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How to Plan Your Bucket List Trip

Fly Fishing the Blackfoot River at The Resort at Paws Up
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“Disclosure: Sponsored by Capital One. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Capital One.” 

It all starts with a dream

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” ~ Walt Disney

Hawaii Family Vacation

As a little girl, I hid Hawaiian travel brochures under my canopy bed. We couldn’t even afford for me to swim in the local pool with my friends, but I dreamed of boarding a jumbo jetliner bound for paradise. I was so convinced I could make it happen that I would call the 800 number for Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays regularly and had a sizable brochure collection stashed away. The Brady’s went to Hawaii, but no one else I knew did. It seemed mystical and out of reach to me.

Luxury Travel Mom Kim-Marie Evans

As I plan my son’s #BucketList trip to Hawaii next month, I can’t describe the thrill I feel at making both of our childhood dreams come true.

#BucketLlist trips shouldn’t be left to chance, if you are lucky enough to check one off your list, be sure to do your research, you might only get one shot at this.

Step One-Write Down Your List!


Step Two-Get a Map – A Real One

I can’t be the only person who doesn’t know where things are in the world. We recently received a pinnable map of the world as a gift, how did we not have one of these before?? As we were putting our pins in our dream map my very smart 13 year old son commented “I had no idea how huge Alaska is compared to the US!” Nothing is as great for visualizing and planning as a good old-fashioned map.

Step Three-Get Some (good) Advice

Hotel concierge: They can tell you what is conveniently located and help make arrangements. Caveat, their knowledge can be limited and sometimes influenced by relationships.

Trusted travel websites: I love Fodor’s for planning, they have a great community piece that I trust more than Trip Advisor. The website is easily searchable and has useful links. is another great spot for unvarnished information. And by unvarnished I mean he can be cranky, and  l like it.

Visitor’s Bureau sites: had some of the best information of any site I visited. Often times these visitor bureau sites can also direct you to good deals. The links out to preferred vendors are also very helpful. VisitOrlando is a site I use a LOT, they have great deals and great information.

Instagram: I know, right? My friend Katja Presnal wrote an entire book on how you can use Instagram as your travel guide. Get the 411 on where the locals eat and relax. Get it on Amazon here.

Instagram for Travel

Also, I’m quoted in it!

Expect the best, plan for the worst:

  • Consider travel insurance.
  • Pack your own medicine, especially Benadryl.
  • Fly carry on if you are catching multiple flights, better safe than sorry.
  • Keep copies of your passport in a separate suitcase.
  • Program the numbers for your credit card companies and account numbers in to your phone. Capital One has a number you can call collect internationally if your card is stolen, put it in your phone and hope you never need it.

Recently I wrote about the power of making lists and asked where you dreamed of traveling. The answers were fabulous and inspirational. I’m even stealing a few of your ideas. Before Anne (Hip Travel Mama) wrote about the boat hotel in the Maldives I didn’t even know it existed. Now it’s on my must-do list. AND it’s one of my favorite hotel chains, the COMO hotels. You could really just make their website your #BucketList.

Capital One Luxury Travel Mom

Seriously, just seriously

Need some inspiration? There are a lot of great travel bucket lists out there.

Capital One has some drool worthy ideas on a Tumblr page dedicated to #BucketList travels. They made me this fab graphic about my dream of riding a camel in Morocco.

Luxury Travel Mom

Oh, it will happen

Fodor’s also has some great #BucketList ideas. Dreaming of becoming an astronaut? My husband is. I learned from the Fodor’s list that I can save about $30M and just send him to space camp at Kennedy Center. Boom, added to the list.

A few of my favorite responses from readers of my previous #BucketList posts were:

Whitney  (The Carpool Confessions) wants to go to Hawaii, but doesn’t want to be predictable. Hey now, if it was good enough for the Brady’s it’s good enough for us.

Amber (MileHighMamas) also wants to go to Hawaii (another Brady baby?) and shared the story about a conversation she recently had with her sister-in-law “she said something that really hit home: in the end, when she dies she doesn’t care if she has a lick of money to give to her kids. What she hopes her legacy will be is that she has taught them how to live and has given them a lifetime of memories from all their adventures and travels.” Amen.

In honor of Wilson, Whitney and Amber Capital One sent me this fab graphic:

Bucket List Travel Hawaii

Holly  (TheCultureMom) wants to take her 72 year old mom who is suffering from lung cancer to Venice before it’s too late. We are hoping that dream comes true for both of them.

Traci (GoBigorGoHomeBlog) has the world’s largest ball of string (actually twine she says) at the top her list! This needs to happen now.

All that's missing is Traci

All that’s missing is Traci

Erin (TravelWithBender) needs to get to work as she’s already checked everything off of her bucket list! We want to see a new one-largest ball of twine? Camel in Morrocco?

Rebecca (RWeThereYetMom) has a great attitude. I love this answer: “My bucket list? Travel Europe by rail. Simple & easy – need about a month to do it. But I WILL do it one day.”

Kara Williams (TheVacationGals) has a great visual for her family. “My family and I have a U.S. map on our wall and we put red pins in places we’ve visited as a family (all 4 of us). And we have green pins in places we dream of going together.” (Smart cookie was ahead of me on this)

Alycia (MichigalMom) just checked NYC off her bucket list last month, we want to hear all about it.

Desiree (StressFreeBaby) has a list I can get behind, Santorini with Marky Mark? Capital One needs to get a graphic going on that , stat.

Lori Brown (ExpeditionMom) believes in dreaming “Dreaming is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, and share with our children.” She wants to “experience” great white sharks, now that is SOME dream!

Be sure to follow along as Wilson and I pack our sunscreen and dreams and head off to Hawaii. Not to keep quoting Disney, but seriously, dreams do come true.



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