30 Trips To Do Before You Are 30

Yep. It’s one of those lists. But hear me out. This post has been written with some deep travel reflection, taking into consideration that Jules is now over the decorated 30 mark and we’ve been traveling consistently throughout our 20s and now into our 30s!

As we get older our approach to travel changes. Jules and I both did solo backpacking trips in our early twenties and we can attest that how we traveled then is vastly different than now. This article is partly tongue-in-cheek because, of course you can go to Carnival in Rio way past your thirties. In fact, I encourage you to. All of these trips can be done at any age and I highly recommend forgetting how old you are and just living it up.

“But, there is something to be said for traveling in your twenties!”

There’s a reckless abandon, an assumed invisibility that pushes you to go cliff-diving and party till dawn. In your twenties you’re much less likely to care that the hostel you’re staying at has a thick layer of dirt over everything, that your next meal is probably going to be beans and rice and your cheap beer has gone warm. Travel in your twenties isn’t just about sightseeing or checking things off your bucket list, it’s about experiences, connecting with people from all over the world and living in the moment. So if you’re under 30, go out and experience these to the fullest. And if you’re over 30, do them anyway, having more life experience under your belt brings another unique perspective to travel.

1. Carnival in Rio, Brazil

Arguably the biggest party in the world. Partying all day and night for a week calls for some young blood.

2. Full Moon & Half Moon Parties in Koh Phangan, Thailand

We just made this one before Jules hit 30. Both parties are epic and full of messy twenty-something backpackers ready for a 3 day binge.

3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

When you’re in your twenties you have the stamina to get up at 4, walk around the temples all day and then party it up in Siem Reap that night.

4. Las Vegas

Vegas is great at any age, but there’s something about experiencing Sin City for the first time as a twenty-one year old with the lights of the strip and the cha-ching of the slot machines.

5. Carnival in Veracruz, Mexico

Unlike Rio, Veracruz’s parade is pretty much anything goes. That includes jumping in line and dancing with the performers.

6. Coachella in Indio, California

Coachella in your twenties isn’t just about the music (although it’s fantastic). It’s about the epic road trip down to Indio, piling your 15 closest friends into a Palm Desert rental home, the excitement of getting ready and scheduling your day around band times. And of course the music.

7. Vang Vieng, Laos

If you’ve been to Southeast Asia you’ve heard of the infamous tubing parties. These are supposed to get pretty messy with gap year kids and other youngin’s drinking for weeks on end. You gotta be in your twenties to enjoy that.

8. The Death Road in La Paz, Bolivia

This biking trip in Bolivia may not be quite as scary as the name implies, but it still takes guts to ride down the terrifying road.

9. Machu Pichu, Peru

Another wonderful spot that can be done at any age. But in your twenties you’re much more likely to opt for the adventurous route, walking for hours along the train tracks and hiking up to the entrance. Plus you’ll still have the stamina for partying the rest of the night in Cusco.

10. Amazon Jungle

Because you’ll be young enough not to worry about all those crazy jungle diseases.

11. Tomorrowland Music Festival, Belgium

One of the world’s biggest music festivals. Get down with over 180,000 of your new best friends.

12. New York City

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There’s nothing you can’t do!

13. Great Ocean Road, Australia

Cruise up this historic Australian highway and have a crack at surfing some of the country’s best breaks. Your twenty-something year old body can withstand all your wipeouts.

14. Madrid

You’d have to be in your twenties to keep up with the Spaniards who party well into the next morning. They start eating dinner at 10PM, hit up some bars by 12PM and really start partying when most people are getting up. It’s a young persons game, but plenty of Spaniards are keeping up.

15. Sacred Valley, Peru

This peaceful area not far from Machu Pichu is home to the famous Ayahausca retreats. Grab a spot between some old hippies and try the famous Amazonian hallucinogen.

16. Semuc Champey, Guatemala

These gorgeous Guatemalan pools are perfect to visit while you’re young and foolhardy enough to explore the underground cave system.

17. Venice, Italy

Not only is this romantic city perfect for young hearts, but better to go soon before it sinks!

18. Utila, Honduras

Join throngs of twenty-somethings getting their Scuba training by day and partying by night.

19. New Zealand

Explore this country with your feet kicked up on the dash of camper van, a Kiwi version of “On The Road.”

