The Great Irish Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list, travel plans or goals to work towards? Over half of Irish people surveyed stated they do, with a whopping 98% saying they had a regret.

What’s more important; money, happiness, travelling or success? Alpharooms Ireland have surveyed the Irish public to find out.

Research shows that over half of respondents have a bucket list and 38% would rather travel than buy a home or pay off debt.

Travel is also ranked higher than climbing the career ladder, getting married and saving to retire early.

Top 6 regrets of the Irish

Respondents were asked, if you could go back in time, what one thing would you change?

Travel more – 38%

Achieve financial stability – 20%

Enjoy more ‘me time’ – 20%

Focus on career – 9%

Get married – 7%

Retire early – 6%

The concept behind a ‘bucket list’ can actually prove hugely beneficial in helping an individual to achieve their goals.

Kiran Singh, an award-winning lifestyle, wellness and mindfulness coach, strongly believes that they are an “incredible mental tool to keep your dreams alive, making achievements far more likely.”

1 in 3 would go back and travel the world

It might be seen as a cliché to have ‘travelling the world’ on your bucket list, but over 1 in 3 Irish people surveyed had ‘travel the world’ on their list of things to do if they could go back in time.

It’s one of the most common regrets that people have and this is because, says wellness coach Kiran: “travelling is to live life fully, enjoying everything that life has to offer. It’s about freedom, experiences, growing, learning and feeling alive”.

38% claim travelling is more important than financial security

Image of a suitcase and bubbles with stats

Spend your hard earned cash on travelling or save for for something else, like a car or a house deposit? According to alpharooms findings, 38% said they would prefer to travel the world than achieve ‘financial security’.

Travelling is also ranked higher than professional success, tying the knot or retiring early.

Those aged between 25-34 are those most wanting to travel. Younger generations are finding it harder to get on the property ladder than ever before so if it’s unlikely they can make that investment, some prefer to spend what money they do save on experiences they are more free to have now.

Aoife O’Connor, a student from Dublin  is just one such example, choosing to save in order to travel rather than ‘settle down’:

“Travelling is, by far, one of my main reasons for saving. Last year, I was fortunate to tick off a few of my top destinations. This year, I’ll be looking to do the same, as well as a big move to Canada.”

43% say money is the biggest factor holding them back from their goals

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It’s no surprise that money is the primary obstacle for completing bucket lists. However, overwhelmingly, almost 50% of Irish people surveyed stated that money held them back from their goals.

Other factors holding people back from their goals included a lack of motivation and work, both of which were more limiting than family commitments. So if you’re afraid that you won’t have the time when you settle down and start a family, you might have more than you think.

Women are travelling more

According to our survey, travelling plays a bigger part in women’s bucket lists than men’s.

Aoife agrees: “More of my female friends are up for travelling or moving to a new city/country. We even started a challenge to visit 30 countries by the time we are 30.”

The 2018 ABTA holiday report also suggests that solo travel is the latest trend, with one in six travelling alone and seeking new cultures and experiences, growing almost three times over in the last 7 years.

10% of men would go back and get married

While most women would look to travel more if they had the opportunity, the same cannot be said for all men. According to the findings, 9% of men would go back and include ‘get married’ to their bucket list.

Women are, stereotypically, seen as the ones desiring marriage, but this is no longer the case. With women climbing the career ladder, earning more and seeing the world – the roles are reversing.

Kiran also believes that the roles are changing: “Today’s women spend time on personal development, they tune in to themselves, go on self-discovery journeys and more – this makes them more confident and authentic, they then do things because they want to and not because society tells them too.”

However, while women are looking to travel the world more, it appears men are the ones putting savings aside to reach their goals. Almost 20% of Irish men surveyed had savings set aside, compared to 15% of women. This could be due to the fact that women are less likely to ask for a raise but also to invest their savings. Compared to 66% of men, only 48% of women own investment products.

Millennials have more saved for their bucket list

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16% of people aged between 25-44 had money put aside for their bucket list.

However, while the baby boomers – defined as between 53 and 71 might have less to put away, they’re still shaking up the travel industry. According to the survey, 30% of the over 55s regularly tick items off their bucket list – possibly due to more free time and independence.

It’s also said that the baby boomers are wealthier than ever before – with 1 in 5 said to be ‘millionaires’ – which could be attributed to an increase in travelling.

Kiran Singh also suggests that, at this age, you can reinvent yourself. “As you get older, there is a sense of ownership of your life and the choices you’ve made. I think with that, comes a lot more confidence and a sense of not being as vulnerable to what other people think. There’s power in that – it’s the perfect time to reboot your life and travel.”

Almost 20% would prefer to spend time alone than with family

Amidst the rise of the solo traveller, we found that most Irish people surveyed would prefer to enjoy more ‘me time’, rather than aim to spend more time with their family.

Kiran Singh also agrees that self-care is just as important as spending time with family: “Having a vision for your life is perhaps the greatest tool that you can utilise in order to get what you want. You need to know yourself to help achieve whatever it is you have always wanted.”

Money can buy you happiness, but only when it comes to travelling

A recent study by Cornell University found that we get higher levels of happiness from anticipating travelling and a unique experience, compared to buying a new possession. Essentially, money can buy you happiness, but only when it comes to travelling.

This is also reinforced by the fact that 38% of Irish people surveyed would prefer to travel the world, rather than save and gain financial stability during their life.

Creating a travel bucket list can help improve your mental health

The benefits of a travel bucket list are tenfold, helping you to meet new people, immerse yourself in new cultures, experience life far and wide and, most importantly, improve your mental health.

Alpharooms also found that 36% of those who set goals were more satisfied with their life, compared to only 23% of those who weren’t satisfied but didn’t set goals.

Wellness coach, Kiran, also agrees that bucket lists can improve health: “You’ll be working towards a goal and knowing that it will happen, which brings new excitement and vigour every day.

“A bucket list has loads of benefits. They can give you a purpose, focus and direction in your life which then leads to creating new memories, discoveries and adventures. It motivates you to grow and evolve and, most importantly, it’s never-ending.”

A change of scenery, or travelling, can work wonders and has been scientifically proven to have a number of benefits for your mental health, aiding with stress relief, enhancing creativity and even strengthening relationships.

A study conducted by the University of Surrey also detailed that people are at their happiest when they have a trip planned, making them more positive about other aspects in their life – including health, economic status and quality of life.

How to create a bucket list

If there’s one thing you can guarantee with a bucket list or goals to work towards, they give you a path to follow.

Don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’, you can create a bucket list at any stage in your life.

Here is our guide to creating your ultimate list of goals:

Name your bucket list. Give it definition, whether it be about personal achievements or travelling the world.

Time list. Break your list up by times and dates. Figure out short term, long term or even special term, so you are not overwhelmed before starting.

Share with a friend. Often, sharing your list with a friend or partner ensures you are more likely to stick to the list.

Who, when, where, what and how. Once you have these details figured out, you can list by priority by the goals you can start as soon as possible.

Don’t let your list end. The goal of your list is not to let it end and stop experiencing new things, but to get creative and keep it growing. The best lists are the ones that continually adapt and change, making sure you live regret free.




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