10 Trips You Should Take Before You’re 30

Thirty is a great age. It kicks off a decade marked more by owning who you are than wondering who that person is. Life might not get easier at 30 (pretty sure there’s no magic age for that) but it can definitely get sweeter, feel more inspired, and help you grow more deeply connected to what really matters.

Travel can play a huge role in that. Adventure is a means of self-discovery; as we learn about the world and experience different ways of living in it, we grow more in tune with how our own skills and passions play a role.

While you can take the below trips at an age, doing so before turning 30 might help answer those big “what if” questions that sometimes only a passport stamp can answer.


1. Drive California’s Route 1.

Source: Ian Schneider

The edge of America is a must. Driving along the PCH from LA to San Francisco, with no agenda but stopping to eat foil-wrapped burritos on the beach, can aid in a lot of soul-searching. Or at least, help you prioritize which questions you’d rather answer first.


2. Spend a weekend in NYC.

Source: Garth Pratt

Both coasts should be visited in your 20s, if for no other reason than to check off how different (yet also kind of similar) the east and west can be. No doubt all those rom-coms you watched as a pre-teen planted some seeds for what the Big Apple could be like. Now’s the time to find out.


3. Find a beach and escape the grid.

Source: Annie Reeves

In this technology-soaked age, recharge yourself instead of your phone. Learn to surf and live off the land. Hike a volcano just because you can. Remember how little you actually need and find the clarity that comes with some fresh air.


4. Roam Paris on your own.

Source: @majamalnar

Who says the City of Love is reserved for couples? Paris is for dreamers just as much as it’s for lovers, so give yourself the freedom to wander it at your own pace. Journal in a garden. People-watch at a cafe. Soak up the creativity of generations gone by and leave yourself open to the je ne sais quoi.


5. Volunteer your skills where they’re needed.

We can learn a lot about ourselves when we’re serving others. Your 20s are the perfect time to volunteer abroad, whether it’s in a country you’re passionate about or to put a skill to good use. Learn how traveling can (and maybe should?) be a two-way street.

Check out Global Vision International, International Volunteer HQ and Cross-Cultural Solutions to start.


6. Take that girls’ trip with your best friends.

Before you partner off, settle down or life otherwise pulls you in different directions, push pause on your routine and go exploring with the ones who’ve always had your back. (Bonus points if it’s to somewhere on this list.)


7. Commit to an active vacation.

Source: Gypsea Lust

Cycling in Ireland? Scuba-diving in Fiji? Hiking Mt. Whitney? Challenge yourself (at least once) to an adventure that tests your limits. This is the age to adopt healthy habits for life. If you need running a half-marathon in Greece to finally motivate you, then so be it.


8. Go to Washington D.C. (again).

Sure, you probably visited the capital somewhere between sixth and eighth grade, which is all the more reason why you definitely need to go back as an adult. D.C. takes on a whole new meaning once you’re able to vote, legally take part in its booming cocktail scene, and get inspired by those who are out to change the world.  


9. Harvest wine in Italy.

Source: Lionel Abrial

Not only the is fall one of the best times to visit Italy (really any time is, but that’s beside the point), but its harvest season will give you first-hand appreciation for how one of Italy’s best exports is made. If you can’t get out to an actual vineyard, try to plan a trip around a town’s “Festa dell’uva,” typically held in September.


10. Trace your ancestral roots.

Source: Jon Flobrant

There’s something grounding about knowing where you come from. Going home again – however near or far the “homeland” might be – can often be a cathartic way of sensing how to capitalize on your own timeline. Where did you come from? What stories paved your way? And how can you honor them while evolving at the same time?


Where have you traveled in your 20s? Where would you like to?

  • ‘Becca’lise Deveaux

    I’d love to take a trip like these, but I’m terrified to travel alone! And now that I’m in my 30s with a toddler, I may have missed my chance. Guess I can go when my daughter is grown up and out of the house!

