As travel editors, we've seen our fair share of the world — but these are the trips we can't stop dreaming about.

Advertisement
A couple on the Tour du Mont Blanc descend into the Val D' Arpette in the Swiss Alps.
Credit: Ashley Cooper/Getty Images

When you love to explore the world as much as we do, it's impossible to ever complete a travel bucket list — as you check trips off, your passion for finding new experiences only grows, and so does your list.

After all this time spent at home attempting to fight off our wanderlust with longterm trip planning and endless internet research, our bucket list backlog is real, and that can only mean one thing: we're going big.

So consider this not only a bucket list, but the ultimate bucket list, full of our biggest travel hopes and dreams.

Safari in Kenya

Front view of a four wheel drive vehicle on a dirt road under Mount Kilimanjaro in a starry night with Milky Way.
Credit: Getty Images

"You'd think that after a year of being stuck inside, constantly glued to my phone and confined to the compact COVID bubble that was my husband and me, I'd be longing for human contact — and I am. But first on my bucket list: animals. I dream of riding through Kenya, connecting to the natural world in all its unbridled splendor and learning from the local guides. I want to see the drama of zebras and wildebeest migrating across wide-open grasslands, feel the rush of spotting a pack of lions or leopards sleeping beneath a tree, and experience the pure joy of witnessing elephants splashing and spraying in a watering hole. And after a day out in the wild, watching the Planet Earth episode unfold in real-time, I'd welcome the comforts of a dreamy luxury lodge, delicious food and drink, and what I can only imagine is mind-blowing stargazing." Alisha Prakash, Senior Digital Editor

Maldives

Floating breakfast on infinity pool in luxury hotel in the Maldives
Credit: Getty Images

"I am notoriously bad at relaxing on vacation. I plan out every day to the maximum with museums, tours, excursions, and restaurants, wanting to experience it all. Even when I do schedule in time to 'chill' at the beach, I'm that traveler who books a dinner reservation for afterwards. While normally this brand of vacationing suits my Virgo personality just fine, this past year has left us all with a serious case of burnout, and the thought of going to a destination where the only worries I'd have are which cabana to choose and when to schedule a massage sounds like pure bliss. The Maldives is exactly that: the ultimate escape to luxuriate (guilt-free) day after day on sugar-white beaches surrounded by stunningly clear turquoise waters." Karen I. Chen, Editorial Producer

Sardinia

Fantastic view of La Sciumara beach in Palau. Picturesque seascape of Mediterranean sea. Location: Palau, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Sardinia, Italy, Europe
Credit: Getty Images

"I just had the opportunity to take a trip I'd been dreaming of for years, and it was even better than I imagined. Sardinia offers the perfect combination of Caribbean-like beaches and Italian food, culture, and hospitality. We started at the new Baglioni Resort on the east coast in San Teodoro, which sits overlooking the stunning Tavolara Marine Preserve, an amazing snorkeling spot. Then, we moved further north to the glitzy Costa Smeralda, where the only thing that beats the people-watching is the yacht-watching. We window-shopped and paired fresh seafood with bellinis and spritzes at Quattro Passi al Pescatore beside the marina at Porto Cervo, and rented our own little motor boat so we could explore the crystal-clear waters of the La Maddalena archipelago for a day. We stayed at the ultra-private Hotel Pitrizza — perfect for a first big COVID-era trip — and then at Hotel Cala di Volpe, where we swam in one of Europe's largest saltwater pools and ate (and ate, and ate) everything from fish prepared tableside at lunch; to sunset sushi at Italy's only Matsuhisa; to traditional and addictive Sardinian carasau bread and suckling pig; to steak at the just-opened Beefbar. The trip left me wanting to see even more of the island — the mountains, the local agriturismo farm experiences, the city of Cagliari to the south, and all the white sand beaches — so although I checked my first visit off my bucket list, I hope to be back." —Nina Ruggiero, Deputy Digital Editor

Tokyo

Springtime in Tokyo during cherry blossom season
Credit: Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

"I've always wanted to visit Tokyo, and back when the 2020 Olympics were announced, I was excited about the idea of traveling there for the Games. Of course, that didn't happen last year, but my desire to visit the Japanese city hasn't wavered. I may not get there to watch the Olympic Games, but I look forward to one day being able to visit to see the sights on my own time, from art museums to the cherry blossoms." Madeline Diamond, Associate Digital Editor

Peru

Two llamas between ruins and ancient architecture of Machu Picchu. Lost city from inca civilization in the sacred valley of Cusco Province. Peru, South America
Credit: Damian Basante/Getty Images

"Stunning natural landscapes, famous ruins, and plenty of fresh ceviche and pisco sours have put a trip to Peru at the top of my bucket list. I've always wanted to see Machu Picchu, but instead of hiking my way to the ruins, I'd prefer to watch the scenery pass by from the luxurious train cars of the Belmond Hiram Bingham on my way to the citadel. Then I'd love to stay overnight at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, located at the entrance to Machu Picchu, and enjoy as much time as possible at the ruins. Of course, the itinerary would include Lima, Cusco, and many more stops, too." Elizabeth Rhodes, Associate Digital Editor

