10 Bucket-List Trips for Best Friends of Any Age

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The bond between best friends is like nothing else. So it makes sense that you and your PIC would be on the same page for vacation, too. A BFF who’s always down to pack a bag and jet off somewhere awesome? Well, that’s the best kind of bestie. Whether you’re more into a chill seaside getaway or up-all-night antics weekend rampages.

Ready to plan your next escape or need some inspo for a future trip? Bookmark these bucket-list destinations—from party islands and game reserves to wine country towns and culture-rich cities—that are perfect for dynamic duos. 

10 Trips for Dynamic Duos at a Glance

10 No-Passport-Required Destinations That Feel Like You’re Abroad

Exterior of a French chateaux at dusk with purple skies.

Best for Wine Tasting

1. Bordeaux, France

Nestled on the Garonne River in southwestern France, Bordeaux is arguably the most famous wine capital in the world. What’s not up for debate? That incomparable quality of the vin produced in this legendary French viticulture region. To the surprise of absolutely no one, tourist pursuits mainly center around swirling and sipping. Pals who favor bold reds, in particular, will find a plentiful supply of vineyards to visit. Accommodations range from stylish five-star hotels in the city to grand châteaux set on enchanting vine-covered estates in the country. Did we mention the many Michelin-starred restaurants, including Racines by Daniel Gallacher and Le Pavillon des Boulevards

A cobblestone path flanked by turquoise railings covered with bright potted flowers.
Nik Wheeler/Getty Images

Best for Free Spirits

2. Careyes, Mexico

An enclave for artists and free spirits since the ‘60s, the vibrant bohemian community of Careyes on the Pacific coast of Mexico is a magnet for those who share a passion for music, wellness and high-vibration pursuits. Colorful villas with bougainvillea-draped balconies face the and sea. Talented practitioners host sound healing sessions in La Copa del Sol. How special would it be to do a mud bath ceremony with your bestie on the gorgeous beach? There’s also visiting yoga instructor program, an art gallery tied to the Careyes Foundation and an art festival that many liken to a more intimate Burning Man called Ondalinda

Japanese street food for sale in the forefront of a market.
Clare Lawrence/Getty Images

Best for Foodies

3. Osaka, Japan

Yes, it’s a long-haul flight from the U.S., but this article is about bucket-list trips and what’s more unforgettable and delicious than eating your way through the city known as the Kitchen of Japan? A shining star in the culinary world within the country and globally, Osaka boasts an endless array of palate-pleasing dining options—from upscale Michelin three-starred restaurants and famous omakase joints to unagi counters and stalls that sling traditional Japanese street food like takoyaki. Booking one of the club rooms at the InterContinental Osaka provides access to the swish lounge with complimentary breakfast, snacks and top-shelf booze.

best friend trips mykonos

Best for Partiers

4. Mykonos, Greece

The sun-splashed Greek island of Mykonos has become a hotspot for jet setters looking to let loose all day and night. Renowned for its revelrous atmosphere, the liveliest of the Cycles group brims with beach clubs, restaurants that turn into full-blown parties after the plates are cleared and huge clubs that blast tunes until the wee hours of the morning. In between dancing on tables, catching rays with a glass of crisp rosé in hand and toasting to the greatest trip ever, pairs of pals can splash in the sparkling Aegean Sea and sleep it off at one of the many stylish hotels around town. 

Two lions cross a road in front of a jeep on safari
Londolozi Images/Mint Images/Getty Images

Best for Wildlife Viewing

5. South Africa

Doing a once-in-a-lifetime safari in South Africa is one of the most epic vacations on the planet. Who better to bring along on this over-the-top amazing journey than your bestie? The largest and most popular safari destination in the country, the Greater Kruger National Park attracts animal-lovers with the promise of seeing Big Five game (lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and buffalo), plus giraffes, hippos, zebra, hundreds of different species of birds and reptiles and many other wild, beautiful creatures. The stylish safari lodges—basically glamping setups with a major emphasis on the glam—are the ideal spot to unwind.

best friend trips maldives
Matteo Colombo/Getty Imagse

Best for the Ultimate Beach Bums

6. Maldives

Yes, the Maldives tops of the list of the ultimate luxury honeymoon destinations, but you definitely don’t need to have a romantic partner to visit this dreamy Indian Ocean island nation. Your bestie who’s been there through all the ups and downs def feels like the right person to take on a heavenly beach holiday to a place that’s truly a tropical paradise. Start the day with a cup of coffee on the private deck of your overwater bungalow above the waves, sip cocktails by the pool, stroll the powdery white sand beaches and snorkel in the crystal-clear turquoise tides.

best friend trips scottsdale

Best for Spa Lovers

7. Scottsdale, Arizona

Where to stay: Modern Home with Pool (from $300/night), The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale (from $390/night), Canyon Rock Resort (from $1,326/night)

With more spas per capita than any other city in the United States, Scottsdale is a no-brainer for a weekend of massages, facials, mud wraps and giggling in the sauna with your BFF. It has a wealth of wellness experiences beyond just pure pampering. Why not try a sound bath or desert meditation? There are also some really great restaurants. Of course, we wouldn’t fault you for going the room service route. Getting cozy in fluffy robes, sipping bubbly and watching the sunset from the comfort of your room at a ritzy resort just sounds utterly blissful. 

Two monks and one backpacker laugh on a footbridge.
Go Ahead Tours

Best Adventure

8. Trans Bhutan Trail

Want to get away…like really get away with your bestie? Bhutan is far, remote and logistically requires quite a bit of effort to visit. (Sidenote: you’re better off planning the whole thing through a tour operator that specializes in tailor-made trips like this 13-day adventure through the country from Go Ahead Tours. All of these factors have helped shield the Buddhist kingdom on the eastern edge of the Himalayas from the plight of over-tourism and preserved its unique culture. It’s a special, peaceful place where spiritual awakening and off-the-grid adventure coexist. On the itinerary? Hike through serene hillsides (this trip includes seven hikes), forested valleys and tackle dramatic mountain peaks and journey to historic monasteries and fortresses. When you're done, you'll have better understanding for why Bhutan is considered the happiest place on earth.

best friend trips nyc
SolStock/Getty Images

Best City Break

9. New York City, New York

The Big Apple is always a convincing choice for best friends keen to experience all the excitement of the greatest city on earth (not that we’re biased or anything). Score tickets to a Broadway show. See fascinating exhibitions at world-class museums. Hungry? You’ve come to the right place. Snag a table at some of the hottest new restaurants or return to long-time classics. Go for a stroll through Central Park or meander along the Hudson River Waterfront Greenway. For a stylish stay in the middle of everything, check into The James New York - NoMad. Grab a drink at the speakeasy cocktail lounge and pick up some sleep-promoting products from the “insomnia cart.”

best friend trips joshua tree
Plum Guide

Searching for a trip that’s guaranteed to reinvigorate your soul and strength those bestie bonds even further? The perfect mix of adventure and relaxation surrounded by the jaw-dropping beauty of the desert, Joshua Tree National Park feels like its own world. There are so many ways to experience the otherworldly landscape. Duos can hit the trails (just don’t forget hiking boots and water), do a rugged 4x4 off-road tour or even join a half-day group rock climbing expedition. It’s also an unparalleled destination for stargazing. Roll out a blanket and peer up at the wonder of the cosmos above.

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Lindsay Cohn is a travel writer and serial trip planner who has visited 46 countries across six continents (and counting). When not globetrotting, she’s most likely either doing...