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Family Travel Bucket Lists Ideas: All Shapes and Sizes

March 23, 2018

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. 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. And to receive my free e-book, Creating and Achieving Your Family’s Travel Bucket List, you can subscribe to World is Wide 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

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

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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

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!

In-Depth Exploration

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. And to receive my free e-book, Creating and Achieving Your Family’s Travel Bucket List, you can subscribe to World is Wide here:

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.

To track the progress on our family’s travel bucket list, you can look here.

31 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 24, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    What a GREAT idea to have family bucket lists! It gives everyone a goal and something to look forward to, as well as helping to unify your family! I would love to have my boys see and touch all the oceans! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 24, 2018 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks Sarah! It really is unifying. πŸ™‚ If you think of more bucket list ideas to share, let me know, and I’ll add them to the list.

  • Reply
    Shreya Saha
    March 25, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Great compilation of family travel bucket lists. I feel more sorted to plan for the upcoming year with my family who stay in a different country. Thanks for sharing such a great post!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 25, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Shreya! If you think of any additions, let me know so I can add them. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Catherine
    March 25, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    We have an informal family bucket list, but this is a great idea. We do travel both near and far, too! There are so many wonderful things to see.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      So much to see, indeed! Once we named our goals, it’s really put made us more intentional about achieving them. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Nives
    March 26, 2018 at 5:39 am

    I love bucket lists! I also have mine. But I was never thinking in these kind of lists. Looks very interesting and it was really fun to read it!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 26, 2018 at 5:58 am

      Thanks Nives!

  • Reply
    Followingtherivera
    March 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

    These are really great travel bucket list ideas! I haven’t got kids, but am trying to explore more of my own backyard this year! Would also like to see more national parks if possible.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 26, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Thanks! National parks are really a treasure, and I know we have been really neglectful of traveling our own backyard! Having bucket list goals helps keep us on track.

      I hope you found that these bucket list ideas are be relevant for anyone, with or without kids. As vast as the travel blog-ospehere is, I’ve focused a lot of my content on family travel (which is where I’m at this point in my life), but I certainly have always contended that most/all of my content is relevant beyond families. Thanks for taking the time to read!

  • Reply
    Alexander Popkov
    March 26, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    I am sure families would benefit from this… When I have a family, I will refer to this list :

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 26, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks, Alexander. I do think anyone could use this list, not just families. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Becca Talbot
    March 27, 2018 at 4:31 am

    Some great ideas here Kristie – especially the visit to all the ice cream shops in the area, I love that! Where’s the picture at the top of your post taken? I’d love to go and see that myself! x

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 27, 2018 at 5:56 am

      Thanks Becca. The picture as at the Central Library in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. They made the books to cover up the parking ramp. It’s so cool! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Adventuregirleliana
    March 27, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    This list is awesome!! Even as a family who travels often internationally I can definitely use this idea to have some local fun. Often times I am so concentrated in planning my big yearly trips that I have noticed I have been missing out on the local fun activities. I will utilize this idea to keep us busy this Summer!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 27, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      Glad to hear it will be useful! I too overlook stuff in our back yard way too often. πŸ™ Time to fix that.

  • Reply
    Medha Verma
    March 29, 2018 at 2:22 am

    I completely agree with you, family bucket list does not have to be international, it could also be local, exploring your own city or town or even country (national) is a brilliant idea and definitely more affordable. And why not? Shouldn’t you know your own turf well? I also love the idea of designing your bucket list around a particular activity that you all enjoy such as ziplining. I never really considered that!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 29, 2018 at 5:37 am

      Thanks, Medha. All the bucket list sites I find are of well-known or super exotic international destinations. If you don’t have the means to make that happen, that shouldn’t stop you from having travel goals!

  • Reply
    Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me)
    March 29, 2018 at 5:46 am

    I really like the idea of trying to see all the States. To replicate it here in the UK, I really should hop over to explore more of Ireland. I know Wales and England well, Scotland a bit – but Ireland’s a complete mystery!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      March 29, 2018 at 6:29 am

      Right, the idea is to get to know your own country, whether you have states, provinces, etc. πŸ™‚ Good luck on your travels!

  • Reply
    Angie
    April 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    What a fabulous list! I think we need to make a travel bucket list soon. At the top of my list is that I want to snorkel all over the world where possible.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 7, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      That’s a great travel goal! Start your list, and check them off as you accomplish them. I’ve only snorkeled a couple times, but I got to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, which was amazing. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Alexis
    April 7, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Those are all great ideas. I think zip lines look like the most fun! I have not done one of those in a long time!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 7, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, we love zip lines. We try to find them at every destination we travel to now.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    April 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Awesome ideas!! We love zip lining too… what a great idea to add it to he bucket list! And the national parks are our favorite πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 7, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks! National parks are the best, aren’t they? Our kids really treasure their NP passports. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Ashley
    April 7, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    What a fun list! I am pinning to use this with our teen and tween. On any family vacation, we visit nearby waterfalls! And, a spirit of adventure and humor makes even the most mundane trip fun!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 7, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      Glad to hear you’ll use it! Yeah, we love waterfalls, too. That might also eventually make our list… πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Tara
    April 7, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    This is a great list! I love how you broke it down into local all the way to international ideas! Definitely need to keep these in mind.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      April 8, 2018 at 7:52 am

      Thanks! I hope it’s helpful. I was hoping to create a range of ideas for any kind of traveler. So much of what’s out there on blogs is for the uber-traveler that’s traveling the world. That’s great, but you have to start somewhere. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    jamie
    April 26, 2018 at 9:37 am

    great ideas! There are so many ways to ‘travel’!

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