• Be inspired with brilliant bucket list ideas – from exploring Africa on safari to travelling on the Orient Express.
  • Learn how much it costs to enjoy your bucket list – typical prices and how much you’ll need to spend.
  • How to save for a bucket list – from ISAs to stocks and shares, how to choose the best savings plan for you.

Dreaming up bucket list ideas is a great way to plan for future adventures. From trekking to Machu Picchu in Peru to gazing at the aurora borealis in Alaska, creating a bucket list of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and exotic destinations to visit is something that we all can do. 

Bucket list costs

Fulfilling a bucket list of adventures may, however, prove far more expensive than you think.

Holidays and travel top most people’s bucket lists. According to life curation website WishLockr, the average lifetime bucket list can add up to more than £425,000. That’s equal to around 15 years of an average salary.

To help you assess the budget required for your bucket list, here are a few of the most popular bucket list ideas with sample costs:

Explore wildlife on an African Safari

Get close to elephants, zebra, lions and mountain gorillas in their natural habitats on an African safari. Wildlife safaris range from budget camping tours to luxury, off-the-beaten-track experiences. Expect to pay on average £400-500 per person per day, though prices rise steeply depending on the location, wildlife experiences and level of accommodation.

How to save for bucket list ideas and go on safari in Africa

Travel on the Orient Express

Made famous by Agatha Christie’s novel, a train journey on the Orient Express provides the chance to immerse yourself in a bygone age of glamour and elegance. Expect to pay around £7,200 per person for the original Paris to Istanbul journey, though shorter routes such as London to Venice start at approximately £2,500 per person.

How to save for a bucket list such as travelling on the Orient Express
How to save for a bucket list such as travelling on the Orient Express

Drive Route 66

Enjoy Route 66 – the US’s most iconic road trip as it winds its way through eight US states, taking in small-town America with its retro motels and diners. Drive yourself, and the budget is what you make it but expect to pay around £4,000 per person for a three-week trip, including flights.

Route 66 is one of the more popular and adventurous bucket list ideas

Trek to Machu Picchu

A UNESCO World Heritage site, this 15th Century Inca city is perched on a plateau nearly 8,000ft above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. Expect to pay around £4,000 per person for a 10-night trip including flights to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Looking for more inspiration for bucket list ideas? Read our guide to the 10 best bucket list ideas and destinations everyone should explore.

Photo of Machu Picchu, a world UNESCO heritage site

Saving for a bucket list

Whatever your bucket list goals, careful financial planning is key to achieving them.

Setting money aside and stashing it in a traditional savings account is useful for upcoming trips and holidays. But if you’re planning on building up a serious travel fund to pay for later-life travel adventures such as a round-the-world trip, this approach may not be sufficient to grow your money.

With interest rates remaining low in recent years, the interest you receive from a cash savings account may not match inflation, meaning that over time your money could be worth less than when you initially invested it.

Investing your money in stocks and shares instead may help grow your money at a faster rate, which can make it suitable for those keen to achieve future bucket list adventures.

There are lots of options for managing your investments yourself. However, if you lack the expertise and time to research and monitor the markets daily, it can make sense to consider an investment service. Knowing your money is in expert hands, means you can relax and focus instead on planning your next trip.

Tax-free savings

If you’re looking for a tax-efficient way to invest your money, you could consider a stocks and shares ISA (Individual Savings Account). 

An ISA is tax wrapper that protects your investments from tax. Within a stock and shares ISA, you can hold shares in individual companies, government or corporate bonds that pay interest, or you can pool your money in a fund with other investors to buy a range of assets. 

You can invest up to £20,000 each year in a stocks and shares ISA without paying tax on any gains your investments make. This includes not having to pay capital gains tax on any profit you make from selling investments nor income tax on any dividends a company may pay out to its shareholders. You’ll also be exempt from income tax on any interest you earn from bonds.

Understand your attitude to risk

When investing your money for your bucket list fund or other financial goals, it’s essential to consider how much risk you’re comfortable with before you invest. The greater your appetite for risk, the more opportunity there is for higher return if what you invest in performs well. 

It’s important to remember that the value of your investments can go down as well as up and there’s no guarantee that you will get back the money you originally invested. Investing is best suited for achieving longer-term financial goals, so be prepared to keep your money invested for three or more years.

The information contained in this article does not constitute advice and the information referred to may not be the same for all. We strongly recommend you seek professional guidance from your independent advisor before taking any action.