1.Marvelling at the Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is not merely the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – it is also the only one still standing. You certainly can’t make any excuses for a trip to Egypt that doesn’t include the experience of being stood before this 450 ft high colossus. Fun fact: the Pyramid was once covered with casing stones forming a smooth outer surface, with some of these still able to be seen around its base.
2.Taking in the bright lights of New York City
There may be no better global city break destination than the city that never sleeps. After all, there’s such a feast of things to see and do, from shopping the day away on Fifth Avenue and taking a leisurely stroll around Central Park, right through to taking a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty and allowing yourself to be dazzled by the bright lights of Broadway.
3.Wildlife spotting on the Galapagos Islands
Given that it was the 1830s when the second voyage of HMS Beagle inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection took place around these islands, as outlined in greater detail by the HMS Beagle Project, it is a minor miracle that they remain so remote. There is no wildlife watching destination that is more famous around the world, also due in part to the spectacular landscapes, encompassing the likes of lush green highlands, stark lava formations and inviting tropical beaches.
4.Walking the Great Wall of China
This series of fortifications made of stone, brick, wood, tamped earth and other materials are synonymous with the persistent image of China as a nation culturally and politically isolated from the rest of the world. Whether you simply enjoy a day trip, run or cycle along its sections or even embark on a helicopter flight to marvel at it all from above, the Wall is quite the jaw-dropper.
5.Gazing at the statues of Easter Island
The stunningly remote Easter Island in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean is famous throughout the world for its almost 900 extant monumental statues, called moai. These monolithic human figures were carved by the early Rapa Nui people between the years 1250 and 1500 CE. Whether you feel alienated or enthralled by these dominant, unsmiling figures, they are sublime works of art that simply must be experienced firsthand.
6.Discovering the landscapes of Namibia
Sub-Saharan Africa may present no shortage of choice of incredible countries to visit, but few are better equipped for tourists than Namibia. The country’s well-developed network of reserves, parks and lodges make it a fine place to spot cheetahs, with more than a quarter of those in the world living here, as well as the last free-ranging population of black rhino.
7.Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway
The longest railway line in the world at an astonishing 9,289 km or 5,772 miles, the TSR is a railway network connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. So, why not make this fascinating train journey the focal point of your next trip to Russia, taking in the city attractions of Moscow, the vastness of Siberia and finally Irkutsk, the home of Lake Baikal, which is the world’s largest source of freshwater?
8.Being enchanted by Paris
Paris is a delight at any time of year, with its many culturally rich attractions and things to do – encompassing world-class art museums like the Louvre and d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower and the quintessentially Parisian pavement cafes – objects of great affection for visitors from around the globe. Nonetheless, as suggested by the Travel Away blog, it’s a good idea to time your Paris visit for spring if you want to experience the best of the city, not least as you also get to avoid the worst of the tourist throng.
9.Experiencing vintage Japan in Kyoto
The Japan of which everyone dreams is alive and well in Kyoto, with its kimono-clad maiko dancers touring its streets, grand palaces, sumptuous gardens and ornate shrines. Just imagine sleeping over in a Kyoto temple, waking up to morning meditation and then enjoying tea in a temple garden… and that’s before we mention the opportunity to dress like a true geisha or maiko yourself.
10.Going surfing in Hawaii
Hawaii was where big wave surfing truly began, so it stands to reason that whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned veteran surfer, these islands should be your destination. With all of that said, different parts of Hawaii naturally suit different surfing aptitudes and experience levels. If you’ve never before surfed, Waikiki Beach is a good place to head, while Makaha on Oahu’s west shore serves up stronger winter waves for those seeking a suitably stiffer challenge.
11.Embarking on a great American road trip
A rich mythology has sprung up around the American road trip, as immortalised in books, music and films ranging from Bob Dylan’s iconic Highway 61 Revisited album to the Jack Kerouac novel On The Road. So, if you’re going to ‘do’ America, why not ‘do’ it properly, with little more than your car, a pop soundtrack and an open road, taking in such draws as the Grand Canyon to ensure that your backdrop is anything but dull?
12.Pondering mysterious Stonehenge
While a visit to this world-famous prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England may be more of a day out than a full-blown holiday, by pairing it with a London city break, you can combine the best of Britain’s modern thrills and ancient tranquillity alike. It may be the world’s most famous prehistoric monument, and yet to this day, no one knows the exact purpose for which it was built – which of course, simply adds to the fascinating legend that is modern-day Stonehenge.
If any of the aforementioned holiday ideas have especially caught your eye, bear in mind that there are many ways to make them a reality. You may book a cheap flight and hotel, opt for a package holiday or embark on a cruise to any of an extremely wide range of destinations with an operator like Imagine Cruising.
Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy every second – after all, these are usually once in a lifetime opportunities.