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  • Travel: Do you have a Bucket List?

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    The definition of bucket list is “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime”. The first known use of the term “Bucket List” was in 2006, in the meaning defined above. The etymology of the term comes from “kick the bucket“(“to die”) + list, hence a list of things to do before you die. And, of course, many have seen one in action in the 2007 Hollywood movie “The Bucket List” starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. So, we all know what they are, and probably most people think they are a good idea, but if you’re like me, it’s hard to figure out where to start and how/what to keep adding to it as you cross things off!

    To most people, bucket lists include events, activities, people, and destinations. Many of these things revolve around travel, so it’s a perfect fit for Travel Advisors to assist their clients. Whether your list includes working abroad, finding a bespoke leather handbag in Italy, flying in a hot air balloon, or maybe going to a professional sporting event, the need to travel to a specific location is usually required. 

     If your bucket list includes experiencing things with friends and family, it is even more challenging to coordinate schedules, finances, and health concerns. You might be successful organizing a trip with a group now and then, but it is definitely a job for the person coordinating the reservations, dates, payments, not to mention, selecting the destination! Your list may be evergreen, meaning as you complete one bucket list item, you add another. For others, it is tough to figure out where to start, what to do first and when is the optimal season to travel there. With the Canadian 2019 report from Statistics Canada finding that the average life expectancy in Canada is 79.9 for men, and 84 for women, starting early with the more physically challenging items (like climbing Kilimanjaro) is a good idea. There are many idea lists online, including many peoples starting point, the Seven Wonders of the World. Did you know there are over 8 different types of Wonders of the World?

    Now that you know the Importance of creating a Bucket List, it’s time to begin working on one.  Did you know that there are bucket list mobile apps?  These tools are meant provide one common place to manage and save your list. There are several popular bucket list apps including Soon, iWish, and Woovly but, if you’d really just like someone else help you figure it all out, a Virtuoso Travel Consultant can help.

    PD Travel is a proud member of the Global luxury travel network Virtuoso. Virtuoso recently introduced “Wanderlist”, a ground-breaking consumer travel planning experience. Wanderlist allows travel advisors to work proactively with clients’ future bucket list travel plans, based on detailed input from clients themselves, versus reactively planning one trip at a time. Building on the model of the financial advisor, Wanderlist offers a powerful combination of professional expertise and the latest technology. It gives the client as much input into their future journeys as they want.

    “We did some exploration into the notion of bucket lists and found that 75 percent of people’s lists are made up of two things: places they want to go and experiences they want to have,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “So, we set off to build a system that allowed advisors to create a better framework for their clients’ travel wish lists. If a bucket list is what people want to do before they die, a Wanderlist focuses them on how they want to live.”

    Wanderlist enables clients – both individually and with travel companions such as family and friends – to collaborate on organizing their wish lists and planning their dream trips. The fun visual online process to create a personalized travel portfolio further enables you to uncover previously unknown aspirations and destinations you may want to visit. And it allows you to live in a state of anticipation knowing your life will now wrap around your travel schedule instead of trying to fit trips into your life.

    In Wanderlist’s first step, clients curate their travel interests in an immersive walk around the world, including destinations and trip styles. You can try it out here. Next, clients enter a unique customized Netflix-style portal where, through videos, music, stories, and other information they can explore more than 160 places and over 1,500 experiences tailored to their specific interests. Finally, you can review your results and your travel companions, compare preferences and interests, and map out future possibilities and dates in a portfolio.

    You will be notified when to start tackling your next bucket list trip to avoid issues with availability for the best lodging, tours, and cruises. It will also apprise you of the best travel dates by seasonality, value, and personal schedules. This long-range approach will save you time and money by organizing future travels, instead of booking one trip at a time when availability is lowest and prices are highest, often resulting in as much as a 25 percent premium rate.

    “Leisure time is our most valuable, non-renewable asset because once it’s gone, you can’t make it back,” said Upchurch. “To help travelers increase their Return on LifeTM, we created the industry’s first travel portfolio. Wanderlist, paired with the expertise of your Virtuoso advisor, will organize ideas into plans, and set plans into action, opening the world to clients, and ultimately offering you peace of mind that your travel dreams will become a reality.”

    Wanderlist’s ten most-saved destinations span the globe, from the Outback to the Land of Fire and Ice. These destinations promise less dreaming and more doing – whenever you’re ready to wander again. Here are a few of the most popular ones.

    France

    The 72-room Cheval Blanc Paris was set to open last spring, but the pandemic pushed its long-awaited debut to 2021. Rooms overlook the Seine, facing the Left Bank; spa rituals are by Dior; and French chef Arnaud Donckele will oversee the dining program, which includes a rooftop terrace with Eiffel Tower views. It’s a très chic way to return to the City of Light. As a client of PD Travel, you are a Virtuoso traveler, and will receive fast-track customs service, complimentary private round-trip airport transfers, and breakfast daily. 

    Greece

    Virtuoso advisors have fielded a huge increase in private yacht inquiries – and private yachting doesn’t get much dreamier than the Greek isles. The Moorings offers crewed charters from Athens on a six-passenger catamaran, with a completely customizable itinerary: Visit ancient Olympia on the Peloponnese, island-hop and snorkel in the Saronic Gulf.

