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Most Wanted: Millennials' Favorite Travel Experiences

From Pizza-Making in Italy to Zip Lining in Costa Rica

It’s hard to imagine what runs through the minds of millennials. This group of 18 to 35 year olds range from college students to professional gamers to innovative entrepreneurs; so, it’s really hard to pinpoint what sparks their interests and passion for travel. 

Well, you don’t have to wonder any longer. Contiki, a global tour operator that specializes in travel experiences for young travelers, polled over 5,000 millennials around the world to create a top 20 bucket list of travel experiences for 2017. And you might be surprised which travel experiences made the top 5 on this list. Check out the picks and see how they compare to your must-do travel agenda this year.

5. Learn How to Make Pizza in Italy

OK, let’s be honest! When most Americans think about pizza, it’s usually in the context of ordering from Dominos or sitting down for a deep-dish pizza at a local Italian restaurant. But it looks like millennials want to go the extra mile… or miles… to learn how to make pizza from the pros in Italy. Dozens of cooking schools offer classes that teach eager pupils the traditional art to making pizza such as Mama Isa’s Cooking School in Venice. It’s a timeless skill you can acquire, and then honestly say, you learned from the best.

Learn how to make pizza from the pros. Let a Vacation expert help you plan your trip to Italy.
Authentic Pizza-Making: Millennials want to hone their pizza-making skills with the pros in Italy.

4. Chill Out on the Beach in Byron Bay, Australia

If you’re planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand, you definitely don’t want to miss out on some beach time in Oz. Yes, we all know about Bondi Beach, but apparently among millennials, Byron Bay is the spot to go! Located along the far-northeastern corner of New South Wales, this beach is a great spot to go surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling and whale watching. Just try to avoid visiting Byron Beach during schoolies week, when high-school graduates head to the beach after final exams in late November and early December. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

3. Walk the Great Wall of China

At the No. 3 spot, a majority of millennials surveyed believed that a trip to walk the Great Wall of China was a worthwhile experience. Once used to protect China’s empires against raids and invasions, throughout history, the Wall has also been used to help with border control and trade regulation. And seriously, if you want to take a stroll along the historic brick trail, just make sure you pack your good walking shoes. It’s 5,500 miles from Hushan (Liaoning) to Jiayuguan Pass (Gansu). It’s the perfect way work in those extra steps and keep your Fitbit competition at bay while you’re traveling.

Plan a trip to see the Great Wall of China with help from a Vacation expert.
Walk the Wall: Don't forget to take your smartphone to capture those Instagram-worthy moments for this millennial favorite.

2. See the Great Pyramids of Giza

Millennial or not, travelers of all ages will enjoy a trip to see the awe-inspiring Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. The largest pyramid, the resting place for the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, is just one of many reasons why this is one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the only one to remain largely intact. But the real crowd pleaser is the entire Giza pyramid complex which includes the Great Pyramids, the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers’ village and an industrial complex – all located west of the Nile river and about 8 miles southwest of Cairo.

1. Bathe in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Now this is what I’m talking about! At the top spot, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is the travel experience at the top of most millennials’ wander list. I mean who wouldn’t want to take the plunge and visit Iceland’s most visited attraction, located in a lava field in Grindelia. This geothermal spa includes awesome amenities, including a mud mask provided at the Silica Bar located in the middle of the lagoon, a dip in the waterfall to work wonders on your sore shoulders and stiff muscles, and the Lagoon Bar will keep your glass filled with your favor cocktail without you leaving the water. And if planned a few months in advance, you might be able to score roundtrip airfare from the U.S. for $500 or less. We’re sure this will be a unique spa experience millennials will never forget.

Plan a relaxing experience at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland with help from a Vacation travel agent.
Chill-Lax in the Lagoon: No surprise why Iceland's Blue Lagoon was at the top of the list. A mud mask and a cocktail served without leaving the water... simply amazeballs! 

More Honorable Millennial Mentions

In case you’re wondering… other travel experiences that made the list of top 20 travel experiences includes take a road trip down Route 66, float in a gondola through the canals in Venice, kiss someone at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, watch the sunrise over Ayers Rock in Australia and go on a picnic in the French countryside. We’re kind of impartial to trying all the gelato in Rome (No. 16) and cuddling with a koala in Queensland (No. 18). All of these sound like stellar vacation ideas. Which ones have sparked ideas for your next vacay?