16 Destinations You Must Visit in Your 30s
There's a reason they say life begins at 30 — you still have the vitality of youth with the added benefit of experience on your side. You are more self-aware and confident, making your 30s the perfect decade for travel. Plus, real talk: You probably have more cash flow than you did in your 20s, making trips more feasible. Looking for locales with scenery and substance? Add these destinations to your 30s wanderlust bucket list.
This post was sponsored by Princess Cruises.
When you travel to the world's best city in your 30s, you appreciate its beauty and history even more. Sure, the Holy City offers one heck of a nightlife scene, but it's also steeped in culture — museums, art galleries, music halls and amazing architecture. Bonus? Just over the Connector, quirky Folly Beach has personality for days.
Here's a statistic for you: Miami gets 3,200 hours of sunshine a year on average. Naturally, the city's temperate weather means people devote a lot of time to being outdoors, and who could blame them? First, there are the beaches, including the world-famous Miami Beach. But water activities are also big here and range from kayaking to parasailing and scuba diving. And everyone should take a sunny stroll through the Art Deco District at some point.
Now is the time to find your center, and nowhere is better-suited to helping you than serene Ubud. Penciling in a visit to a traditional healer (think Eat, Pray, Love) can prove to be a truly meaningful experience, as can catching a sunrise from atop Mount Batur — the island's most active volcano — where your guide will whip up your egg breakfast in a steaming fissure.
Imagine white sand shores lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters set against a backdrop of majestic mountains and a city full of storied architecture. Sounds pretty perfect, right? Well, what you've just envisioned is Split, Croatia. One of the country's most diverse and popular destinations, Split has it all, from a bustling riviera to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Consider these remote and breathtaking islands Washington state's best-kept secret. For starters, the backdrop of the snowcapped mountains against the Pacific Ocean is undeniably arresting. World-class kayaking to spot orcas, visiting historic Lopez Village, hiking Shark Reef Sanctuary to a bluff overlooking Puget Sound and taking a stroll through fragrant Pelindaba Lavender Farm are all highlights of this must-take trip.
Add Vietnam to the list of locales that will change the way you look at the world. From the floating markets of the Mekong Delta to mammoth cave systems — Sơn Đoòng cave is the biggest in the world — Vietnam has a knack for shifting perspective. Don't miss the stunning hill station of Sa Pa or UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay if you can help it.
Need a reason to visit Maui? Well, there are plenty. Not only does this island paradise boast some of the most beautiful beaches (white, black and red sand beaches, no less!), but it also offers breathtaking landmarks such as the Haleakalā Crater, the Road to Hana, the Molokini Crater and more. Plus, between luaus and fresh, innovative cuisine, Maui has culture to spare.
Y'all, there's so much more to NOLA than Bourbon Street! Give this city its proper due in your 30s. Head outside the Quarter and spend some time instead on Frenchman Street or in the Uptown and Warehouse Districts. Instead of trendy Café du Monde, find your way to Coulis for an unforgettable breakfast or to Cooter Brown's for a killer raw bar. And you can't visit this musical city without listening to jazz at Little Gem Saloon, Maple Leaf Bar or Bullet's.
It's hard to believe natural beauty like Ecuador's even exists until you've seen it with your own eyes. Cruising the Galápagos Islands? Check. Straddling the equator (or Mitad del Mundo)? Check. Mountain biking down Cotopaxi Volcano, the country's second-tallest? Check. Exploring the Amazon Jungle? Check.
When it comes to bucket list locales, Rio's gotta be on just about everyone's, right? There's something undeniably moving about viewing the massive Christ the Redeemer statue for the first time. And that's not the only reason to visit — Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach, the Museum of Tomorrow and the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra are just some of the sites that beckon.
Known as the gem of western India, Mumbai is an explosion of color, culture and charm. Once a tiny fishing village, the now major metropolis hustles and bustles with travelers and locals alike... not to mention vendors of every kind! If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, you won't want to miss Mumbai's enthralling bazaars. This dynamic destination also boasts some of India's most exciting nightlife.
Why should celebrities have all the fun? You're in your 30s now; you deserve a little luxury in your life. Known locally as the "Island of the Winds," Mykonos is a study in beauty. Simply taking in the scenery is a treat, but there is plenty else to keep you busy too — like visiting the windmills of Mykonos, exploring the Delos ruins, touring the Panagia Tourliani Monastery, checking out the Armenistis Lighthouse and getting a little R&R at Agios Stefanos Beach.
Pin this list for when it's time to plan your next trip!