What’s on Your Travel #BucketList?

By Jason Steele. Last updated 22 July 2014. 1 comment

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Disclosure: Sponsored by Capital One. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Capital One.

A bucket list itemizes what we want to see and do before we die. Creating a bucket list is fun and can be quite liberating. Although it makes us realize our own mortality, by making plans, we free our minds to wonder about the places and experiences we would like to have before we die.

Capital One Venture is encouraging people to share what's on their #Bucketlist. Check out the Bucket List page where you can enter your own bucket list items and get suggestions for where next to go in the world.

How the Capital One Venture Rewards Card Helps

I recently took my family on vacation in Hawaii, where I met a fellow world traveler. While staying at a luxury hotel in Maui, as my children started playing in the pool with another family's kids, the mother asked me what kind of work I did. I told her that I was writer who specialized in credit cards and travel, and she immediately volunteered that their family was visiting Maui because of all the miles they had earned with their Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

As our children played together, we talked about the card and how it brought us closer to some great experiences:

  1. Double miles on all purchases. This is like earning around 2% cashback on all everyday purchases, but in the form of a statement credit can be redeemed for travel purchases.
     
  2. No foreign transaction fee. Most credit cards charge a 1.5% transaction fee for purchases made in another country. The Venture card attracts savvy international travelers because it never charges a foreign transaction fee.
     
  3. Finally, no blackout dates on airline flights, so there are no restrictions on when you can book a free flight using your earned miles.

Frankly, I was impressed. Many of the credit card users that I meet socially just use the card offered by the bank where they have their checking account, or whatever card offered them a good sign up bonus many years ago. This family sought out the best credit card offer, which enabled them to enjoy a luxurious Hawaiian vacation they may not have otherwise afforded.

7 Experiences on My Travel Bucket List

Those of you who follow me on Wise Bread and at my personal website, Steele Street, know that I am already a lot closer than most people to fulfilling the average person's bucket list. This year alone, I've been to Europe, South America, the Middle East, and several destinations across the United States. When I am not traveling, I enjoy world class bicycling, snowboarding, and hiking on an average weekend here in Colorado. So, let's just say my #BucketList is going to be a little on the extreme side.

To help me narrow it down a bit, I'll start by confining myself to the continental United States, and constricting it further to activities that will be viable later this year or early next year. Here are the first seven I came up with, in no particular order:

1. Dive in Florida coast.

As a certified SCUBA diver, I thought of taking a diving vacation on Sunset Key and the Dry Tortugas National park, off of the coast of Key West, Florida. This is perhaps the warmest winter destination in all of the Continental U.S., and it offers incredible diving and sightseeing. From everything I've seen, it appears more like being in the south Pacific than south Florida.

2. Take a canoe trip through the Okefenokee swamp National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia and northern Florida.

This is one of the oldest and best preserved freshwater systems in America and winter is actually the best time to experience it. Plus, I just smile when I say the name "Okefenokee".

3. Zero G Flight.

These are the flights in converted airliners that astronauts use to simulate the weightlessness of space. I gave up my dream of becoming an astronaut long ago, but I simply have to experience a few minutes of weightlessness before I die.

4. Helicopter snowboard trip in the Rocky Mountains.

I have been on enough cold and miserable chair lift rides, only to slide down crowded, icy runs. For once, I just want to enjoy fresh, untracked powder the whole way down, followed by a chopper ride back up.

5. Stay at the Underwater Hotel in Key Largo, Florida.

I have stayed in plenty of hotels throughout my travels, but they have all been above the surface of the earth. I would like to "sleep with the fishes" just once -- without being the target of mob hit, of course.

6. Fly a jet fighter at the Jet Warbird training center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

While I am a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor, I have only flown the small, slow, propeller driven planes that buzz around your local airport. But just once, I would like to take to the skies Top Gun style.

7. Do laps on a race track in an exotic car.

Who wouldn't like to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini just once in their lives? Exotics Racing in Las Vegas offers participants the chance to take a few laps around their track in a dozen of their exotic cars.

What's on Your Bucket List?

So what do you think of my #BucketList ? Am I crazy, or is this too tame by your standards?

Over the next few weeks, I want to start a conversation with you about the best way to earn and use credit card rewards to fulfill your dreams. As an expert on credit cards and travel rewards, and a pretty experienced traveler, my particular challenge is to discover some unique experiences to add to my personal travel bucket list.

I am starting the conversation here on Wise Bread, and continuing it on my personal site Steele Street. I'll also be tweeting about this on my Twitter handle @SteeleStreet using the tag #BucketList. You also can visit Capital One's Tumblr page and submit some of the experiences that are on your bucket list. We will be selecting a few and you may have it brought to life in a cool illustration.

So I ask you, what's on your travel bucket list?

Click here to apply now

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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I'm checking off one travel adventure on my #bucketlist next year.

It's an expedition on a National Geographic ship to Baja and the Sea of Cortez where we'll get up close and personal with the migrating grey whales. We'll also see other whales, dolphins, sea lions, and go ashore to hike desert islands with iguanas and birds. Kayaking and snorkeling are also available.

I have to admit that it is ridiculously expensive but it's a trip i saw advertised 2 years ago and I said someday ... so I decided that I better make "someday" now or it may never come. I'm finding ways to cut costs but I'm not as good at that as you are, Jason!