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20+ Incredible Bucket List Ideas For Your 20s

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Although it feels like a weird time for me to celebrate the milestone of 30 later this year, I still wanted to write this blog post as Scott and I have both achieved a lot in the past ten years that we’re incredibly proud of.

We hope this blog inspires your own bucket list for your 20s including epic trips to take in your 20s and a bunch of bonus 30 before 30 ideas.

It’s never too late to tick off your bucket list and certainly never too late to dream… as Shia LaBeouf would say: JUST DO IT!

20+ Incredible Bucket List Ideas For Your 20s

1. Take a solo trip

Swimming in Lake Garda, Italy

I first caught the travel bug after a solo trip around Italy. 

Even though Scott and I now travel together as husband and wife, I owe a lot for who I am today and what I’ve achieved in life to the trips I took solo before meeting Scott.

Take this time now to discover everything you like and don’t like and then you’ll have a better idea of what you like and don’t like in relationships too.

BONUS: Try all different kinds of travel

While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to try all different kinds of travel so you know even better what works for you. 

Whether that be with friends or family, with a significant other, on your own or even with a pet, you’ll never know what you prefer until you try them all!

Justine stealing a kiss in Vienna
Justine and Kai looking at Rhossili Beach

2. Skydive over epic scenery

Scott's Skydive

You might be too scared to try skydiving once you’re in your 30s, so make the most of your zealous nature now!

There are countries all over the world where you can go skydiving but some of the most epic skydiving destinations include Australia, Dubai, New Zealand and the USA.

3. Try husky sledding for the first time

Whether you hop on the back of a husky sled and control the steering and brakes, or wrap up warm under blankets in the front of the sled, you’ll love the thrill of this fun bucket list adventure!

Head to Scandinavian countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden, or even North American countries like Alaska and Canada to try it. 

Just remember to read up on reviews before your visit so you know you’re booking with an ethical husky safari company. 

Related: Bucket List Priority #1: Husky Sledding in Finland 

4. Learn to ski or snowboard

Skiing in Val Thorens

If you didn’t get the chance to learn skiing or snowboarding as a kid, then take the time now to learn and see if you like it.

Scott’s the pro skier in our relationship and recommends Val Thorens in France for beginners as it’s got a good selection of runs, epic apres-ski and other activities too like tobogganing. 

Related: 25 Utterly Charming Must See Places in Europe in Winter

5. See magical underwater worlds via scuba diving

Colourful fish in the ocean

Here’s another epic adventure to have in your 20s – scuba diving!

From colourful corals and tropical fish to even sea turtles, there is so much beauty and magic underwater that you simply must see at least once in your lifetime.

Indonesia, Hawaii and Belize have some of the most sought after scuba diving locations in the world, so head there for your first session to really catch the bug for it!

BONUS: Try snorkelling somewhere just as epic

Justine snorkelling at Turtle Point, Gili Meno

If you don’t want to fully submerge yourself underwater then another way to see incredible underwater marine life is with snorkelling. Check out our beginner snorkel tips here!

Try it in Hawaii, Indonesia and Belize and you’ll still see colourful fish, corals and maybe even sea turtles!

Related: Gili Meno Snorkelling Guide: Tips To Know Before You Go

6. Head out on an epic road trip

Road trip tips for couples - bring a map!

Driving with the top down, wind whipping through your hair. Cruising past amazing scenery and pit stops whenever you want.

These are just some of the reasons why road trips continue to be one of the most popular bucket list ideas.

Some of the best road trips to take in your 20s include Iceland’s Ring Road or Golden Circle Route, USA’s Pacific Coast Highway and Australia’s Great Ocean Road. 

But you could go anywhere and still have an epic time!

Related: Best Road Trip Destinations For Couples (+ Road Trip Tips)

7. Go to a coffee shop in Amsterdam

Closeup of pink flowers in a box on the side of an Amsterdam canal

And not your average coffee shop either!

