Once in a lifetime: the world’s best value bucket list

Trekking the Grand Canyon, swimming with dolphins and going on safari in Africa are all activities which regularly feature on people’s lists of things they want to do before they ‘kick the bucket,’ but how many of us realistically get to do these things? Cost alone seems like a prohibitive factor, and that’s before you even factor in travel and time.

The good news is that ticking off activities and destinations from your bucket list no longer needs to break the bank. We’ve researched some of the world’s best value bucket list activities and how much cash you’ll need to do them, compared to what you might spend on regular purchases back home in the UK. You never know—that dream trip might be more achievable than you think!

For sightseers

The Northern Lights are one of nature’s greatest displays and right now is the best time to experience the show, with aurora activity being particularly strong this year. While the traditional trip to Iceland to view them up close is pretty pricey, parts of Scotland have stunning views of the Northern Lights, so you could see them for the same price as three manicures (£68).

Further afield, as one of the most visited attractions in the United States, the Grand Canyon is at the top of many people’s bucket lists. While you’ll still need to save for the plane ticket, if you can deal with adverts interrupting your favourite songs, swapping your premium Spotify subscription to a free one for six months will give you enough money for an annual pass (£60).

While you’re in the US why not embark on the ultimate American road trip by travelling along the infamous Route 66? Hiring a car and travelling the route will always set you back a few bucks, but if you downgrade your Levi jeans for something a little cheaper on the next 13 occasions you buy, you’ll already have saved the £800 you need.

If it’s the wonders of the world you’re keener to see, you might be pleasantly surprised by how affordable they can be. For the same price as ten supermarket meal deals you could see the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt (£30), while a ticket to see the Great Wall of China will set you back the same price as 11 Big Mac meals (£52).

For thrillseekers

Want to set your heart racing but can’t afford the price tag of a ticket to the other side of the world to do it? For the same price as 14 lattes at your favourite coffee shop you could tick bungee jumping off your bucket list in Germany (£36).

To take your thrills even further why not skydive in Italy, where a tandem jump over the stunning Venetian countryside will cost you the same price as twenty eight fruity cocktails in the UK (£225).

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more relaxing way to take in the sites from the air, a hot air balloon trip over Turkey could become a reality for the same price as a ten month subscription to Netflix (£90).

For animal lovers

If you’ve ever wanted to get up close and personal to nature’s most stunning marine life you now can for the same price as 20 cans of Diet Coke—scuba diving in Thailand can cost as little as £13.95.

A horseback ride along the beach tops many people’s bucket lists, and the dream is closer than you might think. An hour long ride along the Ring of Kerry’s stunning coastline in Ireland costs the same price as two designer lipsticks, or a cinema trip for two (£30).

Swimming with dolphins or taking an African safari trip are also popular bucket list activities, and with various tour operators competing with each other on price, these activities no longer need to break the bank. Swimming with dolphins in Cuba can cost as little as a three course meal for two in the UK (£60), whereas you could be getting up close to lions, elephants and giraffes in Africa for the price of nine Sunday newspapers (£18).

Alternatively, if it’s sea lions and tortoises you’re interested in, a ticket to the world-famous Galapagos Islands could be yours for the same price as four t-shirts (£87)—we know which one we’d choose.

For culture vultures

For the same price as a night on the town, you could take in the astonishing sites of the Big Apple from the top of the Empire State Building, with a ticket to the top of New York’s most impressive landmark costing the same as eight pints of beer in the UK (£27).

While you’re in New York, seeing a show on Broadway is a bucket list must, and you could be on the front row for the same price as four Chinese takeaways (£84).

On the other hand if it’s the City of Love that takes your fancy, you could soon scale the Eiffel Tower for the same price as your daily chocolate habit, with a ticket to the top costing the same as 18 chocolate bars (£15).

If you want to take the romance even further, you could take a trip on one of Venice’s famous gondolas for the cost of a four month Sky subscription (£68).

For explorers

Ever dreamt about climbing a mountain? Scaling Mount Kilimanjaro features on many bucket lists, and you can achieve it for the same price as running your car for a year (£3,000).

If it’s the rainforest that takes your fancy, visiting the world’s largest tropical rainforest is a bucket list must, and a three day tour of the Amazon will only set you back the same price as three pairs of trainers (£179).

Alternatively if you want to see the jungle from another angle why not try zip lining? A thrilling ride through the canopy of the stunning Cranbook Rainforest could cost you the same as a two month gym membership back at home (£72).