The Ultimate Traveler’s Bucket List

Travelers are a different sort of people. Sure, we have a bucket list of places we want to go (which only grows longer, never shorter). We have odd collections (for Steve and me, it’s over 100 Starbucks mugs). We also value experiences in ways that differ from most other people.

I was lounging around my house wearing my robe from the Royal Hawai’ian on O’ahu a while back, and I thought how ridiculous it was to have a hotel robe. And then I wondered how many other travelers also own a ridiculous robe. That’s what inspired this blog post. How many of these have you checked off in your travels? And what would you add? Comment below!

Own a Hotel Robe

Why is this robe ridiculous? It was ridiculously expensive. But I loved it so much when we stayed there! Hawai’i has a special place in my heart and my travels, and staying at the historic Royal Hawai’ian Hotel on Waikiki was a travel dream come true. My husband and I stopped by the hotel gift shop, just to see how much they were, and I quickly decided it was way too expensive and didn’t buy it!

I had a serious case of non-buyer’s regret a few months later, so I looked online to see if I could buy one and have it sent to me. Unfortunately, they only sell it in the gift shop and do not sell them online. So, Steve suggested that we fly back to O’ahu for a long weekend and buy one while we were there. It would be my Christmas present. It’s ridiculous, but I love it so much, and I wear it all the time! It’s a fun memory, and it’s definitely only something a traveler would want enough to fly back to get one!

It’s pink seersucker, AND it’s from Hawai’i. I love it a little more every time I wear it!
More details: What It’s Like Staying at the Royal Hawai’ian Hotel, Waikiki

Get Multiple Services at the Hotel Spa

Travel is rough on the body–first-world problem, right? One of the best things about a fancy hotel is the spa. Every woman, and every man, can benefit from a little travel-inspired pampering. You can get a facial, massage, body wrap, hammam, mani-pedi, foot scrubs, and even a flower-filled and essential oil-scented bath at some hotel spas. But why stop at one? Travelers know the value of going all out–get the whole package!

Relaxing tea time before my spa treatments in French Polynesia.
Self care at its finest: What It’s Like to Stay at the Sofitel Kia Ora on Mo’orea

Be Upgraded to a Multi-room Suite with a View

This is the holy grail of hotel experiences. Any hotel upgrade is great, but when you get to stay in a suite that’s larger than your own home, that is about as next-level as it gets. Until you look out the window and see an epic view like the one below (it was literally the cover photo for our destination’s travel book). Wow. This particular suite at the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan, Egypt had two balconies, two living areas, rose petals in a heart shape on our bed at turn-down service, and three–yes, three–bathrooms.

Best hotel, best room, best view.
The most amazing hotel experience: Everything You Need to Know about the Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt

Get Upgraded on a Super Long-haul Flight

Speaking of upgrades, the only thing better than a hotel upgrade is a long-haul flight upgrade with lie-flat seats and pajamas. While it’s not the most comfortable bed you’ll ever have, it’s worlds better than trying to sleep sitting up in an economy seat with no legroom! Sure, you could spend $10-20K on business class seats, and it may be worth it to you. But there’s a certain thrill you get when it’s a gift for your airline loyalty!

Once you’ve spent 16 or more hours in lie-flat bliss with warm blankets, branded PJ’s, choice of pillows, an actual meal, and a reasonably-sized TV, you’ll be spoiled on flights for life. And it’ll be worth it.

The face of a man who just hit the upgrade jackpot!
More here: The Luckiest Things that Ever Happened to Us on Travel

Book Long-haul Business Class Seats (or better) Entirely on Points

The next best thing to getting upgraded? Flying entirely on miles or points! Travelers spend months, years, and plenty of cash to accumulate points and miles as efficiently as possible (there are often spreadsheets involved). We don’t spend a dime or take a flight without earning rewards. Is it worth the effort? Ask any traveler who’s ever redeemed them to pay for a bucket list trip and find out. (Spoiler alert: Our Valentine’s trip to Verona, Italy, was entirely worth it.)

We LOVED our Valentine’s trip to Verona, taken entirely on miles and points!
This is how we do it: The Beginner’s Guide to Using Points and Miles for Travel

Frame Your Epic Travel Photos

Sure, you can find artwork to fill your home. Prints are beautiful. Maps of cities around the world are cool. But being proud enough of your own photography to order a large, frameable print to hang on your wall? That’s epic. The things a traveler photographs says a lot about them. Some people see unique beauty in architecture, others see it in animals, and still others just want to capture beautiful land- or seascapes.

This guy was just asking to be framed on Niihau!
Also helpful: The Best Travel Photography Tips from Your Favorite Travel Blogger

Buy Local Artwork

The more a person travels, the more that traveler values shopping local. I’m not much for art appreciation, but sometimes, a piece of art kind of speaks to you, like the one below did for me. Whether it’s a print, painting, sculpture, pottery, or something else entirely, when you bring home something beautiful and local from a place you visited, it has special meaning that you can’t get from some place you’ve never been.

I still love my Bayou Temple painting from Cambodia every time I see it!
More here: Tips for Shopping Local in Your Travels

Lose Count of How Many Countries You’ve Visited

It happens! Unless you’re keeping a list somewhere or keeping a county-counting app up-to-date, odds are good that at some point you’ll be asked how many countries you’ve visited, and your reply will be something like, “Um, 44. Or maybe 45. I’m not sure.” It’s a good problem to have!

Always ready for take-off!
Read next: The 30 Best Trips to Take in Your 30s

Run Out of Pages in Your Passport

This one might happen before you even realize it! Not everyone will run out of pages, and it’s not really a “goal,” but if it happens, it’s a clear sign that you are not only a traveler, you’re one who travels a lot! When you renew, make sure you check the box for extra pages in your next passport. It costs nothing more and there are no special permissions or requirements, so there’s no downside!

Note to self: Always check the box for extra pages!
Must-read info: How to Get Your Passport Fast!

Order Room Service

This is a true indulgence! Maybe you’re jet lagged, maybe you’re exhausted after a day of touring, maybe you love the view from your room, or maybe it’s just how you want to treat yourself. Whatever your reason, it’s a good reason to order room service. We loved having breakfast delivered to our bungalow each morning on the Island of Hawai’i!

Enjoying morning coffee while we wait for breakfast served on our beautiful lanai!
More here: 10 Trips Every Traveler Should Take

Be Homesick for a Place You Traveled

This is the mark of a well-traveled traveler. I only lived in Japan for three months, but when I came back home to Tennessee, I felt true homesickness for this country and the experiences I had there. I know a lot of travelers who feel the same way about a place they lived or traveled. Where have you been that felt like home?

I was homesick for Japan after I came home to the USA.
Read on: The Most Important Lessons Travel has Taught Me

Get more travel-inspired lists like this on my dedicated Travel Tips Page!

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