Stay in an overwater villa in the Maldives, go on a hot air balloon ride in Capadoccia, or go on a safari in Africa — what’s on your travel bucket list? Have you taken a few minutes out of your busy life to stop and really think about what travel goals you want to accomplish?
Unfortunately, a lot of people wait until they’re ill, reach retirement, or have some sort of life-altering event to really think about all of the amazing destinations they want to see before they die. I even know some people who are simply waiting for the “right” moment to travel.
Let’s be real — there’s no such thing as the “right” moment. You have to create those moments and take advantage of them. Sadly, it becomes too late for many to achieve their travel goals. Life is unpredictable and you’ll get curveballs thrown at you. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be healthy enough to travel when you reach retirement age. Quite frankly, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get tomorrow.
When we were at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, we saw a lady in her 80s struggling to explore the temples. If you haven’t been, the stairs leading up to the temples are very narrow and thin. She could have severely injured herself if she fell. That moment made me realize that I’m not going to wait until I’m retired to start living my life. Since then, I’ve been on the road traveling for two years and counting.
With that being said, let’s create your ultimate travel bucket list today. I want you to be able to look back on your life with happiness and excitement because you went to every place your heart desired. How cool would that be? Since I desperately want to watch you achieve your travel goals, I’m going to walk you step by step on how to create your travel bucket list. Don’t forget to read the bottom of my post because I have a few bucket list ideas for you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dream Big
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Take a few hours to really think about what your travel dreams are. There is no such thing as a silly dream. It could be your dream to travel to every country in the world. Or, your dream could be to simply travel to Paris. It doesn’t matter what it is. Write it down.
Did you know that you’re 42% more likely to achieve your dreams if you write them down? Isn’t that crazy? You’re more likely to accomplish your travel goals just by writing them down.
I don’t know about you, but I have really big travel dreams. Even though I’ve been on the road for two years, I still have so much of this beautiful world to see. Therefore, I’m constantly adding new places and experiences to my travel bucket list.
Starting your travel bucket list is empowering. It shows you how many amazing things you’re capable of accomplishing. It also makes travel feel more attainable.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s move on to the fun part and start making travel happen for you.
Creating Your Travel Bucket List
Yay, we’re at the fun part now. Below, I’ve outlined the exact steps you need to follow to create your epic travel bucket list. Get your creative pants on and use your imagination.
Step 1: Buy a Travel Journal
I don’t know about you, but I feel more motivated to write when I’m writing in something cute that fits my style. Buy a travel journal that fits your style rather than writing your travel bucket list on a random piece of paper. Buy a journal that makes you want to pick it up and write in it consistently. Here are a few adorable ones that I found:
If you’re more tech-savvy, you can use a simple Word document or create an electronic journal using Canva. I’m a little more old school and I prefer writing my goals down. I don’t know why, but it feels more empowering to me.
Once you purchase your journal, be sure to store it in a place where you have easy access to it. I’m sure you’re going to want to keep adding more destinations to it as they come to mind.
Step 2: Write Down Places You’ve Already Traveled to
This step is crucial. Creating your travel bucket list can be challenging because there are so many wonderful places out there waiting to be explored by you. However, writing down places you’ve already visited will help combat the overload. Use the back few pages of your journal for this process.
This might unveil the kind of travel you prefer. You might realize that you’ve most only visited coastal towns or that you’ve mostly done adventure travel.
This process will also encourage you to keep striving for more travel. This step will serve as a reminder that you’re totally able to live a life full of travel or it’ll make you realize that you haven’t explored nearly as many places as you think you have. Either way, this step will help you fuel your wanderlust and identify what kind of travel you prefer.
Step 3: Organize Your Journal
This is easier than it sounds. Simply organize your journal by continent. This will help keep your travel bucket list organized and you know exactly where to find a location you previously wrote down to cross it off.
You can buy Post-it Tabs if you want to get all fancy and divide your journal that way. If you want to keep it simple, just grab a pen and write a continent every few pages or so. Also, I know some of you are into bullet journaling and this is the perfect opportunity to let your creative juices flow.
Step 4: Write Down Destinations That Come to Mind
Once you’ve organized your journal, immediately start writing down destinations that come to mind under the corresponding continent.
Have you always wanted to marvel at the Colosseum in Rome? Do you want to see the Taj Mahal in India? Write down as many destinations as you can.
Step 5: Research Destinations
I know that this is the step you’ve been eagerly waiting for. Go ahead and get crazy with this step. Let your imagination fly. Think about all the amazing places you’ve heard about during your life that you’ve always wanted to visit. Write them down under the proper continent section.
If you need some extra travel inspiration, head over to Pinterest and Google and type in “bucket list destinations” in the search bar. You’ll find heaps of posts with bucket list destinations that you can add to your own list. You can also scroll down to the bottom of my post and get some ideas from there too. Warning — researching bucket list destinations will cause some serious wanderlust.
Here are some questions to ask yourself that will aid in this process:
- Where have I always wanted to go?
