I like to think of myself as an original thinker. And maybe sometimes I am, but other times I come to find out otherwise. That is what happened when I read this NY Times article last weekend.
Here I learned that on the topic of strategizing our travel choices I am not one bit original, just one small piece of an increasing trend. Which makes me trendy, which is a direct counter to original. Sigh. But as this is a trend that I can 100% completely get behind, let me tell you about how we became so trendy.
Five years ago my husband and I came to the conclusion that we were on the brink of the optimal travel window for our family. We had reached the sweet spot. Our twins were 8 at the time – able to pack and re-pack for themselves (almost) and be responsible for their own bags while sprinting through airports. We estimated that by 15 they would have no interest in traveling with their parents.
It was time for us to take action. We gathered our family and made a list of our top MUST GO as a GROUP Destinations. We estimated we could pull off two trips per year over the next 6 to 8 years during the primary windows of opportunity: Christmas vacation, March vacation and Summer vacation.
Active travel is our thing and we all appreciate a good adventure, so the destinations needed to fulfill these two needs. Think Jackson Hole, WY… Ecuador… Alaska… Thailand… Nicaragua… Africa. We considered Europe, but decided to save it for when the kids were older and more museum ready and willing.
This decision we made as a couple has to be one of the best things we’ve done for our family. It has given us clarity in making choices for our vacations. We derive great joy in picking which destination comes next and planning the details of the trip together. Traveling is obviously about the place that you visit, but more importantly it is about whom you experience that place with. These experiences are woven into the fabric of what defines and inspires us as a family. It’s what we do. Travel. When we can. Together.
Our list is below, but lists are personal. I know for a fact that our active vacation can be (and has been) someone else’s worst nightmare. The point is to gather your group and select some destinations. Be deliberate and thoughtful. Set a timeline! Get your group involved in every aspect of the decision-making process. You want everyone – whether it is friends or family or a combination – to have a vested interest.
By making this list, you will take away a lot of the mystery of travel planning. You will have a destination. You and your group will make a plan and then GO. Bon Voyage!
I would love to hear about your lists, too! Please share your Must GO With My Group Destinations in the comments!
As of July 2017, we will be halfway through our list. Links are included for the trips that have been detailed on this blog.
Our Family’s Must GO List:
- New Zealand
- Yellowstone & Grand Tetons
Great article! I do similar strategic planning but for solo travel. Prioritizing travel to adventurous places while I’m still young. Trying to save European cities and museums for when I’m older and slower and maybe open to river or bus tours.
you have to add safari to the list. you would love it! In the meantime hope you turn up in MTK soon.
You forgot Antarctica!!!
so I did! but not really cause I posted the ORIGINAL list. Your trip inspired me to add Antarctica after we had already landed on our list!! Need to do some trip shuffling. xo and See you in September.