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TRIPS TO TAKE IN EVERY DECADE

What was your dream vacation when you were 21?

I’ll bet it was very different when you hit 31.

The great thing about travel is that it adapts and grows with us. You could visit France every decade of your life and have a completely different experience each time.

You might be in your 20s backpacking and staying in hostels, and end your 30s exploring Burgundy and Rhône while staying in boutique hotels.

But with so many destinations, deciding what to book when can feel overwhelming. To help you out, here’s a quick list of the perfect places to visit at every decade.

In Your 20s 

Backpacking Europe

Backpacking through Europe in your 20s is a rite of passage. For only $30 to $40 per day, you can explore Europe’s diverse landscapes, historic cities, and cultures.

With most countries only a few hours apart by train or bus and Europe’s discounts for young people at museums and top attractions, it’s easy to experience a variety of different places on a budget. 

Traveling alone? No problem!

Europe’s well-trodden backpacking route, safety, and abundance of hostels make it the perfect destination for first-time solo travelers who want to meet people from around the world.

Discover the beautiful beaches of Spain, the historic grandeur and Christmas markets of Germany, or head to the mountains and explore Italy’s iconic Dolomites.

For something more off-the-beaten-track (and even cheaper), head to Eastern Europe. Wander around Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or catch a tan on the banks of the gorgeous Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.

Backpacking Southeast Asia

Want to stay on the road for as long as possible? Go backpacking in Southeast Asia instead.

With a much lower cost of living than in Europe, your dollar can stretch even further, allowing you to explore the region fully. You’ll find a myriad of affordable hostels, cheap and delicious street food, and plenty of activities that won’t break the bank.

Start your trip in the bustling streets of Bangkok and take advantage of cheap flights, trains, and buses to make your way to the south of Thailand. 

Take your time island hopping before moving to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Discover lesser-known gems like Timor Leste, or sign up for a live-abroad trip in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

In Your 30s 

Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu in your 30s is the ultimate adventure challenge mixed with a cultural deep dive. It’s an opportunity to enter a realm where ancient wonders meet gorgeous mountain views, offering the perfect backdrop for self-discovery.

But it’s not the easiest or cheapest trip to plan, making it ideal for someone in their 30s with more disposable income. You have the resources and the travel experience to venture to Peru, where English is minimal, and navigating from point A to B offers a greater challenge than in Europe.

Want to avoid the Inca Trail crowds? Book a trek around Salkantay Mountain and explore add-on excursions to make the most of your time in South America.

Japan

Traveling to Japan in your 30s has something for everyone. The only problem? You have to narrow things down, which is easier said than done.

In Tokyo, you can get lost wandering the streets, go bar hopping in Akihabara, and shop up a storm at Harajuku.

For those seeking enriching cultural experiences, head to Kyoto. There, you can learn about ancient tea-making ceremonies, make traditional Japanese sweets, and visit a plethora of Buddhist temples and imperial palaces. 

Wellness also takes a front seat in Japan, with its onsen (hot springs), peaceful forest trails, and wellness practices like Zen meditation. These experiences offer a chance to disconnect from the hectic pace of everyday life and focus on personal well-being—something increasingly valued in your 30s.

In Your 40s

Costa Rica

When you enter your 40s, you have a greater appreciation for health and well-being, making Costa Rica a top destination.

Known for its ecotourism and wellness retreats, you can spend your vacation meditating, attending sound baths, and relaxing with luxurious spa treatments, all set in idyllic locations.

If you’re looking for something more active, travelers can explore an array of biodiverse environments, from rainforests and volcanoes to stunning coastlines. Go hiking in cloud forests, explore Manuel Antonio National Park, and book a trip down the Tortuguero canals.

With Costa Rica only a short flight from the US, finding cheap flights is possible, giving you more room to splurge on boutique accommodation or bucket list activities.

Kenya

Kenya is one of the top safari destinations in Africa. Travelers from all around the globe flock here to witness the Great Migration, climb Kilimanjaro, and discover the fascinating culture of Lamu Island.

But the tricky thing about planning a trip to Kenya is that it requires careful planning. For most, an African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you want to do it right.

With more than 100+ camps in and around the Masai Mara, daily entrance fees to the park costing $70 per person, and expensive long-haul return flights from the US, it’s not a vacation you want to risk messing up.

That’s why it makes all the difference to use a travel consultant to help you plan the perfect itinerary, find the best accommodation for your budget, and handle all the logistics. 

It’s an expense that makes more sense in your 40s when you have the extra cash flow and don’t want to spend your free time planning every detail of your vacation.

