Bucket lists aren’t only for those looking back on their lives. In fact, bucket lists have become an increasingly popular means of cataloging personal aspirations and experience for those just getting started. While individuals commonly put off traveling until later in life—after college graduations, promotions, or retirements—the best time to begin traveling and maximizing life experiences is now. Here are some tips to help you begin your own travel bucket list.
While it can appear overwhelming at first, brainstorming helps establish a foundation of prospective travel experiences and destinations. In addition to marking down dream destinations, also consult other resources for inspiration. Read travel blogs and talk to coworkers or family members to discover their favorite travel areas and determine whether you’d be interested.
Whether it’s Italy, a road trip across the United States, or an Alaskan cruise, no travel experience is off the market. No destination is too out of reach, either. After all, you have the rest of your life to work toward that travel goal.
Coming up with travel destinations and experiences is the easy part. Once you have a list, how will you decide which trips to pursue? Consider prioritizing based on two criteria: feasibility and appeal. How feasible is the location and cost of the trip? Which trips truly excite you? While feasibility is certainly to be considered, if a destination or trip excites you and shows no sign of ceasing, even after the stress of planning and budgeting, then adding it to the list will be well worth it.
Plan a Timeline
Once you narrow down your list, you will be able to begin creating a timeline. Timelines can especially help visual travelers plot out their trips in a more digestible form. Start identifying moments in your life where you can fit in periods of travel and vacation. Smaller trips will be easier to fit into your schedule and can be incorporated more frequently. Larger trips will take more planning and budgeting, so set them for a time in the future where you foresee yourself having saved up enough money and have the ability to take substantial time off of work.
Estimating expenses is among the most important steps when planning a travel bucket list. You’ll want to begin by researching travel, lodging, and food costs. If you’re looking to travel great distances, research flight, public transportation, and car rental costs. Cross-country road trips will require substantial gas money.
In addition to basic necessities such as lodging and food, also account for the cost of activities, souvenirs, pet care while you’re away, passports, and emergency spending. It’s helpful to begin planning out itineraries as well to better determine what activity and destination costs you might encounter.
Develop a Savings Plan
Once you have an estimation of travel expenses, it’ll become necessary to develop a savings plan. While credit cards can be helpful when traveling, it’s recommended to start saving money the old fashion way. Start early so you can begin putting away smaller amounts of money aside without much thought. It’s also recommended to keep this money separate from other accounts to ensure it’s more difficult to access on a whim.
Once you have all of the aforementioned steps accounted for, all that will be left is your departure.