Developing a good travel bucket list can provide you with a guide that can serve as a compass for your upcoming journeys. Once completed, your personalised list will serve you as a source of inspiration for the years to come, when the time is here again to discover the world.
Crafting the ideal travel bucket list is a method used by many experienced travellers to stay focused on their goals and achieve them time after time. In the belief that you can benefit from it as well, we decided to put together this blog post on how to create a quality bucket list for yourself. Make the most out of your travelling time and create memories that will stay with you for decades to come.
Are you ready to create your own ultimate travel bucket list and start daydreaming on all your future travels destinations? Let's get started!
What Is a Travel Bucket List?
Before getting into how to create a good overview for your future travels, we need to address what a travel bucket list is. It is as simple as a list of places you want to go to. Sounds easy, right?
Well, the world has over 190 countries and 10,000 cities to cover in only one lifetime. Breaking it all down and making it a feasible list is nothing short of an art form. Worry not though, you are in the right place. We are going to provide you with a guide containing detailed steps to make sure you have all the tools needed to develop your own wish list.
Why Is It Helpful to Create a Bucket List?
A list of your planned travel destinations keeps you focused on achieving your goals. A dream with no plan remains a dream, but when you materialise it on a piece of paper and put your heart into it, you are one step closer to make it happen.
Moreover, most people only have limited holiday days per year and fitting in all your travel desires can be a difficult puzzle to solve. Too many choices often get you lost. Having a tangible list will help you organise the details of your dreams and then fulfil them, one stamp on your passport at a time.
The Current Scenario
Although, due to the Corona crisis most borders are closed for international travellers, creating your list will help you sort out your dream destinations, and it will guide you for when the time is there. If you think of it, you are making the current time count and by the moment the world allows it, you will be ready for your new travel adventures.
Additionally, global travel restrictions are giving national parks and other popular nature sights the opportunity to recover again. Pictures of popular nature sights provided by The Insider show that popular travel destinations look more beautiful than they have been for a long time.
Start to develop your bucket list now, and it will give you guidance for the future.
How to Create a Bucket List Step by Step
We have been through what a travel bucket list is and why you need one. Now it is time to go into how to create a list that reflects your dream destinations. We will cover several different methods for you: from old-school pen and paper to modern (and great) travel bucket list apps.
Step 1: Brainstorming
Have you ever had a brainstorming session? It is, by definition, a great way to get to deeper layers of thinking and feeling without your brain getting in the way. The following approaches support your own brainstorming process to create an overview of your travel destination wish list.
1. Brainwriting - This very popular technique is great for avoiding biases and anchors, especially if you are not planning on travelling solo. Just think of the places you want to go regardless of any conditions needed. For example, if you have always dreamt of going to see the heads on Easter Island, just write it down. You can take care of how to do it later on.
2. Figuring storming (do it as someone else) - If you feel like you have a lack of inspiration with your brainwriting process; try to get out of yourself. This means trying to think like someone else. You can for instance find inspiration from a travel blogger you follow or try to think about places your family members or friends have visited in the past.
3. Rapid ideation (race against the clock) - Do deadlines make you feel more inspired? Giving yourself limited time can prevent you from overthinking, keep your brain focused, and encourage your initial feelings taking over. That is exactly the idea − to think less and write more.
The listed brainstorming techniques can help you through the process of developing your own personalised bucket list. If you need more brainstorming tools for idea generation, the following 7 techniques for More effective brainstorming will be a good additional read.
Step 2: Finding Inspiration
Let's say that the brainstorming session brought you a good initial list and you were able to narrow down your search. That is great news; now it is time to make things happen. Let's go deeper into how to further develop your travel list.
Nowadays, there are great apps available that can support you in developing and managing your own travel bucket list. The following shortlist contains some of the most popular apps available today:
1. iWish - This app allows you to plan a list for anything in life, including travelling supported by their developed six steps approach: discover, dream, plan, visualise, get motivated, and achieve; you will not lose track.
2. Soon - This is another versatile app that can work for your wanderlust. We recommend the option to see "what's trending". This option can help you to add ideas you did not think of while brainstorming.
3. Buckitdream - This app's motto is "Dream bold. Dream big", and that is exactly what your travel bucket list is all about, right? This app is packed with motivational videos and it provides you with the possibility to create a to-do list for every step of your planning.
Social media can be another great source of inspiration. You can see your friends' updates about their holidays, or you can specifically reach out of your feed and search for it. One good recommendation is to visit the Goodspeed Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest pages. On these pages, you will constantly find travel tips and updates, as well as travel destination inspirations. You might find pictures from a place you never knew existed, and this can provide you with new inspiration to update your initial developed bucket list.
Instagram profiles from travel influencers, such as Callum Snape, can be a great source. The following list summarised by Izea provides an overview of travel influencers on Instagram you can follow to find more inspiration.
Don't forget about the world's largest video-sharing platform. What most people usually do when searching for inspiration from Youtube is to go through the search engine and look for videos about the places they want to visit. If you do find some great channels with abundant travel tips and ideas, do subscribe to them. The vloggers do the research for you, and very likely will show you the place to make an informed decision. For example, following a channel like the Vagabrothers will help you get inspiration, tips on how to pack your backs, what foreign custom regulations to take into consideration and other useful tips. We furthermore recommend to read one of our latest blog posts providing a list of top 20 travel vloggers to follow for inspiration for your next family holiday.
Finally, good old literature can still be a wonderful source of inspiration. Here is a short list for you with some of the best travel books on the market today.
