Have you shied away from creating a bucket list because it means you have to face your own mortality — or maybe you just don’t know where to begin?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Summer Bucket List Template
- Travel Bucket List Template
- Traditional Bucket List Template
- Family Bucket List Template
We’ve put together some bucket list templates to inspire you and help you make the most out of life.
Summer Bucket List Template
To-dos with friends
- Take a spontaneous road trip.
- Go to the county fair and enjoy fried foods and risky rides.
- Attend your high school or college reunion. If one isn’t planned, have an impromptu one of your own.
- Go on a retreat to a beach house or a beachfront resort.
- Recreate your summer camp experience, complete with arts and crafts and cooking hot dogs and s’ mores by the campfire.
- Cool off — set up a Slip ’N Slide or have a water gun fight.
- Have a summertime book club with guilty-pleasure beach reads.
- Go on a summer-long scavenger hunt.
- Follow your favorite band on tour for at least a few stops.
- Take up windsurfing.
- Have a weekly board game night.
- Go to the playground and play dodge ball.
- Have an ice cream sundae party.
- Go on a quest for hidden treasure at garage sales throughout the summer.
- Plant a vegetable garden.
To-dos with a romantic partner
- Join a summer bowling league.
- Go mini-golfing.
- Attend a summer music festival.
- Take an art class.
- Visit a drive-in movie.
- Go see Shakespeare in the park (or a similar outdoor theatrical production).
- Make homemade ice cream.
- Go stargazing and camp under the open sky.
- Take in a fireworks display at a waterfront restaurant.
- Frolic in an afternoon summer rain shower.
- Swim with dolphins.
- Indulge in a staycation.
- Take long walks on the beach and start a seashell collection.
- Visit each other’s hometowns and meet each other’s families.
- Support your local farmer’s market.
Share your final wishes, just in case.
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Travel Bucket List Template
- Drive through all 48 contiguous states.
- Visit all 50 states.
- Visit the highest point in California, Mt. Whitney, which is 14.494 feet above sea level. Follow that by traveling to the lowest point in the United States, just 85 miles away. Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park is located 282 feet below sea level.
- Drive the length of the Pacific Coast Highway and take in incredible views.
- Sail the Great Loop. This continuous waterway encompasses the Great Lakes, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, and the Canadian Heritage Canals. The loop, which winds around the eastern United States and part of Canada, is approximately 6,000 miles long. The trip can take anywhere from two months to a year.
- Travel to Alaska. You can visit the city of North Pole and hang out with Santa Claus year-round. You can also climb to the top of Denali, the tallest mountain peak in North America. From there you can get an amazing view of the aurora borealis (also known as the northern lights).
- Visit every single national park in the country.
- Take a 10-day horseback ride down the Pony Express National Historic Trail that runs from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California.
- Travel from Chicago to Los Angeles on the historic Route 66.
- Visit the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, also known as the Mighty Mac. It’s the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Time your visit for Labor Day to participate in the annual bridge walk, which is the one day of the year the bridge opens to pedestrian foot traffic.
- Hike part or all of the Appalachian Trail.
- Travel along the Anniston Civil Rights and Heritage trail in Anniston, Alabama. You can take in important civil rights landmarks like the Freedom Riders National Monument.
- Take in a baseball game in every major league stadium in North America.
- Tour literary landmarks around the United States. These could include the Athenaeum Library in Providence, Rhode Island, hangout to literary luminaries like H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. You can also visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Old Town Key West and travel to the Hartford, Connecticut home of Mark Twain (also known as Samuel Clemens).
- Check out spooky landmarks around the country like the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, which served as the inspiration for the haunted overlook in Stephen King’s “The Shining.” You can also visit Salem, Massachusetts, the home of the infamous 17th-century witch trials. There are also haunted house tours in historic cities around the country, including New Orleans and St. Augustine.
- Summit iconic mountains across the world. Peaks like Mount Fuji in Japan, Switzerland’s Breithorn, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Nepal’s Island Peak, and Pico de Orizaba, Mexico. You’ll need to be in shape to climb them but you don’t need to be an experienced mountaineer. It sure beats waiting in line behind a bunch of rich guys to climb Mount Everest.
