bucket list

Travel big with the world’s greatest bucket list

Written by Anna Brech

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Behind every great bucket list lies a delicate balancing act.

You need the romance of world-famous sights paired with the drama of epic experiences.

You need dreamy landscapes served with a dollop of decadent events.

Heart-racing adventure, dusted off with a touch of the unexpected.

Read more: 5 mountain ranges to conquer before you’re 50

So, it’s music to our ears to hear that the folks at Flight Network have created what they deem to be the world’s greatest bucket list.

Designed in consultation with over 800 travel experts from around the world, the list offers “unparalleled expertise” to help people “travel big”.

And – given we take bucket lists seriously here at Flash Pack – we’re happy to see that a large chunk of our adventures make the cut.

Check ’em out – and give your wanderlust wings…

Take a wildlife safari in Africa

bucket list

From the beauty of the wide-open Savannah to the thrill of seeing your first wild zebra, an African safari is a must-do. Here at Flash Pack, we offer two versions: game drives and a walking safari on the Serengeti in Tanzania, or a stay at Addo Elephant National Park on South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Both offer ample opportunity to spot out the majestic creatures of Africa in their natural habitat. Have your binoculars at the ready to be moved beyond words, with ravishing sunsets and luxury safari stays making the whole experience that bit more special.

See the Northern Lights

bucket list

Nothing beats the magic of seeing these ethereal lights as they dance across the Northern Hemisphere skies. We can’t guarantee Mother Nature will always play ball, but jump aboard our Iceland or Finland trips for your best chance at a front-row seat. In Iceland, we stay at a remote lodge with a hot tub, for a lovely vantage point over Aurelia Borealis. Finland is similarly epic; you can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights at play here as you take a snowmobile safari by twilight, with the opportunity to camp out in pods by a frozen lake (above).

Trek to Machu Picchu

bucket list

The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu carries major bucket list monopoly. And our getaway to Peru does not disappoint, reaching a finale at these fabled peaks. We spend a good few hours mooching around one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, with an optional trek around Machu Picchu mountain. But you know when one mountain just isn’t enough? For added kicks, our Peru trip also features a climb up Rainbow Mountain. This  5,035-metre ascent is not for the fainthearted, but the overnight camp at altitude and kaleidoscopic summit are certainly worth the sweat.

Explore otherworldly Iceland

wilderness

From vast glaciers to erupting geysers, Iceland certainly has a lot of clout to its name. A visit here is quite unlike anything else on earth. And, in true Flash Pack style, our action-packed Icelandic escape sees us rise up to greet the majestic landscape with mighty feats of our own.We navigate the icy crevasses of Sólheimajökull glacier on a wilderness hike and cruise across Langjökull glacier on a fleet of snowmobiles. We head off-piste in the Great Unknown, as we conquer the frozen landscape. This is your chance to channel your inner Game of Thrones warrior (albeit with rather less gore): embrace it.

Explore Western Cape

bucket list

No-one could accuse us of not cashing in on the Western Cape’s abundant delights. This lush South African coastline of rolling vineyards and shimmering ocean is just crying out for adventure. And we are only too happy to oblige; our South African itinerary is positively brimming with epic experiences. We paddle-board across the Cape Peninsula and learn to surf in Knysna Lagoon. We abseil down Table Mountain, taste the delicious wine of Stellenbosch and watch whales in the bay of Hermanus. Oh, and we go swimming with seals, the friendly “dogs of the ocean” – because, why not?

Walk around Angkor Wat

Sunrise over Angkor Wat

The ancient capital of the Khmer Empire is ripe for exploration and a day moseying around the labyrinth of temples and ruins is not easily forgotten. A place that teems with rich archeological heritage, Angkor Wat will fire up your imagination and allow you to reflect on the immense beauty of life. Our Vietnam and Cambodia escape takes full advantage, as we visit the site at both sunrise and sunset. Get your cameras primed for the most magnificent views known to mankind, before cooling off afterwards in the inviting pool of the Shinta Mani hotel.

See the Taj Mahal

bucket list

Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is perhaps the most imposing monument to love ever seen. We wallow in the pristine beauty of this white marble wonder on our India and Nepal trip, with a spectacular sunrise pilgrimage.  See the sun turn from fiery red to pink and blue and watch the extraordinary silhouette of the Taj Majal come to life as it’s mirrored in the water. Our jaunt to this region also takes in a stay at a Jaipur palace (#posh) and a hike through the Himalayan foothills to a remote mountain lodge.

Sleep under the stars in Morocco

bucket list

Flight Network’s bucket list suggests glamping in the Sahara but we say Morocco’s Agafay Desert – located just an hour away from the lively souks of Marrakech – is just as good. On our Moroccan adventure, we bed beneath the star in a series of beautiful safari-style tents. Filled with glowing lanterns, Berber rugs and locally crafted artwork, they’re the perfect spot from which to drink in the cinematic tenor of the rust-red terrain. A desert dinner here is not to be missed, and nor is the sunset camel ride that we throw in for extra thrills. Aah, life.

Experience amazing Bali

bucket list

If it’s a true old-fashioned adventure you’re after – the kind that lifts your soul and leaves you looking at the world in a whole new way – look no further than Bali. Indonesia’s Island of the Gods is a riot of sensory experience, from tropical highland valleys to ancient temples and powdery white beaches with spellbinding sunsets. Join us here to climb a live volcano at sunrise and snorkel around a WW2 shipwreck. We unplug on the tiny coral island of Gili Air and learn how to cook like locals in Ubud, Bali’s cultural heartland. From hip beach hangouts to serene garden temples, prepare to be dazzled at every turn.

Visit Petra

bucket list

The rose-red city of Petra never fails to charm those who wander her realm. And at Flash Pack, we make good on this bucket list rite in a number of different ways. First up on our Jordan escape, we experience the ancient treasure by night. See the carved stonework come alive in the glow of thousands of candles, with live Bedouin  music, for a moment of true awakening. Then, we hike a secret “backdoor” route into Petra, with a hidden trail that neatly avoids the tourist hoards. Finally, we tuck into an al fresco feast at Little Petra,  dining on Bedouin delicacies amid a maze of sandstone canyons. Bucket list, done and done.

Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary

bucket list

Elephants face a barrage of threats from humankind, so it’s unsurprising that we feel a real resonance with these giant creatures – especially given a chance to atone for our collective wrongs. A highlight of our adventure to Myanmar is our visit to the Green Hill Valley reserve, which provides a sanctuary for elephants who’ve toiled for years in the logging industry. Make friends with these magnificent animals, as you help to bathe them in the muddy shadows. Watching them lumbering around playfully and throwing dirt with their trunks will make you a champion of elephants for life.

Ignite your senses in Tokyo

bucket list

Few places bombard the senses quite in the way that Tokyo does. Japan’s capital is a frenetic mesh of neon lights and captivating sights, underscored by a flair for innovation which bursts through on every level (from street food to architecture and beyond). Our Japan jaunt kicks into action with a trip to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, to admire the city’s intoxicating cityscape. We also learn how to make sushi in the world’s largest fish market, pop by the hip haunt of Tokyo Whisky Library, cycle around an off-radar district and hit the Roppongi Hills for a decadent night out. Who’s game?


Photos: Shutterstock and Flash Pack


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