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Why I want to tear up your Bucket List

We used to love bucket lists. Now we loathe them. I want to explain why I want to help you tear up your bucket list so you can travel better.

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Bucket List

I used to love bucket lists. Now I loathe them.

Bucket List

The problem is that the movie The Bucket List was fantastic and a real tearjerker. I imagine it inspired thousands of people, young and old, to put pen to paper to create their own.

In fact, one of the first things we ever wrote for this travel blog was our own bucket list. It is featured right up there in our main menu and is one of our most visited pages.

When we wrote it, we chose 44 adventures and “things” that we wanted to achieve during our short lives. They didn’t have any rhyme or reason to them. And they all seemed manageable at the time.

I mean, who doesn’t have the time time to travel the width of China, volunteer with turtles and drink the local beer in over 100 countries?

These were activities that I thought would bring meaning and fulfillment to our lives. These 44 items were going to help us plan our next travel adventures as a couple.

Four Jandals Egypt Pyramids

I vowed that I would keep it updated and that we would do whatever it took to tick them off our list. We even managed to cross off 7 of them. But the others?

Here is where the problem lies.

Every time we find a cheap airfare, travel somewhere new or talk to people about travelling, I discover something that I want to add to this list. If I had kept on adding items up till now then we would have over 200 adventures to do before our time on this planet was up.

Now all I want to do is tear up our bucket list.

Sure I understand the usefulness of having a bucket list. It gives you a place to dream of all the things you want to achieve. A place to write down things that sound awesome. Like kayaking in Italy.

kayaking in Naples

We still want to do all the things on our current bucket list.

But in reality, they are a list that most people use for hope that they might be able to escape their current lives.

Because what happens if you don’t tick them all off? I know that you are not going to die. Technically that is impossible if you treat a bucket list like a bucket list.

But shouldn’t our travels, and lives for that matter, be as flexible as we want them to be?

And when you are dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies bucket lists that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… our FREEDOM! (Sorry, couldn’t resist the Braveheart reference).

Edinburgh Castle Braveheart Scotland

To be honest, that is what it feels like our bucket list is currently doing. It has taken our freedom. It is holding us back. It is making us change our travel plans so that we can pursue something we wrote down over a year ago.

Christina from Couple of Travels agreed that she hates bucket lists because they are procrastination tools.

Adventurous Kate also wrote about her problem with bucket lists. She argued that “if your deadline is death – you’re not making it a priority”.

She even challenged her readers to create a realistic list of 5 – 10 totally achievable travel adventures and tick at least one of them off in 2 years.

This is the sort of movement I can agree with. 

So, I am tearing up our bucket list.

But what will you use to inspire our travel plans?

Good question.

Nothing.

By having a bucket list we are actually turning down perfectly amazing places that we could visit. We are limiting ourselves to only doing those activities or visiting those countries where our list sends us.

Cinque Terre Sunset Photos

As Matt from LandLopers stated, “as one expands their personal travel boundaries, more travel destinations will suddenly become more appealing”.

We agree wholeheartedly.

We have changed a lot over the last 3 years of travelling. We still love stepping outside our comfort zones and doing travel adventures. But we don’t want to be broke-ass budget travellers all the time. I even quit my job to pursue our travel blogging dreams.

Our priorities continue to change and we are adapting with them.

So, instead of having a piece of paper, or in this case a blog page, dictating that we need to do something in the next 50 years or so, we are just going to live each day as it comes.

We will still prioritize where we want to travel in the next 12 months. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.

So my question to you is…

Can I tear up your bucket list?

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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51 Comments

51 Comments

  1. Sweet Mama M

    August 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Interesting viewpoint given that I just blogged about our international travel bucket list! I think it all depends on what philosophy you take towards your list. The husband and I have travelled extensively domestically but very little overseas. We still see our lives being based in NZ but by having the list, it’s a consistent reminder that we value the experiences that travel will bring us and it helps us stick to our saving goals. It’s aspirational, rather than strict guidelines that these are the only places we’ll visit, and of course we are open to seizing new opportunities as they come along. Anyway, that’s my two cents 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      Agree with you there! I love the ideas of bucket lists as they do give you a place to record all those things we all want to do. The only problem is that most people will never cross them off their lists. I think “Bucket List” is just the wrong term for them.

