The Next 10 Countries on My Travel Wishlist

I’ve been fortunate to check off many of the countries on my travel wishlist in recent years, but I’ve still only scratched the surface of what the world has to offer.

I can’t wait to snorkel in Australia, see wild animals in Sweden, and eat authentic cuisine in Italy, to name just a few experiences on my bucket list.

For me, the best reasons to visit a country are art, culture, history, food, wildlife, natural sights, and city life.

For years, something about the frigid island nation of Iceland was calling me. The Northern Lights, the hot springs, the quirky culture, the scenic countryside, the waterfalls, and the glaciers all created a sort of mystical quality about Iceland, and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself.

Everyone I knew who had visited Iceland raves about the place, so it was always on my radar and I was so excited to finally make it there.

Now that I’ve visited Cuba, Iceland, and the Philippines, here are the 10 countries I hope to visit next. Maybe you should consider these destinations as well!

My Current Travel Wishlist: The Top 10 Country List

1 Australia

australia uluru - travel wishlist
Australia is a popular choice on many people’s travel wishlist!

Anyone who’s been reading this site for a while knows that I’m a huge fan of road trips. Few countries lend themselves to the road trip as well as Australia.

Sure, the island is big, hot, and sparsely populated in some areas. But those minor negatives are outweighed by the opportunity to see things like kangaroos and barrier reefs.

I hope to spend several weeks in Australia to explore all the major regions. New Zealand is also high on my list — I’d certainly figure out a way to visit both in one trip.

2 Indonesia

I didn’t truly appreciate the beauty of Indonesia until a friend visited recently and lit up my Instagram feed with gorgeous photos.

Although the rice fields of Ubud look amazing, my number one reason for visiting will be Komodo National Park.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is where tourists can view thousands of the giant komodo dragons on their home soil.

I’m fascinated by these creatures and would love to see them up close. I’ve seen lots of amazing animals in the wild, but komodos might eclipse them all.

3 Sweden

I’m always curious to visit destinations that create major players in the world of pop culture, and Sweden’s status as an unlikely producer of pop music stars (Robyn, Avicii, Tove Lo, Lykke Li) is very intriguing.

Stockholm is especially beautiful in the summer, I hear, when its cobblestone streets are fun to explore. And Sweden has some of the best wildlife watching on the continent, with moose, elk, bears, and wolves.

4 Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are calling! I’ve always wanted to see this magical destination. Seeing the giant tortoises and all of the other unique species that thrived on these islands since long before Darwin would be a great thrill.

Quito would be fun to experience as well, since the city has such a high elevation. It would be a different experience, for sure.

5 Egypt

egpyt travel wishlist

I made it to nine countries in southern Africa a few years back, but I still haven’t checked out the northern end of the continent. Egypt and Morocco both hold a lot of appeal.

For Egypt, there’s just so much history. And, of course, those famous pyramids. Egypt is on almost everybody’s country wishlist, from what I can tell.

6 Andorra

I’ve been obsessed with Andorra since I had to give a middle-school presentation on it. This tiny mountainous country nestled between Spain and France is known for skiing, shopping, and food.

The appeal of visiting here has to do with its tiny size. Less than one-eighth the size of Rhode Island (!), Andorra has no train stations or airports, so the only way in is by vehicle.

7 Italy

Even if it didn’t have a rich history of architecture and art, Italy has food worth traveling for.

I can’t imagine a better vacation than a week spent downing Italian cuisine like pizzas and pastas while visiting the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

Venice has welcomed massive numbers of tourists lately as well, so I’ll want to visit there before it gets even more crowded – or they stop accepting tourists altogether.

I’m especially curious about the Venice Lagoon Islands, a group of 118 islands including Torcello, Murano, and Burano, which can be visited by vaporetto.

8 Guatemala

guatemala ruins - country wishlist

Last year I made it to Central America for the first time, exploring the rainforests and hanging bridges of Costa Rica and looking for sloths in Panama.

The next Central American destination on my country wishlist is Guatemala.

In addition to being a pretty safe country, it has the Mayan ruins of Tikal, volcanoes, lagoons, and vibrant cities. Plus, I’ll go anywhere that allows me to practice speaking Spanish!

9 Greece

Few European countries can match the number of historic attractions that Greece has. I’ll be going off the beaten path to see some small towns before heading to some of the popular beaches.

I’ll most certainly be hitting up the famous tourist spots in Athens as well, including the Parthenon, the Acropolis, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

There’s nothing better than a country that has both man-made attractions and natural beauty. With its ancient structures and world-class beaches, Greece fits both categories.

I will definitely want to see the landscapes and beaches of Santorini and Mykonos as well.

10 Germany

With its museums, art, and vibrant nightlife, Berlin is one of the cultural capitals of the world. History is everywhere, from the Berlin Wall Memorial to Checkpoint Charlie.

Although my trip to Germany will definitely be Berlin-focused, Munich, Hamburg, and Dusseldorf would be great to visit if I have time. There’s so much to see, and fortunately getting around the country is easy.

Countries On My Original Wishlist That I’ve Since Visited

Since this article was first published, I’ve made it to a few of the countries on my wishlist! I’m keeping them listed below, along with my thoughts and expectations that I posted before visiting.


tanzania safari wildlife

Since this post was published, I took a long-awaited overland African safari through multiple countries, including Tanzania!

There was such a wide variety of activities there, from the island fun of Zanzibar (and Freddie Mercury’s birth house) to the epic heights of Mount Kilimanjaro to the “big five” wildlife sightings in the Serengeti.

I didn’t have enough time to summit Kilimanjaro, but just seeing the mountain was a cool experience.


The appeal of Belgium goes way beyond waffles, chocolate, and craft beers, although I will absolutely enjoy those delights while I’m in the country.

Belgium has sites that aren’t found in most places, like preserved trenches from World War I at Ypres and the stunning architecture of Grand Place in Antwerp.

When I return, I will probably try to visit Belgium in August to coincide with the annual Pukkelpop music festival.

I visited Belgium as well after publishing this article. My main stop was the Atomium, the futuristic attraction in Brussels.


england travel wish list vacation

This one’s a no-brainer. Most Americans who travel to Europe will spend some time in London at some point, and with good reason.

I imagined it would be much like visiting Canada — while the language is the same, the culture and history have some notable differences.

As a Beatles nut, I need to visit Abbey Road and every other location of note in Beatles lore, in addition to the typical tourist spots like Big Ben and Stonehenge.

I visited England on my way home from Africa, and put together a guide for what to do on a layover at Heathrow Airport in London.

Unlike single-car American road trips, most visits to Europe will require traveling via trains, buses, and planes. Getting around is not difficult with some basic research about public transit and the train system!

Other Spots on My Country Wishlist

If I could expand this travel wishlist, I’d add a lot more Asian countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. In South America, I still haven’t made it to Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, or Chile.

And elsewhere around the world, I’d be curious to visit Croatia, Portugal, Norway, Uganda, Madagascar, and New Zealand.

Those are the places I can’t wait to visit. Which countries are on your vacation travel wishlist?

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