Although it can sometimes seem as if our actions drive our life stories, really it is the other way around: the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, where we’re going and what we want out of life are what ultimately shape our actions. When it comes to travel, Covid has made this idea even more true and more relevant. Like most travelers, I have always been a seeker and find that the mere act of casting my thoughts to a distant destination changes my inner narrative and, from there, my mindset and my actions. Our stories create our lives. For that reason, I curate and tend to my travel wish list like a garden, always adding and adjusting. And even though some destinations are still off-limits, as we move into this new phase of Covid, with post-vaccine travel in the offing, I find myself thinking about them with an even greater sense of longing and urgency.
At Indagare, we specialize in creating travel bucket lists and in turning their dreams and mapping visions into practical, long-term plans. Some of our members like to spread their bucket lists over years. We help them with information about optimum times to travel and how early they need to book (a year in advance for safari, for example). Others like to cover a lot of ground at once, with, say, a trip around Southeast Asia. For some families, we have created round-the-world journeys and sabbaticals, with dozens of stops over several months. After all, there is no better way to educate our children and ourselves than with exposure to other cultures through personal interactions during a cooking class, a bike ride or a school visit.
Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to help map your travel future and customize your bucket list for when you’re ready to head out into the world again, or to learn more about health-safety considerations, including the destinations that are open to travel and the latest hotel protocols.
There is an art to creating a great bucket list. Like a great meal, it has rhythm and pacing, variety and balance: country and city, yin and yang. In the early days of Indagare, one of our members explained his preferences to me by saying: “I love works of God, but my wife prefers works of man.” This has since become a popular expression at Indagare for distinguishing two types of experiences. Here are our favorite bucket list trip ideas, from hiking experiences in the wilderness or guided tours through the world’s greatest museums to foraging for truffles and sunbathing on the finest white sands. We have broken them down into categories, themes, destinations and distinct passion points our members so often look for—and we truly hope they will inspire your future trips. We’re here to help you craft the bucket list itineraries you envision for your lifetime of travels as safely and responsibly as possible in the months and years ahead.
Bucket List Trip Ideas for Stupendous Natural Beauty
- South Island of New Zealand
- U.S. National Parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon and more
- Italian Dolomites
- Serengeti Plains
- The salt flats of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni
- South African Winelands
- The Atacama Desert and Torres del Paine, Patagonia in Chile
- Turkey’s Cappadocia
- Norway, Sweden or Finland
- The Great Barrier Reef
Bucket List Trips for Culture and History
- Machu Picchu in Peru
- Petra in Jordan
- Maya ruins in Belize
- Taj Mahal in India
- Angkor Wat in Cambodia
- The Sistine Chapel in Rome
- Athens and ruins throughout Greece
- Learning calligraphy in Kyoto
- Easter Island in Chile
- Monreale Cathedral in Sicily
Bucket List A+ Destinations
One of the biggest benefits of Indagare membership is that you are part of a community of sophisticated travelers seeking authentic and transformative experiences. Because we have been arranging thousands of trips annually for more than a decade, we can discern which guides, hotels, excursions and meals consistently enchant our members. Among those, a few are so exceptional that they can be counted on to please everyone every time. I call these the A+ Experiences, and a selection of them serves as an excellent framework for any bucket list.
Bucket List Indagare Adored Hotels
These properties are worth the trip for their exceptional service, setting and food, which all combine to enhance their magic.
- Capella Ubud in Bali
- Palace hotels of Rajasthan, India
- Laucala in Fiji
- Liz Biden’s South African properties: Royal Malewane, The Silo, Birkenhead House and La Residence
- Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana
- Estancia Vik in Uruguay
- Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco
- Bisate Lodge in Rwanda
- Ballyfin in Ireland
Keep an eye out for The Indagare Index, our curated list of the top properties in the world, arriving in member mailboxes (and for those who pre-ordered) soon for more inspiration!
Bucket List Guide Experiences
Because connecting with people is one of the most powerful ways to engage with a destination, this select group also includes our favorite guides. Here are a few of the exceptional guide experiences we can help arrange.
- A Maasai warrior who travels with our members through the Serengeti
- A hilarious and charming Gaudí expert in Barcelona
- An architect in Paris who gives engaging and scholarly tours of the Louvre
- An insider in Tokyo with amazing local connections
- An expert Egyptologist at Luxor and Karnak in Egypt
- An adventurer in Beijing who accompanies hikers on deserted stretches of the Great Wall
Bucket List Experiences By Theme
It can also be fun to flesh out this framework with experiences organized around a theme. Such a list might include:
Over and Under the Earth
- Descending into a volcano in Iceland
- Scuba diving in the Blue Hole of Belize or Palau
- Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
- Snorkeling at the Brando in Bora Bora
- Sailing along the west coast of Corsica
- Flying by helicopter over the fjord lands of Milford Sound in New Zealand
Unforgettable Wildlife Interactions
- African Safari
- Swimming with sea lions in the Galápagos
- Walking with a cheetah in Zimbabwe
- Washing an elephant in Asia’s Golden Triangle
- Painting an elephant in Jaipur
- Hiking amid silverback gorillas in Rwanda
- Tracking kiwi chicks in New Zealand
Because we are foodies at Indagare, bucket list trips always involve wonderful meals, some as simple as uni and toro before dawn at the fish market in Tokyo or tapas at a tiny counter in San Sebastián, Spain. A few of our favorites include:
- Breakfast by the pool at La Mamounia in Marrakech, accompanied by bird song, with the mist rising over the Atlas Mountains
- A rosé-filled, two-hour lunch at Conca del Sogno on the Amalfi Coast or at Garzón in Uruguay
- A multi-course tasting menu full of unfamiliar flavor combinations at Alinea in Chicago
- Grilled fresh fish at a little seaside spot reachable only by boat in Croatia or Mallorca
- A truffle hunt, led by an experienced trifulau (truffle hunter) and his dog, in Tuscany
- Dinner lit by candles and scented with rose petals on the rooftop of the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur
We encourage you to tap Indagare’s Trip Designers to guide you to extraordinary experiences and help you envision your own personalized bucket list.
Related: Where to Go in 2021
Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to help map your travel future and customize your bucket list for when you’re ready to head out into the world again, or to learn more about coronavirus travel safety, including the destinations that are open to travel and new COVID-19 hotel policies.