  2. Adventurous Kate

    August 28, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Well said, Cole! It’s great that you’re throwing away your predetermined plan in favor of serendipity.

    I have to be honest — it’s been months since I wrote that post and I have made ZERO progress on any of my goals. I figured they’d be easy. Maybe your homeland this winter after all.

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Haha maybe this will be the reminder to kick your A-into-G and start crossing them off. Will make a good follow up post anyway 🙂

      Cheap flights with Emirates back to NZ the days around WTM from London. I just booked my flights last night for a few weeks of catching up with family and friends. Hope you get out there soon too!

  3. Christina

    August 28, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    SO awesome!! Thanks for the mention – and you know I agree 100%!!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 29, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      No worries Christina 🙂 You made VERY noteworthy points!

  4. Someday I'll Be There - Mina

    August 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I have never written down a bucket list, and I don’t think I can…Simply if I start writing one down it will be too long, could be depressing, so the top items on my “bucket list” is what is possible to do next, and even that is always changeable depending on the situation and the people I meet. No plans, no bucket lists, just enjoying the given moment as it is…

    Ok maybe very little planning for the future, but as you said, I don’t go too far…

  5. Jemma

    August 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Agree 100%! That might just be my personal bias though because I hate plans. I can deal with them if they’re very simple, but generally I prefer to go with the flow and see where that takes me. And it’s taken me to some pretty awesome places 🙂

  6. Jeremy Branham

    August 29, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I wrote about a travel bucket list earlier this year. Every bucket list is personal. However, a bucket list is MUCH MUCH more than a list of places to check off. I wrote about mine and stated that a bucket list is really about connecting your past with your future to help you better understand who you are as a person.

    Take a look at your bucket list and don’t just do it. Examine why those things are on your list. It may help you understand who you are as a person which is far more important than just checking things off of a list.

  7. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    August 29, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Here, here! We’ve never had a bucket list (AND we never saw the movie). Instead, we treat each morning as a blank slate full of travel adventures and opportunities we never even dreamed of. Trust us when we tell you that fate, timing and serendipity can toss some pretty awesome experiences your way!

  8. Cherie City

    August 29, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Sometimes I’m tempted to write one, but then my everyday ‘to do list’ is so long that another one would just stress me out.

    In a way, I prefer to look back on some of the great and unexpected things I’ve had the opportunity to do and keep the future open to cool new experiences and travels.

    My one on-going travel goal is to make it to California and the west coast for the first time in the next few years…

  9. Genevieve

    August 30, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    I don’t use a bucket list to inspire my travel plans; amazing photos like the ones in this post are travel inspiration enough!

  10. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    August 30, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    Haha, I’m not sure I’d let you tear up my bucket list just yet, but Justin and I are pretty much in a similar place as you guys. We still have our dream destinations or experiences, but now we’re much more content to just go where the wind blows and take advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves. Our trips are much less planned out now, and we just kind of have a “rough draft” of what we want to do while we’re in a location. You’re point is very well said … in reality, we’re all probably going to die before we can do everything on the list, and just because we don’t achieve that doesn’t make life any less fulfilling. In fact, it probably means we enjoyed it more!

  11. Turtle

    August 30, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Rip it up! Bucket lists are foolish ideas. They are for people who can’t find happiness in the moment and always need to be looking to the future. They’re also for lazy people who like to think that once they’ve ticked everything off, they’ve experienced the world. Live every day like it is on your bucket list!!

  12. Zara @ Backpack ME

    August 30, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    It’s funny how I had never had a bucket list as such before I started traveling this much… But now, the more I travel the more I informally add new places to my mental bucket list! The more you see it’s almost like you realize there is still so much more goodness to see in this world. Still, I agree at following a bucket list makes no sense – sometimes the best experiences are those you never thought you’d live or even planned for!

