15 Dream Travel Destinations to Visit Before You Die

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Looking for dream travel destinations to fuel your wanderlust? Look no further!

As an avid traveller and travel blogger, it’s probably no surprise that I have a list of dream travel destinations as long as my arm.

I’m always dreaming of travel and all the places I want to visit – or re-visit.

My bucket list is already fairly lengthy, but continues to grow every year as I discover more adventures to add.

This list of dream destinations is my personal list, but be warned: I think you’ll get a healthy dose of wanderlust, too.

From well-trodden countries to off-the-beaten-path destinations, cities to beaches, here’s my list of dream travel destinations that I want to visit at least once in my life.

A vintage-style camera with a black strap rests atop an open atlas displaying a Mercator projection map of the world. The setting conveys a theme of travel and exploration.

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My dream travel destinations

1. Australia

A vast, arid landscape with sparse vegetation in the foreground and the iconic Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, in the distance. The large sandstone formation stands prominently under a clear sky with a slight gradient from blue to pale orange.

After being an expat for 8 years, exploring my own country is right at the top of my list.

There are so many things to do in Australia, and upon returning home to Melbourne I realised how little of my own country I’ve seen.

I’ve fixed that somewhat, with a visit to Uluru, a hike in Tasmania and a 3.5 month road trip around half the country – through South Australia, stopping in quirky towns like Coober Pedy, up through the Northern Territory, through the Kimberley, and all the way down the Western Australia coast.

Of course, there’s so much more I still need and want to do – an East Coast Australia road trip from Melbourne to Sydney. Drive all the way up to the Cape of York. Hike Western Australia’s Cape to Cape trail. Another trip along the incredible Great Ocean Road.

READ NEXT: An epic Adelaide to Darwin road trip

2. Spain

The expansive Plaza de España in Seville, Spain, with its ornate architecture, a canal with a small boat, and visitors walking along the semi-circular building's arcade.
One of my favourite road trips is through Andalucia in Spain

Spain is my spirit country. I feel so alive when I’m there and so comfortable. This is always one of my dream travel destinations, and a place I’m so happy to return to each time.

Our incredible southern Spain road trip a few years ago took us through the beautiful Andalucia region. I could easily live in Seville, and eat all the tapas and become gorda.

I’ve been to Barcelona and Madrid, but next time I return to Spain, I would relish the chance to get out into the countryside, especially in the north of the country. I’d love to return to San Sebastián and eat all the delicious pintxos, or try more wine in La Rioja. I’ve heard incredible things about the Asturias region, and all of the coast of Spain looks spectacular.

Also on my bucket list is completing the Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrimage route.

READ NEXT: How to spend the perfect 2 days in Granada

3. Italy

Narrow cobblestone street in a quaint European village, with colourful buildings and a white scooter parked to one side. The food, beaches and small villages are just a few reasons why I want to visit Italy.
Lara Sophie via Unsplash

My husband and I were supposed to visit Italy for our 5th wedding anniversary in 2019. But because we went on a 5-month road trip around the USA that year, we decided to postpone it until 2020. Obviously, that never happened!

Why do I want to go Italy? I don’t think I really need to explain why it’s one of my bucket list destinations. Italy has so much to offer, but for me, number one is the food. Sitting in a café devouring handmade pasta, or feasting on fresh seafood in an oceanside village or eating all the street food in Naples sounds pretty idyllic.

I would love to visit some lesser touristed places, like Puglia, Sicily or Umbria. But I also want to explore the churches in Rome and more popular spots!

In the meantime, I’ll be satisfied with the pizza that our Italian neighbour hands over the fence and fresh pasta delivered from Melbourne’s abundance of Italian restaurants.

4. Papua New Guinea

A lush tropical landscape viewed from a hilltop, showing a dense spread of palm trees and foliage, with a small coastal town by the water's edge and mountains in the background. Papua New Guinea is a country full of bucket list adventures.

I was lucky enough to live in one of the most fascinating countries on the planet, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse country in the world, with more than 800 languages spoken. It has mind-blowing festivals that are a riot of colour, song and dance.

From stunning beaches and islands (with few other tourists), to the challenging Kokoda Track hike, to incredible birds and wildlife, Papua New Guinea offers some pretty awesome adventures that are – dare I say it – off the beaten path.

While I’ve done many of the best things to do in PNG, I am still desperate to visit the Ambunti Crocodile Festival, which celebrates the importance of the crocodile to the people around the Sepik River.

I also desperately want to go back to Kavieng and stay in one of the overwater bungalows at Nusa Island Retreat, or maybe even bike the whole way up the island of New Ireland.

If your jam is finding bucket list adventures, you’ll discover quite a few in PNG.

READ NEXT: 20 things to know before you visit Papua New Guinea

5. New Zealand

A hiker stands on a mountain ridge overlooking a vast, mist-covered lake surrounded by rugged mountains, emphasizing the scale and grandeur of the natural landscape. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and worthy of adding to any travel bucket list.
Aaron Sebastian via Unsplash

For all the fun we Aussies make of our neighbours “across the ditch” and the number of their celebrities that we claim as our own, there’s one thing we can all agree on: New Zealand is unimaginably beautiful.

