Papa Bear

My Top 5 Travel Destinations with the Family and Top 5 Just Dad and Mom

Alex and I absolutely LOVE traveling and we have started to make it a priority for us over the last few years. Now that we have added a new member to our family, we have started having some fun little discussions, which is a nice way of putting it, about if we should travel with our little Savannah Bee or if we should travel as a couple. There are a lot of benefits to both and rather than talking about which way is right in this blog, I have decided to list the top places we want to visit both with Savannah and also just us. I will leave the great debate on which is better to another time. We will try both options and I think only then will we actually know which way we prefer.

At this point, we have discussed both options and have not yet come to a decision. We do know that we value travel and we do not want to let that desire fall off because we now have a daughter. I think it is safe to say that we will for sure be traveling with Savannah. The question is, will we ever take a trip without her. Throughout our discussions, I started thinking about the cities, states, events, festivals, and even countries that we wanted to visit. It became obvious that some of vacations are not meant for children. I do not have Las Vegas on the list, but just as an example; Las Vegas might not be the best place to bring your kids with if both you and your spouse plan on having some drinks and staying out until the early morning hours. I know there are fun things for kids in Las Vegas, but I think you know what I mean. Some trips are more about the nightlife activities.

I decided to make a couple lists of travel spots both with the kids and without. Alex and I have very different interests. Luckily, we do share some overlapping themes. When we travel, we like to spend our time and money eating the local cuisine, drinking the local adult beverages, listening to their music, and appreciating their history and culture. Oh, and Alex likes to take entire days to “relax.” We both love the mountains and the outdoors. I prefer warm weather and beaches and Alex does not really enjoy that stuff as much. She prefers the cold and lots of snow and cuddling up in a warm blanket. We have been fortunate enough to travel outside the country a couple times and those kinds of trips could fill up these lists completely, but they require a lot more time away from work and can cost double or triple what a normal trip costs. I decided to limit trips overseas to one spot on the list. I will leave a couple honorable mentions at the bottom since there are so many places we want to visit, and I wanted to make these a top 10 lists.

Top 5 with the Kids

5. Colorado

Colorado is the only destination on our list that Alex and I have both been to in the past. In fact, we have both been here a lot. We are from Nebraska so of course we both grew up traveling to Colorado with our families. It is a great state that is an easy drive from Nebraska with a lot to see and do. Since we have been together, we have traveled to Colorado a couple times as well. Alex’s family spent Christmas in Colorado Springs. Last year, Alex and I took a little trip to Denver and Breckenridge to get away on one last trip before Savannah was born. The mountain cities are our favorite. Someday this may end up being our home base. We both love the mountains that much and of course, Alex would get her cozy winters with lots and lots of snow!

4. San Francisco, CA (Red Woods, Yosemite)

San Fran and the Red Woods are the only destination that Alex has been to and I have not, and every other place are places neither of us have traveled. Yosemite and the Red Wood National Parks are supposed to be two of the best National Parks in the country. I have seen pictures of these giant trees and I just have to see them in person. Some people only like the outdoors and dislike cities for whatever reason, and I am not one of those people. I love to visit cities as well and San Francisco has always been on the top of my list. I want to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. I want to visit Alcatraz. I want to watch the cable cars and walk through the neighborhoods with the tall and skinny multicolored houses. I want to eat all the wonderful bay seafood. And I think this would be a perfect trip for little Savannah Bee.  

3. Alaska

If Alex were making this list, I think Alaska might be in the number one spot! We have talked about taking a cruise to see Alaska. Alex’s sister recently did that with her family and they loved it. That might be the best way to try and see as much of Alaska as possible in one trip. There are eight National Parks in Alaska and several of those are supposed to be some of the best as well. You can see the Northern Lights here 243 days a year. Yup, definitely want to do that. And Alaska is home to some of the best seafood in the United States. Plus, all the bears and stuff. Wildlife and endless and mountains and ocean. It all sounds pretty amazing.

