The Ultimate Family Vacation Bucket List: To-Do’s For Any Vacation

Every vacation with your family should be amazing and memorable. Check out these Alamo travel tips to make sure you never forget your next vacation.

Last-minute trip? Annual family vacation? A few free days between the kids’ sports seasons? No matter the get-out-of-town-reason, dig up the Ultimate Family Vacation Bucket List and start crossing off items.

After all, Alamo knows memories aren’t just made—they’re earned through a combination of nagging, cajoling, hoping, wishing, finger-crossing and well…lists like this one. Carpe family vacation!

1.      Ain’t No Party Like a Prep Party

The week before a vacation, your mind is already on the beach—onset of “Vacationitis.” Embrace it and throw a Preparation Party with the entire family. Lay out what you’ll pack for the trip. Make vacation snacks. Create a playlist the whole family will vibe to (or at least tolerate…)

2.      Take Story Time on the Road

So you’ve been on vacation for a few days and the above playlist you created is already getting old. And so are dad’s stories. Sound familiar? Before each vacation, check your library for an audiobook and play it in the car as you explore your new surroundings. Chapters and miles will unfold at the same time. Who says it’s hard to get kids to read these days?

How to: Need a few ideas to get your family on the bookworm track? Check out this list to discover plenty of options the whole family will enjoy listening to together.

3.      Get Some (Local) Color

When in Missouri, do as the Missourians do. Or the Californians, or the Iowans, or the…you get the idea. Wherever your travels take you, immerse yourselves in the local culture. Go off the beaten path and visit a place that only the locals know about. The experience will always be memorable and the lines are bound to be shorter.

How to: Of course, asking people on the street where “the locals” go will surely tip them off that you’re not one. Try using Yelp to get a sense of the most popular restaurants, bars and bistros. You can also ask your Alamo customer rep for ideas.

4.      Day at the Museum

It’s like that old saying, “The family that learns together stays together.” Or something like that. Yes, there will be a few eye rolls, but the fun of finding an “off-the-beaten-path” museum with unique topics will add more adventure to the adventure. Besides, museums are usually affordable. And quiet-ish. And don’t have concession stands…

5.      Make a Game of it

Who can swim across the hotel pool the fastest? Who can eat the most chicken wings in five minutes? For the sake of your sanity, who can stay quiet the longest?! Each vacation, find something the entire family can compete against each other in—winner gets a trophy and holds it until next year. Or until they leave it under the hotel room bed.

How to: Turn a humdrum night at the hotel into an impromptu Olympics with these two simple-to-create games:

  • Indoor bowling: Line up six water bottles (fill them up to make them harder to knock over) on one end of a hallway or room. Use duct tape to designate a starting line. Use a small ball or rolled-up socks to attempt to knock down the pins.
  • Airplane accuracy: Write several point totals on paper plates (25, 50, 100) and tape them to a wall in the room. Make a paper airplane fleet and allow each family member three throws. Most points win that round—play until the planes are crumpled balls of paper.

6.   Start (and Stoke) a Tradition

C’mon, we can’t give you every item on your bucket list! Start a tradition that’s unique to your family. Particular to the Petersons. Exclusive to the Edwards. It can be simple and it can be anything. A sibling-rivalry sand volleyball tournament or gourmet s’mores nights are good starts. Hit on a good one and your kids will pass on the tradition onto their kids. Call it their “inheritance” and then just laugh.

7. Make a Memory Box

Has your family already mastered the art of scrapbooking? Up your reminiscing game with a memory box. This is the perfect place to include “scraps” like ticket stubs, brochures, menus, seashells, hotel shampoo bottles, Alamo rental agreements. Whozits and whatzits galore. You know, stuff that doesn’t quite fit in those little photo sleeves. It’s as if a shoebox gave its life to become a time capsule for your family’s vacation. Store them all somewhere safe and pass them around before every vacation to prime the anticipation.

How to: First time memory box builder? Check out some simple tips to spark inspiration here.

With all the items you have to check off your vacation bucket list, your days should be filled from sunup to sundown. It would be nearly impossible to hear the word “bored” pass anyone’s lips. Hey, we said “nearly” impossible!