Amsterdam’s coffee shop scene is famous all around the world and a visit to one at least once in your lifetime is an experience you’ll never forget!

Related: 2 Day Amsterdam Itinerary For First Time Visitors

8. Go on an epic hike

Justine at the top of Mount Faber Point

Hiking is one of our favourite pastimes as there’s so much natural beauty to discover all around the world. Plus the endorphin high is also pretty incredible!

Some of our most favourite hikes have been Singapore’s Southern Ridges, Hawaii’s Kīlauea Iki crater, Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park and Wales’ Pen y Fan mountain.

Read More: Our Nature Travel and Outdoor Adventure Guides

9. Travel to see erupting volcanoes

Hawaii Volcano

Have you ever wanted to see a volcano erupt and live to tell the tale? Or see the lava boil and bubble away in the dead of night? 

Hawaii’s Volcano National Park is one for your bucket list where you can see active volcanoes, walk through lava tubes and even hike through an active volcanic crater where steam pours through cracks in the ground!

Related: 29 Incredible Hawaii Bucket List Ideas & Things To Do

10. Wake up to an incredible sunrise

Gili Meno Sunrise

There’s nothing quite like watching a new day begin with an incredible sunrise. 

The sky is brushed with pinks and golds, and as it’s early in the morning, there will be far fewer people around than at sunset

While there are perfect sunrise locations all over the world, be sure to head east for the best of the best. 

We caught the sunrise on Gili Meno in Indonesia on multiple days during our honeymoon and it was so magical – easily the best sunrise we’ve ever seen!

Related: The Perfect Gili Meno Honeymoon | Must Sees, Hotels & Top Tips

11. Crash over sand dunes during an epic desert safari

Dubai Desert Safari

Where there’s sand dunes, there’s adventurous souls crashing over them in buggies and 4x4s! 

We tried it in Dubai during our honeymoon, and wow, was it an experience we’ll never forget! So much fun. So many thrills. And the dunes themselves were incredible to see too!

Related: Glamorous 2 Days in Dubai Itinerary For First Time Visitors

12. Try sandboarding for the first time

Speaking of sand dunes, you definitely need to try sandboarding at least once in your lifetime too! 

Whether you choose to go down on your tummy, bum or two feet, it’s a lot of fun. But, if you’re anything like us, be prepared for some epic falls and a mouth full of sand too… 

This is one travel fail you’ll laugh at for years to come though!

13. Watch dolphins and whales in the wild

Whale Watching

One of life’s greatest pleasures is seeing animals and wildlife in their natural habitats. 

Dolphins and whales in particular are mesmerising to watch – and are so graceful!

There are lots of places all over the world where you could do this but Hawaii, Iceland and Madeira all jump to mind first as places to travel to in your 20s.

Just like with husky sledding, be sure to book with an ethical company, which will try to keep its distance from the wildlife.

14. Paraglide off the top of a mountain

Another epic adventure to have in your 20s is paragliding off the top of a mountain!

I was supposed to try this myself in Lake Garda from the top of Mount Baldo in Malcesine, but alas, a storm prevented me from doing it. 

Maybe you’ll tick this one off the bucket list before me?!

15. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride somewhere epic

International Balloon Fiesta

Thanks to companies like Virgin Experience Days, you can do a hot air balloon ride pretty much anywhere.

But this is a bucket list and so you must do it somewhere epic!

Over the Nile in Egypt, in Cappadocia in Turkey and during Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta in the UK are our top suggestions!

16. Celebrate a holiday in another country

Christmas in Finland. Day of the Dead in Mexico. St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

However you do it, make it your mission to celebrate a holiday in another country, where culture and travel collide!

17. Try a new way of travelling and getting around

Island hopping - Gili Islands

We’ve talked about mixing it up when it comes to who you travel with, so you get an idea of what you like (and don’t!), but this can also be said for the way you travel and get around.

Whether you choose to Interrail around Europe, island hop in Indonesia by boat or even snowmobile around the Nordics, you’ll never be short of new ideas to try!