20. Ibiza, Spain

This Spanish island is all party, pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. If you’re looking for all night debauchery, then this is your place to go!

21. EDC in Las Vegas, California

Don you neon tutus and put on your beaded bracelets, you definitely can’t get away with coming to this electronic music festival past 30.

22. Bali, Indonesia

Whether you party it up in Kuta or surf at Bingin, Bali is truly young at heart.

23. New Orleans

Because no one wants to see you flash your chest for beads at 50. Well… most people!

24. Traveling to Cuba

Cuba is great at any age, but in your twenties you can join all the twenty-something locals drinking rum from the bottle at the Malecon in Havana.

25. Partying in Taganga, Colombia

This Caribbean town in Colombia may not have the nicest beaches, but there’s plenty of partying.

26. Trekking to the Lost City of Teyuan, Colombia

This three day trek requires you to cross a roaring river using a rope. We’ll leave that to the young and able-bodied.

27. San Francisco, California

The young rule this city, where you’re just as likely to meet a 21 year old college grad as a 21 year old CEO.

28. San Pedro, Guatemala

This beautiful town by Lake Atitlan is the perfect spot to post up for a few weeks and take advantage of the cheap Spanish classes and cheaper beer. There’s a young atmosphere of Spanish students and plenty of action and adventure if you’re looking for it.

29. Explore the Favelas in Rio, Brazil

Yes, Rio again, but for a completely different reason. Checking out the city’s slums, favelas, in your twenties will give you a good perspective on how the majority of the world live. Experiencing this level of poverty is humbling and will most likely give you a sense of empathy that stays with you throughout the rest of your life.

30. Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Nothing will make you realize what a tiny space you take up in this world better than these epic waterfalls.

Published by

Christine Williams

Animal lover, wannabe artist and peanut butter fiend with a serious allergy to a 9 to 5. On the other hand: undyingly messy, chronic blanket hog and so bad with directions I can get lost going to the corner store. Wanna know more

40 thoughts on “30 Trips To Do Before You Are 30”

  1. I’ve done quite a bit of these already, and will be crossing off a few more in the next couple years. I do have 3.5 more years until the big 3-0, so I actually might be able to complete this whole list. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wowww, I am about to hit 29 and I’ve done 16 of these things. I’m pretty proud of myself!

    Would love to tick off the Ocean Road in Oz and Ibiza before next year.

  3. Yep….Now I really just want to pack up and go!! What a fantastic list of experiences & places to visit! Definitely printing this out so I can start checking stuff off. Have you guys been to Ibiza yet?

  4. Good grief! (to put it politely) I’ve travelled to some amazing places but I’ve not been to a single one of these places or events. I’ve over 50 now but it’s never too late. I might skip the party at Ibiza and head out to one of the sleepy villages instead though.

  5. I would also add Barcelona, a city that never sleeps. I’m 31 now and I think I still have some time to visit these places. 😉 Thanks for your suggestions.


  6. And if your budget allows for it, attend a major sporting event, like the World Cup or the Olympics. Sure, these events can be done at any age, but there is something to be said about attending these events in your twenties when you are looking for experiences and trying to connect with people from around the world. Totally worth it! Hope to go to a few more World Cups in my lifetime.

  7. Ops.. I think we need to keep moving!!! Not 30 anymore and only have done two things in the list! hahaha
    Great List guys 🙂

  8. I want to travel to somewhere, and your post provide more things to my list. Next trip, i’ll plan to travel to Mexico. I think that’s an interesting. =)))

  9. Vang Vieng tubing is totally toned down now- due to curfews etc in Laos I am pretty sure it got raided and is now a shell of its former self. I worked at Bucket Bar as a crazy 19-year-old and it really was the craziest place I have seen. I believe you can still tube but there are hardly any bars and much quieter than it once was! Shame as it was crazy fun back then- 8 years ago!

  10. Hey Christine

    I think everybody is turning 30, I have read so many posts about the things to do before 30. Well, this post is awesome because I love traveling. <3<3

  11. Wow, what a beautiful post. This is the first time I visited your blog and its so amazing. Keeping it bookmarked for your next tour. I am highly motivated. Thanks for sharing the information and Happy Traveling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exit mobile version