Even as proper vacations grow increasingly scarce, we at Budget Travel believe there's no time like the present to plan one of those bucket-list adventures that promise to stay with you for a lifetime. Now that's an investment with return.
We've dedicated this entire issue (BT's 100th!) to giving you all the detailed, practical information—along with inspiration—you'll need to, yes, make your own dream trip come true, whether it's touring the Taj Mahal under the light of a full moon, exploring an under-the-radar slice of remote Africa, or cruising a can't-miss stretch of an iconic American highway.
Take a Moment at the Taj Mahal
You may have seen the Taj Mahal in thousands of pictures, but nothing can prepare you for standing in front of this vision of grace, calm, and order.
Make a Cultural Pilgrimage
Most travelers are willing to go that extra mile to see something remarkable. But art and architecture enthusiasts are in their own league. Just for them: four of-the-moment, if rarefied, cultural destinations well worth the legwork.
Rent an Italian Villa
A 15th-century Tuscan farmhouse to call your own—for $39 per person a night.
Wow the Kids
Age-appropriate adventures to tick off your family's life list.
Meet the Moai of Easter Island
Rows of these mysterious giant stone heads, gazing out to sea, inspire travelers to venture to this remote, magical island in the South Pacific.
Drive a Dreamy Route
We pinpoint the best portion and must-see stops along three of the country's most famous roads.
Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
The reward for trekking through the Peruvian Andes comes on day four, when you see the famed Incan ruins spread below, bathed in the first rays of sunlight.
Summit a Mountain
These epic peaks are practically taunting you. Here's how even a novice can get the upper hand.
Conquer the Great Wall of China
It's not a question of whether to go, but which part to tackle. Follow our lead.
See the Pyramids
A sanity-saving plan of action for taking in the earth's most famous (and eternally mobbed) monuments.
Go to Cooking School in Italy
Two sisters based in Tuscany teach their students valuable lessons—beyond making gnocchi from scratch, stuffing tomatoes, and toasting like an Italian.
Stop and Smell the Cherry Blossoms
Cherry trees explode to life across Japan in spring, and it's a surreally hushed experience to stroll along a carpet of petals, then spread out on a blanket of blooms.
Plant Your Flag in a Faraway Place
The sleepy coastal towns of northern Mozambique have old-world charms and near-deserted beaches that remind travelers of the joy of discovery.
Take an Affordable Safari
With hundreds of camps spread across more than a dozen countries, the options can seem as vast and open-ended as the African savanna. Let us be your guide.
Join the World's Best Parties
A carouser's guide to seven annual celebrations worth a haul.