  13. Annette | Bucket List Journey

    August 31, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    The bucket list is the whole premise surrounding my blog, so needless to say I am a HUGE fan. With that said, I don’t allow myself to be bound by my list. There is plenty of room for flexibility because I realize that some of the best experiences happen by taking opportunities that spontaneously present themselves. It is more of a loose life guide and a place to keep track of the amazing experiences I hear about. Of course, I do actively want to check off items, but I am just as happy having a memorable new experience that isn’t on the list.

    I love what Jeremy says about how your list can help you to understand who you are. My “foodie” section is turning out to be enormous!

  14. Callie

    August 31, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    It’s such a vicious cycle – the more of the world you see, the more you realize you haven’t seen!

  15. Laurence

    August 31, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    I loved the movie, but man, that term is just so overused these days. Personally, I’m making a shovel list. Find some things you want to do in life, then go do them. If you get trapped by a list, throw it away. Life’s too full of adventure to be stuck making lists anyway 😉

  16. Angela

    August 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Yep, pretty much why I never have a bucket list. I do make plans, plenty of plans, and I also keep changing them and go with last minute decision!

  17. D.J. - The World of Deej

    August 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Great stuff Cole…I have a bucket list, actually I have 3 of them lol. But at the same time the best and most fulfilling moments of my travel “career” have been totally unplanned, small things, that I could never have planned. So in some ways it does render my bucket list totally useless…

  18. Natalie

    August 31, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    My bucket list grew all the time so I stopped looking at it. Like you say, along the way, you learn about new things and get inspired by different people. This is so much of a better path to take then looking at a list all day.

  19. Pete

    August 31, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    We’ve never had a list, goals or anything of the sort. It makes life a heck of a lot easier.

  20. Ali

    August 31, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I’ve never made a bucket list because there are sooooo many places in this world I want to see, it would be easier to write a list of places I don’t want to see. As far as other types of experiences, well, it’s always changing. What was once important might not be now. I once thought Oktoberfest sounded like fun, but after participating in Tomatina last year, I realized I hate big drunken crowds. Like Jeremy said, it’s important to look at why you have a bucket list. A few goals you want to achieve with some sort of deadline might be more useful. I wanted to step foot on all 7 continents before my 30th birthday. Goal achieved, but I haven’t stopped traveling. Probably more in line with what Kate said, that it’s better to pick a few things that you want to accomplish in the next year or 2, rather than an huge list that you might do “someday.” And you definitely shouldn’t let it stop you from doing other things not on the list. As much as a list ticker as I can be, I don’t let it stop me from experiencing things. Maybe I just have a lot of mental lists that cover just about everything, and if it’s travel related, you can bet I’m planning several of them at any one time!

  21. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    August 31, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Excellent, excellent points. So true that the more you travel and open yourself up to opportunities, the more destinations you suddenly want to visit. a little while back we started saying that we became nomads so that we could give up our bucket list and life our bucket life. In other words, the only thing on the list now is to live life to the fullest, everyday, until it’s all over.

  22. Ian [EagerExistence]

    September 1, 2012 at 3:23 AM

    Nice argument. But I’m not tearing up my list. My whole site is based around it, and my travel plans. But my list wasn’t written in stone. I’m always making changes.

    Everyone has a list, whether they admit to it (or have it on paper) or not.

    Well, not everyone…

    Some people are completely open. I could say “Off to Siberia next”, and they would be up for it.

    • Ian [EagerExistence]

      December 10, 2012 at 4:51 AM

      It turns out I’ve got more to say on this:

      It’s all good not having a list while you are travelling. Leaving things open. Spend another day here, another week there; but what about when you stop travelling? You will start to make lists again; planning out all the places you still want to see. You see, lists have an important place for all those dreamers and armchair travellers out there. Just look at the success of Pinterest!

      • Cole Burmester

        December 11, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Very true Ian and don’t totally disagree with you 🙂 I just wish people actually used their bucket list and ticked things off. I probably need to re-write the post to say we changed it to a Dream List!

