Traveling is one thing that brings joy to my life. We live in an amazing country that has everything from beautiful beaches to stupendous mountains to grassy plains to chaotic metropolises. So far our family has traveled to Disney World, the Gulf Coast beaches and St. Louis, but I am determined to expose my children (and myself for that matter) to as much of our country as possible. I have compiled a thematic list of vacations so that I have plenty of options to choose from when I feel that my children are at the age where they can experience and appreciate different vacations.
- Gatlinburg/ Smokey Mountains: A trip for any season. White water rafting during the Summer. Hiking and watching the leaves change in the woods during the fall sounds extraordinary.
- Alaska: How different can one place be from Baton Rouge than Alaska? I can’t even imagine the wildlife and climate that could be observed. I really hope that I can mark this one off my bucket list one day.
- Dude Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY: This wasn’t on my Bucket List, but after researching I think it might have just secured a spot. If I get to cross this one off, it’ll probably be a scene out of City Slickers so I’ll let you know when/if it happens. You WILL want to see this city girl on a dusty ranch.
- Park City/ Deer Valley: Skiing, Tubing, Snowmobiling, Ice Skating and Snowshoeing are just some of the activities. Many resorts offer camps for kids so adults can have some time to attempt the higher level slopes or just hang out at teh resort bar.
- Washington DC/ VA Area: Everyone has to see the country’s capital at some point! An extra plus for us is that my husband’s family has a lot of history in this part of the country. We would be able to teach our children our family history in person. How cool is that?!?!
- New England States: I’ll be honest, I really only want to eat a lobster roll in Maine while watching an Atlantic sunset and listen to the Boston accent ALL DAY LONG. Find out here how to make it a road trip.
- Route 66: Drive on the major pathway for westward migration. You can view or stay in the historic Wigwam Motel.
- Research your own family history and visit locations that got you to the place where you are today.
Beaches with more than just “Beaches”
- We are spoiled with the beautiful white sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast, but there are so many other beaches in the great USA.
- San Diego: Of course there is a zoo. But you can also plan a trip to the safari park, a whale-watching tour, and LEGOLAND.
- Florida Keys: Many all-inclusive resorts have snorkeling, fishing, dolphin interaction programs for the kids and totally different adventures for the adults. This might be a nice mix of family vacation and adult time.
- Myrtle Beach: Pavilion Amusement park, NASCAR Speedway, and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans(Minor League Baseball team) are all experiences that could be incorporated into this beach trip.
Coming of Age trips
- I am not sure how this idea came about, but we plan to take each of our kids on a parent/child trip around the age of 13.
- For Avery, I am thinking NYC for a long weekend of shopping, Broadway plays, and lunch/tea at the Plaza. I have always loved NYC and can’t wait to experience it through her eyes for the first time. It really is a magical place.
- For Bennett, my husband would like to take him to a sporting event in a historic stadium. He has fond memories of traveling with his father to baseball stadiums and can’t wait to pass on this tradition. We are a sports family and this will be a really amazing trip to always remember.
- There are endless lists of natural and man-made landmarks that are a must for any bucket list. A comprehensive list can be found here.
My suggestion when planning a trip is to think about where your kids will be most present and involved. After you figure out the TYPE of vacation you want to plan, then you can add bits and pieces of the other categories into that vacation. This way you are getting a vacation that your kids will hopefully be excited about, remember, and eventually pass along to their own family. What is a better compliment than imitation and memories of something you thought long and hard about?
Do you have a travel bucket list for your family?