Have you created your bucket list?
Have you checked off many items?
If not, right now isn’t too soon to get started checking off bucket list items.
Let’s say you live to age ninety. How many days do you have left to live?
Take your age now and subtract it from ninety, then multiply that number by 365. That’s pretty finite, isn’t it?
As busy as your life is right now, you need to make time for the stuff you dream about — the adventures, the relationships, the memories, and goals that are important to you.
Most people get to the end of their lives never really living. They never do those important things they always planned on doing.
Somehow time slips away, and it seems too costly or impossible to achieve. Other things keep getting in the way and jumping to the top of your priority list.
Then one day you look back with regret at all of the things you wanted to accomplish but never did. “If only I’d taken the time to . . .”
What Is a Bucket List?
“What is a bucket list?” you might ask. Well, it’s that list of meaningful things you long to do before you die (or kick the bucket as they say).
It’s those important experiences you don’t want to look back on with regret at the end of your life because you didn’t do them.
When you say, “My bucket list includes . . .” you will share a collection of your dreams, goals, and aspirations that you hope to achieve in your lifetime.
If you haven’t taken the time to create your bucket lists, we are here to help. We’ve created categories of unique bucket list ideas for several life areas.
You’ll also find handy downloads for each category that you can use as your own bucket list template.
If you want to skip to specific bucket lists, just click the links below.
- What Is a Bucket List?
- Travel Bucket List Ideas
- Bucket List Ideas for Personal Growth
- Bucket List Ideas for Relationships
- Crazy Bucket List Ideas
- Bucket List Ideas for Health and Fitness
- Bucket List Ideas for Finances
- Cool Bucket List Ideas for Events
- Unique, Fun and Funny Bucket List Ideas
Travel Bucket List Ideas
Visit the most beautiful cities in the United States.
Although I love traveling to other countries, there are so many beautiful places to visit in the U.S. The 20 cities consistently listed as the most beautiful include:
- San Francisco, California
- San Diego, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Santa Barbara, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Savannah, Georgia
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Chicago, Illinois
- Monterey, California
- Napa, California
- New York, New York
- Key West, Florida
- Maui, Hawaii
- Carmel-by-the Sea, California
- Breckenridge, Colorado
- Portland, Oregon
- Laguna Beach, California
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Asheville, North Carolina (my hometown)
Visit the 59 national parks in the United States.
The national parks in the U.S. are identified as such because of their natural beauty, unique geological features, unusual ecosystems, and recreational opportunities. Here’s a list of all of the national parks.
From the Grand Canyon to the wildflower fields at Mt. Rainer, national parks have some of the most coveted natural landmarks in the country.
There are 76,000 archeological sites and nearly 2,500 national historic landmarks.
National parks are also home to some of the most stunning landscapes like The Redwood National Park in California which has the tallest trees on Earth and the 2,000+ natural stone arches at Arches National Park in Utah.
Visit the most beautiful cities outside of the U.S.
If you love international travel and want to see some of the most beautiful cities in the world, you definitely don’t want to miss these 20 destinations:
- Paris, France
- Venice, Italy
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- London, England
- Rome, Italy
- Athens, Greece
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Berlin, Germany
- Oia Santorini, Greece
- Sydney, Australia
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Mont Saint-Michel, France
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Florence, Italy
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Budapest, Hungary
- Bruges, Brussels
- Vancouver, Canada
- Zurich, Switzerland
Travel to lesser-known but still jaw-dropping destinations.
There are thousands of these unique gems around the world, but here’s a curated list of 20 you should check out and include on your bucket list:
- Piran, Slovenia
- Portofino, Italy
- Hvar, Croatia
- Coimbra, Portugal
- Burano, Italy
- Dinant, Belgium
- Huacachina, Peru
- Tinago Falls, Philippines
- Marieta Islands, Mexico
- Lake Natron, Tanzania
- Mellieha, Malta
- Ploumanac’h, Brittany, France
- Cap Ferret, Aquitaine, France
- Tenby, Wales, UK
- Kek Lok Si, Malaysia
- Montreal Botanical Garden, Canada
- Marble Caves, Chile
- Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali
- Fes, Morocco
- Pink Lake, Australia
Plan an adventure vacation.