  23. Lizzie Davey

    September 1, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Firstly, great post! I have never sat down and written a bucketlist simply because the thought sends me into cold shivers – I would almost certainly be writing it for the rest of my life, therefore eliminating actually DOING the items on it! I’m not even aware of all the things that can be done in the world, so how can I possibly write a list of the ones I want to do? If an activity seems appealing to me and I have the opportunity to do it, then of course I will. But I’m not going to kick myself for all the things I didn’t do.. so why would I want a list reminding me!? 😀

    Good luck on your travels and congrats on the tearing up of your bucketlist!

  24. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family

    September 2, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I have a list. I call it our “Travel Wish List” because I don’t really like what the term bucket list implies. It’s more a list of things that will enrich our travels and inspire us to keep travelling. Something to give us momentum and keep us moving to the next place and the next. And, no, you may not tear it up! 😉

  25. Amanda

    September 2, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    See, I look at bucket lists slightly differently. Instead of set-in-stone lists of must-achieve goals, I look at them more as a list of cool ideas and dreams that you’re not ever actually MEANT to complete. Half the fun of having a bucket list is adding to it and watching it grow, knowing that so much adventure awaits!

    • Niel

      March 30, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      AGREE…
      Bucket list reminds us that there are more to life. It simply inspires me to save. Seeing those things you want to do and places you would love to visit ignites happiness within. Approach the list positively and keep an open mind and you’ll see that life has so much more to offer in times of depressing moments…

  26. Wandergirl

    September 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I completely agree! I wrote a post similar to this about a year ago when I was in the midst of our European adventures and finding myself exasperated that once I’d arrive in a city there’d just be too many damn amazing things to do to worry about a stupid bucket list. I think there’s just one thing on my bucketlist: see and do new things. Once you start doing it, you’ll never be lacking inspiration for more new things.

    It might be good to just have a “Bucket List” where you write down interesting things to do so you really just remember them (sometimes there’s so many it’s hard to keep track). But making them must-dos does take your freedom, as you said, and doesn’t account for the fact that you might grow and change as a person.

  27. Gigi

    September 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    In defense of the bucket list: it can help people understand themselves better and create intention in their lives. For example: when I first created a to-do list of awesome things (I hadn’t even heard the phrase “bucket list” back then), I put “white water rafting” on it. It was just something I wanted to do. But not something I’d been intentionally pursuing.

    Having put it on my list, and thus put it top-of-mind, when the opportunity to go arose, I leapt at it!

    Ever since then, I’ve been a fan of putting things down on paper. Being intentional about my adventures.

    Though, of course, spontaneity is also wonderful. And the to-do list should never rope us into things we no longer want.

  28. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    September 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    I am anti-bucket list as well. It just adds too much pressure, and it is ever-expanding. Yes, I have a list in my head (and a few notes) that I consider my travel ideas or travel brainstorming. When the right opportunity arises, I’ll go for it. But no need to check off the boxes…. that makes it seem like work.

  29. Abby

    September 5, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    I couldn’t agree more — “loathe” is a word I find almost not strong enough! My best trips have come about because I followed where life took me or met a friend who recommended something, etc. Making a “to do” list for my life takes out all of the fun!

  30. Lillie - @WorldLillie

    September 5, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Totally agreed!!!!! The other phrase I find icky and non-motivating is “bitten by the travel bug,” as if wanderlust is a disease that one has no control over. Thanks for writing this! 🙂

  31. Mike

    September 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    Doing a bucket list still helps me out plan ahead and not to forget all those things. It guides me when I travel. Just be simple with your list so that it can easily be crossed out. No pressure.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      True Mike. We just don’t like the name of it really. They should call it a “dream list” or something other than one that you need to do before you die.

  32. emma@greenglobaltravel

    September 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    This is interesting but I think it really depends on what you write down and if you’re the kind of person to go out and get it. I’m completely obsessed with writing lists becasue it just helps get everything straight in my head, and I do actually complete them all (Sometimes I write stuff on the list that I’ve just done, just to feel the satisfaction of immediately crossing it off…I’m sure I’m not the only one!) But I definitely agree with making a 5 – 10 point list just for the next two years of things that you know are completley managable. That makes perfect sense to me! Thanks for sharing, great post.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Haha I write stuff down that I have done already lots of times! I just don’t like that it is called a “bucket list” 🙂

  33. Christina @ Packed Suitcase

    September 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Is there anything as polarizing in our travel community as the dreaded “bucket list”? Personally, I’m on the pro-bucket list side. Perhaps it’s because, as a producer I’m at my best when I’m planning and writing things out? Either way, I find it to be a fun and harmless source of inspiration.

