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7 in 10 of us have a bucket list we can’t tick off

Over 70% of Irish people will have to rethink their travel wish list, which includes destinations such as The Great Wall of China and The Grand Canyon, as they cannot afford the excursions, a new survey shows.

While 54% of poll respondents have a travel “bucket list” – a wish list of places to see and things to do before they die – over seven in ten admitted that financial reasons are preventing them from fulfilling their personal challenges. A further 26% report that work responsibilities are thwarting their travel plans, with a further one in five citing family life as a likely dampener.

The survey, commissioned by AA Travel Insurance, revealed that young Irish adults aged between 17 and 24 years old are least likely to be able to afford ticking off their bucket list, despite the cohort aspiring to travel most. Young adults also professed that their “fear of the unknown” is a barrier to their travel desires – the highest of all age groups at over 10%. Poll respondents over the age of 65 years old are least likely to have a travel bucket list (57%), with one in four saying their health is foiling such adventurous excursions.

The AA Travel Insurance survey also revealed Irish people’s top 10 things to experience before they die. A trip to view the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, ranked first place with over half of respondents agreeing it is a must-see. Would-be travellers nominated a visit to the Grand Canyon in second place (38%), with the Great Wall of China coming in third (29%). These were followed by going on a Safari trip (25%), trekking the Inca Trail in Peru (20%), visiting The Himalayas in Nepal (14%), taking an elephant ride in Thailand (12%), sky-diving over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (12%), and deep-sea diving with great white sharks (8%). Just 4% of those polled admitted they want to climb Mount Everest, a perhaps unsurprising statistic due to its mammoth height of 29,029 feet.

“It appears that we are a nation of would-be globetrotters and aspire to live life to the full,” says Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at The AA. “While our little island has plenty of undiscovered gems, we’re getting our kicks in far flung destinations. I’m no different: my bucket list includes seeing the giant redwood trees of northern California, the northern lights and the Southern Cross. I haven’t traveled enough yet, but I will.”


Image: E Palen