While few of us will be traveling any time soon, that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for the future. While many schools are out and we’re spending more time at home, consider creating a family travel bucket list for future use. Here are five ideas to consider:
Reflect your values
Your travel choices will be a thoughtful and deliberate reflection of your family’s values, hopes and dreams. So before you begin researching and listing desired destinations, discuss what aspects of the world — geographically, spiritually and culturally — you want to share together as a family and perhaps with other friends and extended family members.
Priorities and passions
Talk about what inspires you. Are you a nature, history, sports or art lover? Do you want your children or grandchildren to learn how to ski, photograph or scuba dive? Do you hope to share your love of baseball or botany with the next generation? Will volunteer vacations or heritage tours be an important part of your mix? Take time to consider these ideas that will expand your family’s horizons and weave them into your future travel plans.
Americans get low marks for knowledge of geography. Begin with a good online or paper map or atlas and consider studying the globe an important part of your family travel education. While your list will most certainly change over the years, think about which destinations you hope to visit while your children are in the nest and beyond? As your planning progresses, remember that kids don’t know what they don’t know. Certain theme parks and resorts will likely be on their radar screens. But they may not be aware of the glories of the Grand Canyon or the historical significance of Gettysburg.
Sample the experience online
As you discuss various options, use internet resources to familiarize the family with the possibilities. Tap into a wealth of videos, brochures and itineraries you’ll find on the websites of countries, states, visitors bureaus, hotels and tour operators. As an example, Google Arts & Culture has paired with more than 500 museums and galleries that your family can experience through virtual tours. You can also access videos that will give your clan a true sense of the thrills and chills you might experience on a river rafting trip.
Dollars and sense
Choosing to make travel a priority in the future is a decision that may require foregoing other luxuries or experiences. But the quality bonding time and lifelong memories are sure to be worth it. Consider creating a travel savings account. Opt for travel-related gifts for birthdays, graduations and holidays. Encourage the children to establish their own travel fund. Saving for a specific trip can be an important part of the overall experience.