18. Wild camp (or glamp!) somewhere stunning

Wild Camping

Trying wild camping or glamping at least once is like some kind of rite of passage for most 20-somethings (ourselves included!)

Pick somewhere truly picturesque for an unforgettable experience like the Highlands in Scotland or on a beach on the Gili Islands.

Glamping on Gili Meno
Karma Reef Resort Gili Meno

19. Get an authentic massage abroad

Traditional Balinese Massage in Ubud, Bali

From traditional Moroccan Hammam to Balinese and Thai massages, you’ll never forget a foreign massage experience as they’re just that – foreign, unfamiliar, and in some cases, downright hilarious!

Related: Misadventures in Morocco: Hammam Massage Experience

20. Sleep somewhere weird and wonderful

We’ve already touched on wild camping and glamping, but what about sleeping in a treehouse? A lighthouse? A rail sleeper car? 

You’ll never run out of ideas of where to stay that’s unusual! 

Here are a few suggestions of where to go in your 20s:

21. Go stargazing at a Dark Sky Reserve

Mauna Kea Sunset

You may think you’ve seen a lot of stars from the hill near your house. Or that time you camped out on the beach.

But you’ll be BLOWN AWAY when stargazing at a Dark Sky reserve! 

Here are some suggestions of where to go:

  • Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales
  • Exmoor National Park in England
  • Aoraki Mackenzie in New Zealand
  • Kerry in Ireland
  • Alpes Azur Mercantour in France

You should also check out Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

Although not certified as a Dark Sky reserve, it’s actually home to the world’s largest observatory and makes for a truly unforgettable sunset and stargazing session!

Related: Stargazing & Sunsets from the Top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii

22. Do a crazy stunt for charity

There are all kinds of crazy stunts you can do for charity and some may even tick off two bucket list ideas for your 20s in one go like skydiving, running a marathon or paragliding.

For my crazy charity stunt in my 20s, I abseiled down the side of a 200 foot high building (it was The Blade in Reading, England in case you wanna Google it!)

23. Visit Disney World (or at least Disneyland!)

While most people don’t visit a Disney Park until they have children, you’re different. 

You want to hog all the Disney magic for yourself right now. In your 20s. Sans kids.

We get it. Us too – and we finally made it happen in 2022!

RELATED: Disneyland Paris For Adults – Travel Tips + Tried & Tested Itinerary

BONUS: 30 Before 30 Bucket List Ideas

Alongside the above trips to take in your 20s, here are ten more bonus ideas to make a complete 30 before 30 bucket list!

1. Get engaged / propose abroad

Getting engaged in Iceland

If you’ve yet to experience the heart-thumping moment you ask someone to marry you (or are on the receiving end of a proposal) then you’re in for a treat… especially if it’s somewhere abroad!

Tip: Iceland is a great place to get engaged by the way! 😉

Related: How To Plan The Perfect Destination Proposal

2. Get married

Justine and Scott getting married in Clevedon, England

Marriage is quite simply one of life’s greatest adventures and Scott and I have not once regretted our decision to become husband and wife.

Related: 30+ DIY Travel Themed Wedding Ideas You’ll Want To Steal!

Fancy seeing a few of our wedding pics? Check out this post about Clevedon in England (where we got married!)

3. Go on an incredible honeymoon

Justine and Scott kissing on the Bali Swing beds

Sorry! One last one related to getting married and then I promise, we’re done with the romantically themed ones for now!

Every travel lover knows that the best thing about a wedding is the incredible honeymoon you get to go on afterwards.

Whether you want to travel the world for a year, spend two weeks on a deserted island or fold multiple bucket list destinations into one trip like we did; then have fun planning it, booking it and enjoying every single minute of it!

Psst! Looking for honeymoon ideas? We’ve got heaps of blogs that might help:

4. Buy a house

Scott and Justine outside their first house purchase

House prices are ridiculous so owning a house in your 20s isn’t super common – but it is possible!

