Pre-Kids Travel List

Jay and I love dreaming up future travel plans and have discussed ways to visit what seems like every country in the world (regardless of whether its feasible or not). Since he is actively involved in airline/hotel points programs and knows the best credit cards for earning points, he’s always thinking about our travel plans one to two years in the future so he can figure out to get there using just rewards points.

Now, I’m quite the planner, but my specialty is the short term…what we’re having for dinner this week or where we’re traveling in the next month. At most, I’m comfortable planning a vacation six months or so ahead of time. It took a bit of an adjustment to understand his strategy and not get freaked out about our savings accounts or knowing the minutia of our lives two years from now.


However, we both agree that we want to travel as much as possible before we have kids (Mom, I promise there will be kids, just give me a few more years :)). Knowing this, we are trying to make travel a priority, both in the use of our vacation days and how we spend our money. With that said, the fun part is figuring out where we want to go! I created a bucket list of places I’d like to visit without kids (5 places max…we haven’t won the lottery yet) and asked Jay to do the same. Let’s hope at least one or two of them match up!

*I’m also going to add a caveat that we’re planning to visit Paris and London sometime in the spring of 2016, so those cities won’t show up on our lists.


I selected these places since they are either slightly more dangerous or off the beaten path.

1. Pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt. I have always wanted to see them and the country always seems to be in civil unrest.
2. Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil? I think that’s where it is. But again, not the best place in the world to take kids.
3. Walk the Great Wall of China.  A long hike, not easy to get to, and I can only image the children saying, “Is this the end?” or “Are we done yet?” I would like to walk a fair amount of it.
4. An African country with wild animals, like Kenya?  Mainly I wouldn’t want children there for safety reasons, but I think it would be an amazing experience.
5. Antarctica. I want a penguin…and to say I’ve been to every continent. I don’t know if there would be much there for them and I’m going there for pretty selfish reasons.



Africa – Since this is a pre-kids list, the hassle and expense plus flat out danger of an African safari, all contribute to Africa’s spot here.

Egypt– Again, not the safest place to visit to say the least. I’m still up in the air about going myself, but our game plan would be flying in and out of Cairo the same day, treating it as a stopover on the way to South Africa. If we can get to the Sphinx and the Pyramids on a short trip then hop back on a flight, it might just work.

Ireland (Girl’s Trip!) – This trip has been tossed around in my circle of friends for a few years now, but we may finally be in a position to make it happen in the next two or three years. Possibly as a mass 30th birthday celebration event?

San Francisco & Napa Valley – I’m pretty sure everyone who’s ever gone to San Francisco has returned with glowing reviews. Not much else needs to be said, there’s just a ton to do and see here. Plus, it’s got Napa Valley right next door. Hoping to do a week-long trip in 2016.

Cruise (maybe Alaska?) – I’ve never been on a cruise and firmly rallied against ever taking one for the longest time. I hate being bored on vacations and like to actually do activities versus relaxing. It’s taken a lot of convincing for me to start to come around to the idea. I particularly would like to do Alaska or the Mediterranean rather than the typical Caribbean destination.

What places do you wish you could visit before having (or without your current) kids?


    1. I’m jealous that you’ve been to those three places already : ) Hope you make it to the other ones eventually!

  1. I just freaked out, “How did I not know Rachel wants to go to Antarctica?!” then I realized I didn’t know that because that’s Jay’s section! And if you need someone who has been to Ireland to go with you, I’m sure I’ll like your circle of friends, too! Or…. if you need someone to go to London … or, well, anywhere…

    Here’s my travel bucket list (I’ll ignore the kids part…):
    Iceland: to see the Aurora Borealis. In fact, I could be heading there right now. My dad and I were talking about going this weekend before we went to the Philly Travel Show. For some reason after that show we ended up in Bonaire instead…. Aurora Borealis – high on my life bucket list. Hot spring swimming in Iceland? Yes, please. And, well, have you seen the Icelandic men???

    Prague: I read a book (The Drowning People) a lifetime ago, and it really made me want to visit Prague. I want to take black and white photos there and I want to just see what I am imagining as pure beauty.

    All 50 US states. I have 32, I think. Need to get them all.

    Every continent, so I guess my last two places on my list have to include Africa (should have gone last year when my niece was living there, but finances didn’t allow!) and Australia (same niece hopes to move there some time in the not-too-distant future… can’t miss out on that). I figure if I go to Australia then I’ll have to stop on Asia, too….. Thailand. Really, really want to go to Thailand. And Antarctica.

    OK, so I left a blog post to your blog post, and didn’t follow your bucket list rules. But, really, are you surprised by that?!

    1. Oh, wait, and to Jay – you can get a penguin in Africa. My niece was offered a job working with the penguins in Africa. They are everywhere – easy to take. So Antarctica is just for the pleasure of saying, “Ah – this weekend I’m going to Antarctica.” (OK, I’m done…)

    2. Love this entire thing. You are welcome to leave blog post-like comments anytime : ) My parents have been to Iceland and Prague and would highly recommend both places (I’m pretty sure my dad would retire in Iceland if it’s possible!). I love Australia, but it is ridiculously expensive, so if you could stay with your niece that’d be perfect!

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