14 Gifts to Help Complete a Bucket List


Contributing writer, former long-term care admissions counselor and social worker

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A unique way to approach gift-giving is to help people achieve their goals. Whether a loved one has written out a bucket list or it’s all in her head, sometimes it just takes a little nudge with bucket list gifts for your loved one to check off some items.

Overview: Our Top Picks

Bucket List Gifts for an Adventure-Seeker

Bucket List Gifts for Families with Children

Last-Minute Bucket List Gifts

Jump ahead to these sections:

You can be the one who nudges your loved one toward fun new experiences! 

Bucket List Gifts for an Adventure-Seeker

Does your loved one have an adventure-filled bucket list? He might want to jump out of a plane, travel throughout Europe, or SCUBA dive in Fiji.

You don’t have to fund your loved one’s European backpacking trip to get him closer to these goals. Instead, consider offering the following gifts to get him excited about his bucket list. 

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1. Passport holder 

A passport holder definitely shows your support! This gift can be found at a store that carries luggage or you might look online for a personalized option. 

Pro tip: Up the ante with even more travel gear. Luggage, a neck pillow, or luggage tags can get your loved one dreaming of faraway places.

2. Action camera 

What’s a bungee jump without the footage to show family and friends? An adventurous person will enjoy a compact, easy-to-use waterproof camera.

Pro tip: Be sure to include a memory card so your loved one is fully ready to capture his crazy stunts!

3. Activity tracker 

Your adventurous friend’s bucket list is likely full of lots of items related to hiking, hitting new fitness records, and exploring. An activity tracker can be worn to track progress and activity. 

Pro tip: Instead of buying the technology, you can buy new straps for an already-existing activity tracker.

4. Durable backpack 

No matter where your favorite adrenaline junkie goes, he or she can use this gift! Consider where she might be traveling and what she might be doing with this backpack. Choose the size and features based on those activities.

For example, if your loved one will be hiking a lot, be sure to get a backpack with a water bottle holder. 

Pro tip: If a backpack is out of your price range, buy items to put in the backpack. You might want to include a no-leak water bottle, a towel, or sunscreen instead. 

5. Lessons or a class

In order to finally complete those bucket list items, your loved one might need to take lessons or online courses like learning Italian or SCUBA diving. 

Pro tip: You can choose courses online or books. For example, a cooking class may be best in person! 

Bucket List Gifts for Families with Children

Raising and entertaining children can be exhausting. Any gift to make a parent’s life easier will be appreciated. Gift some materials for a new and fun item on your favorite parent’s bucket list.

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6. Art and craft supplies 

There are lots of unique art and craft ideas to include on a bucket list. Many times, these things aren’t crossed off because the materials needed aren’t in the house or it’s messy. Help your loved one with the supplies and see what she creates! 

Pro tip: If you’re helping your loved one finally create a messy project, don’t forget to include a smock.

7. Genealogy books 

A genealogy book is one way families can learn about themselves and also have fun. A bucket list item might be to create a family tree, to reach out to a family member you’ve met through your research, or learn more about family history. 

Pro tip: This gift can be complemented by other items like an ancestry kit or materials to create a family tree. 

8. Camping trip materials 

A fun bucket list item on many kids’ lists is to camp out in the backyard. You could buy anything from a tent to s’mores ingredients to help them attain their goal. 

Pro tip: You can gather other things that can be used for a campout — a book of ghost stories, flashlights, or sleeping bags

9. Tickets 

Many bucket lists include going to an event like a sports game or a music show. If you’re confident your loved one and her family would love an event coming to your town, buy the tickets! 

Pro tip: Be sure the event is family-friendly! 

10. Piggybank

Give your loved one a fun way to save for a bucket list item that involves the whole family — a piggybank. It’ll help the family save money for a particular bucket list item.

Pro tip: Be sure the piggybank is a secure, safe way to hold money. The kids might contribute pennies, but adults could be stuffing in bigger bills. If that’s the case, you may want to look for a fireproof lockbox.

Last-Minute Bucket List Gifts

Gifting a bucket list-related gift can still be incredibly meaningful even if you’re searching at the last minute. Quick and simple gifts can get your loved one on track to accomplish those bucket list items. 

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11. Cash

Put some cash in a card and let your loved one know that you're intending for the cash to go toward a bucket list item. 

Pro tip: Similarly, you might be able to get a gift card that can be used instead of cash for an airline or store. 

12. Books

Depending on what your loved one has on the bucket list, you can buy any kind of how-to book with step-by-step information. Why not buy travel guides, city guide books, language books, and more? 

Pro tip: If your loved one is not a book person, purchase an app instead. 

13. Planner or journal 

It can be discouraging to see a bucket list with nothing crossed out. A reverse bucket list is one way to visualize what you have done and gain the confidence to move forward.

Gift a journal so your loved one can work on a reverse bucket list so she’s ready to move forward toward the rest of her goals. Another great gift option is a planner. Your loved one can get her bucket list down on paper and visualize the steps she needs to take to accomplish it. 

Pro tip: Choose a goal-oriented planner. Some planners include space for lists and a timeline and checklist. 

14. Subscription service

You can get subscription services for just about anything — meals, cooking items, clothes, and even podcasts, which can help with motivation and positivity. 

Pro tip: Search through the hundreds of subscription services that come up on Google and you’ll be sure to find something to help your loved one. 

15. Coupons

You can help in your loved one’s bucket list hopes and dreams by offering help when needed. By creating a DIY coupon book, you can include things like babysitting, cooking meals, or driving to a destination.

Pro tip: Create coupons that will help your loved one accomplish their list items. If he hopes to lose weight, offer to be their gym buddy! 

Bucket List Items Aren’t Out of Reach 

Chances are, your loved one has an idea of items he or she would like to accomplish in life but hasn’t done it due to some barrier (like money) or anxiety. 

Your gift can help your loved one complete his bucket list items and give him a feeling of accomplishment and great memories to look back on. Your gift doesn’t have to be large to be substantial — it needs to be just enough for your loved one to take the leap! 

If you're looking for more on bucket lists, read our guides on the best books to read before you die and the best movies to watch before you die.

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