If you think that a family travel bucket list has to involve major national or international travel, you’re wrong. It certainly could. Maybe your family wants to see every country in the world. It doesn’t get much more ambitious than that! But if that isn’t in the cards for you (and let’s face it, it’s not in the cards for most of us), there are very reasonable ways to build a family travel bucket list. Any travel bucket lists can broaden your family’s horizons, whether that happens ten miles or thousands of miles from home.
|Related Reading: Why Your Family Needs a Travel Bucket List. I encourage you to read this post, as it outlines all the reasons your family should create a travel bucket list.|
Below is a brainstorm I’ve started of family travel bucket list ideas. I will keep adding to this list, so I’d love to hear your additions in the comments!
Our family’s travel bucket list, and our progress toward achieving it, can be found here.
Easier, local family travel bucket list ideas
You don’t have to be a world traveler to have a family travel bucket list. There are a lot of ways to explore without venturing too far away or spending a lot of money. Here are a few ideas:
- If you live in a city or metropolitan area:
- visit every park in the city or metro area
- visit every library in the city or metro area
- visit every free museum in the city or metro area
- ride every train, subway or bus line
- visit all the churches, temples, or mosques of your faith (or other faiths) in the city or metro area
- try all the restaurants in your neighborhood or city
- try all the ice cream shops in your neighborhood or city
- If you don’t live in a city or metropolitan area:
- visit every park in your county
- visit every library in the area
- watch a high school ball game in every sports venue in your area
- visit every town in your area, maybe have a picnic lunch there
- visit all the churches, temples, or mosques of your faith (or other faiths) in your area
- try all the restaurants in your area
- try all the ice cream shops in your area
Our family has a general goal of seeing more of our own backyard (Minnesota and the Midwestern United States). You can see our progress on that front here.
Regional family travel bucket list ideas
If your circumstances allow for a little broader exploration, here are some more ideas:
- visit or camp in every state or provincial park in your state or province (or comparable park system in your area) – see if they have a “passport” available with more information about the parks and for you to track your progress!
- visit every county seat in your state (or comparable regional government bodies in your area)
- visit every library in your state, province, or other comparable areas
- attend a sporting event in every professional, college, or amateur sports stadium in your state, province, or country
- visit college campuses in your state
National family travel bucket list ideas
Our family has a bucket list goal of visiting all 50 states. If you’re able to widen your geographic scope a bit further than the ideas above, here are some more travel bucket list ideas for your family:
- visit every national park in your country (I highly recommend getting a National Park Passport if this is your goal in the US!)
- visit every state or provincial capitol in your country
- cross the border to visit all the countries that border your country
- visit all significant coastlines (if applicable) and/or landforms (like mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts, etc.) in your country
- attend your favorite sport’s games at every professional stadium in the country
- visit as many college campuses around the country
International family travel bucket list ideas
Our family has a bucket list goal of visiting all seven continents. Some possible variations on this idea are:
- visit as many countries as possible
- visit all the countries in a continent
- visit as many mountain ranges around the world as possible
- see and touch all four oceans
- visit as many beaches around the world as possible
- visit countries for which you or family members have ancestral ties
Interest- or competition-focused family travel bucket list ideas
If your family is drawn together by a particular activity or competition, you can create travel bucket lists around that! For example, our family has become obsessed with zip lines, so we are trying to zipline in as many places as possible. We also look for geodetic control points when we travel to different places. (Google it…if you have a family member that’s into mapping like my husband, they’ll dig it.)
Here are some examples of how to create travel bucket lists around your family’s interests, selecting locations to participate in these activities across the country or internationally:
- attend concerts, plays or other performances
- go to amusement parks
- participate in races
- participate in competitions (like fishing, climbing, darts, archery, eating…)
- participate in worship services
- ski, surf, swim, walk, bike non-competitively
- attend scouting or other membership-based events
- attend events for service clubs
- try different foods and cuisines
- visit zoos and/or wildlife sanctuaries
Our family has a goal of experiencing as many zip lines as we can in our travels. You can read more about that here.
Collection-focused family travel bucket list ideas
I’ll admit that this one’s a little less clear to me, but after having a conversation with my hair stylist about how she collects shot glasses from all over the country and world, I’m guessing there are likely others who collect similar items when they travel, whether they be other types of souvenirs (t-shirts, hats, plates), match books, local maps, plant specimens, insect specimens…the possibilities are endless here!
It’s possible that your list might be focused on one area of the world and learn all you can about it. For example, you might want to immerse yourself in Hawaii. Or the Caribbean. Or Madagascar.
I hope I’ve given you an idea of the broad array of potential travel bucket list possibilities there are out there. I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the possibilities! Again, please share with me your ideas to add to this list, so we can help spark ideas for folks looking to build their family travel goals.
More Travel Bucket List Resources
If this list of travel bucket list ideas has sparked your imagination, here are more resources to help your family create and achieve your travel bucket list goals!
How to Create a Travel Bucket List
This quick and easy guide will lead your family through a discussion process to help you decide what family travel goals you want to create. Sign up below to receive yours!
For a comprehensive guide on how to create and achieve your family’s travel bucket list, this 30-page e-book has everything you need! It’s the guide I wish we’d had when our family was creating our travel bucket list.
One last tip: No matter what your family’s travel goals are, saving money on family travel is important. Read here for ideas from Minivan Adventure on how to save money on family vacations.
If this content was useful, you can find more content related to travel bucket lists here.
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