Our second-closest neighbour (after PNG) is practically an extension of Australia (with a funnier accent), and the Trans-Tasman hop barely feels like you’re “going overseas”.

While I’ve been to New Zealand many times, it’s usually been quick trips to cities for work. In the future, I imagine hiring a campervan and taking a lazy few weeks to cruise around the country, visiting friends, tasting delicious wines and fresh food, and enjoying the splendour of New Zealand’s outdoors.

6. Mexico

A woman - the author of this article - stands on a dirt path amidst tall agave plants, with mountains in the distance. She is wearing a red dress. A mezcal tour is one of the best things to do in Oaxaca to discover how this liquor is made

I’ve been to Mexico so many times – like Spain, it’s one of those countries I could easily live in.

For years, however, I’ve never been able to make the timing work so that we could visit during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which celebrates life and death. This experience is high on my bucket list.

One of my favourite cities in the whole world is Oaxaca, and I’d love to return there (and again, live there!).

Another favourite city is Mexico City, and if you’ve never been there, you’re really missing out. The food, the architecture, the history all make a visit to Mexico City memorable.

And don’t believe everything you hear – Mexico is actually quite safe to visit.

READ NEXT: What to know before you visit Oaxaca

7. Scotland

A scenic view of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, with rugged terrain, green valleys, and a small loch nestled amongst the rolling hills under a dynamic sky. The rugged beauty and a family connection are reasons why I'd like to visit Scotland.
Bjorn Snelders via Unsplash

My husband’s grandfather was from Scotland, and I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to visit the country of his heritage.

While I’d prefer better weather, the rugged landscape, castles, whisky and cosmopolitan cities would make for an entertaining few weeks of road tripping.

When we were last in Spain we actually met a couple of Scots who told us about Burns Night and Hogmanay. Scots strike me as people who love to have a good time, so I can only imagine the wild fun of celebrating these events with them!

8. The Amazon

A serene riverside setting in the Amazon, with a small stilt house surrounded by dense jungle reflecting in the calm waters at sunset. One of the places that has long been on my bucket list is the Amazon.
Nareeta Martin via Unsplash

Sailing down the Amazon River has always been one of my bucket list adventures. I imagine sleeping on the deck of the boat in a hammock, lazily whiling away the days reading books and playing card games, spotting birds on the shore and pink dolphins in the water.

Who knows if that’s actually what it’d end up being like, but it still remains on my bucket list.

I’ve always wanted to visit the Brazilian Amazon, and sail from Manaus to Belem, but I’ve also read about amazing experiences visiting the Amazon from Peru, Colombia, Bolivia or Ecuador (all of which are also dream travel destinations of mine!).

READ NEXT: The best places to visit in Brazil

9. Iran

The interior of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Iran, featuring a stunning display of intricate Islamic architecture, colorful mosaics, and stained glass that casts vibrant light patterns onto the carpeted floor. When it's safe to travel, visiting Iran is on my bucket list.
Steven Su via Unsplash

Before the pandemic hit, Iran had just started to become a hot spot for tourism. It seemed like everyone and their mother were visiting this Middle Eastern country.

The food, the hospitality, the surprising sophistication all intrigue me.

Unfortunately, Iran doesn’t have the most amazing reputation at the moment, so it may be some time before I can visit.

10. Peru

The ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru, perched on a mountain ridge with terraced fields and stone structures, under a clear blue sky.
The icon – Machu Picchu

My first – and only – experience of Peru was a few days in Cusco followed by the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. It was just a taster of a country that has been calling me ever since.

If you haven’t caught on yet, food is usually what draws me to a country, and with Peru it’s no different. I adore Peruvian food, and if I’m ever visiting a city and I see a Peruvian restaurant, I’ll be there straight away. I also make a pretty mean Pisco Sour if I do say so myself.

The next time we go to Peru, I plan to head to some of the lesser-visited ruins like Chan Chan or Choquequirao, fly over the Nazca Lines, explore historic Arequipa, and spend some time by the beach.

READ NEXT: The ultimate Salkantay Trek packing list

11. Colombia

Two women dressed in traditional, colorful Colombian attire with fruit baskets on their heads, walking away from the viewer down a colonial street in Cartagena, evoking the country's vibrant culture. One of my bucket list countries is Colombia.
Ricardo Gomez Angel via Unsplash

I’m sad that we never visited Colombia while we lived in Argentina or the United States. We always talked about it but just never got there.

This South American country is stripping off its dangerous reputation, and visitors have been streaming in to discover its beautiful beaches, lush mountain villages and colourful culture.

A hike that’s been on my radar is the Ciudad Perdida trek. This hike is only 44 kilometres long, but the mountainous jungle terrain means it take 4 to 6 days to complete. The reward is arriving at the “Lost City”, ancient ruins buried deep in the interior.

Plus, every Colombian I’ve ever met speaks such clear Spanish, so this dream travel destination is also a great place to learn or practice Spanish.

