The Best Trips to Take in Your 20s, 30s, 40s and Beyond
A vacation for (all) the ages
Travel is one of the greatest joys in life. But the backpacking adventure you took at 21 probably looks pretty different from the history-filled tour you’ll go on at 70. Here: the best types of vacations to take at every stage of your life.
In Your 20s
Go backpacking somewhere unfamiliar. Pick a place on the map, pack a bag and hop a flight. Whether it’s Southeast Asia, South America or an American national park, you’re young and able, so take advantage.
Take a volunteering trip. Do something that makes use of your ample energy and gives back at the same time—whether it’s teaching children in a foreign community or working at an elephant conservation village.
Embark on a road trip. Grab some friends, rent an RV and hit the open road. There’s no better time to drive across the country than when you’re genuinely excited to eat diner chili.
Go somewhere solo. Sure, it's a little frightening at first, but traveling alone is incredibly freeing. Plus, you’ll not only learn a lot about new people and cultures but, mostly, about yourself.
In Your 30s
Treat yourself to a luxe spa resort. Escape all your pressing responsibilities (read: children) and unwind with a massage (or seven). Take a deep breath, hop in the plunge pool and remember: You deserve this.
Plan a mini-moon. Even if it's just for a quick weekend, romantic getaways are a great way to recharge your marriage or relationship.
Go on a spiritual journey. You’ve seen Eat, Pray, Love, right? Channel your inner Julia Roberts, book a yoga retreat or a week of mindful meditation to find your Zen.
Try glamping. You’re no longer a teenager, and you probably don’t want to forgo showers and sleep on the ground with…critters. Glamping (as cheesy as the name is) is a pretty ideal way to experience the beauty of nature while still enjoying the comforts of, say, a covered cabin.
In Your 40s
Do something you never thought you could. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro; hike Machu Picchu; cruise through Patagonia’s glaciers. There’s no better way to combat the onset of a midlife crisis than challenging yourself to something adventurous.
Travel somewhere you couldn’t until now. There are a handful of countries that you probably couldn’t visit during your youth. Places like Cuba and Colombia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka were once off-limits for visitors, but now they’re ripe for exploring.
Take a ladies-only trip. Our busy lives and varying schedules make it difficult to set aside time to see good friends. Block off a weekend on the calendar (even if it’s next year) and go drink an inordinate amount of piña coladas with your girls.
In Your 50s
Check off a few Wonders of the World. If you’ve always had your eye on somewhere legendary (and far-off), take advantage of your health and get out there. The Colosseum? The Egyptian Pyramids? The Great Wall of China? Be ambitious.
Try a safari. If you’re interested in seeing cool stuff, but maybe while tooling around in a jeep: Head to Africa. There are plenty of all-inclusive tours that take care of travel planning for you.
Go somewhere that feeds a hobby. By now, you probably have at least one big passion. Embrace it. If you’re a foodie, take a culinary-focused trip through Tuscany. Winos, it’s time to visit one of the world’s greatest wine regions like Bordeaux or Champagne. Active travelers, take a weeklong bike tour through the Irish countryside.
In Your 60s
Enjoy a big family vacation. Get all the kids and the grandkids together, rent a house like a huge Airbnb, a lake cabin, or a cluster of cottages on the beach and relish in some quality time.
Travel back to where your ancestors are from. Speaking of families, you’re likely interested in (and have time to explore) where your roots are—be that another state or another continent. Just remember to pack a journal.
Visit one major city you’ve always dreamed of. At this point you’re probably retired and can afford to hone in on a specific area and blow it out. Dublin? Paris? Tokyo? Splurge on a nice hotel, hire a professional tour guide (and translator) and soak in some cultural sights in comfort.
In Your 70s
Take an upscale cruise. As you get older, cruises are a great way to travel: You’ll see several different places (hello, Greek islands) without the exhaustion of bouncing from airport to airport.
Take a trip by train. Buy a rail pass and travel across state or country lines. It may not be the quickest, but it's the most scenic route and affords you time to read, think, write and just take in all the beauty around you. After all, what's the rush?
Revisit somewhere meaningful from your youth. Whether it’s an old family vacation spot, a lake upstate or even the town you grew up in, take a walk down memory lane and visit a place you once loved.