Do you have an adventurous spirit and love trying new and daring things?
If so, make your next vacation a real adventure by planning a trip that involves action and excitement. Need some ideas?
- Go whale watching in Alaska.
- Try zip-lining in Costa Rica.
- Go dog sledding.
- Climb the Heavenly Stairs in China.
- Take a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.
- Go on an African safari.
- Swim with dolphins.
- See the Northern Lights in Alaska.
- Run with the bulls in Spain.
- Go snow skiing in Whistler.
- Grab your pole for some fly-fishing in Montana.
- Go glacier walking in Iceland.
- Cycle your way through Tuscany.
- Visit the 8 Wonders of the World.
Check out 50 more adventurous travel ideas in this article.
Go on a learning excursion.
Are you a life-long learner and love the idea of combining travel with learning?
There are numerous learning excursions, weekend events, and even cruises where you can enjoy the benefits of travel while increasing your knowledge in an area of interest.
Check out some of these:
- Cooking in Tuscany
- Space Camp for Adults
- Language Learning Vacations
- Photography tutorial expeditions with National Geographic
- Small cruise ship educational lectures
- Wine immersion in Napa Valley
- Creativity Workshops in Europe and New York
- Conservation and Preservation Adventures with REI
- Personal growth retreats in Arizona
- Go on a Vipassana meditation retreat.
If you want more ideas for learning excursions, check out Road Scholar for some amazing learning trips around the world.
Bucket List Ideas for Personal Growth
Take care of your mental and emotional well-being.
Carve out time to ensure you are mentally and emotionally strong so you can enjoy life, have strong relationships, and have the emotional energy to pursue all of these things to do before you die.
Here are some ideas:
- Practice mindfulness daily.
- Improve your emotional intelligence.
- Deal with all of your past baggage (in therapy or otherwise).
- Practice radical self-acceptance.
- Learn to let go of things you can’t change.
- Question your assumptions and limiting beliefs.
- Stop gossiping, judging, and passive-aggressive behaviors.
- Practice gratitude daily.
- Prioritize experiences over things.
- Identify your major stressors and deal with them.
- Do more of what makes you happy.
- Spend more time in nature.
- Get treated for anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue.
- Practice self-care.
Find and live your passion.
Too many people never check this off their bucket list.
They work in careers they hate or jobs that are unfulfilling, doing what they think they are “supposed” to do rather than what they love.
So how do you begin to find your passion and make it part of your life? Add these as some of your top bucket list items:
- Write a vision for your life. Begin with the end result. Write down exactly what you want your life to look like at the end of this process, in every area of your life.
- Clear clutter. Not only physical clutter but the clutter of too many extraneous distractions, activities, and commitments that suck your time and energy.
- Assess your relationships, both personal and professional. Are there any that drain you, upset you, or cause you problems? How can you make changes to spend time with people who energize you?
- Begin putting money aside in a savings account. You may need this as you make your transition from your old life to a new one.
- Brainstorm other income streams. Start thinking about ways you can bring in extra cash in a pinch.
- Begin reading everything you can about your passion or passions. Look at how other people have translated that passion into a career.
- Find mentors who are doing what you want to do, and doing it well. Reach out to them and learn their secrets.
- Take a career personality test, an entrepreneurial aptitude test, and an emotional intelligence test to help you learn more about yourself.
- Write down all of the possible action steps you will need to take to get you from here to where you want to be.
- Start building your planning calendar by plotting the above action steps on specific days or weeks.
- Try out different ideas that appeal to you by volunteering or taking on a side-gig to see exactly what’s involved in living your passion.
Write and publish your book.
Did you know that over 80% of people want to write a book but less than 1% actually do?
So many people who have important things to write about, things that could help and inspire other people.
YOU are one of those people, even if you’ve never considered writing a book before.
Whether you want to write a novel, a non-fiction book, or your own autobiography, you can learn the skills of self-publishing and write several books a year if you put your mind to it.
If you need help deciding on a profitable book idea and knowing how to get started with self-publishing, grab a copy of this free Bestseller Checklist: 46 Actions to Turn Your Idea Into a Bestselling Book.
