There’s a big wide world out there just waiting for you to explore it. Taking it all in would take many lifetimes, but what should you tackle first? If they aren’t already, these essential experiences should be on your bucket list.
Ski St. Anton, Austria
Image via Flickr by Chris_Eden
In February 2017, Telegraph Ski and Snowboard readers named St. Anton the number one ski resort in the world. It’s not hard to see why so many skiers are enamored with this Alpine skiing slope and its 211 miles of pistes, 124 miles of off-piste itineraries, and more than 34 square miles of off-piste terrain. It gets plenty of snow, so winter conditions are always favorable, and after a day at the slopes you can retire to a luxury chalet or one of the area’s iconic bars.
St. Anton’s challenging terrain is more suited to intermediate and expert level skiers, so if you haven’t skied for a while it’s worth visiting neighboring resorts like Zurs and Lech to brush up on your skills first. It’s easy to get overconfident, so make sure you get travel insurance. Your policy’s comprehensive coverage should take away some of the sting of a broken leg.
Dive in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, a spectacular sight from the air but an utter delight on a diving trip. Scuba diving will bring you up close to the reef’s colorful coral species, sea turtles, and around 1,500 types of fish. You should be in good physical health to scuba dive. People with asthma, epilepsy, heart problems, and colds or congestion should not dive.
Joining a scuba tour is the best way to experience all that the reef offers. You’ll find guided tours for divers of all levels of experience, from total novices to experienced divers. Your guide will run you through a safety briefing before showing you some of the best local dive spots. All equipment is provided, so you needn’t worry about a thing. Some tour companies also have waterproof cameras for rent. If yours isn’t waterproof, it’s worth renting one before you go to capture your diving memories.
Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
Over 1.2 million people visit Machu Picchu every year. Many of those travelers follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas and hike the Inca Trail. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but its stunning mountain vistas, fascinating cultural sites, and diverse flora and fauna make it all worthwhile. To preserve the trail, just 500 people are permitted to hike each day, and 300 spaces are reserved for guides and porters, so booking a tour early is the best way to guarantee your place.
The Inca Trail is challenging, so you should be in good physical fitness to keep up with your tour group. Altitude sickness can also plague trekkers, so stay in Cusco for a few days before your hike to acclimatize. While the risk of personal injury on the trail is low, many tour operators require trekkers to take out travel insurance just to be sure. This coverage will pay for any medical expenses and emergency evacuation costs.
Bungee Jump From Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand
Bungee jumping is on the bucket list of many adventurous challengers. If you’re ready to take the plunge, there’s no better place than New Zealand, which calls itself the Home of Bungee. The country’s first commercial bungee company was started in the 1980s near Queenstown, and it’s still regarded by many as the nation’s best. You’ll jump from historic Kawarau Bridge and drop 141 feet to the vibrant teal waters below. Jump on your own or share the thrill with a tandem jump.
It might seem scary, but the compulsory safety briefing will help reassure you that there’s nothing to worry about. You should be well rested, well hydrated, well fed, and in good health before your jump. Pregnant women and people with photosensitive epilepsy cannot jump. Doctor’s certificates are also required if you have scoliosis, osteoporosis, or a recent concussion.
With so many rich experiences available in all corners of the globe, isn’t it time you started planning your next getaway?
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