  • Taste of France

    Yes to these. If one hesitates at traveling alone, then one of the volunteer options is a good way to get one’s feet wet. Personally, I did two years in Africa with the Peace Corps (no running water, no electricity, no indoor toilet, spiders as big as my fist). It set me up well for independence, and further travel/adventure.
    But if you don’t want to commit two years, then go somewhere. And not just the big cities. As much as I love Paris, it is as representative of France as New York is of the U.S. Get out to smaller places where you will actually have interactions with the locals. Because that’s what counts.

  • Why before you’re 30? I’m 29, but I don’t think these trips would be any less fun if I visited after I turn 30.

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Marissa, good point! These are definitely trips that can be taken at any age 🙂

  • This is awesome, I’m definitely saving these!

    I hope you have an awesome start to your weekend!

  • Zohra

    I’d love to do Paris on my own, I think it would be an amazing experience – great post! xx


  • Victoria

    Just turned 30 this year so my life is over now! 😉 No, but seriously, in my 20s, I went abroad once and did Cailfornia HWY 1 twice and constantly do #3. Other than that, I’ve got a ton of catching up to do! It was mostly lack of funds that kept me from traveling more (and, not gonna lie, I’ve got a tiny fear of traveling to far distances all alone)

  • I am dying to take a trip to Paris. Everything I see from Europe looks so beautiful!

  • Totally agree to so many of these! While I hit the 30 milestone a few months ago, there are still some on the list I need to complete. However, I’ve managed to do more of these than I thought I would! Some how I’ve only been to DC once in my life, at the age of 10. I went with my Dad and we were only there for a day. I definitely need to go back! I also would love to take a DNA test to determine my family history. While I know my family’s origin on my Mom’s side, my Dad’s Grandfather was adopted and don’t know much of his family’s history.

    Brittany | thechicette.com

  • Madison Grace

    Yes I’m keen to go to New York! Although not by myself, not a fan of travelling alone haha, I’d think I’d feel too lonely! BUT HECK YES TO GOING WITH A GROUP OF GIRLFRIENDS.

    Mads xx
    MY BLOG: http://www.bymybedside.com
    Free cupcakes if you check it out! Jks. Got ya.

  • I wanna be friends with whoever had the money to do this before they turned 30 LOL

    • angie

      Uh yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Not to be a downer, but who can afford all this?

      • Fiona Cordingley

        I’ve done 9/10 but I started early and now live in London so its much easier/ cheaper to do!

  • Thanks so much for sharing my photo! Love this roundup – I’m dying to do Route 1 in Cali!! xx

  • This list is so inspiring. I’m not sure I’ll manage to visit all destinations before I’m 30. But I’m sure that if I visit them after 30, my fascination of these places will not get worse.

  • Definitely yes to these, and yes also to doing road trips anywhere in the world, not just on a US coast! My dad and I did a road-trip through Ireland, and it was so beautiful. I miss it!

    x, T | http://tinymisstyler.com

  • Definitely yes to these, and yes also to doing road trips anywhere in the world, not just on a US coast! My dad and I did a road-trip through Ireland, and it was so beautiful. I miss it!

    x, T | http://tinymisstyler.com

  • Lauren Brendel

    I love The Everygirl and love these trips but I feel your focus is off-base with this piece. Life has no timeline and I feel these headlines or topics perpetuate the misconstrued ideas that some of us struggle to fight every day (marriage, kids, careers, etc). Danielle posted something similar in response to a woman who had commented on one of her Insta posts that having kids in your mid to late 30s was not healthy that I thought was perfect. Can we please stop the “do this before you’re” and the “you shoulds” and instead celebrate every age/stage of life?

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Lauren, thanks so much for this comment! Of course these trips can be taken at any stage of life — whether you’re not 30 yet or beyond 30, it’s the experience that matters. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Fiona Cordingley

    I’ve done all of these bar number 9… looks like a trip to Italy is on the cards within the next year!

  • Driving the 1 has been on my bucket list forever.

  • Theresa

    I really want to go to NYC but its so expensive! How does one travel there on a budget? I recently went to Las Vegas though! Check out my post httsp://theresaannk.wordpress.com

  • I was not in a mental or financial place to do ANY of these kinds of trips before I turned 30…..