Trips of a Lifetime - where do you want to go?
Most people consider “bucket list” trips to be expensive and exotic adventures that tick the box of been there, done that. We want you to take a different approach. We want to help you take “trips of a lifetime” that are rooted in something meaningful, something that feeds your soul, pushes your limits, and engages you in your surroundings instead of just helping you cross something off a list. These trips require thought and sometimes a lot of advanced planning(a year in advance for hiking in Patagonia, for example). We can help you curate your list by offering insight into when and how to see the things that matter to you – whether that involves something as extensive as a guided food tour of Southeast Asia or renting a house for an extended family trip to South Carolina or even helping you map out a road trip down Route 66.
The following is a list of some of our favorite spots based on the type of trip you may be looking for. And for added inspiration we have included our Travel Consultants' trip lists as well. We hope it inspires future travels.
U.S. National Parks
Dude Ranch, Western U.S.
Trip of a Lifetime: Kauai
Kauai is a blend of tropical rainforests, forking rivers and cascading waterfalls! Some parts of Kauai are only accessible by sea or air, revealing views beyond your imagination. More than just dramatic beauty, the island is home to a variety of outdoor activities. You can kayak the Wailua River, snorkel, hike the trails of Kokee State Park or go ziplining above Kauai's luch valleys. Plus the island's laid-back atmosphere and rich culture make it truly timeless.
- Lisa Morrison
Food Focused Destinations
Cooking and Wine Tours in Tuscany
South African Winelands
Cooking class at La Maison de Arabe, Marrakech
Creole Cooking in New Orleans
Sushi making in Tokyo
Provence and Paris market cooking classes
Trip of a Lifetime: South African Winelands
While a wildlife safari has always been at the top of my list, for me, South Africa offers the best of all worlds: wildlife, adventure, an amazing food scene and some of the world's best wines. I am planning a group in 2022 with a focus on the food and wines of the region with a lion or penguin sighting too. Stay tuned!
For Unspoiled Natural Beauty
U.S. National Parks from the arches of Zion and Bryce to the volcanoes of Hawaii to the sandstone cliffs of the newest park, West Virginia's New River Gorge National Park.
Torres del Paine and Atacama Desert, Chile
South Island New Zealand
Trip of a Lifetime: Patagonia
Few destinations are as dramatic as Chile, a sliver of land bookended by the Andes and the Pacific. Here, salt flats meet snow-capped volcanoes, and bone-dry deserts give way to sprawling glaciers and sandy beaches. The variety of attractions here, from the sun-soaked metropolis of Santiago to first-rate vineyards, sprawling ranches, glittery resorts by the sea and the granite spires of Torres del Paine, will satisfy any type of traveler.
- Kristen Cless
Trip of a Lifetime: New Zealand
My husband and I were supposed to travel to New Zealand in 2020 so this is at the top of my list. The combination of rugged beauty, active adventures, wine, and food have made it a must see for me for a very long time.
For a Spiritual and Wellness Escape
Indian Himalayas - Shakti hut-to-hut village walks
Silent Meditation Retreats - Upstate New York
Ayurvedic Immersions - Four Seasons Maldives
Ghost Ranch - New Mexico
Miraval Resort and Spa - Tucson, the Berkshires, Austin
Trip of a Lifetime: Shakti village walk
I have always wanted to take one of Shakti's Village Experience journeys, which involve walking between remote villages in the Indian Himalayas with guides and porters. Stays are in "spruced up" traditional village homes and the hikes are peppered with visits to markets, monasteries and schools to help travelers understand the culture of the region.
- Cathy Murdoch
Best For Wildlife Viewing
The Great Migration, East Africa
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania and Kangaroo Island
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Trip of a Lifetime: Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is emerging as a stand alone destination with more than enough to explore for 10 days. My ultimate dream is, of course, trekking the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in the northwest part of the country. In Nyungwe National Park you see the chimps, visit a tea plantation, hike to waterfalls and stay at a wellness resort. Lake Kivu offers beach tourism, hiking, kayaking, cycling and culinary experiences. It has been voted the safest country in Africa and the 5th safest country in the world. I’ll be announcing a group trip for 2022 soon!
Culture and History
Athens and the ruins of Ancient Greece
Rome, Sicily and the ancient ruins throughout Italy
Road Trip along the Civil Rights Trail, United States
Machu Picchu, Peru
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Kyoto, Nagasaki and Kamakura, Japan
Trip of a Lifetime: Thailand Elephant Nature Park
My trip of a lifetime would be to the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. This elephant rescue and rehab is known throughout the world for their great work in "buying" elephants that have lived a horrible life of servitude and letting them live out their lives in a natural setting. This is something I am hoping to make happen in 2022 for myself via a group trip.
- Amy Mays
Let the experts at Houlahan Travel design the perfect itinerary for a truly unique vacation. Personal experience paired with a personal touch is what sets us apart.