose, you’ll soon realise that it is not just the warm beaches, aquamarine coastline and tropical breeze that make the Caribbean a blissful addition to your bucket list. Each island is home to friendly locals with a ‘no worries’ attitude that you’ll be encouraged to adopt before leaving.
If you want to add a welcoming and relaxing holiday destination to your bucket list, Ben has Bora Bora on his mind.
Relax in blissful Bora Bora
Reach the archipelago of Bora Bora by flying from The Islands of Tahiti, located within French Polynesia. This luxury holiday destination is what dreams are made of. Not only is it home to a tranquil, turquoise lagoon, but there are also many activities to keep you entertained too – alongside lounging in and around crystal clear waters.
For instance, snorkel or swim with stingrays or mantas, then spot shy sharks on a lagoon excursion. After a few days, explore inland. Capture everything on camera as you hike along a tropical jungle trail up to Mound Pahia.
Head to Bora Bora in July, to experience Heiva I Bora Bora the colourful “Celebration of Life”. This is a special festival found in Vaitape that’ll give you a true insight into French Polynesian culture.
Travel Insurance for your bucket list break
Has our free spirit team given you the inspiration to add more destinations and experiences to your bucket list? We hope we’ve encouraged you to plan an energising adventure soon.
Whether you stay in a restful retreat, explore a jaw-dropping jungle or wiggle your toes within pure sandy beaches don’t forget to take Free Spirit Travel Insurance along for your bucket list break.