Whether you have more money than Warren Buffett or are living paycheck-to-paycheck, you probably have a luxury bucket list.
What do you want to do before it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil? If you have an answer to that question that features a heavy focus on high-end items or experiences, you have a luxury bucket list. While not everyone can live a life of luxury, the idea of treating yourself to some of the finer things is in everyone’s grasp. So, we’ve decided to collect a list of some of the coolest things you can do to get a taste of a luxury experience.
From driving an expensive car really, really fast to eating the finest meal prepared by talented chefs, there is something on this list for everyone. You can either use our suggestions or develop your own list based on the things that interest you most. Perhaps instead of driving a fast car, you want to jump out of a plane? Do it! Whatever it is that will give you a thrill (so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone) is fair game for your luxury bucket list.
What is a luxury bucket list?
In the past decade, the term “bucket list” grew to being a genuine cultural touchstone. It’s a reference to the phrase “kick the bucket” and means a list of things you want to do before you die. A 2007 movie of the same name popularized the term, maybe even coined it. In it, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play characters who escape from a cancer ward to check items off their list. It’s an idea that has resonance for people, because we all know that we’re in a race against the clock for our time on this beautiful blue marble we call home. So, what do we mean by a luxury bucket list?
Just like the regular term, a luxury bucket list is a collection of experiences everyone should have but with a luxury twist. Where a regular bucket list might have “see the ocean” on it, a luxury bucket list would be something like “see the ocean from my own private over-the-water bungalow.” But if you want to have a taste of how the jet-set crowd lives, this is the way to do it. Even people of considerable means don’t get to have it all, so this list could serve as a collection of benchmarks for them. The most important thing is to have fun, so chase your wildest dreams.
What Types of Things Go on a Luxury Bucket List?
If you had 1,000 people in a room and asked them for their luxury bucket lists, you’d likely get 1,000 different answers. Luxury is in the eye of the beholder. For someone who grew up in a time or area without indoor plumbing, taking a shower could be a luxury. The important thing to remember is that a bucket list, luxury or otherwise, is meant to be made up of experiences that have meaning to the person. For example, the characters in the eponymous movie visit Mt. Everest and fly over the North Pole. For you, it could be something as simple as visiting a place that meant a lot to you or your family growing up. Whatever it is that you want to do, put it on your list.
Of course, there are some experiences that are just really cool, and that’s what makes up the list you’ll find below. Some of them, such as driving a fast, luxury car, appeared in the film. Others, like getting a bespoke high-fashion outfit, might be something you’ve never considered before. The good thing is the list below is not carved on stone tablets but is merely meant to give you a jumping off point. Add to it or subtract from it as you see fit, because there is no right or wrong thing to put on one of these lists.
Why Should We Make a Luxury Bucket List?
For the most part, a luxury bucket list is something that people who are reasonably concerned about their mortality want to do. Faced with an illness or the inevitable encroachment of time, people are motivated to get the most out of whatever days they have left. Yet, despite its name, a luxury bucket list need not be morbid. More so than a checklist of things to do while you try to outrun the Grim Reaper, think of it as a list of goals. From this point-of-view, anyone of any age could have a bucket list.
Of course, this is about a luxury bucket list, which adds a twist to the original idea. Rather than just a list of things to do, a luxury bucket list is one that keeps its eye towards the finer things. The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest swaths of natural splendor, and people need not be rich to take it in with their own eyes. On a luxury bucket list, rather than simply visiting the canyon, you might want to stay at the four- and five-star hotels near the monument. You may also want to take the luxury tours, from traveling the canyon to luxury rafting trips.
The Top Eight Experiences for Any Luxury Bucket List
So, now that we understand the concept of the luxury bucket list, let’s get down to the fun part. Remember, these are things that are costly to do, but one need not be a one-percenter to be able to do these things. Whether you save up for it or are able to splurge on impulse, all of the following things are experiences you will remember for the rest of your life.
1. Drive a Really Nice Car
In the 2007 film, one of the first things that Morgan Freeman’s character wants to do is to drive a Shelby Mustang. While that may be one of the fastest American cars, there are other sorts of vehicles to try your hand at driving. If speed is your thing, consider taking a few laps in a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Companies that rent these cars, or even only provide driving experiences, can be found in or near most major cities. But maybe going fast isn’t what you want to do? There are other options.
While you’re most likely to find folks offering experiences with fast cars, you can sometimes find places willing to rent high-end luxury cars. You can tool around town in Rolls Royce. Car rental companies sometimes offer these, such as Hertz Rent-a-Car’s “Dream Collection.” Of course, when it comes to those sorts of luxury cars, the real fun is having them chauffeured. In that case, you can get a car service that offers luxury limousines and town cars that will keeping you riding around in style all night.
2. Take a Luxury First-Class Flight
First-class air travel is much more than just drink service and extra legroom in today’s world. In fact, some airlines have taken their cues from train travel of old, creating what are essentially small private rooms on airplanes. These first-class luxury cabins have big-screen televisions, snack stores, and beds (or chairs that essentially turn into beds). Of course, for a luxury bucket list, simple first-class travel might not do it. That’s where Etihad Airlines’ “Residence” comes in.
The airline out of the United Arab Emirates, offers a fully furnished suite finer than most people’s apartments. Dubbed “The Residence,” passengers can travel in a three-room suite for the long flights connecting Abu Dhabi with New York, London, Paris, and Australia. Staffed by a butler, trained at the Savoy no less, a sous chef, and even a Norland College trained nanny, you might be inclined to take your vacation in this plane. You can shower in the suite, relax on the double bed in the bedroom, or hang out watching television in the living room. Of course, this is a pricey option, but could end up being more luxurious and relaxing than the vacation itself!
