7 Steps to Creating Your Travel Bucket List

As we wind down this crazy year and with recent news of vaccines on the brink of approval we see hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. If the past is any indication of the future there will be a travel bounce back in 2021 and beyond and we want to help our clients get ready for it.  We think people are going to want to travel a little differently going forward – more about the Why rather than the Where. Bucket list travel planning is a good place to start to achieve the goal of more satisfying, experiential travel.  Here are some of our tips to help you get started.  As always, feel free to contact us for inspiration, help along the way, or just to talk about travel – it’s our favorite topic!  And when you have your lists done, please share with us – we’d love to see them.

1) Choose Your Method

There are a lot of ways to keep a bucket list ranging from a notebook, to a digital document, to even a jar full of notes. The important thing is that whatever you choose, you use. You will want to look at this on a regular basis so make sure it is something that will be easy for you to access.  Virtuoso’s Wanderlist is an awesome digital tool that’s free and easy to use.  Get started  by creating an account here.  Wanderlist helps you create wow-inducing, must do lists organized by location or purpose that you can easily share with your regular travel mates and your travel advisor.  If you prefer to keep your list on paper you can download a blank PDF Bucket List Form here.

Dream about future travel using Virtuoso Wanderlist

2) Make a List of Where You Have Been

Thinking about past vacations and what you liked (and didn’t like) is a great way to get started. If you’re traveling as a couple or a family this is even more important. You might want to share previous adventures with each other, or agree that exploring things that are completely new are the way to go. Either way, having this list will further the discussion. If you are a solo traveler, then this will help you determine what is really meaningful when it comes to your travel desires.

3) Next, List Your Destinations

This is the fun step. Use your imagination. At this point, don’t hold back due to time or financial concerns, just list all the places you have ever dreamed of. Where did you want to go when you were 6 years old? Or 10, or 16? Or maybe just last week? Of course, you should make sure you include the places that have always been on your wish list. Remember, this is not the time to hold back. If you need advice, this is a great time to contact us for guidance.

4) What Do you Want to Experience – What is Your Why?

Places are one thing. Experiences are another. Have you always wanted to go Northern Lights hunting? Or maybe an African Safari? Is it swimming with dolphins in Mexico that calls to you, or diving with sharks in South Africa? Does visiting the Smithsonian in DC call to you, or maybe hot air ballooning over the dessert Southwest? This is the step where you get to list all the things you’ve wanted to do. As a couple or family this can be a fun step of discovery. Just like with destinations, we can help by letting you know about some of the secrets that only travel insiders know about.

“Work is the time we wait between vacations” – Anon.

5) Put Things in Order

Your list is probably getting a little long at this point. Now is the time to apply some practical thinking. Look through your destinations list and highlight the 4 or 5 places that mean the most to you. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever see the others, but you do need to start somewhere. Then look through your experiences list. Are there any that fit one destination more than another? Add them to your list. Lastly, go through your list one more time to make sure you didn’t leave anything out. Once this is done, you have your basic list finished. Now to apply some action to it.

6) Establish a Timeline

Now you can begin making things happen. This is where you begin to organize your dreams into plans. Consider the time and money you wish to invest in travel. Yes, it is an investment. Remember, travel is the activity where you spend money and return richer for it.  Align your goals with the practical aspects of your budget and available time and, in short order, you will have a plan of where to go and what to do over the next few years. Share this with us and we’ll be able to keep an eye out for opportunities that can get you checking these items off your list.

7) Check Them Off Your List

Of course, none of this really means much if you never go. Once you get started, you’ll find that wanderlust builds and builds. So the choice is yours, do you want to be one of the people who tells the stories of what they have discovered, or the one who listens?  It’s important to remember that this is YOUR travel bucket list. So if life gets in the way sometimes, no worries. You are the master of the list and can always adjust it as need be. But don’t forget it’s impolite to keep a vacation waiting if you can go.

If you’re in need of some inspiration, see our article here for 26 must see destinations.