KeeKee's Big Adventures Family Travel Podcast
KeeKee's Big Adventures Family Travel Podcast
Create Your Family Travel Bucket List

They say you only have 18 Summers with your kids and on this episode, we talk to Travel Mom Susan about how to Create Your Family Travel Bucket List to make the most of your 18 Summers. She shares her approach, and some of her favorite tips and trips to help inspire your family vacation planning and adventures.

For more family vacation inspiration, check out all the podcast episodes. Adventure Awaits!

Family Travel Bucket List: Africa

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Susan. My husband is Brendan. We have two kids, Capri and Evan. Capri is 20 and Evan is 16. My husband and I have a financial advisory business, CAP Partners. We work together, play together, travel together. We’ve been traveling and planning it together since we were dating.

Tell us about your Family Travel Bucket List.

We’ve loved to travel since we started dating and it’s something we dreamed about doing with our kids. You only have about 18 summers with your kids and it’s important to take advantage of all the time you can with them.

As we are also planners, we created something for our family to capture all the places we wanted to travel. It’s what we call the 30-Year Spreadsheet.

We created it as we wanted to be intentional with the planning and we knew we wouldn’t be intentional unless we put it somewhere. So we put it on a spreadsheet that goes out by year. It shows what our age is, and their age is, and we have it planned out. It has travel and activities with family trips, daddy-daughter trips, mommy-daughter trips and summer breaks, spring breaks, and winter breaks.

We want to take advantage of all the time we have with your kids because family time is important to us. You get close when you travel together. And you have fun together which is not always happening at home in the same way. Traveling together allows you to bond, get to know each other, and have adventures together.

How did you choose where to go when?

We started by thinking about our Travel Bucket List overall…the things we wanted to do and the places we wanted to go. We started putting those down and thinking about what kind of trip it was…a family adventure, a short trip, etc…

And we also did it by age. When the kids were younger, we weren’t going to do big Europe trips. We knew when they were younger, they would enjoy certain things more, and probably so would we, so we did those and closer trips. Then as they got older, we would add on longer times and distances.

We always include a mix of things our family enjoys in the trips, like nature, fun, nostalgia, family, and food.

Family Travel Bucket List

Did you engage the kids in the Travel Bucket List?

We did involve the kids. When they got a little bit older, we’d say, where do you want to go? what are you interested in? And what would you like to do?

I would usually come up with where we were going, like California. And give them a list of options of what we could do. We value dinnertime to discuss things. So over dinner, we’d talk about all the options. Then everyone would share their favorites, like Evan said he wanted to go to Hogwarts at Universal as his favorite so we planned that in.

And we always make sure our trips include a mix of things our family enjoys in the trips, like nature, fun, nostalgia, family, and food.

How do you plan your vacations?

I do a combination of planning on my own as I enjoy it and using a travel advisor. When I do both, I call it hybrid planning as I mentioned.

I like to use a Travel Agent for specialty stuff like international places you may not know a lot about and places that are going to be expensive, as well as trips that may require potential help while you’re there.

One of my greatest examples was when we went to Greece, which was also a fabulous trip. I must say that was one of our favorites. It was right after COVID, so we got a travel agent involved. She helped us do some private things. And when we got to Greece, we also had a local person there we could text. It was amazing.

Using a Travel Advisor doesn’t mean it’s more expensive. They can get you special perks and deals. And you can tell them how much you want to spend.

And they are really helpful when you have any issues like having to reschedule.

Family Travel Bucket List: Africa

Our Africa trip last summer was a hybrid planning trip where I did some of my own planning and I used a couple of travel agents.

We went on a tour that was recommended to South Africa. We did 10 days in South Africa on the tour, and then we went to Botswana and stayed on the Chobe River. Then we went to Zimbabwe and stayed in Victoria Falls.

We saw elephants swimming in Botswana across the Chobe River. That was my favorite highlight. We also got to go to a local school and participate in some activities with the kids. And that was really cool. It was good for the kids to see how people live in other countries.

It was a trip of a lifetime.

Family Travel Bucket List: California Road Trip

One of my other favorite trips was our California road trip. I’m originally from California. I wanted to take the kids back to see where I was from so when Capri was 14 and Evan was 11, we planned this whole trip. It included all those things I talked about before, history, nature, and family.

We flew into LA and went to Hollywood, to the beach, to Santa Monica Pier, and to Universal Studios. Then we drove and stayed in Fresno, which was where my dad grew up. So, my kids got to see that. Then we went on to Yosemite and saw the Sequoias. We stayed in Yosemite Valley.

Then we wrapped up with a stay at Disney’s California Resort and went to California Adventure and Disneyland. And we ate dinner at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland which was on my bucket list since I was young.

Family Travel Bucket List

Why do you think it’s important to travel with your kids?

My top reason is it brings your family closer together. And for our family, as the kids are three and a half years apart, travel made them better friends. You experience fun together and you experience some challenges together which helps make families more flexible.

It broadens their horizons and introduces them to new cultures, people, and food. Evan came back from Greece an olive oil aficionado. And I think it keeps us young.

It also teaches your kids to learn how other cultures live and how to be thankful for where they live and what they have.

What’s next on your Family Travel Bucket List?

Our next big trip is summer of 2025. We’re going to take two to three weeks in Japan as Evan’s graduation trip. And we plan on doing all those things we talked about, food, history, nature. Coming up closer we have skiing in Park City and a family trip to Costa Rica.

🌍 📋 🗺️

 Thank you for joining us, Susan!

For more family vacation inspiration, tune in to all the podcast episodes.  Adventure Awaits!

Get started creating YOUR Family Travel Bucket List with the NEW Family Travel Passport app!

Family Travel Passport