There are so many great, one-of-a-kind, and life-changing destinations and experiences all over the world that provide unforgettable memories.
If you haven’t done some variation of these “must do” activities before you turn “30,” here are some options.
First, some reassuring words for all the frightened late 20-somethings who are already dealing with a mountain of unchecked to-do lists.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a checklist, just some suggestions, and the number 30 is merely a number, not a milestone at all!
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Walk around the temples all day and then party it up in Siem Reap that night.
There’s something about experiencing Sin City for the first time with the lights of the strip and the cha-ching of the slot machines.
Carnival in Veracruz, Mexico
Unlike Rio, Veracruz’s parade is pretty much anything goes. That includes jumping in line and dancing with the performers.
Coachella isn’t just about the music (although it’s fantastic). It’s about the epic road trip down to Indio, piling your 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.
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.
Machu Pichu, Peru
Opt for the adventurous route, walking for hours along the train tracks and hiking up to the entrance.
Carnival in Rio, Brazil
Arguably the biggest party in the world. Partying all day and night for a week calls for some young blood.
Because you’ll be young enough not to worry about all those crazy jungle diseases.
New York City
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of. There’s nothing you can’t do!
Great Ocean Road, Australia
Cruise up this historic Australian highway and have a crack at surfing some of the country’s best breaks.
Semuc Champey, Guatemala
These gorgeous Guatemalan pools are perfect to visit while you’re young and foolhardy enough to explore the underground cave system.
Whether you party it up in Kuta or surf at Bingin, Bali is truly young at heart.
Because no one wants to see you flash your chest for beads at 50. Well… most people!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina
Nothing will make you realize what a tiny space you take up in this world better than these epic waterfalls.