3 Bucket-List Trips To Start Planning Now

Some trips are bigger than others, but they’re worth the planning and travel—Australia, Singapore, Scandinavia all make this list!

We’re all hoping to take a trip again soon—even if it’s a quick weekend getaway! But there are once-in-a-lifetime, go-all-out trips you’ll want to add to your travel list too. Our top picks? The sunny shores of Australia, narrow fjords of Scandinavia, and the cultural melting pot of Singapore.

But when traveling thousands of miles, you know you’ll want to go for more than a week.

And that means it’s time to start thinking about it now! Even if you’re planning a year out (or more), this can give you time to save up for a big trip and time it with a big birthday, anniversary, or graduation. What’s more, you can work out the perfect way to get there, where you’ll stay, and how you’ll get around: A flight, hotel stay, then cruise? An extended camping and road trip? 

Whenever and however you go, here’s why you should visit these amazing locations and the important questions to ask yourself about what you’ll see:

The Great Barrier Reef is made up of more than 2,900 individual reefs!

Australia

When you think of Australia, you can likely picture the Great Barrier Reef, golden glowing surf beaches, and those cute kangaroos. The Land Down Under has some of the world’s most incredible coastline and world-renowned waves (and those mighty marsupials are everywhere).

Whitehaven beach, just off the coast of Airlie Beach, is in a pristine National Park and has swirling white sandbars and aqua blue water. Other impressive beaches include the well-named Surfers Paradise and the expansive Eighty Mile Beach of Western Australia, south of Broome

In Queensland, Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a snorkeler’s and scuba diver’s dream, packed with vibrant corals and more than 1,500 species of fish—including clown fish (think Nemo), beaked parrot fish, and the speckled coral trout. It’s no surprise the Great Barrier Reef is called one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

“See the reefs or city streets?”

Australia isn’t only one-of-a-kind coastal nature, though. The cities are worth the trip too! Of course, there’s Sydney’s famous Opera House and harbor and Melbourne boasts the National Gallery of Victoria.

The city of Brisbane combines nature, big-city excitement, and river views for miles.

But the lesser-known Brisbane offers travel gems like hip cafes near a large, beautifully designed public pool overlooking the river. Speaking of, kayaking the winding Brisbane River is a great way to explore, and so is their free ferry service! Sports fans can check out the local rugby team, the Brisbane Broncos, at Suncorp Stadium, and a short drive will take you to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, filled with Aussie critters like kangaroos, platypus, tasmanian devils, and of course, their namesake “bears”. 

Distance from Los Angeles: 4,787 miles

Recommended Trip: 10 days minimum

Norway’s fjords are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Scandinavia

This European region consists of three kingdoms: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. They have similar histories and languages, and share some enticing attractions—Viking history and fjords galore!

The island city of Visby, Sweden has one of the best-preserved medieval walls, ancient stone houses, and nearby Viking burial grounds. It was once a Viking settlement, after all.

Norway boasts colorful homes lining the oceanside in Bergen, but the city is best known for fjords—long, narrow waterways with steep cliff walls carved by glaciers.

“Stroll along canals or sail through fjords?”

Sogenfjord is Norway’s longest, deepest fjord, and cruising through you can see snow-peaked mountains in the distance. But Geirangerfjord is one of the most famous and home to the Seven Sisters waterfall. The seven streams fall 1,350 feet from the clifftop, and as they dance down the rock wall, a “suitor” waterfall watches from across the fjord.

Copenhagen’s canals are great for sightseeing—and getting around!

Copenhagen, Denmark once had its share of Vikings, but today it’s a bustling metropolis. With water at its heart, you can sail small boats through canals to tour the colorful houses and cobblestone streets. Denmark is home to the oldest monarchy in the world and you can see the impressive Amalienborg palace, home to their queen.

Distance from New York: 3,673 miles

Recommended Trip: 10 days minimum

Singapore’s Skyline is reflected in Marina Bay at each night.

Singapore

The Singapore harbor is famous for incredible architecture, like the three towers of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, connected by a roof deck, or the ArtScience Museum, shaped like a lotus flower. But this small Asian country packs a diverse mix of cultures, drawing from Malaysia, India, China and beyond, making for a delicious melting pot.

“Shop ‘til you drop or a culinary cultural tour?”

You can sample authentic Asian foods—for cheap!—from Singapore’s famous night markets in different city sections, like “Little India”. If you love to shop, Orchard Road in the heart of the city will be your paradise. It’s lined with upscale shops and glimmering glass malls.

With much more to see, like world-renowned tropical botanical gardens and intricate carvings on Hindu temples, you’ll have plenty to explore.

Distance from New York: 3,673 miles

Recommended Trip: 7 days