- "The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small" by Kath Slathers.
- "Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places" by National Geographic.
- "Wanderlust: A Traveler's Guide to the Globe" by Moon Traveler Guides
- "Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See... Ranked" by Lonely Planet
Step 3: Choose Wisely, Follow Your Heart
By now you probably have listed many dream places to explore. Let's go ahead and narrow them down. The premise in this third step is to only use the inspiration that resonates with you.
The places you write down on your list are as personal as dreams; they are unique to you. This is to say that there is no right or wrong in terms of what destinations you should pick. Do not compare your travelling taste to anyone else. It is essential that you follow your heart. The destinations resonated with you on the research steps of this list should be your personal guide.
Furthermore, they indicate what kind of tourism you prefer. Do you like history, museums, ruins, and wandering around the remains of old civilizations, or are you all about nature and adventure? In a nutshell, would you rather choose Greece or Amazonia? That answer will help you in the next step −− writing your list.
Step 4: Making the List
We have reached the final step of this path which is to materialise your list. You can use any of the earlier mentioned travel bucket list apps, use a Word document or the traditional pen and paper. According to a recent study by the Dominican University of California, writing down your goals increases the odds of achieving them by 42%. In other words, creating a tangible list can be a big step towards achieving your goals.
Dos and Don'ts
There are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when crafting your wish list. At least, the first version of it (as it will likely keep evolving).
1. Make a real list - This is the first and most important piece of advice: materialise your ideas into a real list. You can type and print it, write it on a piece of paper or a notebook; anything goes as long as you can have a physical, tangible copy of it.
2. Cross-out what you have accomplished - Crossing off the destinations you have visited can give you a feeling of accomplishment. Seeing your travel bucket list being accomplished will be an enriching feeling.
3. Keep it present - Being reminded of your goals on a daily base might give you that extra push you need to get through the day. You can pin your travel bucket list on a corkboard in your office. Along with it, you can also pin some photos of the places you have been already to remind you that you can do it and what a rewarding experience each destination was. Some use fridge magnets, others the wallet; any method you prefer is good as long as it is present in your daily life.
4. Make it geographically logical - Bear in mind distances between destinations. For example, if you plan to get on board the Trans-Siberian Express, swim with sharks in Bali, and see the pyramids in Giza with only a limited number of holidays per year, it likely will not happen. But what if you would aim for Egypt, Turkey, and Greece within one trip? That makes sense geographically. Making a list that is realistic will help you achieve your travel dreams.
5. Prioritise your destinations - Some destinations in your list will mean more than others to you; prioritise them wisely and let time work its magic to fulfil them all. Always remember the golden rule of wanderlust: "slow and steady wins the race".
1. Travel without doing any research - Although it is true that you will find amazing surprises waiting for you everywhere you go, it is paramount to plan your visit to your dream location. Make a smaller travel bucket list for every destination so you will not miss out on any magical spots.
2. Be too rigid, make room for fun - Don't over plan your stay in some places either, make room for magic to happen. Great experiences can be made by leaving empty spots in your schedule.
Keep Your List Updated Over Time
This is a must because your list will keep on expanding. For every location you cross-out, you often will find a couple of new destinations to go that will be just as fascinating. Keep your travel bucket list organised by using the tools and methods listed earlier in this blog post and you will be amazed how many dreams you can fulfil in the upcoming years by focusing on your list.
Share Your Travel Experiences and Inspire Others
This is another great thing about fulfilling your travel dreams; you will broaden your views on the world and meet some great people along the way. Starting your own personal blog, vlog, or simply getting on some of the mentioned apps and sharing your experiences on social media might help others to fulfil their dreams too.
Don't hold back on sharing your own travel experiences and keep inspiring others. It can lead to great conversations with friends and family who have similar interests and perhaps even visited the same places already and you did not even know about it.
Staying Connected is Always More Fun
Friends and family at home can "travel" with you using all the current platforms the Internet offers us. For example, sharing the views of breath-taking landscapes while travelling can give them the experience of being part of your journey. Snapping a simple picture of a majestic waterfall and sending it to someone you love might change their day for the better.
Also, you can keep your travel bucket list app updated at all times and share your experiences in real-time. Internet on the road is not a choice these days, it is a must for most.
Accessing the Internet While Travelling
Sharing your travel experiences with friends and family while being on the road can sometimes be challenging. High roaming charges can be an unpleasant surprise and using public WiFi may potentially come some serious security risks. Keeping your social media feed updated while travelling can bring inspiration to your followers. Furthermore, it can bring peace to your family and friends back home that you are safe and having an amazing time.
The Goodspeed solutions can provide you the possibility to safely and securely use Internet in 120+ countries hassle-free by arranging your data plans before leaving home. This provides you the opportunity to start using Google Maps to find your hotel upon arrival, navigate top-ranking local restaurants, reaching the Instagramable spots at your destination, and share your experiences immediately.
Conclusion: The World Is Waiting for You
By now, you might have selected your travel destinations, learned how to create a travel bucket list, and downloaded the dedicated apps to start shaping your dreams. Travelling at the moment might be restricted, but by having your travel bucket list ready, you can already start dreaming about all your future holidays and make sure you do not miss out on any prime locations.
Life is all about chasing your dreams and making them come true. The power to do so is within you. All you need is an organised approach and tools to help you in your creative processes and how to keep track of them. Change your stars, set sail for a brighter future and do not forget to share it with those you love the most.
Keep dreaming and developing your travel bucket list and be ready to discover the world when the time is there again.
- Zara & Michael @Goodspeed