12. Malaysia

The towering golden statue of Lord Murugan at the entrance of the Batu Caves in Malaysia, with a colorful flight of stairs leading up into the limestone hill, surrounded by lush greenery. Malaysia is known for its culture, food and beaches.
Meimei Ismail via Unsplash

For Aussies, the first overseas destinations we head to are usually in Asia. Because we’re at the bottom of the world, it’s the closest continent for us to reach – and even if it were harder to get to, we’d still make the effort.

The variety of food, the breadth of cultures, the amazing beaches – Asia does have it all.

One country I’ve only spent a bit of time in and would like to go back to is Malaysia. I’ve visited the capital, Kuala Lumpur, for a few days, but it’s other areas of the country that are drawing me back. Penang for its food (indeed, all of Malaysia for food…), the Perhentian Islands or Langkawi for beaches, and Mt Kinabalu for active views.

There are also so many other places I want to visit or re-visit in Asia: Thailand, Laos, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam… the list is endless.

13. Oman

A solitary camel walks across the arid landscape of a sandy desert with rolling dunes under a hazy sky. Oman is a fascinating mix of tradition and modern, and one of my dream travel destinations.
Arisa S. via Unsplash

I remember once reading an article about a road trip through Oman, and it sounded like such an adventure.

This small Middle Eastern country is quite surprising. It has lovely cities, ancient sites, expansive rust-coloured deserts, and turquoise-coloured waters backed by jagged beaches.

Like other Middle Eastern countries, I expect that it’s filled with amazing food and warm hospitality, too.

14. Argentina

A person - the author of this article - in a black jacket and jeans stands overlooking a valley with striking multicolored mountain formations, showcasing the vivid and natural geological beauty. This is the town of Purmamarca in northern Argentina.

I lived in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, for almost two years and I’m dying to return.

The 8th largest country in the world has so much to offer: a beautiful capital city reminiscent of Europe, an expansive north that’s perfect for road tripping, incredible wine, the vast Patagonia wilderness and friendly people always up for a good time.

I’ve previously written a blog post about how to spend two weeks in Argentina that barely scratches the surface of everything that’s wonderful about the country.

I would love to go back soon to visit Argentina and explore some areas that I didn’t get to, like the Iberá Wetlands – as well as rediscover my favourite parts. Consider putting it on your list of dream travel destinations, too.

READ NEXT: The best things to do in Argentina

15. Ethiopia

The rock-hewn church of Saint George in Lalibela, Ethiopia, an architectural marvel carved from a single piece of rock in the shape of a cross, with surrounding trees and distant hills in view. Ethiopia is one of the many countries I'd love to visit.
Heiss via Pixabay

A country that sounds so fascinating – and one that’s also become a bit of a hot spot in recent years – is Ethiopia.

The ancient traditions, churches carved out of rock, tribes of the Omo Valley and fiery Danakil Depression have put this intriguing country on my wish list.

With a visit to Ethiopia, I could also tie in a return trip to East Africa with my husband, given we’ll be in the area. I’d love to take a road trip around Uganda, and climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or Mount Kenya in Kenya. And I’d definitely end the trip with a few days on the beach in Zanzibar again.

READ NEXT: 9 reasons to hire a private guide while on safari in East Africa

Did you find this article helpful? Consider buying me a coffee as a way to say thanks!

Now it’s your turn! What dream travel destinations are on your wish list? Let me know in the comments below.

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Save this dream travel destinations guide to Pinterest so you can indulge your own wanderlust!


I'm a travel junkie who started dreaming about seeing the world from a very young age. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. A former expat, I've lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the United States. I share travel resources, tips and stories based on my personal experiences, and my goal is to make travel planning just that bit easier.

8 thoughts on “15 Dream Travel Destinations to Visit Before You Die”

  1. Regarding less touristy Italy I strongly recommend Lecce in Puglia and Procida Island off Naples.
    Lecce is very pretty and the surrounding countryside is worth a drive.
    Procida is a lovely fishing village with very few tourists when I visited although this may have changed now that it has been voted the cultural capital of Italy for 2022.
    I would like to forward photos but can’t do that under the circumstances but have a look online and you will see why I liked them so much.

  2. Many of the countries you mention here are also on my wishlist. Oman, New Zealand, Peru, Ethiopia, Colombia, Spain, Italy, Iran, and… Papua New Guinea — oh how much I want to see Indonesia’s neighbor to the east! I think when the pandemic is over (or at least under control), overseas travel will be limited by region, before global travel begins in earnest again. So, realistically Southeast Asia might be where I will go in a post-pandemic world.

    • Agree… but at least there are so many incredible places to visit in SE Asia so you are spoilt for choice! Hopefully I’ll also be able to get over that way soon too!

  3. Omggg! I know what you mean… I am dreaming up so many new vacation ideas. Many new Pinterest boards (lol). We travel for food too, and really want to go to Italy, Spain, and Peru for that reason. Kudos for visiting so many places!

  4. I’m dreaming of travelling again too Bec. Big sigh. Top of my bucket list is the Sepik and, like you, I also wanted to tie it in with the Ambunti Croc Festival this year. Now that looks to be out, but I’m determined to get to the Sepik at some stage before I leave PNG… if that ever happens 🙂
    Thanks for this article – some places on there I hadn’t even considered.
    Sending love to you and yours xx


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