    The key is — don’t take it too seriously.

    Since I’ve created mine, most of my trips have been to places that aren’t on it. But, when I went backpacking in NZ, the formality of having it gave me the extra push I needed to pay the cash to hike the Milford Track. And I’m so glad I did because it was a once in a lifetime experience.

  34. Laura Dale

    October 11, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    I have a bucket list that just won’t stop growing, so I completely agree with your views on the difficultly and frustration of trying to keep up. Then again, I’m so determined to do everything on mine, I’d be heartbroken if I ripped it up!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      If you are determined then definitely keep it and make sure you tick them off 🙂

  35. Charndeep

    December 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    I understand your frustration with the term “bucket list.” I hate it when people mistake what I’m doing on my “Goal List” for a bucket list because some of the items I want to do again and again.

    Now, I write lists for the year and not for the rest of my life. I can’t know what will happen in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years, so why bother? I just put a few things I want to try this year and do my best to do them. If I don’t, I’ll carry over next year. But most importantly, I wrote a lot of my goals as they came in the moment or from the suggestions of my family, friends, environment or after I already accoplished them. So, it’s fine to plan for the forseeable future, but make sure it’s not at the expense of the moment. In other words, don’t just focus on the end of the symphony, but sing and dance throughout the entire concert. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      A yearly list is a much better idea! And also it isn’t a “New Years Resolution” either which personally I don’t think work. Great idea 🙂

  36. Christine (Food Wine Travel)

    February 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    It’s great to have goals but it’s also nice to allow serendipity to bring amazing experiences your way. Recently I was invited to attend a wedding in the UK but coming from our Australian summer, I was reluctant to spend too much time in northern Europe in winter. So after the wedding, we zipped over to Spain and I was finally able to see the Alhambra in Granada, a place I have wanted to visit for more than 30 years. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining and (being winter) there were no crowds. Magic.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      Being able to add a little extra onto a trip, in your case Granada, is the best way to visit friends and family 🙂 Nice job on ticking one off the “dream list”!

  37. Emily-Ann/The Grown Up Gap Year

    February 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Great post and a topic which I’ve heard a lot of travellers discuss (both the pros and cons).
    I think one of the good things about making a list is that it can actually encourage you to take the first step to do something.
    As a journalist, I constantly live by lists in the ‘real world’ so making one for my travel plans makes sense to me.
    I agree with Charndeep’s view that it’s better to make shorter lists. For example, I wanted to have a big adventure during the last year of my 20s, so I wrote a 30b430 list, where I completed 30 things in a year that I’d always wanted to do. Some were big things like doing the Inca Trail in Peru, others were smaller like dancing a tango in Argentina, but it felt like such an amazing achievement to complete them all before turning 30.
    I’d never make an unlimited bucket list – like you say, it would be never-ending! – but I’d definitely write one for a specific time frame again:)

    • Cole Burmester

      February 11, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Haha I live by lists as well, although my current To-Do list continues to grow rather than shrink….

      Like I have said in previous comments, if you are willing to actually make an effort to cross off the things on your bucket list, then definitely have one. But if it is just a pipe dream, I don’t see the point. Having set goals, like your 30b430 is a great idea too!

  38. Pingback: List #17 - My Five in Five - Traveler Ahoy

  39. Seanna

    May 11, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Here’s the irony: I’m a dreamer and travel bug, however my husband, who played it safe and led a rich simple life pursuing his best dreams here in Alaska had terminal brain cancer. One of our favorite past times was to watch shows about international travel and talk about where we might retire. After diagnosis Generous friends offered outrageous trips and we basically has carte Blanche to do anything. Trouble is, he was too sick and the burden of loss too raw to make any of it matter. Live each day with intent. Simple can be good. I have traveled extensively, I’m not sure he regrets knowing this part of the world intimately, and to have such a history with one place is a rare gift. This place is family. Both are priceless gifts if you experience them completely.