3. Go to a Tropical Island Resort
The beach is an amazing place, and it has a place on any bucket list. It’s one thing to want to see the ocean up close and dip your feet in the waves, and another thing to travel to an island paradise. For your luxury bucket list, you’ll want to consider going to a far off place for your ocean-side vacation. From Central America to Dubai, there is no shortage of tropical locales for you to visit. You can head to a major ocean-side city if you want a more urban experience, but why not get away from it all (without missing any of the comforts of home)?
For your luxury bucket list, consider traveling to a Bora Bora resort that has over-the-water bungalows. There are high-class resorts and world-class beaches, so you won’t miss out on any of the typical beach fun. However, spending the night at the edge of the ocean is an experience that you will never forget. The bungalows are study, so no worries there. But you can get a sense of the great power of the ocean as it gently laps against your doorstep.
4. Go to Space (or as close as you can get)
Thanks to human ingenuity and a fair share of gumption, there are very few frontiers left for us to explore. Yet, there is always the “final frontier,” which unless you had a friend at NASA and were willing to train for years, you likely would never see. However, thanks to engineers (and the billionaires backing them) commercial space flight is very much on the horizon, if you’ll pardon the pun. So, a trip to space should have a place on everyone’s luxury bucket list. The accommodations will not be that posh, but it’s going to be a pricey trip.
Companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are working to offer private sub-orbital spaceflight for around $200,000 per trip. The Golden Spike Company is currently planning commercial trips to the moon as early as 2020 with the hefty price-tag of $750 million per trip. Still, it’s possible to at least fly really high up into the atmosphere and experience what spaceflight would be like. Companies like the Zero Gravity Corporation offer parabolic flights that, while shuttling downward to Earth, allow for brief periods of weightlessness. Since they also fly higher than 30,000 feet, they also offer quite the view…but this is no sightseeing trip.
5. Experience Fine Dining
When it comes to high-quality food experiences, there are no shortage of options for the discerning foodie. So, since we’re talking about a luxury bucket list, this shouldn’t be just any fancy dinner. In the film, the main characters go to Chevre d’or, a two-star Michelin restaurant housed in a medieval castle in the south of France. Your luxury bucket list meal should be something similarly distinct. Perhaps you want to find the restaurant where your favorite chef is located or, perhaps, visit someplace like Maine at the height of lobster season.
While Michelin restaurants guarantee a fine dining experience, perhaps this can be less about the food itself than where you eat it. Maybe you want to dine atop the Space Needle in Seattle or travel to the Caribbean and eat like a local. With a little patience and some in-depth research, you can plan your dream meal in your dream location.
6. Take a Trip on a Yacht
There is something exhilarating about traveling by sea, knowing that other humans have been doing such for millennia. Yet, travel by sea used to be pretty horrible with cramped conditions, rampant sickness, and lack of food and water. Today, however, we have yachts and luxury cruise-liners. In 2020, Ritz-Carlton will be offering what it bills as the yacht of luxury cruise ships, which can hold up to 300 people but promises a much more luxurious experience than typical cruises. Either way, you are riding the waves on a floating hotel packed with everything you could want.
Of course, if cruises aren’t really your idea of a luxury bucket list item, then what about tooling around the open ocean on your own yacht? There’s a saying that the only happy days you have when you own a boat is the day you buy it and the day you sell it. However, what if you could just charter a luxury yacht for a few hours or days? There are plenty of charter services from which you can take your pick of luxury ships.
7. Indulge In Designer or Bespoke Fashion
Fashion is one of the few artistic expressions we all share. Even something as simple as a blazer and jeans can make a bold statement about who you are. But what about something that was designed just for you or is one-of-a-kind? Unlike a lot of items on your luxury bucket list, this one isn’t just a one-off. A good suit or dress is like owning a piece of wearable art. It should feel comfortable or, at least, make you feel confident. Bespoke fashion does both.
For men, a tailored suit or tuxedo is the way to go. Once you wear clothing made to fit you exactly right, it’s sometimes difficult to go back to wearing off-the-rack clothes. A properly tailored suit will feel like a second skin, but one that you want everyone to see. For women, bespoke fashion options are little more difficult to come by. Still many high-end designers and boutique geniuses are out there waiting to design something just for you. Whether you wear it just the once or rock it every weekend, it’ll be worth it.
8. Try to See the Wonders of the World
The list of the original seven wonders of the world came from ancient Greek historian Herodotus and scholar Callimachus of Cyrene. Of those original seven wonders, only the Great Pyramid at Giza still stands. However, in the millennia since the original seven wonders were lost, others have taken their place. There is no definitive list, but along with the pyramid, there are other modern wonders such as:
- Great Wall of China
- Macchu Picchu in Peru
- The Colosseum in Rome
- Stonehenge in England
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
- The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
- Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa in Egypt
- The Taj Mahal in India
Of course, there are other lists as well, including those focused on man-made wonders or natural wonders specifically. The best way to figure out which spot to put on your luxury bucket list is to choose one that will marvel you.
Remember, think of your luxury bucket list as a set of goals to be achieved during a long and full life.
Inherent in the concept of the luxury bucket list is the macabre truth that we have but limited time to live our lives. But a life lived in fear of the inevitable is no life at all. That’s why these lists have caught on in the cultural consciousness. The idea that you have a list of goals, experiences you want to have, in the back of your mind is a lovely one. It gives you something to strive for during the tough days. They also help spur you into action, especially if the opportunity to check an item off your list presents itself.
We hoped you enjoyed this list. Let us know in the comments below what you think of our suggestions and what experiences you might add to your list. Remember to share the article on social media to get your friends in on the conversation.
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