101 Wild Bucketlist Items Before You Die

How to Stand on the International Dateline with One Foot in Tomorrow!

Ready to find out how to stand on the International Date Line? It’s an imaginary line which runs from the North Pole to the South Pole, mostly through the Pacific Ocean and was originally at 180 degree longitude (the meridian), but it deviates quite a bit. It’s predominantly a straight line, except for deviations to circumnavigate countries and islands (ensuring some inhabitants aren’t a day ahead of their next door neighbours). Standing on it tickles that adventurous bucketlist area within every travellers brain- in fact the internation dateline bucketlist goal is an ultimate travel challenge.

Ways of standing on the International Date Line

Visit a bemused travel agent and ask this question- he will immediately begin dialling furiously, receiving a variety of brush offs from those who answer. I’d like to apologise to the tour agents of Melbourne who had to put up with me. Google comes up with very little, suggesting this isn’t a mission many have attempted or blogged about before- points for originality! So let’s see if we can crack the International Date Line bucketlist idea.

1) The Old Route. Time was, you could stand on a beautiful Pacific island amongst the palm trees and know you were on the date line- in fact it was a claim to fame. Check out this tourist taking one of millions of pics on Fiji’s Taveuni island which the line previously bisected. Due to globalisation and the mega inconvenience of swapping the date on your iPhone every time you cross the island, they’ve now shifted the line so that it doesn’t cross any land mass. Things just got 200% more challenging.

dateline fiji taveuni today yesterday tourism travel standing international line

Why oh why did they have to move the line?!

Image source- Paul Lenz @Wikimedia Creative Commons

2) Ferry Among the Islands. The International Date Line runs between American Samoa and Independent Samoa. So when taking the (8 hours or so, 50 AUD) trip on the weekly ferry between Apia and Pago-Pago you will cross it and could toss some champagne over yourself in celebration as half your body passes into the future- watch as the bemused island hoppers’jaws drop. Or you could easily fly between airports in Samoa and American Samoa which is an immensely short trip. Doing this from Victoria, Australia requires a stopover of 9 hrs in Auckland and a highly dodgy prop plane around the Samoa area. I really feel edgy about that prop plane.

ferry apia samoa timetable travel stand international dateline bucketlist goal

3) Cruises. By far the priciest option, but depending on where your starting point may be, you could glide smoothly across the line in luxury between ports. Many liners even have a short celebration of the occasion. Plug ‘dateline crossing cruise’ into Google and you’ll be hit with a selection. Take a peek at the International Date Line map below and you’ll see it coincides with a number of gorgeous  tropical islands you might like to see.

fiji intertnational date line stand bucketlist map goal line travel tourism

4) Chartering a Boat. You can head to Taveuni (in the Fijian Islands, north of Australia) and charter a boat to let you straddle international time differences and stand on the Date Line. This might sound harder than it is, you only need to persuade a captain to take you a short distance east and you’ll be in luck. A good place to start might be a yacht on boatbookings.com.

International Date Line Bucketlist Goal Chartering Yacht

You can also walk to the International Date Line if you are Antarctica- the universal date line still runs through land at that point. But, in all honesty, my biased nature suggests that the warmer approach is likely to be more popular in this guide.

So do you have any better ideas for how to stand on the International Date Line? Which method would you choose? Drop a comment down below. Crossing the International Date Line in style remains one of my top travel goals to achieve in life, and I’d rather like to know what happens when you cross it.

How to Stand on the International Date Line with one foot in tomorrow!

If you like it then you shoulda put a pin on it!


If you like somewhat nuts bucketlist goals you might like my cheeky attempt at reaching the newspaper front page!

13 Comments

  1. Laura Nalin

    December 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Very cool! I live in New Zealand and would love to see this. Planning on going to Samoa while I’m over here!

    1. Danni Lawson

      February 17, 2017 at 3:12 am

      If you go I would love to hear about it! That would be an epic trip!

  2. Stephanie

    December 28, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I flew over the dateline once on Christmas. It was kind of cool and kind of sad. Christmas Day just vanishes into thin air. I never realized how many islands are in the Pacific. This is definitely a cool idea though. I was just talking to my grandma’s friends about the international dateline. It’s a fun trip for all ages!

  3. Hra

    December 28, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I go for the third choice!! Although its more priciest, i love these luxury things!! Great post and useful as always ! Thanks for sharing with us

  4. Nicki

    December 28, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    This is neat. I didn’t know there was a way to actually do this. Digging that sign though.

  5. Megan Jerrard

    December 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    This is amazing, thanks for the tip! I’ve always loved taking photos stradling state or country borders, saying I was in two places at once. But the date line takes it to another level, being in the past and present … or present and future 😀 How fun!

  6. Cori

    December 29, 2016 at 2:40 am

    It’s funny to think about how abstract time is — and that you can simply shift where the “date” changes. I know a lot of boats will do little ceremonies when you cross, it sounds like fun.

  7. Gina

    December 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Going to the international date line is actually a bucket list thing? Cool! I would be more like the tourist on Fiji posing with the sign. Since I live in Korea and America is behind, I always tell everyone the future looks great to tickle my own funny bone.

    1. Danni Lawson

      March 29, 2017 at 5:11 am

      That’s a cute joke, haha!

  8. Hallie

    December 29, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve never really thought about trying to touch the line. I of course always note when we fly over it and know how many hours we are from it, but standing on it. Now that’s an adventure to undertake. That’s sort of hilarious about Fiji though. When did that get changed/updated to go around rather than through the island?

    1. Danni Lawson

      February 17, 2017 at 3:11 am

      Thanks for commenting! The most recent changes were in 2011 to split American Samoa and Samoa on opposite sides of the line, so it’s all quite recent that the changes have happened. I started my bucketlist when it was as easy as just heading to Taveuni to stand on the line, but it has become a bit harder since then!

  9. Paige Wunder

    December 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    What a fun idea! I’ve thought of this before but never googled it. I think I would close the old route!

  10. Tara

    December 30, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I don’t think I would go out of my way to do this, but it does sound fun – one foot on tomorrow, one foot on today! My brother, who is in the US Navy took part in some crazy ceremony on his ship the first time he went over the International Date Line. Can’t remember the specifics now, but it sounded like a fun tradition.

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