It details every step you need to take to get your book written, formatted, designed, published, marketed and sold.
Change the world.
Do you want to leave a positive legacy for your family, friends, community, and even the world?
You don’t have to donate millions of dollars or start your own non-profit in order to create your legacy. There are so many ideas for making a positive impact and enjoying yourself at the same time. Here are some ideas:
- Plant a garden.
- Adopt an animal from a shelter.
- Be a mentor to someone.
- Get involved in a cause that means something to you.
- Spend time with an elderly person.
- Teach someone to read.
- Be a foster parent.
- Clean up your neighborhood or community.
- Join the Peace Corps.
- Serve at a food bank.
- Share your expertise.
- Declutter and donate your stuff.
- Build a Habitat for Humanity.
- Send letters and care packages to deployed soldiers.
- Cut your hair and donate to Locks of Love.
- Be a Big Brother or Big Sister to a child in need.
- Get CPR and First Aid certification.
Learn something new.
The great thing about learning new skills is that you can continue to add them to your bucket list as you accomplish them.
You should never stop learning and expanding your skills and knowledge.
Here are some of the learning bucket list skills that intrigue me, and maybe you’ll want to include them on your list as well:
- Learn a new language.
- Learn how to meditate.
- Learn an instrument.
- Learn how to change a tire.
- Learn how to start a blog.
- Learn how to be a gourmet cook.
- Learn public speaking skills.
- Learn ballroom dancing.
- Learn how to draw or paint.
- Learn to drive a manual transmission car.
- Learn how to defend yourself.
- Learn how to play bridge.
- Learn how to code.
- Learn digital photography.
- Learn yoga.
- Learn a new sport.
- Learn how to communicate more effectively.
Do something daring.
Is there a daring feat you’ve wanted to add to your bucket list? You don’t have to wait until your golden years to cross it off the list.
If you want to do something a little edgy that pushes you out of your comfort zone, here are some ideas:
- Take a ride in a fighter jet.
- Go bungee jumping.
- Sell your possessions, take a year off, and travel the world.
- Go whitewater rafting. Check out these 25 whitewater destinations.
- Ride in a hot air balloon.
- Learn how to windsurf.
- Finally, quit your job.
- Test drive a Lamborghini or Ferrari.
- Go skinny dipping in the ocean.
- Make a speech in front of hundreds of people.
- Tour the country on a motorcycle.
- Try hang gliding.
- Take a ride on the steepest, craziest rollercoaster near you.
- Buy a ticket today and fly off for an impromptu vacation.
- Audition for band or theatre group.
- Organize a flash mob.
- Chase a tornado (with professionals).
- Conquer your biggest fear.
Bucket List Ideas for Relationships
You don’t want to look back on your life wishing you’d been more engaged with the important people in your life, or that you didn’t try to build new connections with amazing people throughout your life.
Think about adding these ideas to your bucket list:
- Say “I love you” every single day to your spouse or partner, and children.
- Write your parents a letter to tell them everything they did right and how much you appreciate it.
- Throw a party for your friends to celebrate them.
- Set aside the time and money to visit a friend or relative you care about who lives far away.
- Surprise your spouse or partner with something truly unique. (100 ideas for her and 100 ideas for him)
- Organize a memorable girls’ or guys’ weekend in a big beach house.
- Go on a road trip with your bestie.
- Have a completely tech-free week in your family.
- Take each of your children on a special date for one-on-one time every month.
- Learn about your family tree and share it with your family.
- Join a group or social club of like-minded people to expand your circle.
- Go on an REI trip or Road Scholar’s trip by yourself to meet new people.
- Organize a big family reunion.
- Take your Mom or Dad on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
- Reach out to someone you admire and get to know them.
- Start a new family tradition.
- Ask your spouse relationship-building questions.
- Get a couple’s massage.
- Read to each other in bed.
- Go to a cooking class with your spouse.
- Check out these 37 ideas to meet new people.
Crazy Bucket List Ideas
Sometimes life becomes so predictable, and we get stuck in our ruts. Maybe it’s time to shake things up, or at least add some change-it-up ideas to your bucket list.
I’m sure you’ve dreamed of making some changes in your life that are a little crazy.
