Picture an amazing holiday that you’ll remember for years to come. What springs to mind? A weekend away at your local beach might be refreshing but it’s probably not going to be life-changing. You need adventure, culture, excitement and intrigue – the best adventures are about going big and then going home.
Whether you document your travels online, take a million and one photos to show your family slideshow-style when you get home or only purchase tourist landmark photos for the fridge at home, these five destinations will be burnt into your photographic memory for the rest of your life.
1. New York City, United States of America
The Big Apple (the busiest city in the United States) is known as a fast-paced metropolis that never sleeps, which is perfect for travellers who want to get the most out of a destination. We’re all familiar with iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, but New York offers so much more. You can stroll the High Line in the summer (a park built on a historic freight train line), experience the snow and Christmas lights in winter, cycle through Central Park, take the ferry to Staten Island, enjoy a show on Broadway or take a stroll down the streets and admire the history and atmosphere. Everywhere you look, there’s something new to do or explore.
2. Kyoto, Japan
While Tokyo is a popular destination for travellers, the Japanese city of Kyoto is a must-see, with surreal surroundings that feel untouched and magical. Visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s many ancient temples, shrines and traditional ryokan inns and admire the tea ceremony masters, riverside cherry blossom trees, Zen gardens with haiku-inspired rock formations, and centuries-old craftsmanship. The whole city looks like an ethereal postcard.
3. Paris, France
The world-renowned City of Love, Paris is the global centre for art, fashion and food. Its picturesque 19th Century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. You can climb the Eiffel Tower (or ice skate on it during winter), pick up a baguette at a boulangerie, eat snails or frog legs or shop the endless designer boutiques. And you’re never too far from some true travel treasures, such as the Palace of Versailles, the Catacombs or Disneyland Paris.
4. Queenstown, New Zealand
They say you rarely explore your own backyard and, unfortunately, that’s often true. We scarcely travel Australia’s landscape and we tend to treat our neighbouring nation the same way. While virtually every part of New Zealand should be on your travel bucket list, we have a fond spot for Queenstown, known to some as the adventure capital. The city is home to the world’s highest cliff jump, as well as activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating and water rafting. And if you travel during winter or spring, you can take advantage of New Zealand’s world-class skiing.
5. Hawaii, United States of America
It’s easy to see why Hawaii is basically synonymous with paradise. This idyllic island is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, an active volcano and the world’s tallest sea mountain. With gorgeous tropical weather, it’s the birthplace of modern surfing, the hula and delicious Hawaii Regional Cuisine. And if you’re a fan of tours, you can visit the historical Pearl Harbor museum and memorial tours, get a bird’s-eye view in a helicopter or go on an adventure through Jurassic Park!
Which destination is on your travel bucket list?