25 Bucket List Adventures To Check Off Before You Die

25 Bucket List Adventures to Check Off Before You Die

How would you like to quit your job and travel around the world, checking off one bucket list destination each month? This sounds more like a movie script than a realistic plan, as it often takes years between visits to places a person has dreamed of for a long time. Many explorers need to save money and plan accordingly. TotallyMoney.com, a site for credit card comparison, has created a bucket list calculator to help with that.

Go to Serengeti during the great migration

The wildebeest migration, famously known as one of the "Seven New Wonders of the World" and also known as the "World Cup of Wildlife" is a must. Serengeti is Tanzania's oldest national park and also one of the few places in Africa where the amount of lions is not declining. You are witnessing wild animals in their natural habitat from the comfort of a car. The best time to see them is between December and March. 

Dive in the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most colorful places on Earth. It is Australia's natural wonder, larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space. Just get in the water and you'll be among ridges overrun with 900 different species of sea life, including parrotfish, giant turtles, surgeonfish, sea cucumber, and starfish.

Camp on Antarctica

This is a dangerous camping destination, but the thrill is worth the effort. Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest and windiest continent in the world. Campers set up enough below the ground to provide shelter from the wind overnight and usually sleep in sleeping bags and bivy sacs, which provide more warmth than tents, zipped up above their heads, according to Planet D adventurers. No one is allowed to bring food or drinks on land, and they can't go to the toilet while camping either.  

Go on a road trip touring America

A road trip is the perfect way to travel, especially if you feel like going on a getaway vacation. You just grab some food and water, fill up the tank and hop in the car. Considering how cheap gas is these days, there is nothing stopping you from cranking up the music and hitting the open road. Consider driving along the iconic Route 66 or going on the "perfect" road trip according to science. You will see some of the most scenic roads in the entire country.

Run with the bulls in Spain

Just make sure you don't take any selfies while you're at it. Running with the bulls during the San Fermin Festival in Spain is definitely extreme, which is why people want to capture themselves in the moment. A law was passed – anyone who endangers people's lives by taking photos or filming during the run may be fined up to $2,050.

See the Northern Lights

There is no natural phenomenon like the colorful displays of the Aurora Borealis. The bright dancing lights are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the Sun that enter the Earth's atmosphere, according to the Northern Lights Centre. Some of the absolute best places to see the magic are Lapland in Finland, Greenland, Abisko National Park in Sweden, Thingvellir National Park in Iceland, and Norway.

Run the Kilimanjaro Marathon

This is one of the 30 best marathons in the whole world. Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest mountain and the highest free standing mountain in the world at 19,340 feet. Running the Kilimanjaro Maraton, you will be gaining about 26,000 feet in altitude. The route includes dirt roads as you will pass by many farms and plantations. The next race is on Feb. 26, 2017.

Go heli skiing

This crazy winter adventure is a must-do. Ski and snowboard enthusiasts dream of completing the ultimate test of heli skiing as part of their mission to conquer mountains. Ungroomed terrain, no crowds and unpredictable snow elevate this extreme winter sport to a whole new level. Some of the best places for heli skiing are the Mazama in Washington, Riksgransen in Sweden, and almost anywhere in the Canadian Rockies.

Whale watching in Hawaii

Winter is the only time in Hawaii you can see migrating humpback whales, which is why now is the best time to visit the magnificent islands. Thousands of them come to the islands' protected waters to mate. January, February and March are the peak months for humpback whale watching. The best places are Maui, Lanai, and the Big Island, according to GoVisitHawaii.com.

Ice diving on Baffin Island

How would you like to go scuba diving with ice above you and no clear way out? Underwater you will enter a new world even more unlike anything you have ever seen. Some of the trip's highlights include diving in pack ice, cracks, Arctic sea floor and seeing vast array of wildlife at the floe edge of the island.

Cave diving in Cuba

This is by far one of the best adventures in Cuba. You can't dive and explore the depths of a cave that reaches 70-feet deep in many places. Cueva de Saturno is one such diving spot that's not far off the beaten path. There are many more caves that are worth your time. Travelers should get to Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas, one of the largest and most complex cave systems in the Western Hemisphere. You'll be amazed at some rectangular caves with sheer walls that drop off to 90 feet or more.

Climb one of the world’s Seven Summits

The seven summits are the highest peaks of the seven continents: Everest (29,029 feet), Aconcagua (22,841 feet), Denali (20,308 feet), Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet), Elbrus (18,510 feet), Vinson (16,050 feet), and Carstensz (16,024 feet). Make sure you are fully prepared because some of these mountains are among the deadliest in the world.