Why not add your ideas to your bucket list to make it more real?
- Do something totally, unexpectedly different with your hair.
- Sell your furniture and start over with new decor.
- Get a tattoo.
- Finally, buy the car of your dreams.
- Become a minimalist. Pare down to the essentials and free yourself from things.
- Move to a new city.
- Let go of people who drag you down.
- Challenge all of your beliefs about religion, politics, and life in general for a new perspective.
- Go a full week without TV and do something with your hands.
- Try eating a cuisine you wouldn’t normally try.
- Play hooky from work and go on a day-long adventure.
- Leave your job and go on a year-long adventure.
Bucket List Ideas for Health and Fitness
Every year we make resolutions to exercise, become healthier and more fit. This is a bucket list goal that tends to get pushed to the bottom of the list over and over again.
You want to have a long and healthy life so you can complete all of the items on your list, and fitness is essential to enjoying a long life.
Check out these fitness bucket list goals:
- Learn to exercise with a rebounder. It is THE most fun exercise I’ve found.
- Add one more daily vegetable to your diet.
- Remove one bad-for-you item from your diet (soda, chips, sweets, etc.)
- Train for a marathon or half marathon.
- Begin the day with one full glass of water.
- Start strength training with free weights.
- Get a bicycle and bike a few miles every day.
- Lose one pound a week until you reach your goal weight.
- Set up your own home gym so you have no excuses.
- Give up sweets for a month.
- Become a vegetarian.
- Go to your doctors for preventative check-ups.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Sit less. Stand and walk more.
Bucket List Ideas for Finances
Having financial goals will help you grow your assets over time and allow you to pursue many other items on your bucket list.
Don’t ignore your financial health. Include some of these actions in your bucket list items:
- Build an emergency fund.
- Boost your credit score.
- Increase your income with a side gig.
- Read personal finance books.
- Automate your investments and savings.
- Pay off debt.
- Keep meticulous financial records.
- Create and follow a budget.
- Live below your means.
- Set up overdraft protection.
- Autopay your bills.
- Eliminate expensive habits.
- Write down everything you spend.
- Create a financial plan.
Cool Bucket List Ideas for Events
We all have those events we’ve wanted to attend, but we put them off because of the cost, our busy schedules, or just thinking we can do it next year.
It’s time to add them to your bucket list and determine a day, time, and budget to make it happen.
- Wimbledon to see a tennis match
- The Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- A live TED talk
- The World Series, Super Bowl, or the World Cup
- The Kentucky Derby
- The Westminster Dog Show
- The Olympics
- Rio Carnival
- Mardi Gras-New Orleans
- St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland
- New Year’s Eve in Time Square
- Cannes Film Festival
- The Sundance Film Festival
- The Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert
- Octoberfest in Germany
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
- Coachella Music Festival, California
Unique, Fun and Funny Bucket List Ideas
Sometimes you want to include experiences on your list of things to do before you die that are funny or just for fun.
And why not? Include some cool bucket list ideas just to spice up your life and make it more entertaining. Check these out:
- Make $1 million before you die.
- Start your own blog.
- Drink a rare bottle of wine.
- Ride an elephant or camel.
- Run naked in the rain.
- Ride horses on the beach.
- Sleep under the stars.
- Meet a world leader.
- Complete a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
- Enjoy a white Christmas.
- Surprise a friend in another city at their door unexpectedly.
- Pay the bill for everyone at a bar.
- Ask a guy in a kilt what he’s wearing underneath.
- Go to clown school.
- Have a recommitment ceremony with your spouse.
- Go bungee jumping.
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Did these bucket list examples help you?
Are you ready to get started checking off items on your list of things to do before you die?
It might seem like you have plenty of days left (especially if you’re younger than 40 or so), but remember that most of your time is taken up with work, sleep, and the tasks of just living.
Those things alone account for 18-20 hours of every day, with a few more free hours on the weekends.
That doesn’t leave much time for the good stuff — the stuff you’re working so hard for.
It takes planning, saving, and determination to make these things happen.
If you don’t want to look back with regret, you must create your bucket list and start doing them, month after month, year after year.
Pick one of these items and start today. We promise — you won’t regret it!