A Conversation with the Bucket List Family – TripIt . Blog
Going Places is a new series from TripIt highlights frequent travelers to showcase their unique travel styles and insider tips. In 2015, Jessica and Jarrett J sold all of their belongings to endure a four-month journey with their two children. Fast forward to 2022, the Gees – and their three children now – the well-known travel tribe, the Bucket List family. You might already follow them on Instagram, watch their YouTube videos, or watch them on Good Morning America. But if you haven’t heard of them, here’s what to know: They’re an adventurous family that documents their travels around the world — and inspires millions of fans along the way. Less Stuff, Richer Experiences Life hasn’t always been a flurry of travel planning and content creation for The Bucket List family. Jessica told me, “If you had told me 10 years ago that traveling would be my profession — and that I would travel to 90 countries with my husband and kids — I would never have believed you.” “I haven’t always been a great traveler or explorer. But I fell in love with exploring the world with my family. I like to live with less, and gather experiences on things.” Experiences that they not only share as a family, but that they will talk about for years to come. Jessica shared, “One of the most memorable travel moments of the year was with the gray whales in Baja Mexico.” “We painted a little boat in this place called Guerrero Negro. For decades, gray whales have been bringing their calves to greet local fishing boats. Whales love to be touched and scratched. We had a special mother and a calf and the mother climbed into the boat for minutes so we could scrub. It’s an experience None of us will forget it.” These unforgettable moments were a huge part of why Jessica and Jarrett embarked on this journey in the first place. “We decided as a young family that we wanted to take the time to create traditions that hopefully will make us better people for the rest of our lives.” “We understand how unique and amazing this opportunity to experience life’s adventures together as a family,” said Jessica. “We remind ourselves of this daily, remembering that it all started with deciding to step out of our comfort zones, step away from the mores of society, and follow our hearts to what we felt was the best path for our family.” So, where next for a bucket list family? “Next on our list is swimming with orcas in Norway and then seeing polar bears in the Arctic,” she said. “A lot of our travels revolve around wildlife!” On Staying Organized – And Mobilizing Positive Attitude Wildlife? yes. Wildlife travel? Not a chance. “I’m always ready for our travel days,” Jessica said. “When I pack your luggage, everything has its place.” And when it comes to organizing reservations (and more) for a family of five? “I use TripIt for every scheduled part of our trips: flights, car rentals, hotel confirmations—everything. I love the TripIt program that automatically finds my confirmations in my email and then adds it to my itinerary.” According to Jessica, feeling organized and calm goes a long way when you’re traveling with the little ones. “My best advice for traveling with kids is to remember that as a parent, you set the tone for the journey. If you are stressed on the day of travel, your kids will be nourished by this energy. You cannot always control what happens while traveling; things will go wrong. Your best option It is to move forward and have a good attitude.” Tip: Travel plans don’t go according to plan? TripIt can help – whether it’s searching for an alternative flight or claiming compensation for delays or cancellations. Any final advice for families planning their next trip? “Just enjoy the flight! Enjoy the little things, like a good breakfast buffet, an airport with healthy food options, or an empty row on an airplane!” After all, it’s the little things — not the experiences — that make the trip worth it. Stay tuned for all the Going Places features to learn about new travel tips, discover underappreciated destinations, and more. About the author Amanda Wowk is a freelance writer, founder of Amanda Wowk Creative – a content writing services company – and an avid traveler. Her experience spans the travel industry, supporting clients in travel technologies, luxury travel and consumer brands. When she’s not helping clients tell their stories, Amanda writes about her own experiences to inspire others to travel as far, far, and as frequently as possible.