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Asia

Philippines Couples Vacation

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The Philippines is one of the least explored countries in Southeast Asia. While tourism has picked up over the last few years, it is still mostly a backpacker’s destination. That said, one recent trend has been the increase of couples, especially honeymooners, who come to the country in search of romantic, unspoiled beaches.

While standard honeymoon vacation packages offer a visit to the country’s main tourist spots, Palawan and Boracay, there are so much more you can see if you dare go off the grid for a short while. This is especially true now, with Boracay island being closed for at least 6 months for rehabilitation.
Boracay’s closure shows exactly why responsible tourism is so important, to preserve nature and keep the place clean and safe. Over-development is a huge risk in 3rd world countries which are rapidly becoming tourist magnets, and it’s clear this is already starting to happen in the Philippines. Luckily, there are so many other beautiful islands to which the mainstream tourists didn’t come to yet. This might be your last chance to enjoy those places before they are lost forever in the hands of modernization and commercialization.

Palawan’s hidden secrets

No one in his right mind would tell you to not visit Palawan, one of the most beautiful islands in the world. There is, however, ways to make your trip more special and help you avoid the crowds. The 2 most popular locations in Palawan are El Nido and Coron, both offering some of the most spectacular small islands and hidden lagoons you will ever see. The problem is there are literally hordes of tourists taking the island-hopping tours each day, so you never get to really enjoy those places to yourself.
One solution, if you can afford it, would be to hire a private speedboat. You can leave at your own time, and since the boat is faster than the sailboats used for regular tours you can easily reach all the nice places before the organized tours gets there. This option is more relevant for families and larger groups, since you can split the cost of the speedboat between all of you. Couples might find renting a boat each day to be too costly though.

The alternative to that would be to go to the islands and beaches which are still off the tourist radar instead. In El Nido, a perfect solution would be to stay at the Qi Palawan resort and take their tours when you feel like it. This romantic boutique resort is owned by foreigners and standards are very high, it’s a perfect place for couples who want a romantic and private setting for their vacation. The resort is located about an hour’s drive from El Nido town and facing the other side of the bay, so it’s ideal for going on alternative tours.

For Coron, the same trick applies. The northern part of the island is much less developed but the beaches and scenery there is just as breathtaking. Near the area called San Jose there is a small pier called decalachao, from which you can go diving with sea cows, one of the most unique diving experiences the Philippines has to offer. Alternatively, you can also stay at the eastern side of the island, where more traditional island hopping tours are offered.

Siargao island – the next Boracay

If you ask any Filipino where the next big tourist spot will be, the answer is always Siargao. And it seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy and the island is now fully booked for months in advance due to Boracay’s imminent closure. This has caught Siargao’s hotel industry by surprise, as this place is still relatively undeveloped and is now full of tourists looking for a place to sleep at.

What used to be one of the best hidden secrets and an ultimate backpacker destination is now quickly turning into a crowded tourist mecca. Now might be your last chance of going there and enjoying some peace and quiet before this happens. If you do go there, make sure you check for availability and book your stay in advance. luckily, there are plenty of places offering homestays, dormitory and Airbnb style accommodation, so finding room on a budget is still relatively quite easy.

The main area in Siargao is called General Luna, and it stretches out all the way into Cloud Nine beach. That beach also has quite a few hotels right next to it, since it is considered one of the best surfing spots in the world and is the original reason why Siargao picked up traction among tourists.

The best way to enjoy Siargao is by renting a motorbike and going on adventures yourself. The organized tours are cheap and quite fun, but you can easily get to all the cool places even without them. When you explore by yourself you get a chance to be on your own itinerary and stop anytime you see something interesting. And believe us, there is plenty to see in Siargao – hidden white sand beaches, thick jungles and stunning landscape all around.

