June 1, 2020
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with travel dates on or after
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with effective start dates on or after
Seeing the Northern Lights flare over Norwegian fjords. Savoring the finest patisseries in Paris. Standing in front of the Pyramids of Giza.
Everyone has a mental list of amazing trips they'd love to take someday. But the trouble with "someday" is that it keeps receding into the future. That's why it's time to start planning your travel bucket list: the list of travel destinations you absolutely have to see before you die. Here's how to make it happen.
This is the fun part. Set a timer for 30 minutes and write down every crazy travel idea you can think of. Running with the bulls in Pamplona? Sure. Climbing Kanchenjunga in Nepal? Why not? You may lean toward luxury vacations, world heritage sites, adventure travel or culinary experiences.
Don't feel pressured to choose far-flung destinations. Maybe you want to take a Route 66 road trip with your best girlfriend (in a pink Cadillac, of course) or stand on the greens at the Augusta National Golf Club, watching the Masters. Maybe your travel bucket list is about achieving a goal, such as walking every street in New York City or sleeping on each of Scotland's 162 islands (These are real travelers' accomplishments; see more here.)
Can't come up with anything? Look at these travel writers' bucket lists for inspiration.
Now that you have your anything-goes list, it's time to bring it down to earth. Do some research about expected travel expenses, the trip difficulty and the overall experience. After reading recent travelers' reviews, you may find out that Dubai is not the luxury paradise it pretends to be, or that Bora Bora is, in this travel writer's opinion, "boring boring."
Also, be honest with yourself about what you enjoy. You may fantasize about trekking on the Patagonian steppes, but if you can't travel without hot showers and a hairdryer, that trip is not for you. In the end, you should have a list of 10 or so feasible trips on your travel bucket list.
Bucket list travel isn't just about the destination; it's about who's sharing the experience with you. Maybe you envision visiting Disney World with your granddaughters, or Oktoberfest with your son. Start talking to your ideal bucket list travel companions to see if, and when, they're up for joining you on an adventure. And if you want to strike out alone, there's nothing wrong with that.
Remember to include travel insurance in your budget, even if you're a frugal traveler. A comprehensive travel insurance plan can not only protect your travel investment if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason, but can save you from astronomical medical expenses if you get sick or injured while traveling.
If you don't schedule your bucket list trips, they're never going to happen. But how do you know which ones to plan first? Some factors to consider: