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What Are Some Good Bucket List Ideas For Seniors?

December 12th, 2022

Have you ever made a bucket list? Whether you’re looking to travel or simply want to learn something new in later life, thinking of ideas for a bucket list can be a fun activity in itself, and it can provide you with lots of inspiration for activities to do when you’re newly retired, or even into your 80s and 90s.

travel scrapbook

Read on to discover our top bucket list ideas and recommendations to add to yours; remember, it’s never too late to try something new, learn a new skill, or fulfil your lifelong dreams.

What Is A Bucket List?

A bucket list is a list of things you’d like to do before you ‘kick the bucket’, which is where it gets its name from. Lots of young people have a bucket list of things they’d like to achieve during their lives, but the bucket list meaning becomes even more pertinent as you get older and have a little less time to tick items off your list. 

Retirement is the ideal time to turn your bucket list ideas into a reality, as you have more time, and possibly savings as well to bring your dreams to life. If you can, taking the time to tick off the items on your travel bucket list while you’re still in good health will bring you huge amounts of joy and wonderful memories to look back on in the years to come.

Where Would Be On Your Travel Bucket List?

the pyramids of giza

Travel bucket lists are among the most popular types of bucket lists, as people typically have more time, money, and flexibility to see the world in retirement. From cruises to coach trips, there are lots of great travel deals aimed at seniors, and we’ve put together a few ideas to inspire your travel bucket list below:

  • See the Wonders of the World: whether you’ve always wanted to see one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, such as the Pyramids of Giza, or somewhere on the list of New Seven Wonders of the World like the Colosseum in Rome or the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, these would be ideal to add to your travel bucket list
  • Make a pilgrimage: if your religion plays a huge part in your life, you might want to think about adding a pilgrimage to your travel bucket list, such as a visit to Lourdes or Vatican City
  • Step inside a favourite film set: whether you love rom coms set in New York or are fascinated about how films are made and dream of visiting the film studios of Hollywood for yourself, plan your travel bucket list around the locations where your favourite films were shot for the ultimate behind the scenes experience
  • Go on safari: a safari experience can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it’s often top of many people’s travel bucket lists. Popular destinations for a safari include the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya
  • Explore Down Under: travelling to Australia requires a good chunk of time to allow you to recover from the jet lag and get the most from your time there exploring, which is why many people wait until they are retired to visit. Combine your visit with a trip to New Zealand to get the most out of your time in this part of the world
  • Discover more of the UK: if you no longer want to fly, create a travel bucket list centred around some of the UK’s finest sights instead. From Durdle Door in Dorset to Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and from Stonehenge to the royal palaces, if you’ve lived here all your life but never explored these places, now is the perfect opportunity

9 Other Ideas For A Bucket List 

Bucket list ideas don’t have to be extreme like jumping out of a plane or backpacking solo around the world; they can be simpler activities that you can do from your own home, with your family, or just to take you a little bit outside of your comfort zone as you challenge yourself to learn something new. Check out our recommendations for other ideas for a bucket list:

1. Make As Many Memories As Possible

photo album

Our top bucket list idea is to spend time making as many memories as possible with your grandchildren and other loved ones. Whether it’s on days out or holidays, talking to them about your childhood, or spending time doing simple things like baking together or watching favourite films together, save receipts, tickets, and photos from the time you spend together. Use these to make a beautiful scrapbook full of memories for them, which they’re sure to treasure when you’re no longer here.

2. Read A Book You’ve Always Wanted To

If there’s a book that you’ve always wanted to read but have never got around to, whether it’s War and Peace, Anna Karenina, or the Complete Works of Shakespeare, add it to your bucket list, meaning you’ll feel obliged to finally get stuck in. If you don’t fancy reading so much text or your eyes aren’t what they once were, try listening via audiobook instead. Take a look at our list of the best audiobooks with senior protagonists for more inspiration.

3. Learn A New Language

It’s never too late to learn a new language and start to converse with people from another culture – it’s a skill that often goes hand in hand with many people’s travel bucket lists. There are some brilliant free apps that are designed to help you to learn a new language, such as Duolingo. If you’d prefer to learn from a tutor, research classes in your local area. 

4. Take Up Running

older man running

Next on our list of bucket list ideas is trying your hand at running – or if you’re not quite up to that, walking more instead. There are some incredibly inspirational stories of older people completing their first Parkrun or even their first half marathon, and the Couch to 5k programme is a great way to get started. 

This NHS initiative is designed to gently guide you to improving your fitness levels as you progress from walking to jogging until you’re eventually able to run for 5 kilometres. Remember that you should always speak to your GP before trying a new type of exercise, regardless of your age.

5. Apply For Your Favourite TV Show

Some of your bucket list ideas should take you out of your comfort zone, as that’s when exciting new experiences and opportunities will come your way. With this in mind, why not take a chance and apply to be on your favourite TV show? Whether it’s Countdown, Mastermind, The Chase, or even something like The Great British Bake Off, even if you don’t get onto the show, you’ll still have a fun experience learning more about what the process is like.

6. Try Volunteering

Volunteering can be incredibly rewarding; it’s a great way to meet new people, and you’ll naturally learn some new skills along the way. If you’re interested in stepping outside of your comfort zone and volunteering, find out if your local charity shop or food bank needs any help – it may be for just a few hours a week, but could give you a new, much-needed sense of purpose.

7. Trace Your Family Tree

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about your heritage, why not take the opportunity to find out more and trace your family tree? You can buy kits online that are designed to help you to trace your ancestry through your DNA, which could lead to you finding out more about your heritage and may even lead you to undiscovered relatives around the world.

8. Learn To Cook A New Cuisine

making dumplings

Another of the most common bucket list ideas is to learn to cook something new, often from a different part of the world – some people may even incorporate this into their travel bucket list, perhaps taking a cooking class while they’re travelling. 

Whether you’ve always wanted to perfect your homemade pizza base, learn to make Chinese dumplings, or even take a patisserie course, challenge yourself and enjoy learning a new skill.

9. Do Something You’ve Always Wanted To

If you’re struggling to think of bucket list ideas, think about things you’ve always wanted to do but have never had the time for before. Perhaps you’ve always meant to have afternoon tea at The Ritz, longed to go to Wimbledon or Silverstone for the day, or felt green with envy every year when Glastonbury Festival has come around. Now is your chance to make the experiences you’ve always dreamed of a reality; note: you can get day tickets to Glastonbury so you don’t have to camp!

About New Care Homes

If you’re living in a care home, you can still challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone, whether that’s by learning a new skill, doing research into an area you’re passionate about, or connecting with people you wouldn’t ordinarily have met. Moving into a care home doesn’t mean that you’ll have to give up on learning new things. New Care homes are stylish, modern, and luxurious, making them the ideal environment for you or a loved one to live in during their later years. 

We provide residential, respite, nursing, and dementia care, and our staff receive training as part of the Oomph! wellbeing programme, meaning they’re equipped to deliver activities and stimulation to support residents’ physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. 

Contact us today to find out more or to arrange a visit to one of our care homes.