Scott and I bought our first home together 18 months ago and we’re enjoying decorating it and changing things even if we’re on a bit of a budget right now.

It’s not our forever home (it would have to be detached for it to be that!), but it’s definitely our “for the next 5-10 years home” – and we’re pretty happy with that right now.

5. Start your own business

If you’ve ever wanted to make and sell your own products, sell other people’s products that you love or even start an online business like this here blog you’re reading, then your 20s is a great time to do it. 

There’s less pressure should things go wrong, and providing it’s something you’re passionate about, you probably have all the will in the world to make it happen. So go make it happen!

6. Find a new hobby or learn a new skill

Your 20s are the prime time for you to learn new things about who you are, who you want to be and what you want to achieve in life. 

So this is the perfect time to find a new hobby or learn a new skill that you never knew you liked.

What will it be? Rock climbing? Sewing? Blogging? The world really is your oyster!

Psst! Our other blog, House of Mahalo, is full of craft and hobby ideas!

Cross Stitch Threads

7. Become fluent in another language

Have you always wanted to be bilingual? It’s never too late to start learning and if you’ve got some time to spare during your 20s then this is a prime time to prioritise this 30 before 30 idea!

Italian seeks to be my favourite language as it’s poetic, easy to learn and all kinds of sexy. 

But some other fun languages to learn are French, German, Hawaiian, Japanese and Spanish.

Try websites like Duolingo, Busuu, Teach Yourself and Pimsleur, which are often cited as being the best for learning new languages.

And if you’re wondering, Hawaiian is currently on my list hence why our dog is called Kai (sea) and our home, crafts and lifestyle blog is called House of Mahalo (for gratitude, thanks, respect, admiration, praise and esteem).

RELATED: A Guide To Planning Your First Trip To Hawaii

8. Start a productive daily routine

Justine's tidy desk

If you’re anything like us then by the time you’re washed, dressed and raring to go, it’s well beyond 10am. 

This is something I’m desperate to change soon because one day we may decide to start a family and I’d much rather already be used to the pre-7am alarm clock. 

Parenthood is hard enough – but even more so if you’re not an early riser. So it’s time to get it sorted!

Replacing our dark blackout curtains with light cream coloured ones and walking our dog every morning has certainly helped us get a move on, but some more ways I plan to get a better daily routine are:

  • Actually setting my alarm (I’ve gotten a bit complacent now that I can work any hours I choose)
  • Putting my alarm on the other side of the room so I have to physically get up to turn it off
  • Not bringing my tea back to bed with me; once I’m up, I’m up!
  • Showering asap; there’s nothing like a rejuvenating shower to wash the sleep dust away!
  • Go to bed earlier!

9. Become a published author

I’ve long had the dream of becoming an author.

When I was 7, I came up with the idea for a new Rudyard Kipling ‘Just So’ story, which was all about how the leopard got its spots (spoiler: a snake bit it!) 

When I was 8 or 9, I wrote a short story all about a magical Candyland and I was given a special award by my Headmistress.

And when I was 15, I was writing romance novels for fun.

But somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking I could do it and put a pause on dreaming.

Sound familiar? It’s time to change it!

Thanks to this blog, I’ve found my love for writing again, and although I won’t be a published author by the time I’m 30, I hope my 30s is when I’ll put that dream into action (starting with a range of travel guides and ebooks!)

10. Forgive and let go of the past

This is another 30 before 30 idea that I haven’t yet figured out myself. But it’s high time our pasts stop dictating our futures!

Whether you’ve figured this one out now or need another ten years to do it (like me!), I hope these quick quotes spur you into action: 

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

And there you have it – 20+ incredible bucket list ideas for your 20s plus a bonus 30 before 30 list. How many of these have you ticked off? And how many do you plan to do? 

Why not use a travel vision board to record all the adventures you want to have?

Feeling motivated? Pin this 20s bucket list now and read it again later!

If you're finding our blog posts helpful, we would love it if you would consider donating to our "Buy Me A Coffee" site. Thank you so much for your support xoxo
Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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