- Where would I go if money wasn’t an obstacle?
- What international foods am I dying to try?
- What are some specific sites I want to see?
- If you were 80 years old and looking back on life, where would I regret not going?
Step 6: Write Down Experiences
Let’s kick things up a notch and write down the experiences you want to have. It’s cool to write down destinations on your travel bucket list, but it’s equally important to think about the experiences that you want in life.
This can range from watching the wildebeest migration in Kenya and Tanzania, experience New Years Eve in Time Square, and go skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah.
This step will you find more destinations to add to your list. Plus, it gives you a better understanding of what you want to do there. Lastly, it helps you prioritize what places you want to visit over others. There’s more information on that below.
Step 7: Prioritize Your List & Create Deadlines
Grab a pen and circle which destinations you want to visit first. Keep in mind that there are some activities you want to do that are better suited to do when you’re younger. A good example of this is skydiving. I mean, you could do it when you’re 70. However, that doesn’t sound too pleasant.
I’m sure your list is lengthy right now so pick a few places you want to visit first under each continent and circle them. These are the destinations that you should start striving hard to visit.
Then, next to each destination, write a date by which you want to visit. I know you’re excited, but it’s important to be realistic. Spend some time and calculate what is practical for you. If you only have two vacation weeks per year, it’s unlikely that you’re visiting Bali, Hawaii, and Rome in one year.
Creating a deadline will make you work harder for your goals and help you realize what actions you need to take to turn your travel dreams into reality.
Guess what? You’ve now created your awesome travel bucket list.
Bucket List Ideas
As promised, here are some awesome bucket list ideas for you to add to your own. Like I said before, I’ve traveled to quite a few places but I still have so many great places to see. I’ve divided it by continent so it’s easier for you to browse through.
1. Lake Tahoe, California
2. Glacier National Park, Montana
3. Seattle, Washington
4. San Diego, California
5. Vancouver, Canada
6. Banff National Park, Canada
7. Portland, Maine
8. Tulum, Mexico
9. Cayman Islands
10. Puerto Rico
11. New York City, New York
12. Charleston, South Carolina
13. Grand Canyon, Arizona
14. Niagara Falls
15. New Orleans, Louisiana
16. Pacific Coast Highway, California
17. Joshua Tree National Park, California
18. Chicago, Illinois
19. Boston, Massachusetts
20. Oahu, Hawaii
21. Denali National Park, Alaska
22. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
23. Big Sur, California
24. Napa Valley, California
25. Key West, Florida
26. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
27. La Fortuna, Costa Rica
28. Belize City, Belize
29. Tikal, Guatemala
30. Antigua, Guatemala
31. Panama City, Panama
32. St. Lucia
33. St. Vincent & the Grenadines
40. Trinidad and Tobago
42. Machu Picchu, Peru
43. Buenos Aires, Argentina
44. Iguazu Falls
45. Galapagos Island, Ecuador
46. Cartagena, Colombia
47. Medellin, Colombia
48. Santiago, Chile
49. Easter Island, Chile
50. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
51. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
52. Ushuaia, Argentina
53. Falkland Islands
54. Dublin, Ireland
55. Hallstatt, Austria
56. Bruges, Belgium
57. Brussels, Belgium
58. Split, Croatia
59. Dubrovnik, Croatia
60. Prague, Czech Republic
61. Paris, France
62. Nice, France
63. Munich, Germany
64. Mykonos, Greece
65. Santorini, Greece
66. Budapest, Hungary
67. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
68. Venice, Italy
69. Rome, Italy
70. Amsterdam, Netherlands
71. Valletta, Malta
72. Barcelona, Spain
73. Madrid, Spain
74. Zermatt, Switzerland
75. Bergen, Norway
76. St. Petersburg, Russia
77. Cape Town, South Africa
78. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
79. Alexandria, Egpyt
80. Tunis, Tunisia (currently the #1 item on my bucket list)
81. Chefchaouen, Morrocco
82. Marrakesh, Morrocco
83. Maasai Mara, Kenya
84. Mahe Island, Seychelles
85. Île aux Cerfs, Mauritius
86. Zanzibar, Tanzania
87. Victoria Falls, Zambia
88. Devils Pool, Zimbabwe
89. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
90. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
92. Taj Mahal, India
93. Petra, Jordan
94. Beirut, Lebanon
95. Istanbul, Turkey
96. Cappadocia, Turkey
97. Doha, Qatar
98. Halong Bay, Vietnam
99. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
100. Bukhara, Uzbekistan
101. Gobi Desert, Mongolia
102. Bangkok, Thailand
104. Seoul, South Korea
105. Hoi An, Vietnam
106. Hong Kong
107. Melbourne, Australia
108. Sydney, Australia
109. Cairns, Australia
110. Auckland, New Zealand
111. Wellington, New Zealand
112. Bay of Islands, New Zealand
113. American Samoa
I hope you’re excited to build your travel bucket list and that you have some great ideas on what to add to your list. Which destinations are you going to add to your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.