How to Create Your Bucket List - Positano Italy
BucketList,  Travel Planning

How to Create Your Travel Bucket List

There  are so many places in the world to travel that it is often hard to decide where to go. Sometimes I choose a destination based on weather, cost, activities available or how far away it is. However, if you are anything like me, you want to see as many places on this beautiful planet as you can. So, in order to accomplish this, you will need a strategy and know how to create your travel bucket list. This will help you to organize and prioritize your destinations for upcoming travel and to ultimately cover as much of your “must see” places as possible.

Similar to creating a New Years resolution list or a beginning of the year vision board, your yearly bucket list is your key to dream. Creating your annual bucket list is an essential part of planning future travel. Then anytime you encounter a new place or attraction that looks interesting, you add it on.

By the way, if the above photo looks like paradise, it is! And it is one of the most desirable destinations in the world. To book it, or add it to your bucket list, use this link! (You are welcome!)

Steps to Create Your Travel Bucket List

While some types of travel and certain locations may seem more practical for your current situation, I recommend mixing it up. Select places that are attainable and some that are more of a stretch. As always, Dream Big!

Choosing Destinations is a Key Step in How to Create Your Travel Bucket List

To start, choose 10 to 15 key destinations that you hope to visit this year. You can always add, subtract or completely change this compilation. Think of this as your starting base. If not, it can be very overwhelming as the world is a big place in terms of seeing it all.

Destinations are countries, regions, or cities that you want to visit. For example, perhaps you would like to visit the Tuscan region of Italy. Or maybe you know you want to go to Africa, but are not sure where exactly. You may want to visit the Alps. It is okay if you are not specific. This is your list. From here you can research which towns meet your wanderlust desires. Additionally, this list could include more specific locations such as the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, or even a unique hotel pool.

There are no limitations to what you put on your bucket list. My list often carries over year to year as plans change. Think of this as your “wish list” first. For me, a travel bucket list is a document I always keep available on my desktop or phone. It serves as a place where I can quickly add a photo, words, or a weblink as I come across new places that I feel compelled to explore.

I am sure that many of us wanderlusters have scrolled through Instagram or Pinterest and seen a place that looks so amazing that we pause to see where it is. Perhaps you are busy working and just come across it. I would add this link to my list. Then I can always revise my it later. At least by using this tool consistently, I always remember the cool places that I encounter.

Creating your travel bucket list is a process. Rome was not built in a day. And that is okay. Each person’s list will and should look unique. This is your space to dream as well as a tool for your dreams to become your reality.

Setting Short and Long Term Goals – How to Create Your Travel Bucket List

Secondly, Like any aspiration list, there should be short and long term goals. I like to make about one third of my goals extremely achievable. At any time, it is important to have some accessible dreams so that you do not become frustrated. I also list a few places that are more challenging to visit, due to timing, remoteness, or finances, but I can strive to accomplish. 

Once you create your travel bucket list, you then have a basis to begin planning your year in travel.

Where to Find Travel Ideas

You probably have a few places that you have always wanted to visit. Some may be a longer term goal because of proximity or budget. These locations may get checked off over a period of time, but some likely will remain on your yearly list.

Then, there are the popular destinations each year that are frequently advertised and friends are discussing. But how do you find those unique, off the beaten path locations that you want on your bucket list? The places you did not even realize you absolutely must see, but you must!

Tools To Achieve Your Travel Bucket List Goals


Download or print a calendar for the year and mark off some of the main dates and lengths of travel you have available throughout the year.

Step 1: Examine where you have weekend getaways and shorter time to travel versus when you have extended lengths.

Step 2: Divide your locations into ease of reach. This means which destinations are shorter to arrive to, or have direct transportation to them. For example, it stinks to only have a short time to visit and to spend the whole time jet lagged or more time trying to get there than actually being there.

Step 3: Next, look at any areas that are in close proximity to each other. Perhaps you want to string those together into a lengthier trip.

Some locations make great weekend getaways, but may not hold your attention for longer stays. Extremely interesting, activity rich destinations, should be planned when you have plenty of time. If not, you may find yourself rushing place to place trying to pack it all in, or disappointed that you missed something. And of course there are some destinations that you may want to visit once, but perhaps not again. This could be because of cost, distance, or just that there are so many places on your bucket list. This is why it is important to plan well and see all you want to while you are there. You never know if there will be a round two.

Relaxation travel could go either way. If you really want to get to have a laid back time, allow for it. Alternatively if you have really wanted to visit a close by island or resort, a long weekend may grant you the opportunity. 

Step 4: Examine which destinations are open and available for travelers from your country. If locations are currently closed or have difficult restrictions, perhaps put them toward the end of the calendar year when things will hopefully be simpler.

Step 5: Whenever you discover a photo, link, hotel, attraction, or destination that you want to visit, copy and paste the information and write a note about why it interested you, to your bucket list.

Step 6: Sort, revise, and add to your bucket list regularly. Keep it easily accessible so that you do not forget places of interest. Then use this list to start booking your travel!

Remember, this bucket list that you create now can be altered in the future. Jenny In Wanderland only encourages safe and responsible travel. Be sure to always practice safety measures while traveling and follow the advice of your government, medical professional, and World Health Organizations. Organize your adventures in a way that you will get the most out of whatever destination you choose, and string nearby places together to get the most bang for your buck.

Also checkout Jenny In Wanderland article, How to Rekindle Your Love of Travel.

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