Once in a lifetime holidays – Blow the bucket list budget

If you’re going to blow the budget you need to make sure you do it right! We’re talking once-in-a lifetime, bucket- list- worthy escapes, which all merit the price tag.

Each and every one of our Top 10 are sensational for a reason – whether an uber adventure, barefoot tropical paradise, seductively luxurious resort or an unparalleled wildlife experience supporting the local community – here are the F&P Travel team’s winners.


Surrounded by 500 acres of rainforest whilst overlooking a stretch of paradisiacal beach, this place feels like a complete dream. Imagine the most turquoise of waters, wild horses galloping across the beaches, and little thatched Sumbanese style villas to call home. This island castaway offers unimaginable surfing, kitesurfing, diving and snorkelling as well as horse riding on another level. And what’s more, we love that guests staying here directly help the local community supporting Malaria clinics, water purification and English lessons.

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Those looking for experiential travel of biblical proportions, off the beaten track Deplar Farm in Iceland is an absolute must. Whether you want to scuba dive between tectonic plates, heli-ski, surf empty waves, go cross-country skiing, sea kayaking, horse riding, dog sledding, salmon fishing or go in search of the Northern Light, your personal Experience Manager will be on hand to plan you an activity packed stay of your dreams.

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An exclusive private island eco-resort with a selection of luxury hideaways dotted around the island – from bijou one-bedroom tented casitas to four-bedroom family villas – this place is all about the outdoors. Although luxury this is not about the glitz and glam but days spent exploring this magical private archipelago whether on yachts, catamarans, paddle boarding or scuba diving.  The big five marine safari here is just breath taking –  humpback whales, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, sea turtles and manta rays all on the list. Holly and Gemma are staying here next week so will be on the end of the phone on return for any questions!

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On the shores of Lake Tanganyika, accessible only by boat, you’ll find six wooden thatched, open fronted bandas nestled in the forest. For anyone who loves adventure and remote living this has to be one of the best camps in Africa. A stay here offers you one of the most rewarding and moving wildlife experiences meeting chimpanzees up close. The forest is also home to the red colobus monkey, leopard, and a myriad of birds and butterflies, and you might even spot the odd hippo in the lake.

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The feeling of isolation and the vastness of the Namib Desert, coupled with the thrill of flying over one of the world’s most remote regions, makes this safari a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Accompanied by expert pilots and naturalists, this is an exclusive opportunity to travel by light aircraft across spectacular landscapes including towering sand dunes, dramatic shipwrecks scattered along the shoreline and a seemingly endless stark and staggering beauty. The journey includes remote and highly exclusive campsites along the way.

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A super-duper luxurious – and the largest – private game reserve in the country located in the Kalahari Desert with iconic ochre dunes and the Korannaberg mountains in the distance, Tswalu offers not only incredible safaris but a strong focus on conservation and sustainability. From savannahs to dunes, the landscape is truly spectacular and also home to rare wildlife such as black-maned lions, pangolins, and (our very fave) meerkats. We love that each and every guest is guaranteed their own private safari vehicle and the three tented camps will all surpass your wildest dreams.

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Another of our very favourite places which quite frankly should be on everyone’s bucket list.  Located in Botswana’s stunning Makgadikgadi Pans this iconic tented camp combines vintage 1940s-style colonial glamour with a modern twist, and with just nine ensuite tents with private plunge pools it feels intimate and exclusive. Set amidst one of the world’s largest salt flats the wildlife here is out of this world. From flamingos to cranes, big predators following the migratory route of zebra and wildebeest and the Kalahari Black Maned Lion to the many elusive species found nowhere else in the world, game drives are quite exceptional.

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Here is all about slow living; soaking up the arts, and the idyllic charm of the Provençal countryside whilst sampling French wines and dining on delicious local cuisine.  Sophisticated French luxury at its very best (they always do get it just right).  Nestled in the heart of Provence on a stunning 600 acre estate, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, and full of world class art (think Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Renzo Piano).  Villa Coste also boasts a 15-metre outdoor pool and Japanese onsen bath at the serenely minimalist spa.

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A tropical paradise with over 200 miles of stunning palm-fringed coastline, Mauritius has forever been top pick for dreamy white sands and crystal clear waters. But Maradiva takes it to a new level with its incredible positioning on a long stretch of stunning beach with its spectacular views of Le Morne Mountain. 65 villas with pools all offer peaceful hideaways from the world, and we love the fact that everything is totally bespoke and personalised to each guest. Maradiva Spa is a destination in itself and  an absolute must especially the incredible Ayurvedic doctor.

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Luxurious lakeside living at its very best, Passalacqua is an ideal spot for slowing down and unwinding in a peaceful setting, lazing by the hotel pool, strolling by the lake or launching off by boat from its private jetty. With only 24 rooms and suites, Passalacqua is intimate in feel and with immaculate attention to detail to capture the aristocratic living of past with hand-painted silk wallpaper, Murano glass chandeliers, sumptuous Persian rugs and decadent gilded mirrors. It really is an absolute treasure to behold.

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