Advertiser Disclosure: Travel Freedom has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Freedom and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers if you apply and are approved for a card. All credit card names are registered trademarks of their issuer. Please check offers closely on the application page as they change frequently and our info can sometimes be out of date. Travel Freedom may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
Bucket List Ideas for Travel and Beyond
What is a Bucket List?
The term made popular by the hit movie "The Bucket List" is simply a list of activities you'd like to achieve before you kick the bucket (aka die). Therefore, a bucket list can consist of anything from business goals, to activities, to places you'd like to visit. It's ANYTHING you want to do. Don't be shy. Jack Nicholson sure wasn't in the movie... Try not to make yours weak, and if you think it, write it down. The goal of the bucket list is not just to dream about all the things you could do, but instead, to get out there and start doing them!
I've decided to make my own bucket list, full of idea's for things I'd like to achieve before I die. I've come up with more than 100 things, and have also included some items that I've already checked off. Hopefully I'll be able to take advantage of the time I have left, and accomplish everything on the list. The great thing about a bucket list, and life in general, is that there will always be more things out there you'll want to do. This means that by the time you complete your list, it's pretty likely that you will have come up with another bucket full of places to see, activities to do, and goals to reach.
Bucket List Examples
I'm making this bucket list for a couple reasons. The first reason is to take the time to sit down, find ideas of what I want to accomplish, and make them public for the world to see. My bucket list consisted of a lot of places to visit around the United States and around the world, activities I'd like to do in some of those locations, activities I'd like to do with my family, and some professional and personal goals. The majority of my list has to do with traveling though, so lucky for me, I will be able to put my travel credit cards skills to use so that I can afford to travel to all the places I want to see.
The second reason for creating a bucket list, is to give you and other readers ideas of what could be on your own bucket list. I did some searching and used other peoples' bucket lists as inspiration for my own. The idea actually came from a group I'm a part of, called Location Rebel, where Sean Ogle and Liz Froment teach members how to build location independent businesses called "lifestyle businesses". Sean's bucket list inspired me, so hopefully I can pass that inspiration on to you!
What is a Reverse Bucket List?
Ever heard of a reverse bucket list? No? I hadn't either, until I started creating my own bucket list. A reverse bucket list, I found out, is all of the bucket list items that you've already accomplished in the past. While researching and thinking about places I'd like to travel, I realized that there are a bunch of cool places that I've already been, and goals that I've already achieved. Instead of leaving those out, I decided that it was beneficial to include those list items on my bucket list because they may bring you inspiration. Seeing all of the bucket list items you've already done, makes you feel good about what you've done, and helps you see that it's possible to continue checking off your ongoing bucket list.
The Origin of the Bucket List
Alrighty, now that you know a little bit about the history and meaning of the bucket list, we might as well get started. Throughout my list, I'll chime in with a few comments about my list items. If I've checked off anything on the list, I'll also let you know about how it happened. We'll go through my bucket list in chunks of 20 items.
I'm excited! Are you? Anyone have a guess on how long this list will take me?
Simple Bucket List Ideas
I've got a long way to go to complete this bucket list with 100 items. This bucket list is quite long. I wonder how long it's going to take me to complete all this. So, out of the first 20 bucket list tasks, I've completed six of them. Not bad, right?!? Here's what I've accomplished so far:
Snorkel with Sea Turtles
I have snorkeled with sea turtles on quite a few occasions. They are very common in the Hawaiian islands, so if you're looking to check that one off, head to Hawaii.
Stand up Paddle Board with Dolphins
I was fortunate enough to be paddle boarding in Kona when a pod of spinner dolphins that frequent the area showed up. I'd say there were about 60 of them including quite a few babies.
Hike in the Redwoods
My wife and I hiked and drove through the Redwood forests of Northern California and Southern Oregon. It's unbelievable how big some of those trees are. I can't imagine being an early explorer going through those forests and wondering what else in the area might be giant...
Visit All Four Main Hawaiian Islands
I Accomplished this in the summer of 2016 by visiting Kauai. I've been to the other islands on multiple occasions.
See the Space Needle in Seattle
Although, I've now seen it a few times, it was spectacular from our hotel rooftop next door at the Hyatt House.
Ride Roller Coasters at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Down at the boardwalk, we'll be havin' some fun! I visited, this board walk full of rides with my wife and family that lives nearby. It used to be a yearly trip for my wife as a child, so it was extra special.
Creative Bucket List Ideas
Ride a Zipline
During the end of a school year, my wife's class spent a week having "outdoor school" at a children's camp for a week. I volunteered to help, and got to be the demonstrator for their zipline! While it wasn't the longest or highest zipline, it was still a lot of fun and counts as a check off my list.
Get Lost in a Foreign Country
While in Salou, Spain I got separated from my friends on a night out, and ended up lost for a couple hours. This was in 2006, so my cell phone didn't work, I didn't know much Spanish, and it was pretty late at night. It felt like an eternity because I was a bit scared and a bit tipsy. I made it my goal to find the ocean to use as a landmark, which finally allowed me to safely find my way back to our condo.
See a Total Solar Eclipse
I saw the Solar Eclipse of 2017. Fortunately, the viewable path of the eclipse was directly in line with where I live in Oregon. It was a very interesting experience, but I don't think that I would have traveled to see it as many people did. The craziest part of the Solar Eclipse, was when the sun was completely blocked, the temperature dropped dramatically as if it were night.
