Bucket lists are a trend for Canadians. A recent IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) survey revealed 59 per cent of Canadians have – or plan to make – a bucket list and among them, the majority seek out Canadian experiences. However, 91 per cent of Canadian ‘bucket listers’ are unable to make their dreams a reality. That’s why IHG, together with internationally-recognized bucket list expert Robin Esrock, created a Great Canadian Bucket List that offers 25 bucket-list worthy experiences to inspire travel throughout Canada this year.
Robin Esrock, renowned travel writer and best-selling author of The Great Canadian Bucket List, said: “There are a host of benefits to having a bucket list, and what you include on it should be personal, fun and inspiring. Having one makes you really think about what you want to do or see, gives you something to look forward to and helps you stay accountable to your goals. It can also make conversations with your friends more interesting.”
The survey found that experiences involving nature (67 per cent), road trips (59 per cent) and history (52 per cent) are the top three bucket list categories Canadians are most interested in. With more than half of Canadians saying there are many bucket list experiences to be had in Canada, IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List suggests 25 must-add experiences to any travel plans this year. These include arming a cannon in the Citadel in Halifax, NS, going underground in the Diefenbunker in Ottawa, ON, and crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC.
Compiling a bucket list has its advantages – but only if those plans can be actualized. According to the survey, Canadians that have or plan to make a bucket list say it gives them something to look forward to (61 per cent), an aspirational goal to achieve (52 per cent) and an opportunity to try something new (44 per cent). The unfortunate reality, however, is that most of these Canadians say they are not able to make their bucket list dreams come to fruition due to cost (68 per cent) and work responsibilities (37 per cent).
Jonathan Lund, Regional Vice President, IHG, Canada, said: “Here at IHG, we are excited to help Canadians accomplish their bucket list dreams across Canada. With hotels from coast-to-coast – ranging from budget-friendly, family-approved or luxury – we want vacation to be fulfilling for every Canadian. You don’t have to travel far or spend too much to have a truly memorable vacation.”
While for some it may seem daunting to make bucket list experiences a reality, IHG and Robin Esrock offer the following advice to help make it achievable:
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.
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.
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.
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 can do, as opposed to chance encounters with a celebrity, for example.
With over 179 hotels across the country and 46 hotels in the pipeline, IHG’s hotels in Canada are a home away from home for travelers. With leisure-favourite hotel brands such as Holiday Inn® and iconic luxury brands like InterContinental® Hotels – IHG’s family of brands in Canada has more than 24,913 rooms across six brands.
IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® Hotels, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, Holiday Inn Resort®, avid™ hotels, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.
SOURCE IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group)