Birthdays have always been special to me. I see it as your own personal holiday, one day a year, where you get to celebrate you. To me, it’s the perfect excuse to do something fun, take a trip, or get out of your comfort zone. I’ve spent birthdays on cruises, swimming with dolphins, partying with friends, wining and dining with family, and even skydiving.
As I get older, I cherish my birthday even more, but I focus on the entire year, rather than a single day. After celebrating my 28th birthday at Disney World this past weekend, I was inspired to write a bucket list of places to go before I’m 30 (disclaimer: I don’t have kids, yet!). However, instead of just picking a specific destination, I chose a travel category and went from there. This way, I have my selection, but you can make your own list, too!
And hey, this can be seven trips to take before any age. Plug a number into the title that fits your lifestyle because I believe you’re never too old, or too young, to get out there.
Take a Seasonal Trip
As a Floridian, this is a fun category because we don’t really get seasons here. I can go almost anywhere else in the United States, during the right time of year, and experience a season that I don’t normally get in Florida. I’ve added two different seasonal trips to my bucket list before 30: New York City during the holidays, and North Carolina to see the leaves change colors in the fall.
Other great options for a seasonal trip: Aspen, Disney World, or Chicago during the holidays. Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms bloom in the Spring, or the Pacific Northwest for fall foliage.
Travel Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Ok, to be totally honest, I love the luxury and comforts of a nice hotel when I travel. As a kid, I’ve stayed in a tent in the backyard with friends, in college, I stayed in a hostel in Amsterdam, and I’ve even experienced a traditional Japanese home. But for several years now, I’ve stuck with very comfortable accommodations. So for me, going out of my comfort zone will be camping. Will it still count if I go “glamping” with a RV?! Probably. 😉
Other options include: traveling alone, visiting a country where you’re completely unfamiliar with the language, or sharing a room with AirBnB instead of the whole home (yeah, I haven’t been brave enough to do that yet). 😛
Think about your typical travel habits and determine what makes you uncomfortable. Then, do it!
Explore Your Home State
I think we’re all a little guilty of taking what we have in our “backyard” for granted. My little bubble in Florida has me experiencing theme parks and beaches pretty often, but I’m excited to see more of Florida, and to educate myself on it’s history and stories. On my immediate list is Rosemary Beach, the Everglades, and Naples.
What’s in your home state that you haven’t experienced? Take a weekend trip to explore the culture, diversity, and beauty of your own “backyard”.
Experience At Least One European Country
It’s hard to choose just one, so if time and money allows it, go all out. One of my best friend’s and her husband spent 2 weeks in six different European countries and got to mark off so many “must-do’s” on her traveling bucket list. We joined them for Ireland and London, and now Germany and Italy are on our “Before 30” list. We can’t decide between the two, so we might just have to do both!
What’s one European country you need to see?!
Travel Far, Far, Away
As we get closer to 30, and the ideas of starting a family keep sparking our interest, I think of the places that may be the most difficult to travel with a young child. New Zealand, being over 24 hours worth of traveling time away, is tugging at my heart, but India and Thailand are close behind. Time and money can be a big factor when traveling far from home, so I also like to think our honeymoon in Hawaii was “far, far away”. Everyone has different ideas of what a long trip looks like, so stick with what your vacation time and budget allows.
The further you get from home, the more you’ll be out of your comfort zone, and that’s always a trip to remember.
Take a trip where you allow yourself to fully immerse in the local culture. Guess what? This doesn’t have to be far away! One of my favorite parts of traveling is experiencing the culture of other cities and countries. I love diving into the food, music, history, and entertainment of a place. The U.S. is so diverse, it’d be easy to have a weekend trip and feel like you experienced another culture. Think of Nashville compared to Miami, or South Dakota compared to San Diego. After all, that’s what makes America so great. I love asking locals for recommendations because I know I’ll get the most authentic experience by seeing a new place through the eyes of a local.
Another cultural trip on my list is Cuba! I haven’t done much research to see how it survived the recent hurricanes, but I would love to experience the food, music, people, and architecture there.
Other great options include: Quebec City, Philadelphia, New Orleans, or San Francisco.
Take a [Relaxing] Vacation
Have you ever needed a vacation after going on vacation? Yeah, that’s me ALL. THE. TIME. I have this desire to cram in all the fun adventures, and take advantage of every minute in a new place. By the end of our trip to Ireland and London, I was exhausted. So I also think it’s important to check out, unplug, and relax.
For this kind of trip, I love cruises or all-inclusive resorts, but it’s all about where you can chill out the most. For me, that’s on a beach (with a drink in my hand), and that’s why a Caribbean island is on my list. Some people love a cabin in the mountains or a yoga retreat.
You do you, and make sure where ever you go, you can recharge.
Help me add to my list! Where would you go?!