Top 5 Summer Bucket List Travel Ideas

The best memories don’t come from vacations but from adventures. In your later years, you will have the opportunity to have one of two conversations:

One starts with, “I always wished I would have…” and the other starts with, “Have I ever told you about the time I…” The items that you would complete those sentences with should be on your “bucket list.”

For the uninitiated, your bucket list is the list of deeds you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” In this article, we will dive into five of the most exhilarating and adventurous summer bucket list travel ideas.

#1 – Party at a Once in a Lifetime Event 

If you’re the kind of person who lives by the mantra, “life is a party,” then in many summer bucket list travel destinations, you’re absolutely right! Some of the most memorable parties draw back the same crowds and the same big-name performers year after year. 

Tomorrowland Festival

When: 3 days in July
Where: Boom, Belgium 


Tomorrowland has several events throughout the year. However, the largest summer festival is usually held in DeSchorre Park in Boom, Belgium. It is a wild spectacle of performance, visual art, and electronic music. There are multiple stages to accommodate the sheer number of performers and festival-goers that come together to dance and vibe. After the Tomorrowland event, you can explore Dreamville, an extension of the Tomorrowland production. If you have the freedom to stick around longer, you could even indulge in different tour packages to enjoy the region beyond the festival.

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Fringe Festival

When: 3 weeks in August
Where: Edinburgh, Scotland

This bucket list travel destination is often called an explosion of creativity. Its performances keep multiple venues in Edinburgh busy. Acts include music, street performers, living statues, card readers, and more. This is a “busking” festival, so come prepared to support street performers with tips.


When: February 

Where: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

In the days leading up to Catholic Lent, the streets come alive with Carnival. Remember that February is a summer month for the Southern Hemisphere. It is an indulgence of visual, auditory, and cultural experiences. From theatrical dancing and opulent costumes to lavish balls, it’s sure to be the experience of a lifetime. 


When: May to September (and sometimes October, weather permitting)
Where: Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza has a reputation for being a party island, and for good reason. Multiple parties are always happening, day, night, and everything in between! From club events and beach gatherings to pool parties and boat soirees, you can find big-name musicians entertaining crowds of people in full-on summer bucket list mode. 

#2 – Venture to an African Safari

When: May to October or January to February for the dry seasons
Where: South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and Congo

Getting to experience the lions, gorillas, and giraffes (oh my!) in their natural habitat is something many people dream about from their childhood. 

Different parts of the country offer different experiences with their Safari options. For example, a safari in South Africa will likely be close to modern amenities, allowing you to keep up with your remote job between excursions. A safari in Kenya or Tanzania may put you closer to nature, possibly hiking into the wild as you trek from site to site. But both will differ significantly from seeing the gorillas in the Congo and Uganda. 

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Deciding what kind of safari experience you want (conservation-focused, luxury, or rustic) and what kind of animals you want to see is essential. There are multiple experiences that would each be worthy of separate summer bucket list excursions.

#3 – Witness Nature at its Finest: Hike a Volcano to Watch the Eruptions in Guatemala

When: November to April
Where: Guatemala 

Among Guatemala’s thirty-seven volcanoes, Volcan de Fuego is the largest and most active. There is nothing like getting up close and personal with such a powerful and raw force of nature. By climbing the nearby Acatenango volcano (inactive since 1972), you can get some great views of Volcan de Fuego’s regular eruptions. Sometimes, Volcan de Fuego erupts as frequently as every 10 to 15 minutes. Many of the tours up the mountain include camping, but not all trails have a continuous view of Volcan de Fuego, so choose carefully when planning your summer bucket list trip here.

#4 – Run with the Bulls in Spain

When: July 6 to July 14
Where: Pamplona, Spain

The running of the Bulls is part of the annual festivities commemorating the martyrdom of Pamplona’s first Bishop, San Fermin. In a meaningful and controversial tradition, the six bulls released into the city streets are the same ones set to face the matadors in that evening’s bullfights. People can register to run from and with the bulls and their six guiding steers in a challenging and exhilarating exercise of courage. It’s certainly an uncommon summer bucket list experience to have accomplished.

#5 – Dive Into The Great Barrier Reef

When: November to April
Where: Queensland, Australia

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The Great Barrier Reef is a unique and diverse ecosystem full of outstanding and distinctive marine animals, making it a highly desirable bucket list travel destination. Swim weightlessly among manta rays, clown fish, massive Maori Wrasses, giant clams, sea turtles, “friendly” sharks, and more as you tour the reef systems’ magnificent and colorful underwater world. Just make sure you read up on how to enjoy the reef ethically before you go because of its delicate and critical status.

Conclusion: What’s On Your Summer Bucket List?

The world is full of extraordinary sights, experiences, and adventures. Beauty, awe, and excitement all await you somewhere in the world. Adding any of these items to your summer bucket list will provide you with worthy stories that you will be excited to share for the rest of your life.