"Destinations you must see before you die."
"Your ultimate travel bucket list."
"Travel to these places before they disappear forever."
Ahem! Canadian Traveller is guilty of it too:
With so many great lists online, it’s hard not to get caught up in the bucket list epidemic of things to see and do before "it’s too late". These lists make you want to be the one posting photos at iconic sites and sharing stories of visiting world wonders.
Personally, I think bucket lists are a great source of inspiration and are helpful in shedding light on destinations you might not have learned of otherwise. But if you’re focusing your travel goals on an ‘ultimate’ bucket list, you run the risk of being disappointed if a place lets you down. Plus, the fixation of conquering a list can leave you missing out on hidden gems.
These five types of travellers might have a better experience ditching the list altogether in lieu of wandering on their own terms. After all, travel is less about ticking checklists and more about embracing those serendipitous moments that you can never actually plan for.
The Culture Seeker
The Type: You want to experience all that makes a country unique like food, language, ancient traditions and local culture.
A bucket list is often centered around sites and attractions but lacks connection with the people who know a destination best. You won't get much of a cultural experience waiting in line at the Eiffel Tower, but people watching at a cafe in Paris will give you a better feel for French culture.
The Tip: Ditch the list and make the most of your next getaway by connecting with locals and getting to know all that a country has to offer beyond it’s top attractions.
The Spontaneous Traveller
The Type: You’re up for any adventure and can spin the globe, pack your bags and enjoy the ride anywhere in the world.
When you’re determined to complete a bucket list, it’s easy to lose sight of your ‘why’. Are you going to all of these places because you genuinely want to? Or would you rather fly by the seat of your pants and see what happens?
The Tip: Ditch the list and embrace your spontaneous spirit. Say yes to that last-minute road trip even if it means driving on the wrong side of the road.
The Impatient Traveller
The Type: You can’t deal with the drive-thru lineup at lunch and cringe at the thought of having to wait hours on end for a bucket list moment.
Popular global attractions are often crowded with other travellers, resulting in long wait times or even restrictions on how many people can visit on any given day. And while the best things in life are worth waiting for, the impatient traveller may have a hard time accepting the wait for perfect Northern Lights conditions or for whales to breach.
The Tip: Ditch the list and opt for off-the-beaten track destinations that offer a similar experience without the wait times that come with crowds. You might like the Ciudad Perdida Trek in Colombia instead of Machu Picchu or Bagan in Myanmar over Angkor Wat.
The Indecisive Traveller
The Type: You have a hard time making up your mind about what to have for breakfast, never mind deciding which country you’ll visit next.
In theory a bucket list should help someone decide where to go and what to see, but the idea of creating a bucket list is overwhelming, if not stress-inducing, for the indecisive traveller.
The Tip: Ditch the list and follow your curiosity, paying attention to your own likes and dislikes on the road. In time, it’ll be easier to detect what you’re naturally drawn to as a traveller versus what the masses suggest you do.
The Budget-Savvy Traveller
The Type: You find value in experiences over possessions and know that you can spend two weeks at a beach hostel in Thailand for the same price as a new pair of jeans.
While I’m sure every penny spent skydiving in Australia or looking for the Big 5 in South Africa is worth it, many of those ‘must do before you die’ experiences are out of reach for the budget traveller.
The Tip: Ditch the list and look for ways to DIY your own tours. Travel in the off (or shoulder) season when admission is often reduced or gather your friends to take advantage of group discounts.
How do you feel about bucket lists?
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