Take a Limo to an Event
Someday I'd like to take an old fancy Texas limousine to a football game. You know, maybe even with bull horns on the grill...
Unique Bucket List Ideas
Create a Points & Miles Travel Course
My whole goal with Travel Freedom is to teach people how travel does not have to be super expensive. I learned how to travel with points and miles and have changed my life for the better because of it. Now it's my turn to pass that on. My course is the best way to be able to teach these skills to as many people as possible. Many people have benefited from taking it, and hopefully you will to!
Climb Stairway to Heaven - Oahu, Hawaii
Along with some of my best friends, I was able to experience climbing the Stairway to Heaven on Oahu. We started our hike around 3 AM and climbed all 3,922 steps just in time to see the amazing sunrise. The name of the hike is a bit deceiving as the first half of the hike is more like a ladder than stairs. It makes for an interesting morning, climbing up a ladder made decades ago that goes up the face of a cliff, all in the pitch black of night. If you go, take a headlamp!
Eat a Fresh Coconut on an Island
While in Hawaii, I drank a nice cold coconut using a straw. Those natural electrolytes were probably much needed, but the taste was pretty bad. They taste more like salty water than an almond joy.
Visit Pearl Harbor
During our honeymoon, my wife and I visited Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. It was an amazing experience and one that all Americans should take part in at least once. It's crazy that soldiers bodies never made it out of the ship and that there are still drips of oil that bubble out of the ship to this day. Luckily we went when we did, because the memorial has now been temporarily closed due to structural damage to the platform.
Bucket List Ideas for Couples
Ride on a San Francisco Cable Car
These used to be the main transportation for most people across San Francisco. They're pretty cool, and fun to ride. I took a ride from the Fisherman's wharf area up to Market Street. I think next time I'll ride standing up hanging off the side, like an old school business man heading to work.
In 2006 I was lucky enough to visit Spain for a week. My friends and I went to the Barcelona area for spring break, which was quite the experience. It was one of the trips in my life that sparked my interest of travel. I'll never forget it! A few of us were also able to go up one of the towers on La Sagrada Familia, which I don't believe is open to visitors anymore. The view was spectacular!
Explore Mayan Ruins
Thanks to my cousin and her fiance inviting us to Mexico, we got to check out some Mayan ruins. We explored Coba and Tulum. They were both amazing. We were able to climb to the top of the Coba pyramid, and Tulum are the only ocean front ruins in Mexico.
Go to a Country Music Festival
My family and I went to the Willamette Valley Country Music Festival to say a handful of great artists. It was my first experience of a festival and it definitely won't be my last. We had a great time and heard some great music!
Funny Bucket List Ideas
Plant a Tree and Watch it Grow
This one is in process, but I'll say it's checked off. My wife and I did a "Tree Planting Ceremony" during our wedding. We planted a dogwood tree. While it hasn't been planted in the ground yet, it is currently growing and has moved into a larger container. The tree will be growing along with our love... no pressure to not kill the tree right?!?
Road Trip Across the USA
The first year of my wife and I's relationship was long distance. She lived in Virginia, while I was in Oregon. When we decided it was time to be in the same place, we drove from Virginia to Oregon with all her belongings. It was a great experience as a couple. Our stops were Nashville, Denver, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, then home in Eugene, Oregon. Some people say you know whether a relationship will work after you take a road trip together... I guess we passed the test!
Watch a Space Shuttle Launch
While playing in the AAU basketball national championship tournament in Cocoa Beach Florida, we randomly saw a space shuttle launch. While coming out from one of our games, we got to see a huge fireball shooting people off into space. It was something I'd love to see again.
Get a Tattoo
After getting married my wife and I each got tattoos using the others' writing. So many people think that's a bad idea, I suppose because divorce is so common. It's funny to us, because we're both in it forever. Divorce isn't an option. We love each other and will work through the hard times that are surely to happen. We both love our tattoos, and I will probably get another eventually.
How To Make Your Own Bucket List
Now that you've seen mine, let's see yours! It doesn't have to be a list of 100, or even 50... Just start making a list of whatever comes to mind and add to it each time you see something online, or in a magazine, or something a friend tells you about.
If you like any of my bucket list items, start with that! Then, one by one, start completing them. Make some easier than others, even if they're to go to the Saturday market near your home that you've never made it to... write it down!
Travel Bucket List
One way to complete your bigger items that have to do with traveling is by learning how to use travel points and miles (which you can learn easily through our mini-course!). It's the number one way to be able to travel more.
Since learning about travel points and miles, I've been able to fly for free (or close to it) almost whenever and to wherever I want. It has absolutely changed my life for the better and I'm sure it will for you too!
Free Bucket List Template
Start Your Bucket List Now with Free Travel
If you'd like to get started traveling more often or more luxuriously right now, we offer a FREE travel credit card consult. We'll make a personalized list of the best travel credit cards for YOU.
If you already know how to use points and miles like a pro, head over to our partner to see all of the best current travel credit cards offers.
This photo is from our one year wedding anniversary. We traveled to Hawaii to celebrate the big day (for two weeks!). By using our points and miles travel skills, we paid just $22 for airfare TOTAL between the two of us. That means we saved over a thousand dollars on flights and had a bit more money to splurge while we were there. (photo is near Wailea/Kihei)