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These Are The Top 5 Bucket List Destinations For 2024 According To Wanderlust

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We’ve all got destinations that are on our bucket lists, some even staying there for many years before we eventually get to see them.

Everyone has different places they’d love to visit, but if you had to guess, what do you think would be the most common among travelers?

To help answer that question, we can refer to the results of the recent Reader Travel Awards announced by travel magazine Wanderlust.

Happy women travel Japan on holiday vacation.

The awards recognize a wide range of categories, but the ‘Most Desirable Countries in the World’ section is perhaps the best place to see which destinations are highest on the bucket lists of travelers.

Here are the top 5, and why they should be fighting for a place in your 2024 travel plans:


There was a kind of annoying jingle on television commercials by Tourism Australia from a few years ago that repeated the mantra: “there’s nothing like Australia.”

Let me tell you from first-hand experience, they ain’t lying!

Australia is an incredible and unique travel destination that will leave an imprint on your heart.

From the cool cafés and craft beer bars in Melbourne to the iconic sights of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge in Sydney – the cities of Australia can occupy many days on an itinerary.

They are also nearly all on the coast, meaning easy beach access is possible via a short walk or the country’s very affordable public transport.

a wild koala bear in victoria australia
Photo by David Guest

My personal favorite is Brisbane, thanks to its relatively small size, friendly vibe, river taxis, and proximity to North Stradbroke Island.

Away from the cities, there are great road trips to be had on routes such as the Great Ocean Road, plus a world of true wilderness around Darwin in the Northern Territory.

twelve apostles on the great ocean road in victoria australia
Photo by David Guest

Tourism is gradually getting back to pre-pandemic levels in Australia, but it’s still a touch quieter than it used to be, so now is a great time to go.


Whether it’s the cherry blossoms around Osaka Castle or the neon glow of Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan is a unique and trendy destination that impresses travelers from all over the world.

It’s also a lot more diverse than you might think; away from the typical destinations like Kyoto, you can find quiet and beautiful beaches on the southernmost island of Kyushu, while in the far north of Hokkaido you will find stunning mountains and hot springs.

kinkakuji golden temple in kyoto japan
Photo by David Guest

Right now, Japan’s currency, the Yen, is extremely low against the U.S. dollar, which makes it a much more affordable place to visit for Americans.

Japan is also a very safe place to visit, with excellent public transport links, making it ideal for solo travelers.

United States

That’s right, the good old U.S. of A is one of the world’s most desirable tourism destinations – and is it really a surprise?

The country is blessed with iconic cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as some of the best scenery in the world in states like Montana and Idaho.

a train crosses the river on a bridge in chicago
Photo by David Guest

You can enjoy practically any kind of holiday you want in the U.S., and one of the best parts is that you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to get there.


Another country that’s close to home but is stealing the hearts and minds of travelers is Canada.

Toronto is a world-leading city in terms of culture, entertainment, and business, while Vancouver on the opposite side of the country offers a more laid-back vibe.

The nature that Canada possesses is almost beyond belief, with provinces such as British Colombia providing all the wide-open vistas your heart could desire.

Canada is so close that it’s sometimes easy to overlook the amazing destinations it has.

nathan phillips square in toronto canada

Costa Rica

The Central American destination of Costa Rica is certainly capturing the attention right now.

It’s had a record year for tourism and boasts being a safe and fun destination for digital nomads and solo travelers alike.

The country is overflowing with unique nature, tropical jungles, some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth, and a climate that generally makes it fine to visit at any time of year.

Majestic waterfall in the rainforest jungle of Costa Rica

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Tuesday 14th of November 2023

I have been to All 7 Continents

You must go to Antarctica, Cuba and South Africa on Safari

Jane dEntremont

Saturday 11th of November 2023

British Columbia is a province in Canada, not a state as per your section on Canada. Canada has provinces vs states.

Tyler Fox

Saturday 11th of November 2023

Thank you for your comment, we have updated the post.