Do you make family goals? What about family travel goals? We started prioritizing family travel in early 2013 and it has evolved into creating our goal of visiting all 50 states.
Before we had kids, my husband and I enjoyed weekend getaways and maybe a weeks vacation once a year. Then we had my daughter and went on our first family vacation, to Myrtle Beach, when she was 2 months old.
It was a great trip, and I knew that having kids would not change the way I felt about traveling. From there we planned little trips, but we were working on saving for a house and paying off student loan debt.
Fast forward to 2013, we were a family of five and made our first visit to Walt Disney World. It was an amazing vacation and one of our favorite family travel stories.
The kids were so small- 5, 2.5, and 10 months. We drove from New York to Florida. It was chaos and crazy but I loved it.
When we returned from that vacation I knew that we would have to prioritize travel in a new way. We started a travel savings account and started adding money to it monthly.
Family Travel Goals
As the kids got older and they became more involved with our travel plans the fun really started!
We started talking more about why we traveled, and what our family travel goals were.
We loved road trips and making the journey part of the adventure. We survived the New York to Florida trip, and we had planned an awesome New York to Myrtle Beach trip.
We also talked about all the amazing things to see in the United States. Slowly this evolved to our 50 state challenge.
We had already visited a few states but we were ready to make it a priority to add new ones every year. In early 2018 our family goal to see all 50 states was born.
Visit 50 States Challenge Rules
We decided there needed to be a few rules. My husband and I had traveled a bit before we had kids but we wanted this to be a family goal so we all started fresh.
We decided any states we visited as a family of five would count, even before the challenge officially started. Then we created a few simple rules.
- Only trips all 5 of us take count.
- Driving through counts. Flying over doesn’t.
The goal of the 50 states challenge means more to me than checking a state off the list. It is filling my kids lives with experiences and strengthening our bonds by spending time together.
I hope we are successful in visiting all the states but if we don’t make it, we will have a lot of fun trying!
13 States Visited Since 2012
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Visit 50 States Challenge Ideas
Most places we visit I write about. I love sharing our adventures and encouraging you to go out and experience them with your family.
I’ve organized this list alphabetically by states we have visited and I wrote about. I will add to this list as we go. If we drove through a state but I didn’t write much about it, it will not be below.
I hope it inspires you and your family to get out and have more family time, while exploring the United States.
- A Family Weekend in Cooperstown, New York
- Experiencing the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls, USA
- We live in New York and have a lot of day trips and things to do locally. You can find them here.
- 20 Awesome Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
- Tennessee Vacation Guides
- Family Road Trip: Rochester to Pigeon Forge
I love that this is a family goal that we can work towards and plan together. I fully expect us to reach these goals, although who knows when, but the benefits from working together to reach it far outweigh anything else. We have grown closer, learned more about each other, and have created lifetime memories.