If you feel brave, take the boat trip to Bucas Grande. It’s a grueling 3 hours sail in each direction, but once you get there you’ll understand it was worth the trouble. Sohoton cove is considered one of the most beautiful and unique lagoons in the country, rivaled only by the majestic scenes of Palawan. Right next to the lagoon there’s also the jellyfish sanctuary, where you can swim with stunning stingless jellyfish. Overall the area makes for a great location for a full day tour, filled with fun and unique attractions.

Malapascua – more than just diving

For people who really want to go off the beaten path, there aren’t many better places to visit than Malapascua – a small island right off the northern shores of Cebu island. The fact it takes 5-6 hours to get to the island (van/bus then a ferry) is actually a plus, as it keeps it remote enough that you can enjoy the ultimate island getaway adventure.

Malapascua is mostly famous for its amazing dive sites and a very well-developed diving scene in general. It’s one of the few places in the world where you are almost 100% guaranteed to see thresher sharks in the wild every day. What few people realize though, is that the island also has quite a few really nice boutique resorts. Developed by the island’s fledgling European community, these resorts offer a fantastic solution for couples who want to stay at a nice, small resort but still enjoy excellent amenities.
Overall, Malapascua is one of the best places to go to if you want that unspoiled island vacation, but also care about a comfortable stay. Thanks to the fact this island is so close to Cebu, it can easily be combined with other, equally beautiful locations nearby. Moalboal is a very popular diving town in its own right, and also home to the famous Kawasan Falls. Bohol is a popular tourist island nearby, closely resembling the beach party mentality of Boracay. Lastly, if you truly want to go off the grid, then take a trip to the exotic Camotes islands, a stunning location where even electricity and running water are considered luxury.

Don’t be afraid of exploring on your own

While the advice above is certainly enough to help you create an exciting trip, a big part of the fun is exploring the unknown by yourself. A big part of a vacation in the Philippines is its free spirited and adventurous nature. To fully enjoy what this country has to offer, you have to let go and learn how to go with the flow.
Luckily, the locals are extremely friendly and helpful and they all speak English. Start talking to people around you and soon you will be able to find a ton of exciting new things to do everywhere you go. Make friends with other travelers and book tours together – you’ll get to learn from their insights and it will also help you cut back on the costs.

The Philippines, with the exception of Mindanao island and some parts of Manila, is a very safe place. Don’t be too afraid to mingle or explore just because you feel you might get hurt. The worst you might encounter is petty crimes such as pickpocketing or small tourist scams, especially since couples are rarely targeted. These can be easily avoided by staying alert and using basic common sense. There’s no reason you won’t be able to discover everything this country has to offer and have the perfect holiday with your loved one.

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Plan Your Easter Break Away From the Crowds

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During the Easter break, many families flock to the seaside and towns with moderate climate to catch a few rays of sunshine. Booking a hotel might be challenging if you choose a popular destination, but the good news is that you can choose a remote location close to the beach and arrange your perfect, relaxing Easter break away from the crowd of tourists. Below you will find a few tips on how to get started.

1. AirBnB And Cottages

To avoid families and crowds, you might want to stay at a country inn, AirBnB accommodation, or rent a cottage. You will get more privacy, and don’t have to queue at the reception every morning or eat your breakfast with hundreds of people. You might get a private pool and garden, and stay close to the best hiking trails. Make the most out of your host’s local knowledge and ask them for a list of less known attractions to visit in the area.

2. Take Your RV With You

To stay flexible and escape the crowd whenever you want, you might want to arrange a caravanning trip. You will save money on accommodation, and get closer to the nature. Make sure that you check out the best hidden camping sites in the country, and plan your route, so you can do your shopping en route, instead of trying to find a superstore that is open in the city on Easter Monday. Also be sure to get a Caravan insurance repairs and service in Melbourne to avoid unpleasant surprises during the trip.

3. Visit the Blue Mountains

If you love walking, you can find a hidden trail of the Blue Mountains and enjoy the sunshine and mild temperatures. You can book a log cabin if you take your SUV or 4×4 with you, and stay on top of the world. Whenever you feel like, you can also visit Sydney for a day trip or to do some shopping.

