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Friday, February 17, 2017

How to Check Items off of your Bucket List — A Guide to Achieving your Bucket List Goals

Do you have a bucket list? If not we suggest you check out this blog and create your own Pinterest board right now!

Once you have a list you can break it into categories. Usually there will be personal achievements (education, health, new skills, physical ability), daring feats (skydiving, hang-gliding, shark cage diving), spiritual growth (pay it forward, charity, meditation) and, of course, TRAVEL!

Travel is the focus of this bucket list guide.

Travel has many sub-categories. You may wish to go to Italy, but also have specific sights you want to see. You may wish to see a ballet… specifically, in the Sydney Opera House. There are so many incredible destinations and experiences this world has to offer. Here are a few sub-categories to help you get started.


The Location is the destination for the specific bucket list item. It could be Mexico or the neighborhood park.

Historical Sight

You may want to see where a battle took place, where a castle still stands or a memorial.

Natural Wonder

Witness the northern lights, Yellowstone, the painted dessert — beauty that is made by nature.


Ride an elephant, swim with dolphins, zip line over the rain forest — experience something unique.


Meet locals and do what the locals do; visit street fairs, festivals and cultural performances.


Attend plays, performances, art installations, art shows and/or exhibits.


Learn how something is made, learn about a creature or habitat, immerse yourself in a culture — learn through travel.


Try tequila in Mexico; eat gelato in Italy and croissants in France… and/or try new things (adventurous eating such as morcilla and riñón in Argentina).

Let's Get Started...

1st prioritize your goals. We recommend you choose both an easy goal to achieve and a more difficult goal. For example, let’s say you want to see a movie in the park with a picnic of fruit and cheeses, and you want to go to Mexico and Sea TREK with dolphins.

Start Saving

Create a place where you can visualize your progress.

Get 2 jars (or two savings accounts) and commit to adding to both. One is toward the Mexico goal and one is for the movie in the park. Decide on the percentage of savings that will go to each. The idea is that the short-term goal will be obtained and replaced many times before the long term goal is reached; that way you don’t feel discouraged about your bucket list, but still progress toward achieving the big-ticket item.

A good way to save is to plan to add all the “change” from your transactions to your goal account or jar. Keep your receipts and round up. At the end of the week transfer the total to your accounts (sticking to the planned percentage distribution). In my experience this works out to about $10 dollars a week (that’s $520 a year).

Another easy way to save is to replace a small daily pleasure with a cheaper version. For example: if you drink Starbucks everyday — think about investing in a reusable travel mug and brew your own coffee at home. Put that 3 dollars a day into your funds and see how fast it adds up! If you get a $3 dollar coffee a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, that is a grand total of $780 dollars a year! That is just one small life-change that can help you achieve your travel goals.

An even better and more lucrative change is to start bringing your lunch to work — save leftovers, make mason jar salads or prepare delicious sandwiches. Most purchased take out lunches average around $10 dollars, if not more. $10 dollars a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year — that is $2600 dollars that you could be saving a year!

Other small, but significant changes can add to your funds: don’t go and spend your hard earned cash at the bar; skip the theaters and wait for Redbox; and plan fun activities that cost little-to-no money. Keep yourself busy with hobbies that occupy other areas of your bucket list. Learning the guitar or Spanish, starting your own business or painting outside by the ocean or in a garden — doing things that fulfill your goals will be more satisfying to your soul and will save or even earn you money.

Plan to SAVE! Set up an automatic savings account transfer. Choose how much you want to save each month and don’t use that money — it doesn’t exist.

When you are finally ready to book the BIG trip, plan around less busy times. You will pay less on airfare and hotels, and enjoy a less crowded vacation. Avoid booking in advance to take advantage of last minute deals, and plan on leaving mid-week for cheaper fares.

Let’s revisit the categories of our travel bucket list...


We focused on the goals of locations, but what about the things you want to do when you get there? Look through our categories below and try to find things that interest you. You can then set portions of your budget aside for each experience. Here are some suggestions for a trip to Mexico and a visit to Xcaret.

Historical Sight

Mayan ruins at Tulum — visit this beautiful archeological site that overlooks the Caribbean ocean.

Natural Wonder

Cenotes — float down the underground river and through caves and cenotes at Xcaret.


Sea TREK with dolphins — walk underwater and meet dolphins face-to-face in their natural environment.


Xcaret Mexico Espectacular — enjoy a fantastic show that demonstrates a journey through Mexico’s history.


Public art in Tulum — take a public art tour of more than 30 murals.


The Mayan Cacao Company — learn about the origins of chocolate.


Visit Amansala — drink cold beer and eat fresh, vibrant, local cuisine served to you on a beach lounge chair facing the Caribbean ocean.

As you plan your activities you can research and determine the cost so you know how much you need to save.

Did we miss anything? Do you have other ideas that will help achieve bucket list goals? Share them in the comments below.

Good luck and happy travels.