02.11.2018 Travel Insurance
As the dark, dreary days of winter are now officially upon us, our thoughts often turn to travel plans and summer days in far flung destinations. As the saying goes; “Collect moments not things”
If you plan to collect some moments in 2019 on a bucket list holiday, we have some suggestions on things to do:
Experience the rich culture, breath-taking scenery and exceptional wildlife on safari in Africa. The country you choose to visit very much depends on what you would like to see:
The big 5: a phrase used to refer to the top five animals many people want to see while on safari, the African lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The big 5 can be seen in a variety of countries on the continent including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya.
The wildebeest migration: this mass movement of a million wildebeest, zebra and antelope across the Serengeti is one of nature’s most spectacular events. If you want to witness it, travel to the Serengeti in Tanzania from July to October.
Gorilla Trekking: if your bucket list holiday is to see gorillas in the wild then a trip to Kenya is on the cards. Not for the faint hearted, treks to find these majestic animals are up hill and can be from 1-6 hours long. It might be worth doing some training before you leave. No matter how tough the ascent, it will be well worth it when you see these striking animals in their natural habitat.
Road trips are enshrined in the popular culture of the United States for a reason. It is a country made for driving. Get a better understanding of the American ideal of freedom on the open road on a road trip across part of this fascinating place. It is a country so vast that it would be impossible to cover it all, even on a bucket trip holiday but there are a number of routes to choose depending on what interests you most:
Route 66: probably the most famous highway in the US, this 4,000km stretch of road will take you from the Windy City of Chicago to the Pacific Coast. Once the main archery from the east to the west coast it has long been replaced by the faster interstates. Now frequented by holiday makers looking for a glimpse of small town America, the towns along the route have experience a revival after many years in decline.
The Appalachian Trail: if stunning scenery is what you are looking for on your bucket list US holiday, the Appalachian trail might be the route for you. Stretching from the top of New England to the Smokey Mountains in the south, this fascinating route passes through some of the wealthiest and neediest parts of the US. The scenery is mix of mountains and forests that are particularity spectacular during the autumn.
The Oregon Trail: famed as the route many thousands used in the mid - 1800 to migrate west, the Oregon Trail takes in well-known naturalwonders, Niagra falls in the east and Yellowstone National Park in the west. It also encapsulates the variety of the American experience with idyllic towns, unusual museums and classic diners in contrast to the postindustrial decline that is evident along parts of the route.
A chance to visit to one of the seven wonders of the modern world is just one of the attractions of this fascinating country. Stretching over 21,00 kilometres the Great Wall of China, snaking across the countryside, is a sight you are unlikely to forget but it is just one of many things that make China a bucket list travel destination. Visit China for 5,000 years of culture from dynasties to the modern day, incredible food (much better than the local takeaway!) and landscapes that are sure to take your breath away.
Step back in time on a visit to this unique country. American classic cars and crumbling buildings combine with friendly people, rhythmic music and dance to make this island a wonderfully unusual holiday destination. From the colonial wonders of Havana to the beauty of Trinidad, a UNESCO Heritage site, Cuba truly is the pulsing heart of the Caribbean. Take this bucket list holiday soon, before it changes too much.
If a visit to the jungle is on your bucket list, you should consider a trip to Peru, where you can take in the wonders of the amazon on a guided tour. Peru also contains a wealth of ancient ruins, the most famous being the Inca city of Machu Picchu.
If you are feeling fit you can hike the 45km over four days on one of many organised tours, camping along the way. Be forewarned, Machu Picchu is 2,430m above sea level so hiking is by no means easy, altitude sickness and the risk of injury make it a significant challenge. If you want a less arduous journey to the top, there is a train that will get you there in 3-4 hours. The city of Cusco should also be included in a trip to Peru, once the capital of the Inca Empire it is still a thriving city containing many plaza’s, churches and street scopes from colonial times.
Looking for a bucket list trip closer to home? Paris may well be it. The trick to a truly special holiday to Paris is to get off the beaten track. By all means see Montmartre, if you haven’t been, but it is to Paris what Temple Bar is to Dublin. Make your trip truly special wandering through the backstreets, visiting lesser known museums like La Gaîté Lyrique and making the most of the many flea markets located around the city. Include dinner on a riverboat for a truly special evening. Some of them reach the Eifel tower for the spectacular lightshow at 10pm.
If scenery is your thing, consider a Nordic cruise for your bucket list holiday. There is so much to see in this part of the world. If you travel at the right time, you have the best chance to view the northern lights for this part of the world. Alternatively, on a summer cruise you can make the most of the mid-night sun allowing you to take in the stunning scenery well into the small hours, in some of the remotest areas of Northern Europe.
Ever want to jump into a wildlife documentary? Visiting the Galapagos Islands enables you to do virtually that. The cost of getting to these remote islands in the Pacific make it a bucket list trip for most. This destination is famous for the wide range of unique wildlife that call it home, including the famous giant tortoise, mariene iguanas and flightless cormorants to name a few. The waters surrounding the islands are also full of the most stunning sea creatures like sting ray, sea lions and vibrant tropical fish.
Regularly rated as one of the most scenic countries in the world, New Zealand is a wonderful place for an extra special holiday. As an English speaking country that drives on the left, it is also an easy place to travel for Irish people. Rent a car and get out of the main cities to get the most out of a holiday here. Make sure you include a trip to Milford Sound, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Franz Josef Glacier and Queenstown in your trip. Oh and don’t forget to take time out for a restorative day spa in Rotorua. It smells a bit, but don’t let that put you off, the volcanically heated water is gorgeous and will leave you feeling refreshed and revived.
Polynesia must be one of the most stunning places in the world, if tropical scenery is your thing. As a destination, it may not have the same depth of things to do as some others on the list but if rest and relaxation is important this could be the place for you. Made up of more than 1,000 islands most activities in this remote location are focused on wildlife and water sports.
We hope this list has whet your appetite for a once in a lifetime trip this year.