Visit all 59 national parks

Visiting all 59 national parks in the U.S. and its territories in 52 weeks in an airstream is often referred to as the "greatest American road trip." It sounds like an impossible adventure to many, but several people have done it because of the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. The adventure is a combination of being very happy to be in the parks but also very tired. You will test and learn a lot about yourself.

Hike an active volcano

Hiking is already an unforgettable adventure because of the uncertainty it offers. As is the case with most thrilling experiences, people want more. Hiking a dangerous and active volcano is an exhilarating way to explore otherworldly terrain, steep slopes, lava flows, and hot springs all in one trip. Some of the most awesome active volcanoes to hike are Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Kilauea in Hawaii, Mt. Etna in Sicily, Arenal in Costa Rica, and Pacaya in Guatemala.

Learn to surf

The reasons to take up surfing are endless – it's a great full-body workout; it teaches you patience; you get to travel to unique places; and you reconnect with nature, soaking up the sun and getting lots of vitamin D. Some of the best surf school in the U.S. are Paskowitz Surf Camp, Billabong Surf Schools, Corey's Wave, Skudin Surf, and Surf Diva.

Go zorbing in New Zealand

Try ball rolling down lavish green hills – this is the latest craze in the country. The Original ZORB New Zealand has been operating for over 19 years and is the iconic Rotorua adventure activity. You can choose between The ZYDRO (wet) ride and the ZORBIT (dry) ride; four track options; and eight ride variations. You will not be disappointed.

Explore the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is a place of rare beauty and astonishing wildlife that has captivated adventure travelers for centuries. The pristine environment and low visitor impact to the islands is due to the Galapagos National Park, which has created strict visitation regulations. The Galapagos Islands are a great place to go swimming with the sharks. A dive into the waters of the Galapagos offers the chance to encounter several species of sharks, including hammerhead, dusky, and whale sharks.

Trek the Amazon Rainforest

Home to one of the largest and most complex ecosystems in the world, the Amazon Rainforest is a marvel. The forest, still full of mystery and stunning scenery, is no walk in the park to traverse. There are about a dozen safety concerns—everything from foreign animals to finding your way. A guide is strongly recommended. The Amazon River is one of the best rivers for cruises.

Fly in a hot-air balloon

When it comes to sightseeing, there are few methods more thrilling than a hot air balloon ride. The only thing separating you from the ground is a basket and a couple thousand feet. Drifting with the whim of the wind, you will never quite know where you'll land. Hot a Cappadocia, a semi-arid region in central Turkey, is one of the most famous and photogenic vacation places for hot-air balloon rides.

Walk the Great Wall of China

Gorgeous hues adorn Beijing in the fall and the forests surrounding nearby sections of the Great Wall of China. Hike along the renowned Great Wall, and try your hand at cooking Chinese cuisine. The Great Wall hosts one of the most famous half marathons in the world. The landmark was continuously built from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD. The complete route is about 12,500 miles.

Travel the Silk Road

Follow the steps of Marco Polo. Silk, spices, teas, precious metals and jewels, carefully lashed to pack camels, once made their way from one world to another along this route. In this northeastern part of the Spin Ghar mountains in Pakistan, you can trace the steps of the traders who traveled the Silk Road or the warriors who helped invaders such as Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan expand their kingdoms. Visit Kashgar and skirt the infamous Taklamakan Desert on camelback.

Go stargazing in a Dark Sky Park

It may be hard to believe in this car-obsessed world but there are still wild spots in the U.S. and all over the world that have kept their natural nightscape and made it their goal to preserve the awe-striking experience of stargazing. Natural Bridges National Monument, for example, is a "Dark Sky Parks," one of four in the western world. They make protecting their dark skies a priority so that people can enjoy the stunning river of lights at night.

Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, and Switzerland

Trekking rarely gets much better than this superb and spectacular path that unwinds around the Mont Blanc massif. Your reward by completing the 104-mile trail in about 3-4 days is seeing the most jaw-dropping and stunning panoramas of mountains and glaciers in Italy, Switzerland, and France. This is one of the most talked about long-distance treks in all of Europe and it's certainly an adventure of a lifetime. The best time to go is in the summer.

Swim in a waterfall

The only better feeling than enjoying the stunning views of the tons of water cascading over the edge of a cliff is if you can do it while swimming below these earthly wonders. Cool off in the most beautiful natural spots in the country. Some of the falls are still hidden gems, while others are not easily accessible.

Swim with sharks

Contrary to popular belief, sharks are generally not a threat to people. Encountering the giant fish is an exhilarating adventure many people want to participate in. Swimming with sharks or looking at them from behind a cage is on many thrill-seekers' bucket lists. Resorts and tour agencies offer the experience of being very close to the ocean's most terrifying creature.