    Japan

    Paul and I are looking forward to our trip to Japan next April. Japan’s draw remains, and there are so many experiences in the country to satisfy your demand. On one Wanderlist you will find a 14-day spa-, nature-, and spirituality-focused jaunt from Tokyo, with stops for tea ceremonies in Kyoto, healing hot springs soaks in Hakone, shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) sessions on Yakushima Island, and more.

    Vineyards of Tuscany

    Located in the heart of Italy, Tuscany is one of the world’s top wine regions. It’s home to beautiful cities like Florence and Siena, as well as rural towns and gently rolling hills filled with grape vines. Learn about Tuscany’s wine heritage amid a beautiful backdrop of vineyards as far as the eye can see. There’s no place quite like it!

    Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

    Seeing the Northern Lights is about as otherworldly as it gets. Seeing the northern lights in Iceland is one of the most unique bucket list ideas.

    Safari in Africa 

    If you are captivated by wildlife, this might be at the top of your bucket list. See the Big Five (leopards, lions, buffalos, elephants, and rhinos) while on a safari in Africa. Some of the best safari destinations include Serengeti in Tanzania, Kruger in South Africa, and Masai Mara in Kenya. You also may come across crocodiles, hippos, cheetahs, hyenas, and a variety of other wildlife.

    See a glacier up close (make this bucket list idea a priority!)

    Glaciers are beautiful, unique, and fleeting. With these large ice formations receding at a rapid rate, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to see them in the coming decades. As such, this is one of the unique bucket list ideas that you’ll want to prioritize and see sooner rather than later. Check out the photos of a glacier in Alaska that we sailed past. It is absolutely incredible to hear the glacier calving, which is the sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier. 

    Walk along the Great Wall of China

    A bucket list attraction for culture and history lovers. It’s one of Paul’s favorite places that he has visited.  You can just feel the history there. There’s a photo above of his view as he walked it.

    Float in the Dead Sea 

    Paul and I are both lucky enough to have experienced the Dead Sea. Located in Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea is one of the most unique places on earth, and certainly worthy of a spot on your bucket list. Contrary to popular belief, the Dead Sea is a lake rather than a sea. It’s made up of 30% salt, which makes it nearly 10 times saltier than typical sea water. As such, this salty water makes it easy to float. As you can see from the picture above, it really is impossible to sink! It’s truly a surreal feeling to take a dip and not have to tread water. The Dead Sea also has healing properties, treating skin conditions like psoriasis. 

    Stay at a Unique Hotel

    Our parent company, Travel Professionals International is a large group of Travel Professionals. As part of the group, we have access to the experiences of all our combined clients. With over 500 agent associates, we are a combined wealth of travel experience. An example is the Ice Hotel in Sweden. It is one of the most unique bucket list ideas imaginable! The Ice Hotel in northern Sweden offers an experience like no other. Each of the rooms contains hand-carved ice furniture and furnishings that makes you feel like you’re in a mystical place near the North Pole. The rooms are kept at subfreezing temperatures, so you’ll fall asleep at night in a thermal sleeping bag. There’s a sauna, and lots of unique winter activities you can do outside, including dog sledding and reindeer sleigh rides. Stay inside a hotel entirely sculpted of ice with views of the Northern Lights, and you’ll see why this is one of the top bucket list ideas for travelers.

    Step foot on each of the seven continents

    This is the ultimate bucket list idea if you have time and enjoy traveling. One interesting fact about continents as they relate to bucket lists: some countries, including the US and much of Europe, consider there to be seven continents: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America. But in other parts of the world, people consider Europe and Asia to be one continent (Eurasia).

    Hike the Himalayas

    If you’re into hiking, the Himalayas ought to be near the top of your bucket list. This mountain range in Asia separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. It’s best known for Mount Everest in Nepal, the highest mountain on Earth above sea level.

    Visit the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador

    Paul cruised in the Galapagos a few years ago. It is one of his Top 3 trips of all time. Check out the picture above of Paul with some of the amazing wildlife. Known for its wildlife-viewing, the Galapagos Islands are a must-see island destination off the coast of Ecuador. Nowhere else on Earth will you see the sheer diversity of flora and fauna than on the Galapagos.

    Attend the Olympic Games

    Ever dreamed of going to the Olympics? Well, if you’re not a top performing athlete, the next best thing is attending as a spectator. These international games are held every two years, switching off between Summer and Winter games

    Go camping or glamping

    Nothing beats the feeling of serenity when you’re totally off the grid. Camping off the grid is truly a lost art these days, and a great way to make all of life’s worries go away. And if the thought of a poor night‘s sleep on the ground does not appeal to you, you could consider glamping, 5-star luxury with the same experience outcome. I glamped in a small town in India, just west of New Delhi, in an air-conditioned tent with running water. Not exactly roughing it, but if you peeked outside the tent, it sure felt like we were in the wilderness.

    Take a train ride through the Swiss Alps 

    I mentioned the Orient Express in a past article and, if you’re into dramatic mountains, crystal clear lakes, and verdant scenery, add this unique experience to your travel bucket list. 

    Learn another language

    Conversing with people in a foreign language just might be one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. It takes a lot of practice, but it allows you to connect with locals in ways you otherwise wouldn’t. And the best way to practice is to immerse yourself in a country that speaks that language!

    Each Bucket List is of course, endless, and very personal. We are actively working through our Bucket List and would love to help you with yours. Whether you need to create it from scratch, or just need to get started tackling your dream items, we are here to help. Please contact us for more information on any of the destinations mentioned in this article or anywhere else you may have on your list!