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8 Exotic bucket list travel ideas — and how much they really cost

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

Whether you're seriously shopping for a vacation or if you just prefer to dream, consider adding one of these itinerary items to your travel bucket list.

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think
Image: John Seaton Callahan/Getty Images, Graphic by Terese Condella/Sheknows

Book a tree house

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

Ever since my days of watching The Swiss Family Robinson, I've wanted to live in a tree house. Now you can indulge your inner child with a tree house hotel, which you can find in many destinations all over the world. If you're staying stateside, check out this Oregon-based "treesort" for a rate that is comparable to many hotels. (Out 'n' About Treehouse Treesort, $120 and up per night)

Fly a hot air balloon

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

Headed to the American southwest? Take a peaceful flight over deserts and forests by hopping in the basket of a serene hot air balloon. You can book your 3.5 hour sunrise flight for a budget-friendly $149 per person. (Rainbow Ryders, $149 and up)

Imbibe and ride

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

Drinking and driving is bad, but a wine tour by bicycle is decidedly good. Roam the delicious landscapes of wine countries — and work off your wine calories — by taking your next wine tour on a bicycle. Consider a trip to New Zealand, for instance, where such an experience is well under $100 per person. (Wine Tours by Bike, NZ$45 per adult)

Go zip lining

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

Grab a bird's-eye view of stunning landscapes by careening across trees and rivers on a zip line. Tour prices vary by destination, but the most expensive part of a zip line trip is typically the cost of getting there. Check out one of the longest zip line tours in the world in nearby Puerto Rico for a zippy adventure. (Toro Verde Ecological Adventure Park, $65-100)

Stay in a castle

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

Even if heights aren't your thing, you can still have a wild itinerary. Keep your trip royal and romantic with an overnight stay in a historic castle. For instance, you can book a themed room in an Irish castle for the same rate you'd pay at a luxury hotel. (Carberry Tower, £159 and up per night)

Raft through the mountains

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

There's no need to go on a Class 1 rafting trip with your Aunt Barb this summer, unless you absolutely want to. Book a semi-private journey through a multi-camp river rafting trip — like this one that snakes through Patagonia in Chile — that covers a remote stretch of river instead. Just expect to pay handsomely for the honor. (Earth River Expeditions, $4,300 per person)

Float in a bungalow

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

If you've ever seen an over-water bungalow, you have surely added it to your bucket list. Surprisingly, these adventurous retreats are more affordable than you think — depending on where you're headed. Time your next visit to Malaysia during a low season, for instance, and you'll pay less per night than you would for a hotel. (Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort, $130-160 per night)

Walk across the sky

Incredible travel ideas you might be able to afford sooner than you think

Sky walks are a real thing and they're perhaps more thrilling than a zip line adventure since they take longer to complete. Check out a suspension bridge or sky walk on your next family camping trip to Canada for spectacular and heart-pounding views. (Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, $33 per person)

Which surprising adventure are you most likely to try on your next vacation?

This post was brought to you by Crocs.

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