2. Hawaii

Despite Hawaii perhaps not wanting to become a state, it is probably the most beautiful and unique state of them all. Hawaii is the world’s largest island chain with only 7 of its 132 islands inhabited. I would love bring Savannah here and just relax for a week. I want to go on little day treks around the islands seeing waterfalls and little coves and I think Savannah would be perfect on a little lighthearted adventure like Hawaii. I am positive the beautiful views and relaxing beaches would make for a vacation we would never forget. I can only imagine that Hawaii would probably feel like we were visiting another country since it is so different than anything else back on the mainland.

1. London / Scotland

London and Scotland are absolutely going to be next on our overseas adventure list. We want to bring Savannah and show her a little taste of European culture. So far we have been fortunate enough to travel overseas with a couple that live in Paris and they have been amazing travel companions because #1 we are such great friends, but also because they have helped us with the cultural differences and taught us how to travel well. I can’t say if they would be able to join us in London, but Alex and I think since we wouldn’t have to overcome the language barrier, we would be able to tackle this one on our own if we had to. We want to see the iconic cities and travel around the big island taking in all the sights and wonderful food!

Top 5 just Mom and Dad

 5. Salt Lake City, UT (Sundance)

Utah has started to peak my interests in the last couple years. It is like, the more I read up on Utah, the more I want to go there. First of all, I have never been to a film festival and so I really want to go during Sundance and check out a couple movie debuts. I also want to see the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even though I am not of their faith. Alex and I are huge lovers of the mountains in Colorado, but I’m starting to wonder if the mountains in Utah do not rival their beauty in their own way. Utah is home to give National Parks as well. I really think Utah has a lot to offer and we could probably take several trips there and not see the same thing. If we want our home base to be in the mountains some day way down the road, I think Utah is worth considering.

4. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans has been on my bucket list since I was way too young to even be thinking about traveling on my own. Of course, I must visit during Mardi Gras one year. I want to see the festival and watch the celebrations. However, for my first visit, I really just want to go and appreciate the city and the food. I want to walk through the French Quarter and see the Spanish Creole architecture. I want to have a couple late nights on Bourbon Street and eat way too much jambalaya, gumbo, and crawfish. I have a feeling that I will fall in love with this city once I visit for the first time.

3. Nashville, TN

Nashville, the capital of country music. I could be totally wrong when I include this on the list of trips without the kids. I feel like this would end up being a trip all about the nightlife, going to shows at the Grand Ole Opry then looking for live music with possibly the next big country music star. Nashville does have a lot of museums like the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium. I would not be surprised if we took a couple days to try and visit the nearby Smokey Mountains as well. I realty could see coming with the whole family, but then again, I think the first trip would be best if it was just us.

2. Portland, OR

Portland is probably known for being super cool and hipster. Alex and I have had Portland at the top of our list for some time now and we just might be taking a little trip here in the next couple months. That is if we can ever decide if we can take a trip without our little girl. Portland is located near Mt. Hood and is also about an hour and a half away from the beach. This town gives you a little taste of everything from surfing to snowboarding, great food and lots and lots of fun nightlife activities. There are gardens, a zoo, cute little café’s, bars, doughnut shops, breweries, museums, and music events. Portland has something for everyone including lots and lots of rain.

1. Germany (Oktoberfest)

Oktoberfest is kind of a bucket list one for me and had been for a while. Yes, I want to sample all the different flavors of beer and try all the festival food that goes along with it. Most of all, I want to see Germany and experience their culture. Traveling to another country and sharing in a favorite local event makes for fun memories. Everyone is happy. People wear costumes and get excited to celebrate. I really want to see the locals in those funny little outfits! This is probably one that would be best if it was just dad and mom.

Honorable Mentions

Here are a couple trips that we have in mind that did not make the list! We have family in Sioux Falls and Wisconsin near Milwaukee. I know we want to try and visit them with Savannah soon. Austin, TX is always at the top of our lists, but I have already been there a couple times and so we try to plan for trips that are new for both of us. The New England area has a lot of history and I think it could be fun to visit with our kids when they are a little older. Same thing for the Disney parks. Australia, New Zealand, the Netherland countries, Peru, and Egypt are just outside of these lists. Who knows if there will be time to see everything!

Well I could go on but that is enough for this one! We encourage you to reach out to Alex and I on social media and share some of your favorite travel experiences with us! We would love to hear your stories and hopefully you can inspire us to travel to a place we have not even thought of yet!