What’s at the top of your travel bucket list?

May 21, 2014
A first-class flat-bed on British Airways

A first-class flat-bed on British Airways

A new survey reveals America’s top travel bucket list dreams. 

Earlier this month, Marriott’s Spring Hill Suites announced the results of its fifth annual travel attitude survey. Who would have ever guessed that flying first class would rank at the top of people’s bucket lists? Perhaps, it speaks to how adverse the flying experience has become and the growing divide between luxury and economy travel. Admittedly, I always have a serious case of seat envy when I exit the plane through the rows of flat-bed seats.

In this nationally representative sample of more than 1000 Americans over the age of 18, these were the eight travel activities that ranked at the top of people’s bucket lists:

  • Flying first class (30 percent)
  • Researching their heritage (26 percent)
  • Setting foot on all seven continents (24 percent)
  • Taking an African safari (21 percent)
  • Hiking a famous trail or mountain (18 percent)
  • Visiting a place in every time zone (17 percent)
  • Filling every page of their passport (17 percent)
  • Bungee jumping or sky diving while on vacation (14 percent)

Unfortunately, the survey didn’t break out bucket list aspirations by age but it made me wonder whether over-50 travelers would share the same travel aspirations at this later stage of life. I certainly know that my own travel ambitions have changed over time.

I actually don’t keep a bucket list but thinking about it, one of the things I would really enjoy doing at this stage of life is to live as a local in another country for several months, perhaps in Mexico, Spain or France. Do you have a travel bucket list?

  • Link to the Marriott Spring Hill Suites Survey
  • Reply
    Mike Quane
    May 21, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    For the US it’s the Mississippi Delta. For Europe it’s a cruise on the Danube, for the Middle East it’s Petra, for Africa it’s Capetown, for Asia it’s Hong Kong, and for Australia it’s Ayer’s Rock.

  • Reply
    Brittany Ruth
    May 22, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Yes, I have a travel bucket list. It’s actually named that on my blog too. I have to finish it withint the next year and a half but I think I’m making pretty good progress.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Irene S. Levine
      May 22, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Wow, that’s a long and impressive list. If I had one, mine would probably be shorter 🙂

  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    May 22, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I’m with you, Irene. After the horrific winter we just experienced, my travel dream would be to spend 3 months away from the cold and the snow. Australia and New Zealand are definitely in my Bucket List and I hope to get there in the next few years. So many great places to visit!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Irene S. Levine
      May 22, 2014 at 8:42 am

      An advantage of one long stay vs. multiple shorter trips is fewer plane rides!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2014 at 11:18 am

    One of mine is a walking tour holiday in Great Britain or Spain

  • Reply
    Marilyn Jones
    May 23, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Very interesting…I always thought of a travel bucket list as destinations…I see now it’s destinations AND experiences!

  • Reply
    Len D.
    May 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    My bucket list includes a trip to Liverpool and the complete Beatles experience!
    A little blast from the past so to speak. And I will realize that dream this summer, taking a trip to London, then a train to Liverpool to spend two night there, then back to London for a few day trips.
    Can’t wait!


  • Reply
    Jean | Holy Smithereens
    June 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I’ve to join the 30% and include flying first class on the list. I’d also like to go to Galapagos, swim or dive with seals and do a shark dive in Rangiroa.But I too dont really keep a list, it’s just always on my mind. Hope that’s powerful enough 🙂

    • Irene S. Levine
      Irene S. Levine
      June 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm


      You seem to get EVERYWHERE without the list:-)

      Best, Irene

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