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How to create the ultimate adventure to do list

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo on Mar 6, 2017 7:52:11 AM

How to create the ultimate adventure to do list

Vacations should be about escaping your routine, doing things that you wouldn’t normally do in your 9-5 daily life. Using that logic, and perhaps taking it to the extreme, your next trip should be all about adventures: Skydiving? Spending a week without your cell phone? Trying new foods? These are just some examples of adventures you could indulge in. The question really is, what do you define as an adventure? It’s all relative (and it doesn’t require an adrenaline rush). 

The following guidelines will help you create the ultimate adventure to do list.

Brainstorm and define what “adventure” means to you 



Everyone has differing levels of comfort. One person’s adventure might be another person’s nightmare. While brainstorming, you can devise an idea of what the idea of an adventure is to you. Be sure to take your travel partner into account.  If you are having difficulty in being imaginative, don’t be afraid to use a travel agency.  You can join an organized tour or give the travel agent some direction on what might interest you (and what your limitations are) and allow the agent to wow you with a wonderful travel adventure.  Be sure to keep your goals and fears in mind while engaging in the process. 

Sit down with a map and a calendar

world travel

Before even thinking about hotel ratings and frequent flyer numbers, ask yourself “When and where to do I want to go on my next trip?” Dates and locations don’t need to be specific at that point, but it will help narrowing down some options.  Always remember that different sides of the Equator have opposite seasons (winter in the North is summer in the South and so on). Additionally, some regions may have rain seasons, or religious holidays, so plan accordingly.

make the most of your time on this planet

Make sure to challenge yourself


Adventure doesn’t come from staying in a safe zone. Test your limits and put your mind and body to the test. Think about that extra lap of running that your body might be dreading, or visiting that country where no one speaks your language that you may be frightened to explore. Then, once you’ve identified what challenges you, find ways to soften the challenge to the point that you will not only actually follow through with it, but you’ll also enjoy it.  It’s finding that balance between setting reachable goals and challenging yourself that is difficult but is also the key to the ultimate adventure to do list. 

Set reachable goals

setting goals


When thinking about ultimate adventures, we don’t want to go from 0 to 60. It is very important to understand that you may not be able to accomplish everything you planned, so, if you’re going away for a month and your initial goal was to be smartphone-free, take it one day at the time…after all, slow and steady wins the race.

Keep it real $$

keeping it real

If your budget is tight, plan accordingly. Who hasn’t dreamed of staying at a 5* deluxe suite? However, coming back home to an eight-page long credit card bill can dampen the experience.  If you have more flexibility in your budget, perhaps pair deluxe accommodations and transportation with adventurous activities for the perfect balance.  When traveling to an exotic destination (Africa, Asia, Latin America) stay at local boutique hotels, where you would get luxurious treatment without a big chain’s mark up.

Safety first

safety first

Be mindful of your health status. Some activities may sound great, but our body might not be up for doing them all together. Perhaps one rollercoaster ride is enough, there’s no need to get on every attraction at the amusement park. Leave some for your next visit J Be mindful of the safety regulations and inspections at different locations if you’re going for the most classic definition of adventure. If you’re going to be bungee jumping or white water rafting, you’ll want to ensure that those managing the site where you’ll be doing it are responsible and up to code.  

Happiness is better when shared

Happiness is better when shared

Think of a travel buddy who shares the same interest. You’ll want to travel with someone who’s idea of adventure is similar to yours so that your wonderful trip isn’t your travel buddy’s disaster trip.  That being said, sometimes travelling with someone who is a little more brave or experienced than you can open your horizons.  Again, it’s about balance. Whether it is a culinary tour or a hike to the peak of Machu Picchu, having the right companion makes an amazing trip even better.

Get inspired

get inspired

Follow an adventure-themed blog or Instagram account to see how other people live out their adventures. The video of the guy having an amazing time while white water rafting might be the perfect visual to get you on the road to go experience it yourself. The blog post that details the triumphs of backpacking and hiking through the Amazon might have you packing your bags.  Or, it might just enlighten you to what you definitely don’t want to do – which is just as important. 

Creating an adventure to do list is an extremely individual process. It takes some introspection and dreaming to get it just right.  And after you dream, you have to be realistic both with your budget and who you are to find the things that will be meaningful for you.  If you need some ideas, check out my post on 16 things you must do before you die.  Many of them certainly constitute my definition of adventure.

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