What’s on your family’s bucket list? Maybe you’ve got a snapshot of the African plains stuck to your fridge, or you collectively dream of a trip to Italy during your weekly pizza nights. Whatever and wherever those travel dreams take you, I’m here to tell you to make it happen!
While traveling with kids poses unique challenges, the rewards far outweigh the difficulties, and you’ll be talking about your family’s big trip for years to come. Stuck on ideas? Here are a few of my favorite bucket list experiences that the whole family will love.
Visiting an Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand
Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand is an ethically run sanctuary with over 75 elephants who have been rescued from being abused for labor. The elephants roam free alongside other animals, including cats, dogs, horses, warthogs, water buffalo, and more.
Visitors to the sanctuary have a few options, with both single-day and overnight stays available. Volunteers (aka visitors) help prepare fruits and vegetables for the elephants, as well as food for the other animals.
If your lucky, you can snag a ride up top on these friendly giants.
Making Pizza in Italy
Countless Pizzaiolo’s (pizza chefs) reside in Italy, and the quest to create the perfect pie is an honorable obsession among them. From visiting family-run pizzarias and kneading your dough all while learning the ins and outs of gelato making (because what goes better with pizza than gelato?) the options for an Italian cooking class are endless.
The best classes, however, have a limited size (go for private if you can!), use fresh local ingredients, and are often taught right in the chef’s own kitchen.
Riding the Rails Through the Rockies
Do your kids have a love for trains? If so, a scenic journey on the Rocky Mountaineer through Canada’s Rocky Mountains could be the family vacay of your dreams! Beginning in Banff, Alberta, explore one of Canada’s most famed National Parks before heading west to Jasper, where you’ll board your train.
Expect quintessential Canadian vistas to pass you by, all while enjoying the comforts and gourmet fare of your first-class Gold Leaf dome train. The clear glass walls and roof provide stunning views of the Continental Divide, the river valleys of the Monashee and Cariboo Mountains, and Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Rockies. Continue west, and witness the landscape shift to more desert-like conditions, before lush vegetation reappears and you arrive in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Counting the Big 5 on Safari
Gracing the bucket lists for travelers of all ages, an African safari in Kenya delivers thrill and adventure in a spectacular setting. Located in East Africa and bordering the Masa Mara National Park, renowned for its rich wildlife and annual Great Migration.
Visit a giraffe sanctuary in Nairobi before heading to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy – with some of the best wildlife viewing on the continent. Learn Swahili from the locals, explore in a bush plane, or ride a camel across the plains. A highlight of a Kenyan safari is a visit to the Masai Mara National Reserve, where if you haven’t yet – you’ll be able to cross all of the Big Five off your list through wildlife watching and nature walks with expert guides.
Are you ready to start planning your family’s dream trip??