12 Manchots Royaux

Once in a lifetime trips: 10 journeys you should take

To the point Here are 10 once-in-a-lifetime trips to the most incredible places that will move and change you in many ways.

A Once-in-a-lifetime trip means going somewhere that leaves you deeply moved after visiting it. It could be because you are amazed by its grandeur or uniqueness. Usually, these remarkable once-in-a-lifetime trips are extraordinary places that can be difficult to access. These journeys will often bring you to remote or isolated locations.

For example, a cruise in the Galapagos Islands will allow you to spot exotic and fascinating wildlife. At the same time, a voyage to the seventh continent, Antarctica, will offer the chance to see stunning landscapes and witness the immenseness of the polar regions.

Here is our list of once-in-a-lifetime trips you should take in your life.

22 Geant
22 Geant

Once in a lifetime trip - Japan and the Sakura

A trip to Japan is impressive in itself; there are so many great things to experience in Japan, from the delicious food to the kindness of the people. However, it seems like magic is in the air during cherry blossom season or Sakura season. Being in Japan throughout this period is a beautiful feeling and a once-in-a-lifetime trip you will remember.

The whole country is filled with these delicate pink and white flowers from mid-March to early May; the cherry blossoms bloom first in the south and the season in the Tokyo Metropolitan area is about from March 21st to April 7th. Be wary of weather as strong winds can blow all the leaves off and end the season more abruptly.


There are many ways to experience this, from admiring iconic landscapes in their flowery décor or simply having a picnic with your loved ones under the trees in a park. Japanese people call this hanami which literally means ‘’to watch the flowers“.

Tokyo’s Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Kyoto’s Philosopher’s Walk and Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa are the most famous spots for Sakura viewing in Japan. The latter is my favourite as it is gorgeous, less crowded and admission is free during the Sakura season.

Kenroku-en, Kanazawa
Pique Nique A Shinjuku Gyoen
Hanami picnic at Shinjuku Gyoen

You can find a complete guide on how to get to Japan on points here:

Once in a lifetime trip - Iceland and the northern lights

Iceland is known for its beautiful landscapes that seem out of this world. There are activities you can do in Iceland that are very unique such as scuba diving between two continents or walking on an active volcano. In addition, its location near the Arctic Circle makes it one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.

Going to Iceland to witness the Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime trip and experience. Gazing at the dancing lights and dazzling colours in the skies is spectacular.

The prime time to spot the Northern Lights is during the winter months, from September to April.

Aurora 1185464 1920
Aurora Borealis

Once in a lifetime trip - Egypt and the Pyramids of Gizeh

Ancient Egypt is among the various lists of cradles of civilization; from what we know, the area has an enormous amount of history. There are so many things to see in Egypt, and it’s a destination for all ages.

Indeed, the Pyramids of Gizeh will surprise you with their grandeur. They were built as tombs for the pharaohs of the time and are the last standing monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Sphinx et Pyramide
Sphinx et Pyramide

The Pyramids of Gizeh are located just outside the city of Cairo and visiting them is a once-in-a-lifetime trip you will remember. There are also many ways to make it even more memorable such as gazing at them on camelback or from your room at Marriott Mena House, a 5-star hotel with stunning views of the pyramids you can book with points or with your annual free night award certificate.

Rates start around 20,000 points for a garden view room; if you have a status with Marriott, you may get upgraded to a premium room with a view of the pyramids!

Pyramid View Room Upgrade
Pyramid View Room Upgrade

You can find a complete guide on how to get to Egypt on points here:

Once in a lifetime trip - Australia and the Great Barrier Reef

Located on the east coast of Queensland in Australia, going snorkelling or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef is a once-in-a-lifetime trip you should do. This massive coral reef covers a humongous area and harbours an enormous quantity of marine life.

You can choose a day trip or longer live-aboard excursions to discover this place through and out.

There is also the possibility to admire this beautiful wonder without getting wet with the many scenic flights you can take over the reef.

