I really love planning trips, especially for our family travel. I spend an inordinate amount of time researching destinations, flights, accommodation, activities, and daydreaming about the adventures we will one day take. Once I toyed with becoming a travel advisor, but I realised they don’t get to go on the trips and quickly lost interest.
While we were away over the summer, Guy and I got talking about some of the ‘bucket list’ experiences we dream of. I think planning is the only way to turn these experiences into reality. Some of them are in far-flung places, and we will need to save up money (and time off work) to make them happen.
We also asked the kids what sort of things they’d like to add. You may have read that we want to involve them in planning our adventures. To be honest, we didn’t get much sense from the smallest two, but Lucas contributed quite a few ideas (bet you can guess which!).
This post will be a place for me to record our family travel bucket list. I’ll update it as we (hopefully) tick some things off, and probably add more!
Our Family Travel Bucket List
See the northern lights in the Arctic Circle
I have been fascinated with the Northern Lights for as long as I can remember. Our daughter is even named for them (not the Disney princess of the same name). Living in the north east of the UK, I once had a slight glimpse of the lights, but would love to see them in their full glory. My ideal viewpoint would be somewhere in the Arctic Circle in the winter months.
Drive through the Norwegian fjords
Linked: Stay somewhere in Norway that you have to get a boat to (Lucas)
Norway looks like a beautiful place to visit. I went to Oslo many years ago, as a student. The main things I remember are brown cheese and people stopping me to ask for directions (having very pale skin and looking Scandinavian will do that). I went in winter and there was so much snow, even in the city centre. I loved the small wooden buildings on the outskirts of Oslo. We would all like to visit the legendary fjords and Lucas wants to take a boat trip to some of the islands.
Travel over the Öresund Bridge
Guy and I are big fans of Scandinavian crime drama. Our favourite is The Bridge, set between Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmo (Sweden). The opening credits feature stunning aerial shots of the Öresund Bridge, which connects the two cities. To satisfy our geekiness about the programme, we would love to travel across the bridge.
Update: we are hoping to tick this one off during our long weekend in Copenhagen next Easter.
Swim with sea creatures
This one is all mine. I’m not even sure the rest of the family would join me in this activity! I love the sea and learning about ocean wildlife of all sorts. One of my most memorable travel experiences was whale-watching in Victoria, BC. I would love to get below the ocean surface and swim with some sea creatures, provided it’s sustainable and nature-friendly. I’d also love to get a dive certification!
Lucas drew Denmark in the World Cup (pretend) sweepstakes at school last summer and learned that Lego was invented there. Ever since then, he has been talking about visiting the Lego factory HQ. He has even looked it up on Google Maps to find out how we could get there. We are a Lego-loving family, so all of us are happy to add this experience to our list.
Show our kids San Francisco
Guy and I lived in the Bay Area for six months before we had our children. It was a great experience and although I’ve returned once for work, we haven’t been back as a family. We often talk about how much we would like to show the kids where we lived and introduce them to San Francisco, a city we loved exploring.
Visit the ‘dinosaur museum’ in New York
Pretty much any museum with dinosaur bones is now classed as a ‘dinosaur museum’ by our children. Lucas has explored the Museum of Natural History in New York using Google Earth, and he is very keen to travel there. We would love to take the kids to New York, and there’s so much to do beyond the museum. We went there pre-children and would love to return as a family