I love planning out our trips. It’s a sickness really. I love researching hotel and attraction reviews, reading up on the history of our travel destinations, and planning a basic itinerary. I love it far beyond what any rational person would consider normal. It’s up there with my love of office supply stores. Oh organizational supplies, how you beckon me! It’s not uncommon for my husband to inquire what I’m reading about and have me sheepishly answer “Hotels in Japan”. At which point he’s forced to warily ask “Do we have an upcoming trip I don’t know about?”. Nope. Not for another 5-6 years at least! But I know in the back of my mind that it’s a place I want to visit with our family. So I sit and read, and daydream. Which quite frankly for me, is almost as (if not more) fun than the vacation itself. It’s easy for me to end up with a list of so many destinations that it becomes overwhelming. So I’ve tried to narrow it down my “must sees” a bit. As I go through and daydream about future destinations, I try to pick out places that will give our children exposure to a multitude of different experiences. I want them not only to discover a love of travel, but a love of exploring, and a love of learning. Here are some ideas to help you create your own Family Travel Bucket List.
Some Place Tropical
Everyone needs to experience warm breezes, crashing waves, and beautiful sunsets. For our family travel bucket list, this means Hawaii. Kit already has been fascinated with volcanoes ever since she was tiny, so a trip to Hawaii has been on the short list for a while now. Volcano National Park is calling our name!
Some Place Cold
Sweaters, roaring fires, and cups of hot cocoa. As much as I love sunning on the beach, I think at least one family vacation should be somewhere where there is snow. For some people this means skiing, or maybe just a trip out to a cabin for the holidays. I think for us, it will be Alaska. Initially I wanted to wait until the kids were a bit older to take them there. But with the glaciers starting to melt on us, I think maybe we’ll try and move up this particular item on the list. I’d like to see the glaciers before they become very nice looking puddles. I’m sure the puddles would be very pretty, but they hardly compare to a glacier.
Some Place to Connect to History:
Traveling is such a great learning experience for children, it can make history come alive. Use that to your advantage and find a place to spark their love of history. Castles in Europe, or battlefields here at home in the US. Our family is rather particular to castles, so I think a trip out to Germany the land of the fairy tale castle might be in order someday.
Some Place to Connect to Your Heritage
It’s great to develop a love of history, but it’s even better to find your own personal connection to it. Research your family tree, and find some place new to discover. Maybe your family could take a trip to the grandparents to listen to the stories from their childhood, or perhaps even make a trip overseas to discover the birthplace of your ancestors. My husband and my children are Jewish, and I would love to take a family trip to Israel someday, so that they can find discover the beauty of their roots.
Some Place to Connect to Nature
Everyone should feel the awe of looking out over the land with nothing man made in sight at least once. My husband and I visited the Grand Canyon while I was pregnant with Kit, and it was breathtaking. It’s an experience that makes you realize just exactly how big and magnificent the land beneath our feet really is. I can’t wait to share that same feeling with our children.
Some Place to Make You Long for Home:
Sometimes the best part of a trip is realizing all the wonderful things from home that you take for granted. Go somewhere wildly different from you live. Find a destination that forces you to become an outsider, to learn new words, try new foods, and experience new customs. I want our travels to help our children (and us!) grow as individuals. A trip to Japan takes this spot in our personal Family Travel Bucket List! They also have one of the largest aquarium tanks in the whole world (second only to one in Dubai I believe). And as you know, we’re suckers for aquariums.
So what is on your family travel bucket list? Leave your list in the comments section below!