Yes, I know. Summer is half over, and you’ve already booked this summer’s travel plans. Or perhaps you haven’t. Perhaps you are holding out for a winter trip. Or, like me, you just love to dream about travel, of the places you want to see.
Travel is something that everyone can dream about. But why just dream? Take those dreams and put your first step forward to making them a reality. How? By creating a Travel Bucket List.
Why create a Travel Bucket List?
Everybody should have a travel bucket list. Why? For one, it’s a great way to dream. It’s a way to explore new and unfamiliar destinations. Using the internet, you can dream, explore, even plan out, dream destinations and not spend a penny.
A travel bucket list can also be a great motivator to get out there and see the world. It can serve to keep you focused, and help you get to better know a destination before committing to it. When the timing is right – or that discounted airfare finally becomes available – you are prepared to take that leap and book that long-awaited trip.
Last, but so not least – a travel bucket list can help save you money on your travel expenses.
What’s that? Save money with a travel bucket list? How?
If you have a bucket list, you have several destinations already established for your next possible trip. You can set up airfare travel alerts, monitor sales at travel wholesalers and travel flash websites for deals. In other words, you can use your travel bucket list to find where the deals are. You will be amazed at the travel deals out there if you only look around.
Now go on – create your own travel bucket list!
A travel bucket list doesn’t have to be 100% realistic. It can – and should be – a bit dreamy. Just be sure to include realistic destinations too. You don’t want your bucket list destinations to be so “unattainable” that you get discouraged to the point you don’t do anything on the list. Set a travel goal for yourself and/or your family – an easy place to start is one bucket list trip every two to three years.
Suggestions to creating your own travel bucket list.
- Put a world map on a wall, and look around the world.
- Be realistic – include destinations within your reach.
- Be dreamy – include at least one dream destination, even if is seems unattainable. One never knows! And one should dream big!
- Create a list of five to ten destinations that combine “realistic” with “dreamy.”
- Set a travel goal – be it one bucket list trip a year, or every two years. Just set a goal.
Travel bucket list established – now a few more suggested to-do’s to get you on track to fulfilling that list.
- Establish an annual travel budget.
- Set up travel alerts for the “top 3-5” destinations.
- Be flexible. Don’t set your mind on only one destination. By keeping flexibility in your travel destinations, you will be able to capitalize on where the prices are lower.
- Keep a notebook specific for travel ideas, notes, deals, thoughts.
- Create a Pinterest board specific to travel. Pin ideas you find. Here’s an example of a Pinterest travel bucket list board.
- Travel plans include the family? Get everyone involved – even the kids.
Huh? Get the kids involved?
Absolutely! Bucket lists can provide a sense of where the family wants to travel. And a family who is vested in the same travel plans tends to be a more “happy-travels” family. Our family has been using travel bucket lists for several years now. Everyone – including the kids – has their own bucket list. Yes, a few destinations on my youngest’s list are a little “out there” and most likely unattainable in the near future. But that’s ok! Bucket lists also provide opportunities to learn about the world, to dream about places unknown.
Having kids create their own travel bucket list educates them about the world around them. It opens their eyes to a world beyond their own backyard. Before you know it, they will be informing you of new places, new ideas, new cultures they want to experience.
So don’t be so quick to cross Antarctica off the list. If your child’s list includes a destination that may seem unattainable for whatever reason, don’t discourage, encourage. Suggest he research the destination and then tell you why it should stay on the list. You might be surprised and find that you actually have a new destination for your own list!
Travel bucket lists and kids are a great way to provide geography and cultural lessons while having fun. If you have the space available, hang a large map on the wall for the kids to hunt down new locations. Our house actually has two large wall maps – one of the United States and one of the world. Have your kids pin or place stickers on places they’ve been – as well as places they want to go. Just use a different color.
Create a family travel bucket list:
Once you have everyone’s bucket list in hand, compare destinations. If you are fortunate, everyone will be on the same page – or at least in the same area of the world! If you are like our family, you might have quite divergent lists. You have a few choices at this point – you could hold a family meeting and everyone agree to a combined “top family 5” list. Or you could just use your own, but what’s the fun in that? Kids really have some amazing ideas if you open yourself up to them.
Our bucket list:
Oh, and just in case you’re curious about our bucket lists? Here they are – though I did have to pare my youngest’s down from twenty destinations. He really used the maps on the wall! But I have to say – he has a valid reason for each and every destination.
- United States: Alaska – Cedar Point, OH – San Diego, CA – Arches National Park, UT – Yosemite National Park, CA
- World: Galapagos Islands, Equador – Machu Picchu, Peru – Iceland – Australia – New Zealand – Greece – Canada – Scotland – Ireland – Greenland
- United States: Yosemite National Park, CA – Legoland – Olympia WA – Denver, CO – The Smithsonian Museums, Washington DC
- World: Scandanavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland) – Turkey – Machu Picchu, Peru – Mongolia – Thailand – Mexico – Panama – Quebec
Yep – guess they’ve inherited their mom’s travel spirit!
What about Mom and Dad’s bucket list? It’s intertwined with the kids. They will grow up one day – not too far off I might add – and be off to establish their own, grown up travel bucket lists. Though I will profess to one huge travel bucket list I am aspiring to – a month in Europe with the kids. Anyone with me?
Do you have a travel bucket list? Where do you want to go? Let me know in the Comments section below.
Travel breeds an understanding for the world around us. It broadens the mind, opens the eyes. It cultivates tolerance.
Here are links to ten websites and blogs to get you started on making your travel bucket list become reality. Use these as a jumping-off point to set up alerts, find deals, and just explore various travel options and inspirations.
- Budget Travel
- Smarter Travel
- Is Airfare Watchdog Your Low Airfare Dealhound?
- Hipmunk – Your Travel Booking Partner
- Vacation Home Rentals – Your Hotel Alternative?
- SniqueAway for a Great Get-Away Deal
- Jet Away Today with Jetsetter
- Fifteen Travel Sites for Destination Inspirations
Looking for inspiration? These books, found in many public libraries as well as Amazon and other major book stores, can help ignite your passion for travel.
- 1000 Places to See Before You Die
- 1000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die
- Frommer’s 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up.
- 500 Things to Do With Your Children Before They Grow Up
- Road Trip USA: Cross Country Adventures on America’s Two-Lane Highways
- 50 Places to Bike Before You Die: World’s Greatest Destinations
- 50 Places to Hike Before You Die: World’s Greatest Destinations
Bucket List image from Smarter Travel.
Gnome and Cowboy images from Travelocity.
Special offers image from Riviera Nayarit.
World with airplane image from meddygarnet.