Daydreaming about travel is one of my favorite pastimes, especially right now when we need to stay home. I’m dreaming of our future travel days. Eventually, we’ll get back to travel, so now I’m working on adding to and cleaning up our family travel bucket list. As the years go by, even though we travel more, our list seems to grow and not shrink!

Read on for tips on how to make an awesome family travel bucket list. Do you have a travel bucket list? Find out where to find family travel bucket list ideas and how to create and track your list.

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Where to find family travel bucket list ideas

1. Instagram

As a photo dominant social media network, Instagram quickly gained popularity among travelers. Everyone is posting travel photos on Instagram whether personal or professional. 

You can easily find plenty of inspiration for your travel bucket list no matter your specific travel interests. With the plethora of content these days, you can use Instagram as a search engine too. In the search bar, type #____________ for (e.g., #travelwithbaby, #italywithkids, #babymoon), and your results will show everyone posting about that which may give you some ideas.

Start at our Instagram feed!

Side view of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Paris, France
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2. Pinterest 

Another photo-heavy social sharing network, Pinterest is full of travel-related posts. You can find an endless stream of must-see travel destinations, itineraries, and various travel tips and guides. All the pins link to a website where you should be able to find further information.

Like Instagram, use Pinterest’s search engine, don’t only scroll through your feed. No hashtag necessary here.

Start at our Pinterest boards!

3. Word-of-mouth – family, friends, and coworkers

The original source of all recommendations, don’t forget to draw inspiration from those closest to you. Where have your family, friends, and co-workers traveled to and can’t stop raving about? Add it to your travel bucket list!

Red roofs of Prague, Czech Republic
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4. Google search

If you have very specific interests (e.g., travel with a baby to Machu Picchu, go on safari with kids, solo parent travel destinations) or goals for a trip (e.g., kids surfing lessons, take a family gap year), start with Google. This way you can quickly identify sources related to your niche. From there you can find out what travel destinations would align best with your needs to add to your travel bucket list.  

5. Google maps and Google earth

I’m a geography, maps and globe nerd! I love to surf (swipe, zoom in and out) on google maps to discover more travel destinations. Google Earth takes it to a whole other level since you can walk around on a street-view-like level all over the world. This will give you a virtual tour to help you decide whether you want to see it in person.

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan - busiest in the world, family travel bucket list item
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6. Travel magazines

Go a more traditional route and check out popular travel magazines, which all have digital content. Such as, Condé Nast Traveler, AFAR, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic, Backpacker, and Suitcase.

7. Travel blogs

Travel blogging has increased in popularity and you can find travel blogs focusing on all different things (e.g., national parks, Disney, tropical beaches). Find some that speak to you and align with your interests.

When adding places to your travel bucket list, don’t only consider the biggest websites and travel media, which sometimes highlight the same destinations again and again. Consider smaller more independent travel blogs for a wider variety of inspiration and ideas.

Browse some of the destinations we’ve traveled to here.

Views of NYC's Central Park from Top of the Rock, add to family travel bucket list
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8. Movies/TV shows

Perhaps an unexpected source, but you can draw travel inspiration from all different things. After seeing a city or country heavily featured in a movie or TV show, I then wanted to go there and check it out myself.  

9. Your kids

Ask your kids where they want to go! Their answer(s) might surprise you. We travel virtually with our kids, and our preschooler tells us how he wants to go here and there (lately it’s China). 

Have them point anywhere on a map or globe for some added fun!

Forbidden City building in Beijing, China
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Now that you have a bunch of ideas, what should you do with them?

How to create and track your bucket list

1. Google maps 

On google maps, if you click on a city, country, business, attraction, or any other spot on the map, you should see button options for directions, call, share, save, etc. If you click the Save button, you can create a new (or add to an existing) list. This will add a Save pin on your map (when you’re logged into your Google account), which you can see by going to your Saved Lists.

I have a “Travel Spots to Go” and additional region-specific lists to keep track of travel bucket list spots to see in the future. 

This doesn’t help you keep track of where you’ve been, but it’s my favorite way to keep track of where I want to go in the future. Whenever I come across places, whether a city or a very specific sight, I try to always add it to my google maps saved lists.

2. Travel bucket list apps

Mobile apps are probably the easiest and quickest way to maintain a basic travel bucket list. Here are some options:

Countries Been (Android, Apple) – you can keep track of which cities and countries you’ve been to on a virtual map and list, and which you want to see in the future. 

Been (Android, Apple) – very basic interface, good for keep tracking of where you’ve been. It is only at the country-level and you are not able to tag locations for future travel.

Places Been (Android, Apple) – a bit more robust than the previous options, this app allows you to track which continents, countries, states, and cities you’ve been to. Additionally, you can keep track of which UNESCO sites, and airports you’ve been to. For all of these, you can indicate whether you’ve been, want to go or if it’s a favorite spot.

3. TripAdvisor travel map

This was my first digital travel bucket list and I still update it every so often.

Create an account, go to your profile, and click on “Travel map.” This will bring up a world map where you’re able to add digital pins on the map categorized by whether you have already been there, want to go there, or if it’s a favorite.

Note – the map is only available if you’re using a computer, or if you open the desktop version of the site on your phone.

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4. Instagram saves

When on Instagram have you noticed the little ribbon icon just off the bottom right of each photo? This is the save button. If you click it, you’re saving that post so you can then access it quickly in the future. 

On your profile, click the menu (three lines) and select the ribbon icon Saved, this will take you to your saved posts. You can create multiple collections to further organize your saved posts. I have a “Future travel” collection where I save any posts I consider bucket list-worthy.

5. Pinterest saves

On Pinterest, all the images you see are called ‘pins’ which you save (“pin”) to a ‘board’. You can create different boards and name them whatever you want. Create a travel bucket list board or multiple that are more specific (e.g.,  Europe bucket list, family trip bucket list).

6. Travel journal

If you prefer to write things down, designate a specific notebook as your travel bucket list. Keep track of where you’ve been and where you still want to go.

7. Travel map

A popular and visually satisfying option is to hang up a map in your home. There are so many map options. You could go with a traditional paper map, dot with a marker, add pins, stickers or anything else to indicate where you’ve been and where you want to go. Or there are some creative modern options, such as a scratch-off map. And a particularly fun one for kids, a magnetic puzzle map.

Make sure to set up your travel bucket list so whenever you come across new ideas you don’t forget about them. I don’t like any single option enough for that to be my sole travel bucket list. I use a combination of the above. What are your favorite ways to gather ideas and track your travel bucket list? What am I missing? Drop it in comments so I can check it out!

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