We have scoured the world to find family experience to include on the bucket list. Our only rule was that all of them had to be fun for everyone. And that it gave us parents an excellent excuse, to act like kids again…
Traveling with toddlers can be exhausting as much as it is fun. Fun in the way of seeing the world through their eyes, experiencing things for the first time and most of all slowing down… It’s then I remember being a kid myself and thinking how enchanting the world is. I am happy to find that inspiring awe in my kids’ eyes. And it makes me want to unveil the world to them one place at a time.
I don’t think that traveling with kids means limiting your vacation to theme parks or »family friendly« resorts. In the past it often turned out that a whole lot of cool adventures I wanted to try, our daughters enjoyed immensely as well. Sometimes even more than a visit to a theme park that was meant to impress, yet it only overwhelmed.
Using a bit of creativity, a whole lot of letting go of the routine and taking it easy, not everything but certainly plenty of destinations can be perfect for the whole family. Besides why should it be one or the other? We don’t have that many vacation days to spend them frivolously. When we are together I want us all to have fun. And the best perk about traveling with kids is, that it gives us the perfect excuse to do all we wanted to experience when the two of us were their age.
Our motto is nothing is a must see. Everything can wait. Except fun.
So, here is a bucket list of things we want to try that fits all the requirements:
- Sleeping in cool places.
Like a tree house. There is not a kid around, who would say no to tree house. It’s an epitome of childhood. But growing up in an apartment left this stay just a fantasy. One of our trips in the future will definitely have to include finding a perfect tree house for a good night’s sleep. Which definitely has to be followed by sleeping in a haystack, gypsy caravan… and a lighthouse. Hubby and I spent two amazing nights in a lighthouse located in Scotland and is one of the best places I have ever stayed at, so I long to show it to my kids swell.
Check out other cool places we already crossed off the list.
- Swimming with sea turtles.
We all love to be in the water. If at all possible, my daughters would leave any it for food. While basically all forms work, we have so far tried rivers, lakes, sea, ocean and all sorts of pools and slides, I think we would all get a kick out of exploring the great wide ocean in the company or at least vicinity of these magnificent creatures.
Here is a great post I found from a fellow blogger about the whole experience of swimming with turtles in Mexico.
- Visiting Santa’s village in Finland.
I know there is no Santa. But deep down I am really not so sure, even though I am the one buying the Christmas gifts (yes, even to myself). It something magical about the holidays and though perhaps it’s wrong, I want my kids to hold on to that belief of Santa just a bit longer. What better way to get into the holiday spirit but with a visit to Santa’s Village in Lapland, Finland. You can actually visit it all year long, but I’d do it on Christmas and enjoy the snow, the reindeer and well the whole adventure.
Find more about the meet and greet with Santa from Hanna Travels.
- Playing on the coolest playground.
Since traveling with kids stopping to play on the playgrounds is an essential part of our trips. It is so common, that even when the two of us are traveling alone, we spot them from a mile away. Despite guidebooks rarely mentioning them, they are a perfect chance to blend in with the locals and an opportunity for kids to have some time off. While, some are pretty much like the ones we can find at home, others have managed to really impress us. Like the one we stumbled upon in Kuala Lumpur (and by the way this one is mentioned in the Lonely Planet Guidebook).
- Watching the Northern Lights.
Two years ago hubby and I visited Iceland alone. Of course the kids were too young for the kind of trip we had in mind and well, we needed a bit of time off. It was one of the best travels we ever had. Not primarily because we were alone, but because it’s an amazing country that you can hardly describe in a few words. We were also lucky to witness the Northern Lights twice. For the first time actually the second we left the airport building. It was a sight to behold. In not so distant future this is something I want to share with my daughters, because it’s truly an experience of a lifetime.
- Riding a dog sled.
We are in love with the North, so the top three places on our bucket list are all up there in the snow, like Alaska, Norway and Greenland. And when we make it to our destination, we would definitely not pass on the chance to try this out.
- Visiting a real castle.
A few weeks ago I took my daughters to visit the inside of the Miramar castle in Trieste.
They loved it and I was impressed with how attentive and curious they were about it. While we would never say no to Disneyland, there are many stunning places out there, that any princess wannabe would love. I can’t wait to show this castle to my girls…
- Helping a farmer
We live in a city, in an apartment and while we are surrounded with greenery none of it is really ours. And I can see my kids would love to have a garden, pets…all the things I imagine having in my alternate reality. Staying on a farm is thus a perfect opportunity to have a taste of it. And we already tried it last year in Germany and it proved to be one of the most relaxing vacations so far. We had meadows all to ourselves, horses to pet and feed and let kids run around without any worries.
Find how to find the perfect farm to stay at in Germany.
- Exploring the Grand Canyon
I have visited this spectacular national park with my parents, so in the role of the kid and it was without a doubt one of our best trips ever. It is imposing, it leaves you breathless and it’s an experience of a lifetime. Certainly one I would like to share with my daughters as well.
It is similar to swimming around as it too involves being in the water. But I still think it deserves to be mentioned specially, because there are so many great places underwater waiting to be explored. And there is something special down under. We have come close to the enchanting ocean floor on our visit to one of the best aquariums in the world, located in Singapore. But we all kind of wished we were inside not on the outside looking in.
Want more places to explore in Singapore…Check why it’s perfect for kids.
- 5 o’clock tea in London.
I like to think that in one of my former lives I was a proper English lady. One who would absolutely never miss her 5 o’clock tea. Maybe that explains why I love all things British and believe that London is absolutely the best city in the world. So, nothing would please me more than to show my daughters around, especially the royal jewelry in the Tower of London and then finish the tour with Mr. Grey, Earl Grey.
- Hot Dogs in Central Park
Right after London, comes in my opinion New York City and with so many sights to be seen we will need a lot of food to get us through. So, we’ll start with bagels and creams cheese, continue with hot dogs and then burgers and fries, and a good pizza and oh, my I am hungry just thinking about it.
- Building Sand Castles
There is something special about sandy beaches. Well, I basically love any kind, but since having kids time on the beach has gotten a new meaning. So, we always make time to visit it and leave our mark. One of my favorite memories of our first family trip was actually playing on a beach in Wales.
See why Northern Wales is on of the best destinations for family travel…
Come to think of it, there are actually very few things that I wish I don’t get to share with my kids on our travels and a whole lot of amazing experiences that I do. And maybe some of them will convince them to travel with us a bit longer.
Pin this for later: