Travel Bucket Lists Can Turn Dreams Into Reality!

Many people keep a bucket list of things they’d like to have or accomplish during their lifetimes. For some, that bucket list exists only in their minds, and for others the ideas are written down or kept in a computer file. Travel Bucket Lists Can Turn Dreams Into Reality!

As an independent travel advisor, you have a unique opportunity to tap into your client’s bucket list of ideas and help them develop one or more travel-based lists to assist them in reaching their dream destinations.

Travel bucket lists can include destinations they’d like to visit in the short term, say during the next year or two, and in the longer term, five to ten years out.

Depending on the client, the bucket lists can be further refined into themed categories like family trips, friend adventures, romantic interludes, special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, trips that focus on a specific location or culture, such South American mountains to climb, European waterways to cruise, exotic cities to visit, etc.

Making lists according to a person’s age is another way to organize a person’s dream destinations. Where do they see themselves adventuring in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond?

The beauty of having several lists and keeping track of the items on them is that it helps your clients focus their time, energy and money into achieving their goals. Numerous studies have shown that when people work toward a specific goal, they stay motivated and are likely to accomplish what they set out to do.

And be sure to set a specific year or date for each item on your client’s bucket list. Knowing when they will travel keeps the excitement building, and if they need to save for the trip it gives them time to do so.

Help your clients build their bucket lists by brainstorming together. Ask questions: What kind of adventures do you like? Salmon fishing, sunning on a beach, eating new kinds of food, visiting historic sites, etc.? What did you dream of doing when you were a kid? What’s the number one place on the planet that has always fascinated you? Do you like to take trips that involve a lot of spontaneity or are you more comfortable when your itinerary is organized and scheduled? Do you read books that are set in certain locations like India, Patagonia, Alaska or Norway that make you want to visit? What is the reason why you’d like to travel to a certain location? Are you hooked on “Best Of” lists — and which of the destinations listed would you want to visit and why?

Once you and your client have developed one or more bucket lists, you can keep a record of it for them and promote the destinations when appropriate. Invite your client to a bucket list webinar; create travel evenings related to bucket list destinations; share articles or movies about the places they want to travel to; during the holidays send a small gift representative of the next trip they have planned, such as Scottish shortbread for un upcoming tour of Scotland.

Bucket lists are a useful tool that help clients stay accountable and excited about all the fascinating places they are going to visit. And having that list in hand provides valuable information for you as you assist them in making their travel dreams come true.

— Eileen Alexander, a writer living in western North Carolina, has always wanted to sail down the Nile and explore India — time to put these on the Bucket List! She and Ilja have been working together since 2007, back in their New Hampshire days!