Episode 1: Creating a Travel Bucket List

Many people we talk to have fallen into the habit of vacationing in the same place year after year. While there is nothing wrong with that as it creates traditions and lasting memories of a familiar place, you may find yourself intrigued by that friend or family member that is always traveling somewhere new. If that is you, but you aren’t sure where to start, pack a bag and come with us today as we explore travel bucket lists. We’ll share with you what is on our list and tips for creating your own.

In this episode we dive into the different ways a travel bucket list might look, how we originally began creating our travel bucket list, and strategies for beginning to check those places off of your bucket list. 

If you have a bucket list or want to start one, are eager to travel more, or want to know how you could possibly afford to do so, tune in NOW!

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Music Credit

Music by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/oystudio-24430395/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=music&amp;utm_content=128250">OYStudio</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=music&amp;utm_content=128250">Pixabay</a>

Transcript (continued on episode page):

Scott:  Melissa, this is right up your alley.  Making lists and checking them off.  Let’s talk about how we first started our travel bucket list.  Why is it important for you to have a bucket list?

We didn’t really start out with a bucket list I wouldn’t say but as we started to travel more…we had been to Europe (Paris, London, Madrid, Germany) and Hawaii and started going to Mexico that I think we started thinking of other places we’d like to go. We had a chalk board wall in our farmhouse kitchen 2 houses ago and we started by writing out some New Year’s resolutions one year that really just morphed into a travel bucket list. 

I think a bucket list gives you a way to dream, something to look forward to, some people like to describe it as manifesting the things you desire. We have our list for sure but if other opportunities arise we aren’t like oh but we need to do that one first etc, we just allow it to be what it is and sometimes that might be adding on a destination like Brussels for example while you are somewhere else in Europe or Puerto Rico to get to the Virgin Islands if that makes sense for the flights etc. 

Scott: when creating a list, does it have to be specific places or countries, or could you start with something more generic?  (Lead up to discussion on visit a new country every year - travel goals).

I think it should just look like dreaming brainstorming first… where are some places that you’d love to visit. 

And then as far as going …at first I it could just be around where you live. When we first got married we lived in Atlanta and we could afford to camp and that was about it so we went to some state parks in Georgia- Ocmulgee, providence canyon, ft McAllister state park near Savannah, camping on the blue ridge parkway but you got to see and experience more than just staying at home. So it may be like where can we go for a day trip that we’ve never been that’s close by- pack a picnic and go for the day. Or it may be what cities can we drive to and visit for a weekend. After that I think it is just your interests- do you like mountains or the coast, hiking, golfing, skiing and it could be centered around where would I want to go so those things that I haven’t been to or seen before. 

So after we went to 

2019 Gibraltar, Monoco, Greece 

2020 Portugal 

2021 Belize

We were like oh we’ve done a new country 3 years now so that’s a goal for us. 

It could also be I want to visit every every continent or all 50 states, all the islands of Hawaii etc 

I can only imagine that someone is sitting there and thinking - “there’s no way I could afford trips on my bucket list”.  There is no denying that travel isn’t cheap, especially if you are talking about luxury travel

  •  not every trip has to be a luxury trip
  •  Not all bucket list destinations have to be international travel

Absolutely! So looking for deals on flights and being flexible on dates and locations and I think that’s why I think it’s great to have a bucket list to pull from so when you see something come up you already know that’s a place you’d like to go. So getting alerts from Going to watch for flight deals (delta also has some deals buried in the app too) Finding the credit card or rewards program that will get you free flights, free hotel rooms, upgrades for your loyalty and spending. For hotels renting peoples timeshare weeks from places like Red Week. Booking sort of last minute travel - so this would be good for weekend trips - I know I get alerts from going about weekend tickets options but last minute hotel deals too on Priceline and hopper and mystery room deals so you know the location and category of room but not the exact price. Reading blogs on some of these techniques is helpful too. And sometimes international travel can end up being less expensive if you get a good flight deal depending on where you are going. 4-5 star hotels in some cities and countries can significantly less so just Googling and researching what others have to say or recommend. 

Another way to be able to travel is to look at the cost of lodging, food, tours etc at a destination. So for example it can more expensive to travel in Europe than it is in some locations in South America or Asia so looking at the cost once you arrive and mapping out s budget can be helpful. If you can get a good flight deal to a location where it is cheaper to stay, eat, and tour is one way to do some things on your international bucket list. 

Let’s talk a little about our travel bucket list.  Scott: what are some things that we have been able to check off on our travel bucket list so far?   Where to next?  What’s the biggest trip on our bucket list right now?

Well Galapagos was definitely on the list but I would have said that we would have checked off some others first but we had the opportunity to join some friends on the trip and decided that we couldn’t pass it up. 

Antarctica and an African safari are probably the two other biggest ones in terms of cost I would say and  our desire to do them on the sooner side 

Finally, if someone is ready to start building their bucket list, what would you recommend they read, watch or listen to for information on great places to put on their list?

I’ve always been a huge Rick Steves fan. In my mind he was the original travel influencer- figuring out a way to give free content on his website and app and radio shows make a living from travel (books and paid resources) and making international travel accessible and budget friendly. There’s so much more information out there today so I would start with resources that are relatable to you and are within your budget right now. Don’t be dreaming of the Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton if staying at a hostel or camping or a budget hotel is how you could travel. (You aren’t going to remember the flight or the hotel unless the hotel is the destination which we rarely do). For us it is about seeing as much of the world in the time and with the resources we have. Now we have access to thousands of travel influencers, podcasts, blogs, Pinterest so pick the ones that educate and inspire you. 

Subscribe to Going (formerly Scott’s cheap flights) https://goingwith.me/9cr8g63w to get flight deals sent to your inbox. 

Watch for flight deals (on google flights, Hopper 


or skyscanner). Subscribe to the Points Guy or —— to learn about using credit card, hotel, airline points and miles wisely. Read the book by the founder of Scott’s cheap flights, Take more vacations which offers great insight about how to stretch and use your time off to get the most vacations in. 

Lonely planet has great guides as well. 

One of the greatest parts of a bucket list is to share it with other people and hear what is on their lists.  If you have something on your list that we need to hear about, leave us a comment.  Most importantly, subscribe to our podcast and share it with your friends to help them catch the travel bug.  You never know, they may become your greatest travel companion.


Music Credit

Music by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/oystudio-24430395/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=music&amp;utm_content=128250">OYStudio</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=music&amp;utm_content=128250">Pixabay</a>