With more life experience and less energy for party-centric vacation destinations, your 30s means you can comfortably enjoy trips that deliver the perfect mix of authentic cultural experiences, adventure and excitement. Each destination offers rich opportunities for seeing the world, and yourself, as you embark on journeys with more self-confidence and most likely, more disposable income. Perfect for traveling solo, as a couple or with your family, here are just some of the best trips to take in your 30s.
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Eat sushi in Japan
A blend of ancient traditions and modernity, Japan immerses you into its unique cultural experiences. Visit Mount Fuji, dazzling golden temples, bustling markets and tranquil gardens. Head to Tokyo to see fresh fish sold at Tsukiji Fish Market, walk through the towering Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and spot geishas in Kyoto, then visit bowing deer in Nara. Marvel at the Osaka Castle or Himeji Castle, then indulge in sake, ramen and sushi at any one of the local restaurants.
Soak up the scenery in New Zealand
A trip to New Zealand in your 30s means you can indulge in more of its adventurous activities, from bungee jumping off a bridge in Queenstown to see the glowworms in the Waitomo Caves. Head out in a sea kayak in the Bay of Islands or take a cruise around Milford Sound, while those up for a thrill can hike Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. Unwind in one of the quaint cafes in Wellington before visiting “Lord of the Rings” filming locations.
Chase waterfalls in Iceland
Iceland’s incredible scenery is bucket list-worthy, but not necessarily cheap. Save money to rent your own car so you can embark on a relaxing day at the famed Blue Lagoon, then admire the Hallgrimskirkja Church before making your way around the Golden Circle for a chance to see plunging waterfalls and the northern lights. Experience natural beauty along Ring Road, which runs 800 miles around the island and passes crystal ice caves, geothermal pools and black-sand beaches.
Experience the rich culture of Hong Kong
Slow down and spend some time exploring the culturally-rich attractions in Hong Kong. Blessed with an iconic skyline and world-class cuisine, it offers stunning terrain, scenic boat rides and bustling markets. Head to Victoria Peak and watch the sunset over the city, ride the Star Ferry across the Victoria Harbour and pick up goods in the Ladies Market. See a 202-ton statue of Buddha on nearby Lantau Island or hike the trails at Dragon’s Back.
Sip wine in Portugal
Known for its picturesque coastline, Portugal is home to an array of charming coastal towns where you can stroll the shoreline, dine on succulent seafood and explore historic landmarks. Escape the tourist crowds by relaxing on its beautiful beaches, as these small fishing villages and towns lure you into the shoreline and offer spectacular scenery around every corner. Start in Lisbon, then visit the coastal Cascais, enjoy the golden shores of the Algarve or head to Porto and the Douro Valley for winery hopping.
Go on a safari in Africa
South Africa is full of natural wonders and impressive landscapes, where you can indulge in adrenaline-pumping activities, go on scenic coastal hikes and explore the wine culture at Cape Winelands. Splurge on a safari trip while exploring this region, where you can see lions in Botswana, lush savannah landscapes in Kenya and gorillas in Rwanda. Worthy of its price tag, you can see lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinos in their annual migration between Kenya and Tanzania.
Enjoy scenic train rides in Switzerland
Known for its postcard-perfect backdrops, Switzerland is full of verdant valleys, dramatic waterfalls and sheer mountain peaks. All of these views are accessible on its array of train journeys, with many of them considered the most scenic in the world. Hop on the Bernina Express connecting Chur to Poschiavo to see the Swiss Engadin Alps, see Matterhorn and Zermatt on The Glacier Express or experience Europe’s highest railway station next to the snow-capped Jungfrau on the Jungfrau Railway.
Road trip through Australia
While a great destination in your 20s (or any age), a trip to Australia in your 30s means you can slow down and enjoy an adventure-filled road trip without having to cram all the sights in a few days. The Great Ocean Road is Australia’s best coastal road trip destination, passing picturesque beaches, charming small towns and of course, the iconic Twelve Apostles. Explore the hip neighborhoods in Sydney, sample world-class cuisine in Melbourne or try your hand at surfing at Byron Bay or Noosa.
Go island-hopping in Greece
It’s hard to resist the allure of Greece’s idyllic seaside charms, as its picturesque islands are known for its whitewashed architecture, cobblestone lanes, historic landmarks and tranquil water views. Head to Mykonos to enjoy the crystalline waters and golden sand at Super Paradise Beach, admire the blue shutters and bougainvillea on Santorini or escape the crowds at the picture-perfect coast of Corfu. For a luxurious stay in a seaside resort, head to the Athens Riviera.
Hike in Patagonia
An unforgettable bucket-list destination, you’ll need some energy to tackle Patagonia. Its 400,000 miles stretch from southern Chile to Argentina, crossing the Andes mountains, icefields and craggy coasts. Embark on a journey along the famed Fitz Roy Trek, go whale watching in Puerto Madryn or see the Perito Moreno glacier in the largest park in Argentina, Los Glaciares. Want to see some of Argentina’s friendliest residents? Explore Punta Tombo to meet Magellanic penguins.
Enjoy outdoor adventures in Fiji
Famous for its sun-drenched islands, Fiji is an alluring paradise in the South Pacific Ocean. An ideal destination for those who enjoy unspoiled landscapes, here you can be surrounded by idyllic white sand beaches and aquamarine waters. Start your exploration at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant to admire its colorful foliage, then spend your days sipping kava on Vanua Levu, sailing or snorkeling around the islands and hiking the waterfalls on Taveuni Island.