For many people, retirement is the ideal time to explore the world. With no time card to punch, you can travel where you want for as long as you want — and as long as your budget allows. Best of all, you may be able to skip the crowds and score some impressive deals by avoiding the most popular spots during the high season.

When planning your bucket list trips, think big. Consider the destinations, events, and historic sites you’ve always wanted to see. If you get stuck along the way, check out this list of bucket list trips that turn your vacation into an unforgettable experience.

1. Explore Your Family Roots

Tracing your roots is a fun way to learn about your family’s past, so why not explore your ancestral hometowns? Book a heritage tour in the towns where your ancestors lived. While you’re there, you can check out the local scene and schedule appointments to research town records or meet with distant relatives.

2. Go Island Hopping

There’s a reason many people envision expanses of white sand, palm trees, and blue water when they think of vacation. The laid-back island lifestyle is synonymous with relaxation. Instead of staying in one spot, go island hopping to explore the nuances of island life. Consider these top archipelagos: the British Virgin Islands, Canary Islands, Faroe Islands, Florida Keys, and Gili Islands.

3. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway

Stretching from California to Washington, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most scenic roads in the United States. You get more than 1,600 miles of spectacular views of the ocean, coastline, and mountains. Along the way, you can stop in charming seaside towns to explore parks, beaches, and local hot spots.

4. Discover the Country’s National Parks

The National Park System includes more than 400 parks across the United States. A tour of the nation’s most scenic and ecologically unique sites will take you from the rainforest to summits and from the sea to a swamp. Start with the parks closest to you, or plan your visit to top destinations when park attendance is low so you can savor the experience without fighting the crowds.

5. Take a Walk on the Wild Side

If adventure calls, answer it with a trip to Australia or Africa. These continents offer epic adventures and encounters with animals you won’t find anywhere else. Plan a safari in the bush of Botswana. Observe the Great Migration in Tanzania as gazelles, zebras, and wildebeests cross the Serengeti. Explore the world’s oldest rainforest in Daintree National Park.

Retirement is a wonderful time for the ultimate vacation experience. There’s no greater time than the present to start thinking and planning your bucket list trips.

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