America’s Least And Most Desired Bucket List Experiences [Study]

America’s Least And Most Desired Bucket List Experiences [Study]

As we age, we tend to start thinking about the bucket list items that we want to do before we die. Many people like to use a bucket list to plan out the things they hope to achieve during their lifetime.  Bucket list items can include many things including travel destinations, financial goals and desired experiences.

Provision living wanted to learn more about how Americans feel about bucket lists. They recently surveyed 2,000 people and the results were extremely revealing. Let’s take a look at what they learned from their analysis.

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Many people have bucket lists. 95% of surveyed respondents to be exact.  They also learned that 21% of people change their bucket list at least a month and 66% plan to check an item off their bucket list within the next year.

How bucket lists get started

Listed below are the top reasons for starting a bucket list.

  • 38% of Americans start a bucket list when they get to a certain age
  • 12% start a bucket list because of inspiration from media (books, tv, shows, etc.)
  • 11% start a bucket list after a trip
  • 11% start one for other reasons
  • 8% starts a bucket list after someone close to them dies
  • 5% add something to their bucket list after a recommendation from a family member or close friend
  • 4% start after a breakup
  • 4% don’t currently have a bucket list
  • 3% start one after getting laid off from a job
  • 3% start after a change in income

Most/least desired bucket list experiences

The most desired bucket list experiences include skydiving, winning the lottery and having kids. The least desired bucket list experiences include getting arrested, breaking a minor law and trying online dating.

Bucket list travel destinations

Many people choose to focus on travel destinations for their bucket list as many people to choose to travel the world upon retirement. The survey looked at both the top cities and countries for bucket list travel.

Top cities include:

  1. Honolulu
  2. New York
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Anchorage
  5. San Francisco
  6. Los Angeles
  7. New Orleans
  8. Seattle
  9. Austin
  10. Boston

Top countries include:

  1. Australia
  2. Italy
  3. Ireland
  4. Japan
  5. United Kingdom
  6. France
  7. Greece
  8. Bahamas
  9. Egypt
  10. Germany

The survey found that the average number of travel destinations on a bucket list was 8 and that 52% of respondents wanted to bring a spouse or significant other on a bucket list trip.

Financial bucket list

The survey found that many people are willing to spend a significant amount of money on a bucket list item. The average amount of money people are willing to spend on a bucket list item was $3,801.  The survey did however find that finances are preventing over half of Americans from checking things off their bucket lists.

The top financial bucket lists goals are listed below:

  1. Pay off debt
  2. Pay off mortgage
  3. Retire early
  4. Save for child’s tuition
  5. Donate to charity
  6. Buy a home

To see the full analysis from Provision living, check out the graphic below.

Desired Bucket List Experiences

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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