What to budget for a bucket list family trip?

This is one of the most important questions to ask as you begin the travel planning process. Having a realistic budget in mind – and sharing that with your travel advisor – ensures a positive and efficient travel planning experience.
At Videre Travel, bucket list trips are our jam. We book these trips day in and day out and understand what goes into each itinerary – and what influences the bottom line cost.
The budget guidelines included here are for complete itineraries that deliver extraordinary experiences. Sure, you can spend more or less and as always, every trip is completely customized. But for planning purposes, these figures are a great starting point.
(Note: Budgets do not include international airfare or gratuities.)
Read on to discover our 10 most popular family travel destinations and understand what your family should budget for these experiences.

African Safari

A safari in Africa should be on every family’s bucket list. No other travel experience embodies the same magical combination of wildlife, nature, guiding, history, culture and luxury.

Of course, Africa is a big place. A safari in Kenya is very different from a safari in Botswana. But one important element is consistent in determining the total cost of a safari. The larger the property, the lower the cost. At the same time, the smaller the property, the better the wildlife experience. Large safari properties are lower in price, but they tend to be in less desirable locations and are more crowded with people, which scares off the animals. The smaller tented camps are typically on private conservancies that are adjacent to national parks and larger conservation areas, allowing you more space to explore without another soul around.
One important thing to keep in mind when budgeting for a safari in Africa is that the experience is largely all inclusive. While on safari you are in remote locations, thus all meals and drinks and activities and guiding are included.A family of 4 can expect to pay $600 per person per day, or around $24,000 for a 10-day safari. We recommend at least 10 days in Africa due to the travel time to get there.

Caribbean Yacht Charter

There are a few destinations that really lend themselves to exploring by boat – and the Caribbean is one of them.

Particularly for active families, or those seeking to get away from crowded resorts and a bit more off the beaten path, a boat charter is a great option.
There are a few ways to charter; bareboat or fully crewed. A fully crewed charter includes a captain, hostess, and all meals and drinks. A very all inclusive experience. We generally don’t book bareboat at all, because to captain a large vessel you need a license and a fair amount of sailing experience.
Pricing will vary based on the model of the boat and by destination. Also, keep in mind you’ll want a night or two on the front end to ensure you arrive on time to board the boat without delay.A family of 4 can expect to pay $800 per person per day, or around $23,000 for a 7 day crewed sailing charter in the Caribbean.

Costa Rica

Particularly for families with younger children, Costa Rica is a perfect first international adventure. You can explore beaches, see wildlife all around, zipline through Central American cloud forests all within a few hours flight from the United States – family travel perfection!

It’s also possible to have a really wonderful experience for a relatively low price point, compared to other big bucket list trips.
If you’re keen to book a home or villa and keep your time on the ground open, we have the scoop on the best options (you won’t find these on VRBO!) If you’d like a more robust itinerary packed with super cool experiences, we can do that too. A family of 4 can expect to pay $3,500 per person, or $14,000, for a 7 night trip packed with all the experiences, some meals, some privately guides experiences and a lovely place to stay.

Dude Ranch

A dude ranch vacation is ideal for families. Instead of glued to phones, even teens will have fun taking part in unique activities. Plus – animals! Trips with animals are generally a hit with families.

A dude ranch vacation offers a variety of programming for kids of all ages, with daily schedules that are so engaging kids won’t realize they’re learning along the way. Kids programs and activities, many of which are overseen by dedicated wranglers and staff members, are designed to educate and entertain with activities ranging from ropes courses, scavenger hunts, horseback riding, panning for gold, wildlife excursions, overnight camping trips, campfire sing-a-longs, capture the flag, hay rides and much more.
The Dude Ranch experience is exclusive by nature. As such, it’s evolved into an inherently luxurious experience complete with luxurious accommodations, gourmet meals and lots of private guiding throughout. Budgets can range wildly for a Dude Ranch trip. At the very top end, ranches like Paws Up and Ranch at Rock Creek, expect to pay around $1,200 per person per day. (We do have access to some more modest dude ranch experiences as well, and these tend to be structured a la carte vs a more inclusive experience.)