Grande Barrière de Corail

You can find a complete guide on how to travel to Australia on points here:

Once in a lifetime trip - The Maldives and the Overwater Villas

Maybe I shouldn’t generalize this as it’s not everyone who seeks luxury but staying on an overwater villa over simmering turquoise water is a once-in-a-lifetime trip you should experience.

It’s not about the 5-star resort but more about the feeling of being secluded on your little island, in paradise, with stunning views everywhere you look. Then, when you wake up, you can slide the patio door open to have your morning coffee on your deck while spotting the fish in the crystal-clear water underneath. It’s one of those ‘’oh my god“ moments I never knew I needed.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Spa Deck
Le Meridien Maldives Resort Spa Deck

The sunsets are mesmerizing, and it’s one of the best places to experience such a sight. There are also so many properties in the Maldives to offer opportunities to stay on overwater villas with points which make this usually expensive experience affordable:

Once in a lifetime trip - Italy and the Cinque Terre

In terms of charming, picturesque European towns, a visit to Cinque Terre is set to be a memorable journey. Specifically, walking the trail between the five villages is a once-in-a-lifetime trip you should take.

You will be rewarded will stunning views of the sea and gorgeous villages. The Italian culture is also a vibrant one with delicious food and a rich history; try the pesto and the fish in the region; it’s incredible.

Cinque Terre 2

You can find a complete guide on how to get to Italy on points here:

Once in a lifetime trip - Africa and Safaris

There are many places in Africa where you can embark on a safari to spot the Big Five, such as Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. There, you can witness some of the world’s most incredible animals in their natural habitat. Going on a safari in Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and the landscapes are marvellous.

While it seems like an expensive holiday, there are different ways to reduce the cost, simply by doing it yourself. Indeed, some places are easier to maneuver for this once-in-a-lifetime trip, such as South Africa, where you can rent a car and do your own game drive.

Safari In Africa Maasai Serengeti Ngorongoro 3739
Safari In Africa Serengeti Landscape

You can find a complete guide on how to plan a safari in Africa on points here:

Once in a lifetime trip - Mount Everest

Earth’s highest point, Mount Everest, has always been interesting because it sounds so unreachable. While climbing to the top of the world is something quite dangerous, travelling to the Himalayas to gaze upon Mount Everest from its base camp is a once-in-a-lifetime trip you should take.

There are two base camps you can go to to see the best views of the massif: one is in Nepal and one is in Tibet. The trek requires a 7–10 days commitment, while the latter can be accessed by car and bus. Even though the Tibetan base camp seems easier to reach as you don’t have to exercise much, it is located very remotely in Tibet, where travel logistics can be mind-boggling sometimes.

Tibet - Campement
Tibet - Campement

You can find a complete guide on how to journey to Tibet on points here:

Once in a lifetime trip - The Galapagos Islands

My best memory of my cruise around the Galapagos Islands was the magnificent landscapes and beaches filled with biodiversity. The Galapagos are home to so many unique animals and species, including giant tortoises, that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

You could see masses of wildlife and very little human presence left and right.

Galapagos - Tortues géantes
Galapagos - Close up

You can find a complete guide on how to get to the Galapagos Islands on points here:

Once in a lifetime trip - Antarctica

Polar expeditions, especially to Antarctica, are one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips you should take because it’s an opportunity to discover one of the most remote and isolated locations on the planet.

Antarctica is a continent almost completely covered in ice. Therefore, the landscapes are stunning and unique with all the glaciers, icebergs, snow, etc. In addition, it is home to a wide array of animals, such as penguins, seals, whales and birds. It is fascinating how these animals call Antarctica home, as it is the coldest, windiest and driest place on Earth.

21 Sup
Stand up paddle boarding in Antarctica

You can find a complete guide on how to get to Antarctica on points here:

Bottom Line

The list of once-in-a-lifetime trips you should take doesn’t end here, as it will vary with your preferences. But the destinations mentioned here are spectacular, unique and unforgettable.

Whether you are an adventure seeker or simply someone who loves to see and taste new things, you should consider one of these places. While they may seem remote and expensive, there’s always a way to explore the planet at a fraction of the cost with points.

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I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

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