Choosing your top 3 bucket list destinations

Choosing your top 3 bucket list destinations

When I had to cancel my much-needed and anticipated vacation to the Bahamas due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, I was totally bummed. I hadn’t been on a vacation in over 8 months, I was feeling utterly burnt out from my career, and the month of April (when I was scheduled to go) has literally the best weather in the Bahamas.

I won’t lie – I threw myself a pity party for a day or two, but then I decided to move on. I figured I would rather get excited about my next couple of vacations instead of wallowing in self-pity about this one that I had to cancel.

I still wanted to go to the Bahamas, but travel restrictions were likely not to be lifted until the islands were in peak hurricane season, so I wasn’t really wanting to take another chance for my vacation to be cancelled. So instead, I went back to the “drawing board” – a.k.a. my vacation bucket-list – to figure out where I should go next.

The thing about bucket lists is that they are super inspirational, but usually long. They can make you feel excited and dreamy, but also clueless about where to go next and frustrated that you can’t go to all of the places now.

With all of the extra time that I gained from the COVID-19 social distancing, I figured out the answer for tackling your bucket list dreams and turning them into actions, so that you can have some clarity about where to go on vacation next.

The answer? There are two main parts to figuring out your next vacation destination:

  • Choosing which destinations you want to go to the most the dreamy stuff
  • Sorting out which destinations are a match for you in your life right nowthe practical stuff

If you are eager to get your hands on the answers, go ahead and sign up for my free challenge, where I take you through my fun and simple 5-step scoring process for scoring, ranking, and finding your top 3 bucket list destinations!

Which destination do I want to travel to the most? The Appeal Rank.

The one way that I would advise against ranking your bucket list? Simply looking at your list, and ranking the destinations compared to each other.

Before you can figure out which destinations you truly want to go to the most on your bucket list, you need to understand why each of these destinations is on your list in the first place. To do that, you should imagine what a vacation to each of these destinations would be like.

When you envision yourself on vacation in each of the places on your list, how are you feeling? What are you doing? Who are you with? What are you wearing? These types of specific questions can help you pull out information from deep inside about what you expect from a vacation to each of these destinations.

You should use questions that will gather intel about what’s most important to you in a vacation. There are 4 main focusing questions that I use in my system:

  1. “How do you want to feel on this vacation?”
  2. “Who would you want to go with you?”
  3. “What type of weather would you want?”
  4. “What is the ONE reason you want to travel here?”

Once you have done solid day-dreaming about each destination by answering the key questions, then you can do some preliminary ranking. Cycle through the responses to each of the questions that you asked and rank each response based on that question alone.

For example, if you asked the question, “How do you want to feel on this vacation?”, rank the feelings you listed based on what sounds most appealing to you right now.

The key here is not to rank based on the destination and the response, but only the response. You want to make sure that you let the daydreams do the talking rather than letting the destination itself sway your ranking.

Once you’ve ranked each of your questions, add up the numbers for each destination for a final score to see which destinations come out on top! Those with the best scores are the ones that your soul needs the most right now.

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Which destinations can I travel to right now? The Practical Rank.

Most of us can’t just book a vacation based on how much we want to go. You have to consider some of the practical aspects to taking the vacation, like how many days you’d be able to take off from work, what time of year is the best to travel to that destination, and other conflicting life events.

In fact, when I work with clients to figure out their next vacation destination, the practical parts are the things that are considered more than the appeal of the destination. They want to make sure that they can arrange pet sitters, have to schedule around school events, and want to make sure that they have enough saved for the vacation prior to leaving.

When I’m working through my bucket list, there are 4 main practical factors that go into consideration:

  1. How I’m feeling right now (and how I’d like my vacation to make me feel)
  2. How many days off from work I would need to take for this destination
  3. My vacation budget
  4. What time of year the destination has the weather I want

Ask yourself the following questions to figure out which practical constraints and considerations you need to take into account when choosing your next vacation destination.

Right now I am feeling ________ and would like to feel _________ on vacation.

Based on how you envisioned your vacation previously, which of your destinations are a match for how you want to feel on your next vacation?

I typically can take vacations that are ____ to _____ days in length.

Cycle through your destinations and find which destinations you could go on based on the amount of vacation days that you can take.

For my next vacation, I’m looking for an [$, $$ , $$$, $$$$, $$$$$] experience.

Are you ready to go all out and take a big vacation, or is that expensive trip is not the right choice for your next vacation? Which destinations are a match?

For finding the right time of year with the ideal weather, there’s a bit more work involved. First, answer the below questions.

I typically like to take vacation during these months: ____________________________

I typically don’t like to take (or it’s difficult to take) a vacation during these months: _____________________________

Next, cycle through each of your destinations and find which months have the desired weather you previously envisioned.

Which of the destinations are a match for when you prefer or are able to travel?

After you sort out the practicalities of your next vacation, it’s time to apply a ranking so you can weave them into the scoring process. At this point the scoring has gotten a bit complicated, so I’m going to recommend that you go ahead and snag my simplified 5-step scoring system to carry you through to the final ranking.

Take the Vacation Bucket-List Challenge

Your vacation bucket-list: the guiding lamp to your next adventure. Or is it?

If you’re anything like me, your vacation bucket list could go on and on (and on…), which is great for day-dreaming, but not-so-helpful from a practical standpoint of getting to all of these destinations. When we have too many destinations to choose from, it can be so hard to narrow them down and figure out where you should go next.

But that’s exactly what this challenge is all about! Using my easy and rock-solid 5-step scoring system, I will help you narrow down your bucket-list to your TOP 3 destinations. These are the destinations that you equally are in love with but are also a match for where you are in life right now so that you can go as soon as possible.

No more racking your brain trying to decide where you should go on vacation – when you complete this challenge you will have the answer so you can just go.

I’m a custom travel advisor who specializes in personalized vacations for the busy professional woman. Get a taste for what it’s like to work one-on-one with me by signing up for a free consultation where I help you take the first steps in making your vacation a reality. I help you understand how you want to feel on your next vacation and recommend vacation experiences that are a perfect match for your travel style and budget.

Get to know Angela from Wild Hair Travels.