French Polynesia

The Tahitian Islands live up to their reputation, when done right.
This is one destination where itineraries are super customized thus the budget also ranges wildly. And while the destination has long been known as the ultimate honeymoon spot, now more than ever Tahiti is very much a family destination.

While it’s most common to visit 1-2 islands on a classic Tahiti itinerary, the destination is also ideal to explore by boat. A sailing itinerary typically includes easy passages within the protected waters behind the beautiful coral reefs that encircle the islands, allowing for relaxed sailing in one of the most exotic cruising grounds in the world.
When thinking about Tahiti, there are several considerations that will impact overall budget. Land vs Boat? How many islands to see? Active vs more relaxing? For a land-based itinerary combining 2 islands (for example Moorea and Bora Bora) with at least one over-water bungalow for a family of 4, expect to budget at least $500 per person per day for solid 4-star accommodations (or $14,000 for a week long trip) including all in-country transfers, breakfast daily, and 1-2 fun excursions.

Galapagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands, located roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, is home to an all-star cast of plants and animals. After a 19-day stay in the late 1800’s Charles Darwin famously published “On the Origin of Species” which introduced his theory of evolution. Since then, word of these islands and their magnificent beauty has steadily grown.

Traveling to the Galapagos Islands is an adventure worth planning for. The Islands are full of mystery and majesty, with new adventures surprising guests daily as a matter of course.
There are 2 ways to do the Galapagos; by land or by boat. While the islands certainly lend themselves to exploration by boat, many families prefer a land-based experience. We absolutely love Galapagos Safari Camp for a land-based experience. This property is just magic, and without a doubt always leaves families in awe (and usually in tears as they don’t want to leave!). A family of 4 can expect to pay $1,000 per person per day in the Galapagos.


When it comes to bucket list Greece – typically three scenes come to mind; Ancient Rome, whitewashed walls and boldly colored domes of the islands, and the very best beaches in all of Europe. Our favorite itinerary combines all three of these iconic experiences.

Begin with a kid-friendly history tour in Athens, head to one of the larger islands for a few nights, then spend the rest of your time exploring the smaller islands by private boat. Perfection!A family of 4 can expect to pay around $3,500 per person for a 7-night itinerary including Athens, one of the larger Islands, and a 5-day yacht charter.


Italy, home to great antiquities, stunning landscapes and of course La Dolce Vita, has so much to offer families. We keep kids engaged and moving, and sprinkle in a little education throughout!

The sky is the limit when it comes to Italy. For a first time trip you will want to see all the things, eliminate crowds and lines by using a private guide, and have some really classic experiences. Italy is worth several visits and is highly customizable.A family of 4 should budget $2500 per day for a classic, first time in Italy experience including accommodations, transfers, guiding, meals, and excursions.


Machu Picchu, the famous 15th century Incan “lost city”, is as impressive (or even more!) as the pictures portray. Visiting this archeological site is a highlight of every trip to Peru. The actual visit to the citadel is typically only half a day, so when planning a trip to Peru it’s important to understand all the other experiences that go into a fabulous itinerary.

We have created a unique, family friendly program that combines the adventure of hiking in the stunning Andes mountains with an awe-inspiring Machu Picchu experience.A family of 4 can expect to pay $800 per person per day for an action packed, privately guided itinerary in Peru. If we include a day or two at leisure, for example in Cusco (everyone loves Cusco!) this average per day price will come down.

United Kingdom

London is a fabulous city for families! From the free museums to all the royalty, high tea and history, it’s magical any time of year for kids.

We often book families into apartments in London, vs more traditional hotels. While there are several spectacular hotel options in the city, we find that families appreciate the space, amenities and more local flair afforded by an apartment.
After a few days running around the city families love getting out into the English countryside. Here you can explore charming villages and head north towards Scotland where you can sleep in a castle, hike through the hills and much more. A family of 4 can expect to pay $1,750 per person, or $7,000, for a 7 night trip using apartment-style accommodations in London and traditional inns in the countryside. Castle accommodations vary significantly in price, but well worth the effort!Ready to get started planning your next bucket list adventure? Contact us to get started!

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