4. Camping on Fraser Island

The largest sand island in the world offers great camping sites, and you can enjoy a quiet beach holiday close to the nature. You need to make sure that you take or hire a 4×4 vehicle, as you can only get around the island using this type of transport. Fraser Island is about six hours from Brisbane, and you will need to take a barge to get to it. A perfect remote location for couples who need privacy and peace.

5. Eco Tourism at Daintree Rainforest

This World Heritage site allows you access to the endangered Great Barrier Reef. There are limited Eco lodges available nearby, so you have to book early. While this location is popular in Australia, there are some underrated accommodation options for you to choose from.

If you would like to rejuvenate this Easter and avoid the crowds, you might want to find a location that is less known to the general public. From forest huts to remote cottages close to the beach, there are several quality inns and Eco lodges to choose from when you want to spend a few quiet days alone.

 

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How to Spend Some Quality End-of-the-Year Downtime on your Holidays

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While it may be tempting to fill your schedule with funtivities on your upcoming holiday, there’s nothing wrong with spending time with yourself and enjoying some downtime. It provides a great opportunity to do those things that you wouldn’t’t ordinarily get the chance to do.

To help you unwind and get ready for the year ahead, here are five tips on how to spend your downtime on an end-of-the-year holiday.

Take stock

Many people take stock of the past 12 months at end of the year. When New Year is around the corner, you have a great chance to reflect on 2017 and consider what you’ve learned and what you would like to improve upon. List the five accomplishments that you feel the happiest about and note any behavioural patterns that resulted in your success. It would also be wise to list five failures; and note behavioural patterns in those cases, too, to contribute to a better 2018. Buy a goal-setting journal and make some new goals or re-evaluate your old ones.

Connect

Your vacation downtime is also a great time to find those who will helped you succeed in 2018. Whether you are seeking new friends, a romantic relationship, mentors, employees, or business partners, this is the ideal time to do it. Keep your eyes and ears open. You may find some of these people on your holiday or you could find them by researching online.

Rebrand

The beginning of the year provides a great chance to start afresh. Whether in business or in your personal life, you have the opportunity to reposition yourself. Carry out an in-depth assessment of both your personal life and business activities, such as your finances and any marketing materials you may have. Make sure that your social media profiles represent you and your brand in a positive and truthful manner and that all of the information is up to date. Further, check to see that the image you are projecting aligns with your goals and values and that the message you are giving is compelling and clear.

Be entertained

There’s no shortage of entertainment available in your downtime, thanks to the internet. You can catch up on anything you’ve been meaning to watch via online streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Studios.  Whether you prefer movies or to binge-watch some of the more recent shows, such as Stranger Things, there are literally thousands of choices available. For those who love nothing more than getting lost in a good book, the likes of Kindle and iBooks make reading an easy choice, with a seemingly endless range of titles available. It used to be that you would pack one or two books in your suitcase- now you have access to thousands.

Find New Ways to Unwind 

Sometimes, we feel an urge for more active entertainment than books or series. While it may be a bit much to pack your video games console, there are online versions of classic video games, such as Command & Conquer and NBA Live. There is also no shortage of games available at online casinos. Sites such as Oddschecker provide a brief summary of some of the more popular bookmakers offering games, whether it is video slots or classic card games. Thanks to free bet and no deposit offers, you can try some no-commitment-necessary action at various online providers, to find new hangouts for your gaming in the new year.

Get back in touch

A vacation offers a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with those whom you haven’t managed to speak to in a while. Offer them an e-card or holiday wish to let them know that you’re thinking about them. You could even play the role of organiser for a reunion. Create an event on Facebook and get everyone on board. You don’t have to go crazy with a huge party; you can limit it to those whom you wish to spend some quality time with. Even if they can’t accommodate you into their busy schedule, they’ll be happy that you kept them in mind.

Relax

Of course, nothing says downtime like good old-fashioned rest and relaxation.  The first quarter of the year can be the most hectic and so you will want to recharge and regenerate. That way, you will feel positive, strong, and raring to go, to achieve your goals for 2018.  Whether it’s sipping a pina colada by the pool or relaxing with a good book while tanning yourself on the beach, there should always be opportunities to relax on your holiday.

We hope that these tips will help to make your 2018 a spectacularly successful year. 

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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