Sikkim, India

Kangchenjunga range from Phoktey dara in Singalila national park, West Sikkim, India.
Credit: Getty Images

"India has been tragically impacted by the pandemic, but I hope to return someday soon to explore one of the country's lesser-known corners. In Sikkim State, in the mountainous northeast near Bhutan and Tibet, the Himalayan hiking is said to be world-class but still do-able by mere mortals. (That's my skill level, for sure.) I've got my eye on the week-long circuit offered by Shakti, which arranges cozy guesthouse accommodations along the way for a hut-to-hut trip unlike any other." Paul Brady, Articles Editor

Tour du Mont Blanc

A couple on the Tour du Mont Blanc descend into the Val D' Arpette in the Swiss Alps.
Credit: Ashley Cooper/Getty Images

"I like to plan vacations around epic hikes, and the one that's calling my name is the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 105-mile loop through the Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland. What's special about this hike is that you get to experience the cuisines and cultures of three different countries all in one, as you take in some of the best wilderness on the continent: blue lakes, stunning mountain vistas, alpine forests, and classic ski towns. Plus, no one knows how to hike in style like the Europeans — there's no tent camping or dehydrated meals to be found here. More like: crushing your daily miles by mid-afternoon and rolling into a quaint village to bed down for the night at a mountain hut (or even luxury chalet), and getting to know your fellow hikers over local cured sausages, artisanal cheeses, and fine wines. You can hike solo or with an outfitter, and it usually takes 11 days to complete." Liz Cantrell, Associate Editor

European River Cruise

Cruise ship passing through the Riverbend in Bremm, Europes steepest vineyard location, Moselle Valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, Europe
Credit: Michael Runkel/Getty Images

"When most people think about sailing around Europe, a Mediterranean cruise through Italy and Greece likely comes to mind. But I'm dreaming of a river cruise, like the ones offered by Viking and Uniworld. These smaller cruises hit inland cities and towns that would normally be impossible to reach by large ships, such as Paris, Budapest, and Prague. It's sort of like backpacking through Europe, but without the hassle of booking travel between cities. The holiday cruises, which dock in cities with enormous Christmas markets each December, sound particularly magical." Hillary Maglin, Assistant Digital Editor

Luang Prabang, Laos

Lao People's Democratic Republic, Luang Prabang Province, vie of Luang Prabang and Nam Khan River from Phousi Mountain.
Credit: Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost/Getty Images

"The few people I've met who have visited Luang Prabang speak so effusively about the city's beauty, history, and peaceful atmosphere that during the pandemic, one of my main hobbies was planning a trip there. It's the ancient former capital of Laos and sits on a peninsula where the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers meet, with architecture so well preserved it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The main points on my agenda would be to explore as many 16th-century temples as I could, eat many bowls of fer (a rich, fragrant noodle soup) at the night market, take a day trip to the jungle-shrouded Kuangsi Waterfall, and splurge on a night at Amantaka — a former hospital that's now one of the most beautiful hotels in Southeast Asia." John Wogan, Special Projects Editor

Scotland

Princes Street Gardens and hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland at sunset.
Credit: Getty Images

"I have my heart set on visiting Scotland, and doing a greatest hits tour, as it were: an overnight at the Balmoral, in Edinburgh, perhaps in the Bowes-Lyon suite. Then a stay at Gleneagles, newly renovated, with one of the best golf courses in the world. Then a spin around the Highlands in a vintage car, and a whisky focused tour of the Hebrides with expert planners Away from the Ordinary." —Jacqui Gifford, Editor in Chief

Torres del Paine, Chile

Summer day in the national park Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile. Cliffs of Los Kuernos among the clouds. Andean condors fly over the lake Pehoe
Credit: Getty Images

"I feel the most at ease when I'm in nature, and I'm dying to see the craggy peaks and glacial lakes of Torres del Paine, in Chilean Patagonia. And while I love roughing it in the wild, my shoot-for-the-moon dream trip would involve a stay in one of the 14 gorgeous cabins of Awasi Patagonia, where guests get a private guide for hikes, puma-spotting treks, and horseback riding along Lago Sarmiento. I can't imagine anything better than a long day in the mountains followed by a glass of wine and a soak in the private hot tub, gazing out at that landscape." Lila Battis, Senior Editor

Greece

Sunset behind the blue domes of Oia village, Santorini, Greece
Credit: Getty Images

"Getting to Greece has been my travel Everest. The opportunity to visit has evaded me since I started traveling solo as a teenager, but now that I'm able to reflect on my bucket list destinations as an adult, I'm glad that it's happened this way. I've had years to build an even deeper interest in and appreciation for Greece as a country of resilience, generosity, and rightful pride. It's more than just a beach destination or a stop on on a historical European tour. There's so much for me to still discover when it comes to Greece. So, whenever I do happen to go, it will feel more like the ribbon wrapping it all together...or simply drive me deeper into an abyss of research and curiosity." Kendall Cornish, Associate Digital Editor