Family Travel Goals - Rocky Mountain National Park

Why Your Family Needs a Travel Bucket List

February 16, 2019

There are plenty of families who simply follow the masses in order to choose where they want to travel next. And for them, it might be fine to follow strangers’ Instagram feeds to see what everyone else thinks is the best family travel destination.

But if your family, like ours, has limited travel resources (time and money) and some specific ideas of what you want to achieve as a traveling family, I would contend that your family (like ours) is better by served making a set of travel goals, or a travel “bucket list,” as everyone likes to call them.

Why set travel goals?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard families with older/grown children say, “We always intended to take a family trip to (name a place), but it just never happened.” As a travel lover who is the matriarch of a travel-loving family, the idea of that kind of regret gives me all kinds of anxiety.

There are a lot of great reasons for turning your family’s best intentions into travel goals:

  1. Travel goals help you prioritize

Setting travel goals helps your family prioritize what trips to take. If have set a goal to, for example, see all of the state parks in your state, you are more likely to start planning your trips around this goal. For us, when we recently took a road trip back to Utah, where we had already been, we decided to take a different route there so the kids could cross two new states off our 50-state goal.

  1. Travel goals are unifying

Much like a sports team working toward a common goal of winning, having shared family travel goals makes the family feel more united in the achievement of exploration and adventure. It makes pursuit of the goals feel like a team pursuit.

  1. Travel goals are gratifying

Once my husband created a map on his mapping software to visually track which states we’ve visited (and who within our family has been there), it made our accomplishments to date feel really good, as we had a lot of states filled in. That drove us to want to make sure all our family gets to see all of the states.

  1. Travel goals are fun

It’s exciting to think about pursuing more of our family’s goals, especially the bigger ones, like which of the seven continents we want to visit next. Also, the more we research, the more we see the possibilities out there.

Having family travel goals will not guarantee you can accomplish every trip on your bucket list, but it goes a long way toward helping you determine which trips do get taken.



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Family Travel Goals Mt Rushmore

Our Family’s Travel Bucket List

As an example of family travel goals, below is our family’s travel bucket list. The links for each goal take you to a page tracking our progress on that goal, as well as posts featuring some of our favorite destinations. Below each goal is a post with more detailed explanation about why each of these goals made our travel bucket list.

Why Seeing All 50 States is On Our Family’s Travel Bucket List

  • To explore more of our own “backyard” (Midwest)

Why Midwest Travel is On Our Family’s Travel Bucket List

Why World Travel on All Seven Continents is On Our Family’s Travel Bucket List

Why National Parks and Sweeping Vistas Are On our Family’s Travel Bucket List

  • To experience as many zip lines along the way as possible

Why Experiencing Zip Lines is On Our Family’s Travel Bucket List


Creating Your Travel Bucket List

Because family travel goals are my passion, I have lots of helpful resources to get you started.

Family Travel Bucket List Ideas: All Shapes and Sizes

Do you want more ideas for what kinds of travel bucket lists your family can create? This post has so many ideas for travel bucket list goals, and many of them can be done where you live!


How to Create a Travel Bucket List

Family bucket list guide

This FREE 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!


Creating and Achieving Your Family’s Travel Bucket List

family travel bucket list guide

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 comprehensive guide I wish we’d had when our family was creating our travel bucket list.

What are you waiting for?! Start making those goals! And let me know how how it’s going for you.

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Why Your Family Needs a Travel Bucket List


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