2017 is well underway – do you know where your travel bucket list stands? Because the lists themselves are often so willy-nilly… I’ve decided to create Bucket List Goals to help structure a sometimes feckless travel decision-making process. Each of these categories fulfills my passion for travel, style, and discovery. And each promises to open new horizons.
You’ll read about all these adventures as they unfold, but here’s the plan-in-progress.
1. Family Travel
Objective: Plan travel opportunities to include extended and/or intergenerational “family” – however that is defined.
For me, it’s my adult children, spouses, and grandchildren.
Planning the moment that you can experience together – even for just a weekend carved out of a packed schedule – lays down a marker that says, “I want to create this memory with you”.
Guiding Principle: Cut the gifts; give the experience. The people we love are not getting any younger. And neither are we, for that matter. So grab the gusto.
I’m dropping the ‘stuff’ of gift giving and supplanting it with an experience that I suspect will pay dividends in everyone’s memory bank.
Where I’m going: The charming, very family-friendly Hidden Valley Resort in western Pennsylvania over a long February weekend.
This tribe likes outdoor sports and skiing is a favorite. A grandson turning ten will be treated to a day with the “Rippers” – group kid skiing. What better birthday gift? And I get to tag along.
Mom and Dad will ski, there is a pool, and activities for the toddler. Something for everyone.
This summer, my London-based family will join me at a rented cottage in Somerset, England, via the U.K.’s National Trust.
We’ll walk the beautiful countryside, visit local pubs and surrounding estates; in short, hang out.
With a newborn and a toddler in the family, they wouldn’t be going far for vacation this year. Hopefully, the parents will at least get a chance to grab a beer while I’m busy bonding.
I’ve downloaded the Chatbooks app, so my photos from each trip will be automatically organized into a printed book, with a narrative I’ll add later. I don’t have the time or inclination to make scrapbooks but this couldn’t be easier.
2. Organized Tours
Objective: Put aside my travel default – DIY tour planning.
Among the merits of organized tours: the legwork is done, the guides are local, you’re assured of seeing the best of a destination safely and with maximum efficiency. The cost is contained and paid for in advance so there are no surprises except those you add willfully along the way.
Guiding Principle: It’s time to share the Explorer Hat.
Where I’m going: First, Argentina, with the highly recommended Yampu Tours. It’s my inaugural trip to South America and Yampu has put together a great itinerary that includes Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and the Iguazu Falls.
More, much more, to come on that. Stay tuned for future posts. UPDATE – post South America, Yampu REALLY delivered. I look forward to doing more with them. Very flexible and very hands-on, personal service. See post on Iguazu Falls.
I’ve crisscrossed the U.K. on foot reveling in their magnificent network of trails and culture of walking the land. England’s southern coastline is one of my favorites.
Encounter is providing the logistics of lodging each night and a detailed outline of the route. It’s always nice to know where you’re headed and that a drink, a meal, and a comfy pillow await at the end of each day on the trail. A light touch but so very valuable.
3. The Unknown
Objective: New destinations, or, new experiences in familiar destinations.
In the spirit of 3 Score & More, I’m constantly in discovery mode when planning travel. Style counts too, be it a destination, restaurant, hotel, museum – you name it.
And here let me say it is important not to conflate “style” with “expensive” or even “luxury”. Lots of things with high price tags are woefully absent of style.
Guiding Principle: Discovery
Where I’m going: A list still in formation but already ambitious for 2017.
– Pointe d’Este, Uruguay Pointe d’Este, Uruguay’s playground on the Atlantic coast, renown for its beaches, is a hop from Buenos Aires.
Whilst in the neighborhood, it seemed reasonable to tack a few days on after the Yampu tour; I’ve booked in at Casa Zinc on a strong recommendation.
– Last summer I went to Maine but couldn’t go to the FDR summer place, Campobello, as I’d left my passport behind. Yes, it’s part of the U.S. National Park Service, but situated in New Brunswick, Canada.
This year, with passport in hand, I’ll return and stay at the West Quoddy Station B and B – a former Coast Guard station now receiving guests. How cool is that? The nearby lighthouse, West Quoddy Light, is the easternmost in the U.S.
I’ve loved these tours in Rome and Madrid; they are led by academic experts and designed for the curious. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I’ve even used them as wedding gifts for travel-minded newlyweds.
– And on the drawing board: Central European cities – Prague, Budapest, Dresden….connecting by train.
What does YOUR bucket list look like? Let us know in the comments section below…
P.S. – Please know this is NOT a sponsored post…
© 3 Score & More 2017