This post has been sponsored by Intercontinental Hotels Group.
While 6 in 10 Canadians have admitted to creating one, a Bucket List is something we write out as something we aspire to achieve, even though at least 91% of us are fairly confident that our dreams won’t become reality. A recent survey conducted by Intercontinental Hotels Group shows that, naturally, cost is the overwhelming reason why most people feel like they won’t be able to cross items off their bucket lists.
Now, before you nod your head in disappointed agreement and lock your lists in a drawer, IHG and bucket list expert Robin Esrock have a few tips on how you can make your bucket list items a reality! After reading their tips, you should also check out IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List to grab some ideas to add to your own list!
o Don’t let the list weigh you down – you are more likely to do things when you write them down, but don’t let your list get so long that it weighs on you. Focusing on too many goals can be distracting, so if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, you’re probably being overly ambitious. Start with a shortlist of 10 aspirational bucket list goals, and grow it slowly over time.
o Start small and local – don’t feel you need to take weeks off work to travel to the ends of the earth to have bucket list experiences. Begin with a place or activity you’ve always wanted to experience in your town, city or province, and then slowly branch out from there.
o You don’t need to spend a fortune – Think outside the box when it comes to cost-efficient solutions to making your bucket list goals a reality. For example, if your bucket list experience requires you to travel, turn it into an epic road trip too by opting to drive instead of fly. Or, look for budget-friendly hotels to stay in, like Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express. Start collecting points – like IHG Rewards Club – that you can use to redeem for hotel stays.
o Dream big, but be realistic – Bucket lists should be personal, fun and inspiring, and realistic too. Break your list down into short- and long-term goals. Include goals that are easier to achieve than others. If they are all difficult to accomplish, you may get discouraged because you’re not making progress as quickly as you like. Also, think of experiences you actually do, as opposed to chance encounters with a celebrity, for example.
My favourite advice here was to start small and local. When you start with an achievable goal, it helps make the loftier goals seem attainable! After reading IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List, I decide to make a Canadian Bucket List of my own! Did I steal a couple of IHG’s items? You bet I did! Are a couple of these patently absurd? Absolutely! That’s why they call it a bucket list though, right?! Here you go!
1. Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa
This one has nothing to do with cost as it is actually in my hometown. My issue is that I find the size of the crowd daunting. That said, I watch on TV every year and find myself wishing I was there with my family. Maybe next year we’ll treat ourselves and book a room at the Crowne Plaza Gatineau-Ottawa so we can make a weekend out of it!
2. Hit the Water at West Edmonton Mall
My whole life I have been hearing about how amazing the West Edmonton Mall is. I’m not huge on the shopping but that waterpark is something to behold! I will put this list item under the “very possible” category of attainability. The Holiday Inn Express® & Suites West Edmonton-Mall Area is the perfect place to stay if you want to be close to the action!
3. Dog Sledding in the Northwest Territories
Dog sledding seems like one of those exhilarating experiences that you would never forget. There are many places that you can find dog sledding tours but being it is such an important part of NWT’s culture, this would be my first choice of destination.
4. Watch the Polar Bears at Assiniboine Park
I didn’t even know this was a thing until I read IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. There’s something fascinating about having the opportunity to see polar bears doing their thing under the water. PS – If you bring your kids, the swimming area at the Holiday Inn Winnipeg – Airport West is amazing!!
5. Throw Out 1st Pitch at Blue Jays Game
Yes, I understand how ridiculous this sounds. Throwing out the 1st pitch is generally reserved for someone who has actually accomplished something huge in their life. That said, I still have time to accomplish great things, or, you know, maybe win a contest to throw out the first pitch… In the meantime, I’ll be at the Intercontinental Hotels Toronto Centre because it’s right in the heart of Toronto’s Family Fun district!
6. Whale Watching in Cape Breton Highlands, NS
Known as one of the best places to whale watch in Canada, I can’t help but think this would be a once in a lifetime experience. On top of that, Cape Breton sounds amazing all by itself!
That’s it for the short version of my bucket list, but I’m curious to hear what would be on your Great Canadian Bucket List! Feel free to use mine and IHG’s lists as a reference and leave your answers in the comments section below! Remember, there’s no dream too big to at least write down! And don’t forget that with 177 hotels across Canada, you should definitely visit IHG.com to start planning your bucket list experiences today!