Create a Travel Bucket List

7 Steps to Create Your Travel Bucket List

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Are you dreaming about travel? I know I always am! Today I’m sharing a guest post by one of my good friends, Tanya Shelburne of Traveling Tanya! Creating a travel bucket list is something that I’ve never done but Tanya is a pro at it! So, I figured I’d share her proven process to help you create your own travel bucket list! Thanks, Tanya!

Even if travel is not possible for you right now, creating your travel bucket list will help quench your wanderlust and ensure you are ready to explore once it is safe to travel again. So, here are 7 steps to create a travel bucket list.

Step 1: Select a Travel Journal

The first step in creating a travel bucket list is deciding where to record your list. Rather than simply jotting your list down on a random piece of paper, select a travel journal that fits your personality and style.  This will help ensure you keep track of your list, and you can use it to plan your trips and monitor your progress. It will also serve as a wonderful travel keepsake!

If paper and pencil note-taking isn’t your thing, you can always create an electronic travel journal. Be sure to keep your list stored online where you can easily find it, or print it out and start a travel scrapbook.

Regardless of where you choose to keep your travel bucket list, the fact that you have written it down and stored it in a meaningful place will improve your chances of actually getting to your desired destinations. That is kind of the point, after all!

Step 2: List the places you’ve already been

It can be helpful to start by thinking about past vacations and the cities and countries you have already visited. Now write them down.

This process may reveal the type of travel you enjoy most. Are road trips your passion or jetting off to exotic locations? Do you prefer camping or luxury accommodations?

Add Chicago to your travel bucket list.

You might reveal destinations that you want to revisit. Or you may recall parts of the world that you are just fine never seeing again. Been there, done that!

This first list could serve as a reminder that you have already visited some pretty amazing places. Or it may confirm the fact that you have yet to venture far from home. Either way, this process should help fuel your desire to see more of the world and help pinpoint the kinds of travel you truly desire.

Step 3: Brainstorm destinations

This is the step you have been waiting for! Let your imagination run wild. Think of all the places on earth you have ever dreamed of visiting, and jot them all down in one big brainstorm.

Paris is on many peoples travel bucket list!

You can choose to start big. Think of far-away exotic lands that appeal to you as well as more well-known but distant destinations. Then bring it a little closer to home and identify cities in your own country or state that appeal to you.

If you consider yourself more of a realist than a dreamer, you might want to reverse the brainstorming process. First, record local places of interest and gradually expand your scope to the more exotic.

During the brainstorming phase, don’t let fears and potential travel barriers creep in. There will be time later to pare this list down and do a reality check. For now, simply ask your heart where in the world it wants to go…and write it down.

Step 4: Identify experiences

In addition to brainstorming locations you want to visit, also think about (and write down) the experiences you want to have.

Do you desire to go on a mission trip to a 3rd world country? Have you always wanted to zip line in the Amazon? Want to experience New Year’s Eve in Times Square? Take a gondola ride in Venice? Or go on an African safari?

Learning to cook pizza in Italy.

Do you dream of swimming with the dolphins, studying great works of art, or learning to cook authentic French cuisine?

By brainstorming and recording the experiences you want to enjoy, it will help you identify even more destinations to add to your list.  This list will also be useful in the more practical steps (coming right up!) as your desired experiences may dictate the time of year or stage in life when you can best enjoy them.

Step 5: Prioritize your list

Chances are by this point you have a very long list! Now it is time to get a bit more practical.

Review your brainstorming and circle 3-5 destinations and/or experiences that you consider absolute musts. Write these down on a new list under the heading Tanya’s Travel Bucket List, except write your own name!

Travel bucket list

Return to your brainstorming and circle 3-5 more locations that seem plausible in the next few years and get you excited about traveling. Add them to your list.

Give your brainstorming entries one more pass. Anything pop out that you really want to move over to your bucket list? Select 1-3 more destinations to complete your list. Congrats! You just created your official Travel Bucket List with about 10-12 places you can’t wait to explore!

Step 6: Make a timeline

But don’t stop there. With a bit more planning, your travel bucket list will be much more than a piece of paper identifying your travel dreams. It will be your roadmap to some amazing adventures!

Consider the time and money you are currently able to invest in travel. With these practical elements in mind, begin to create your travel timeline.

Maybe this year a road trip to Seattle is feasible, and you will save up vacation time and funds for a European tour next year.

Write in the year and season you think you could reasonably get to each of your destinations. If you aren’t ready to place each destination in your travel timeline just yet, that’s OK. But be sure to at least establish a timeframe for a few destinations now so you can begin making those trips a reality.

Step 7: Start checking items off your list

Now that you know where you want to go and when, it’s time to make it happen!

Continue to use your travel journal to document your vacations, and take pride as you check each destination off your list.

Enjoying new places thanks to your travel bucket list.

Don’t worry if life gets in the way from time to time. This is your Travel Bucket List, and you can change it at any time! Edit your timeframes as necessary, and adjust your list as priorities change. Then as you cross destinations off your list, embrace your growing wanderlust and dare to add new ones!

Let us know which destinations made it on to your travel bucket list by commenting below, and you may inspire another fellow traveler! Bon Voyage!!

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Are you dreaming of travel? Why not spend a little of that time creating a travel bucket list? This list will help you plan amazing trips for years to come! Learn the proven 7-step process! #travel #travelbucketlist #travelplanning