- Travel to Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef.
- Visit the (literally) super cool Icehotel in northern Sweden. This hotel/living art exhibition is built each year out of natural ice and snow.
- Visit the Seven Natural Wonders of the Ancient World, which showcase the incredible feats of construction carried out by ancient civilizations. They include the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Great Pyramid of Giza.
- Take a culinary tour across Italy.
- Visit the New Seven Wonders of the World, which have been selected to represent heritage sites around the world. They include the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India, the Roman Colosseum in Italy, Chichen Itza in Mexico, and Machu Picchu in Peru.
- Visit Jordan’s eerily-preserved Lost City.
- Travel to Africa and go on a natural wilderness safari. Observe elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, zebras, and more in their natural habitat.
- Visit Havana, Cuba now that five decades of travel restrictions have been loosened. Enjoy the time-capsule vibe brought on by classic architecture and vintage cars (all that was available due to trade embargoes).
- Float in the Dead Sea, which is unusually buoyant thanks to its high salt concentration. Many people find the waters to be healing.
- Visit the whimsical town of Cappadocia in central Turkey. Acres of vineyards are juxtaposed against rock formations known as fairy chimneys, giving the landscape a mythical feel. Join hundreds of other visitors who observe the landscape below from colorful hot air balloons.
- Take a genealogy test to learn more about your family heritage, then visit the places where your ancestors originated.
- Attend the La Tomatina festival in Buñol, Spain to participate in what is essentially the world’s largest annual food fight.
- Travel around Europe and visit the continent’s most picturesque castles.
- Go to Japan between February and May to witness cherry blossoms erupting into full bloom.
Traditional Bucket List Template
If you’d rather not get bogged down in the details of potential bucket list items, you can take a more abstract approach. Here, we break down some traditional bucket list items by overarching categories. From here, you can begin to fine-tune the areas you want to focus on.
- Get a degree in your chosen field.
- Take advantage of internship opportunities while you’re a student.
- Get a position in (list names of potential future companies here).
- Find a mentor.
- Get promoted to (position) within (years).
- Pay it forward by becoming a mentor to students or newer workers.
- Start your own business.
- Achieve (insert industry-specific accolades).
- Take some time away from relationships to learn how to be emotionally self-sufficient.
- Meet a partner who shares (insert values here).
- Discuss the possibility of having children by (insert age here).
- Make plans to help care for aging parents.
- Make living wills and communicate advanced directives.
- Appoint guardians for your children in the event of your death.
- Set up life insurance and keep beneficiaries up to date.
- Make a will and update it annually.
Hobbies and other activities
- Take art classes or music lessons or other creative passions.
- Choose an exercise or physical activity you enjoy to help you stay in shape.
- Learn how to operate a film camera and begin documenting your life the old-fashioned way.
- Research your family’s genealogy and make a family tree to share with relatives of all generations.
- Begin sourcing your food locally and plan your meals around fresh and seasonal produce.
- Learn basic carpentry skills so you can make simple home repairs or do some remodeling on a budget.
- Create opportunities to spend time with your family and friends.
- Begin growing a small flower or vegetable garden.
Family Bucket List Template
To-dos with family members
- Make homemade popsicles.
- Have a water balloon fight.
- Visit a children’s museum.
- Go hiking.
- Fly a kite.
- Set up a lemonade stand.
- Visit a lake house and go swimming, waterskiing, and tubing.
- Go to the zoo.
- Visit a theme park.
- Build a sandcastle village.
- Attend a chalk festival.
- Project a movie onto the outside of your house and invite the neighborhood over for movie night.
- Chase the ice cream truck down the street.
- Visit a splash pad.
- Walk through a botanical garden.
Start Your Personalized Bucket List
Not everything on these templates will be things you have an interest in doing. That’s okay. They’re meant to help you narrow down what’s important to you.
Certain items on these bucket lists will resonate with you. Once you pay attention to those, it will be easier for you to draw inspiration for your own personalized bucket list. If you're looking for more ideas, check out our guides to the best travel bucket list ideas, the best fall bucket list ideas, and how to create a bucket list.