There are so many reasons that you might be planning the trip of a lifetime. Maybe, for example, you were in an accident and received a settlement. That accident settlement may then provide you with a cash windfall, and some of that money you may want to put toward a big trip.
Perhaps you’re also thinking about planning a trip because you’re celebrating an upcoming milestone, such as a graduation.
You could be planning a honeymoon, or you could just be thinking that it’s time to cross something off your bucket list.
Regardless of the reason, the following are some tips and ideas to get you started.
Set a Budget
Even if you’ve just come into a cash windfall from a settlement or an inheritance, you probably don’t want to spend it all on your trip.
You want to set a budget before you start planning anything specifically.
This will help you narrow down your options and figure out what’s a priority and what you can do without.
When you have a budget, it will also make planning easier because you’ll be able to eliminate those things that are too expensive for you, such as certain hotels.
Remember those things you might not otherwise think about when you’re setting your budget.
For example, consider how much you’ll spend eating out on your trip.
Create a List of Destination-Specific Must-Dos
As you’re thinking about where you plan to go, certainly, there will be some must-do items.
For example, if your trip of a lifetime is Paris, your must-dos might include the Louvre and the Eifel Tower.
Roughly sketch out what’s most important to you so that you can prioritize these places on your itinerary.
When you’re deciding what you want to do, focus on quality rather than quantity.
When we take a big trip there’s a tendency to want to fit in as much as possible, but focusing on fewer things and really savoring and enjoying them will make for a better trip.
Most people will have their own idea of what a true bucket list trip will be, but to get you started, the following is some inspiration.
• Santorini is a Greek island, and it’s probably one of the most beautiful places in the world if you love the sea. The cave houses are perched on hills and whitewashed. You can watch the sunset at the Sea of Crete, and there’s also a lot to do besides enjoy the beauty. For example, there are volcanic black sand beaches, wineries, and archeological sites.
• For nature lovers, the Ecuadoran Galapagos Islands are a worthwhile trip of a lifetime. They’re 600 miles in the Pacific, and you can follow the path of Charles Darwin. The largest island is Isabela, and this is where 70% of the area’s wildlife is found. Most people see the Galapagos Islands by cruise.• Egypt features the Pyramids of Giza, which are an astonishing 4,500 years old. You can take a steamship on the Nile River and go to the ancient tombs at the Valley of the Kings.
• Petra is the lost city in Jordan, and it was featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Petra Archeological Site features cave dwellings and a Roman-style amphitheater.
• Safaris are often on people’s bucket lists and Zambia is one of Africa’s best destinations for a safari. The local guides in Zambia are among the best in the world, and the parks include not just the traditional safari experience but also boat rides, fishing, and more.
• Lake Como is in Northern Italy, and it’s known as an enclave for the rich and famous, but even if you aren’t, you can enjoy the beauty. Lake Como runs 30 miles from Cernobbio, a sailing port, through to towns like Menaggio.
• If you’re feeling inspired by the Yellowstone TV drama, maybe Montana is on your bucket list. To make this one happen, you wouldn’t even have to wait for COVID travel restrictions to be lifted. Most of what you’ll find in Montana centers around the outdoors, of course. During the winter you might go skiing and snowmobiling. During the summer, there’s horseback riding, fly-fishing, camping, or glamping.
• Ireland offers a raw, somewhat unspoiled beauty that’s hard to find. There are cliffs and sea views, stone walls, and green hills.
These, of course, are just a tiny sample of the amazing bucket list trips you might start planning, even if it’s only a dream for now.