asian family celebrates new years 2020 sparklers; Courtesy of Tom Wang/Shutterstock
All Ages

Family Vacation Critic’s New Year’s Travel Resolutions for 2020

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The start of a new year—and a new decade!—means new resolutions. And here at Family Vacation Critic, those resolutions often revolve around one idea: travel. Read on to see some of our team’s travel resolutions for 2020. We bet some of them look very similar to yours.

Wendy Helfenbaum family; Courtesy of Wendy Helfenbaum

“I would love to do a small-ship adventure cruise right after school lets out—ideally somewhere like Alaska—as a family gift to ourselves. We love kayaking, fishing, snorkeling and SUP, so this would be our idea of heaven.” – Wendy Helfenbaum, Contributing Writer 

“My travel resolution in 2020 is to take it more slowly, relax and unwind so we can enjoy family time and not just rush from one site to another.” – Julekha Dash, Contributing Writer 

Amy Connolly family; Courtesy of Amy Connolly

“I want to get my kids their first passport stamps! They’re still little, but so far we’ve only taken them on short, direct, domestic flights because my husband and I want our vacations to be ‘easy’ (if that’s even possible with small children!). This year, I’d like to trade a little complication in exchange for broadening their world view—taste new foods, hear new languages, give them new adventures. Maybe we’ll start with my three year old’s one bucket list item: he wants to see a monkey NOT at the zoo.”  Amy Connolly, Senior Product Manager 

“My new year’s resolution is to take my kids camping for the first time in our new tent (we went last year, but with someone else’s tent)! I’m hoping to find some great camping accessories under the Christmas tree this year. I’m also hoping to try out my new comfy Title Nine athletic wear in the great Florida outdoors (it gets cold enough to bundle up here at night in the winter!).” – Terry Ward, Contributing Writer 

“I’d like to be a little more spontaneous when it comes to traveling with my kids. It’s hard to do when they’re three and under—I constantly find myself planning every last detail—but I want to focus a little less on the details and a little more on just enjoying the moments. And going when we have the opportunity to go somewhere. I don’t think we do that enough as a family.” – Rachael van Reen, Manager of Public Relations

cynthia drake family in alaska; Courtesy of Cynthia Drake

“2020 will be our final kindermoon. Four years ago, I took our oldest on a road trip across Colorado before he started kindergarten, and this year, I get to take our youngest on a Disney cruise kindermoon. I love spending one-on-one time together before school takes center stage, reflecting on how much each child has grown. We’re also resolving to let our oldest son plan one of our trips for the first time. He loves all things dinosaur-related, so 2020 will see us going to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum to explore some must-see fossils on his list.” – Cynthia J. Drake, Contributing Writer

“Having already taken them to Norway, the real-life land of Anna, Elsa and Olaf, I hope to visit Estonia with my teen daughters in 2020. The capital city of Tallinn is all medieval stone walls, bell towers, and, sticking with the Frozen theme, St. Olaf’s Church, dating back to 1200s!”  Jeff Bogle, Contributing Writer 

“My sister, brother-in-law, and sweet baby niece recently moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, so my husband and I want to explore their new town (also a new city for us!) with them.” – Amanda Norcross, Senior Editor 

“Our daughter has been taking Spanish lessons since she was little. Now that she’s a tween, I’d love to take it to the next level and attend a family language school immersion camp together in Central or South America—one where we live with a host family while taking classes during the day.” – Andrea Guthmann, Contributing Writer

“I’m excited to start out this decade with three kiddos 10 years of age and under and a reenergized sense of adventure for sustainable and community-based tourism. I’m ready to leave the comforts of resorts, grilled cheese and swimming pools behind and get back to what started my original curiosities and journalism career. First up, we’re embarking on a trip similar to our honeymoon with fishing lodges, small B&Bs, family stays in villages, hiking and beach time. However, this time, Hank, Dora and Addy will be with us for every moment, and truthfully, at this point, Dora is going to out-fish my husband and I.” – Julie Bielenberg, Contributing Writer

“My family travel resolution for 2020 is less is more. In the new year, we’ll no longer be checking luggage when we travel. For Christmas, I’m giving each member of my family a roll-a-board made by it. It’s one of the lightest suitcases available, and comes in bright colors and kid-friendly patterns. I’m looking forward to traveling lighter and not having to wait for checked baggage when we land at our destination!”   Allison Tibaldi, Contributing Writer

Riding ATVs in Hawaii; Courtesy of Family Vacation Critic

“In 2020, I’d like to plan a girlfriends getaway with friends in Mexico. Some spa and beach time and a little adventure will hopefully be on the agenda! It’s hard to leave the kids and spouses at home, but traveling with friends can be a truly needed vacation from time to time!” – Courtney Elko, Editor

Judy Koutsky Family; Courtesy of Judy Koutsky

“The last year, I took 22 trips, 17 of which I took with one or both of my kids. We hit some amazing places this year—including Alaska, Iceland, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama—and I hope to continue taking my kids to places both near and far. My boys would love to visit Africa on safari (I’ve been on safari over two dozen times), and I hope 2020 sees this coming to fruition.” – Judy Koutsky, Contributing Writer

“We are hoping to finally go on our honeymoon, a year late! Hopefully Italy.” – Megan Johnson, Editor

“Each year our family resolves to travel somewhere we’ve never visited before, and in 2019 we satisfied that resolution with a family trip to Alaska. Now that both of our daughters are in college, we’re looking towards a ‘bucket list’ destination – an African safari. Mom and Dad both have advanced degrees studying animal behavior, and observing lions, elephants, and giraffes in the wild with our young adult children would be a dream come true.”  Dave Parfitt, Contributing Writer

“My family plans to go to Hawaii, as a second honeymoon for my husband and me, along with our two children. Although my daughter has been to many amazing places, she always says Hawaii is her favorite, even though she hasn’t yet been. This will be a big gift for all of us! We also hope to spend time on the East Coast and visit more national parks, filling in our family travel wall map.” – Cortney Fries, Contributing Writer

Noemi de la Torre family; Courtesy of Noemi de la Torre

“In 2020, my resolution is to finally take my daughter to visit family in Spain. I’ve been dreading a long transatlantic flight with a baby. Even though everyone says its easier when they’re babies, I’ve just been too chicken!” Noemi de la Torre, Senior Photo Editor

“Our family vacations have always been in the states. But now that my kids are older, I’m ready to take them further abroad. We just went on our first international family adventure—an easy road trip from Niagara Falls to Quebec—where they experienced a bit of French culture and history. We had a blast, so my goal is to take the whole gang on an overseas adventure in 2020. Costa Rica, Italy and England are all on my radar.” – Kristi Valentini, Contributing Writer 

“In 2020, I’m going to embrace “Plan B,” while letting my kids’ enthusiasm and special interests help guide our journeys. Blessed with both an affinity for details and a very full family schedule that often requires Ninja-like coordination skills, I’ve had to stretch beyond my comfort zone in recent years. Specifically, that’s meant aiming for the sweet spot somewhere between “down to the minute” trip planning and simply getting everyone in the same place at the same time. To achieve that goal this year, flexibility will be my working mantra! On our agenda for 2020: an island getaway during which my bargain-savvy oldest daughter will undoubtedly save us a boatload of money, a Southern U.S. aquatic adventure, a Vermont camp stay and “Kingdom Keeper’s Quest”—a mystery-themed tour of Disney’s Magic Kingdom.” – Jackie Perrin, Contributing Writer

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