In Your 50s

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a bucket-list travel destination like no other. Thanks to strict conservation efforts, the islands and their wildlife are relatively untouched, giving visitors a unique experience they won’t find anywhere else.

Book a private boat charter with an onboard naturalist, and get up close and personal with blue-footed boobies, catch a glimpse of the giant Galapagos tortoises, and watch sea lion pups play in the ocean.

It’s worth the price tag if you love nature and want an active vacation that’ll take you hiking through ancient volcanic landscapes and kayaking along beautiful coastlines.

Antarctica 

Antarctica, the White Continent, is the remotest of Earth’s landmasses. Adventurers find the call to explore this ethereal paradise irresistible, and an expedition is the best way to experience it.

Start your journey from Argentina and sail to the South Pole, where you can kayak among icebergs and whales. If you’re brave enough, take a cold plunge into the Arctic waters or dive beneath the ice to experience the other side of Antarctica.

If you want something less strenuous, the continent has plenty of other adventures. Go on a White Continent safari experience and keep an eye out for multiple penguin species, albatrosses, elephant seals, and more.

Need more convincing?

With no permanent human population, stargazing from Antarctica is unmatched. With its high elevation, stable air conditions (if you visit during the shoulder seasons), and no light pollution, you’ll experience the heavens at their finest.

In Your 60s: 

Alaska Cruise

An Alaska cruise is an excellent choice for travelers in their 60s, offering a luxurious and comfortable way to explore the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Last Frontier. 

These cruises provide the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, allowing passengers to experience the majestic beauty of glaciers and whales breaching in the icy waters, all from the comfort of state-of-the-art ships.

Travelers can glide through the iconic Inside Passage, visit historic towns like Skagway, and even venture into more secluded spots like Wrangell, one of Alaska’s oldest communities. 

The flexibility of smaller ships means that itineraries can adapt to follow wildlife sightings, ensuring you don’t miss out on and creating a spontaneous one-of-a-kind experience.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands—St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix—offer an ideal mix of beauty, relaxation, and convenience. 

The reason to book a trip here in your 60s? The ease of travel for US citizens.

No visa is required!

Book your flights, and you’re ready to discover one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.

St. Thomas is a vibrant entry point to the islands, home to Magens Bay. Its fine white sand and clear blue waters create a tranquil setting ideal for relaxation or leisurely beach walks. 

Just a short ferry ride from St. Thomas, St. John offers a peaceful retreat, mostly covered by the Virgin Islands National Park. This island is a haven for nature lovers and active seniors, with its pristine waters and coral sand beaches perfect for snorkeling, fishing, and sailing. 

Lastly, St. Croix, the cultural heart of the islands, boasts a lively, multicultural atmosphere and is a prime spot for health and wellness retreats. The island’s rich history and vibrant cultural scene attract those seeking a deeper, more engaging travel experience.

In Your 70s and Beyond 

Danube River Cruise 

A Danube cruise is a wonderful choice for travelers in their 70s. It offers a serene and comfortable way to explore Eastern Europe’s enchanting landscapes and historic cities. 

Cruising the Danube allows seniors to take in a variety of sights from the comfort of a riverboat, eliminating the hassle of frequent packing and unpacking, as well as navigating complicated transport systems.

Onboard, everything is taken care of—from meals to daily activities—allowing you to focus solely on exploring each destination.

The leisurely pace of the river cruise is ideal for those who prefer to absorb their surroundings without the rush and have ample time for gazing out at the passing scenery of rolling hillsides, majestic castles, and quaint villages.

For those revisiting Europe, it’s a luxurious way to rediscover beloved places with new insights; for first-timers, it’s an effortless introduction to the continent’s diverse offerings. 

Rocky Mountaineer Train

The Rocky Mountaineer offers a spectacular travel experience, blending comfort with breathtaking scenery along one of Canada’s most historic rail routes. 

This train journey, especially suited for mature travelers, provides a relaxing way to witness the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies.

Starting in the charming town of Banff, Alberta, and winding its way to Vancouver, British Columbia, passengers on the Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West are treated to an unforgettable vista of mountains, forests, and rivers. The train traverses the Continental Divide, showcasing spectacular natural landmarks such as the iconic Spiral Tunnels and the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Louise.

With comfortable seating and panoramic viewing cars, you can soak in the landscapes in luxury. 

There you have it! Some of the best trips to take in every decade of your life.

That being said, your age should never restrict your travel itinerary. If you’re given the opportunity to visit any of these destinations (no matter your decade), take it!