It seems like everyone wants to travel the world these days! And for good reason—travel is more accessible than ever before. With budget airlines operating on basically every continent, hostels where you can get a dorm bed for just a few dollars a night in almost any city around the world, and lots of travel blogs dedicated to helping you find the very best deals, traveling is cheaper than ever! That’s why you’ll see so many people in their twenties who just want to travel as far as their dollar can take them. But now that it seems like you have the world at your fingertips, the real question is, well, where to go first?
Deciding on a destination can be the toughest part of traveling! There are so many incredible places to visit all around the world, and there are so many things that can factor into your decisions. Where to begin when it comes to checking items off your bucket list? Well, lucky for you, we have put together the ultimate bucket list for any twenty-something with wanderlust. Here are 30 destinations to visit before turning 30—it’s time to get out and see the world!
30 Swim In The Blue Lagoon In Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is one of those destinations that everyone wants to visit at some point in their lives. According to Lonely Planet, it is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. It is a bit pricey for the entrance fee, but it is well worth the money. You can float in this magical geothermal pool, get spa treatments, and enjoy the views that will make you feel like you’re on a whole new planet.
29 See The Northern Lights In Norway
Seeing the Northern Lights can feel like a gamble—it is technically impossible to plan for, but there a few things you can do to increase your chances of catching this magical sight in person! According to Nomadic Matt, going to northern Norway in mid-winter gives you a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights! Of course, this is not a trip you can pack light for—make sure to bring your warmest sweaters, socks, and jackets to bundle up!
28 Hike To Machu Picchu In Peru
Machu Picchu in Peru is a classic bucket list destination. Millions of tourists visit every single year. However, while you can take a guided tour up by bus, you might want to step things up and hike there instead! According to The Culture Trip, hiking to Machu Picchu is not for the faint of heart, and you do have to book it with a guide a few months in advance—but it is also a once in a lifetime experience.
27 Go On A Wildlife Safari In Kenya
Going on a wildlife safari in Kenya is an experience like no other. This country is home to incredible animals like giraffes, lions, cheetahs, and many more. According to Trip Savvy, Kenya is one of the best destinations in Africa to book a safari trip. You will be able to spend time on nature reserves with an experienced local guide, who can show you these amazing animals in their natural habitat. It is a trip you will remember for a lifetime.
26 Go Camping At Yosemite In California
Yosemite National Park in central California is one of America’s most beautiful national parks. It is the perfect destination if you are taking a road trip out west. According to Travel Fish, this national park has countless acres of pure wilderness, but there are also plenty of designated camping areas. You can enjoy days of hiking, swimming in the rivers, exploring the woods, and hanging out with new friends that you meet at your campsite. Plus, the photo ops are unbeatable!
25 Take A Cruise Through Ha Long Bay In Vietnam
Ha Long Bay is one of the most popular destinations in all of Vietnam, and the views are truly unreal. According to Lonely Planet, the best way to see Ha Long Bay is by booking a cruise that technically begins in Hanoi—the tour guides will bus you to the port, where you will get on your cruise ship and spend two days and one night sailing through the bay! We can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend!
24 Take A Tour Of The Pyramids in Egypt
You may have dreamed about visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza since you were a child. Great news—you can make that dream come true and discover the best that Egypt has to offer. According to the travel blog Alex in Wanderland, the best way to see the pyramids is by booking a guided tour. You will get a lot more education out of it this way, and you will not have to worry about navigating through the city of Cairo!
23 Visit The Grand Canyon In Arizona
If you have ever considered visiting the Grand Canyon in Arizona, now is the time to turn that wish into a plan! The Grand Canyon is a destination that will never disappoint. The sight of it in person is truly stunning. According to The Culture Trip, the Grand Canyon can get up to 18 miles wide at some points! Doesn’t that sound crazy? Well, you will just have to go and see it for yourself sometime—time to book that flight!
22 Walk Along The Great Wall Of China
You may have heard that it is possible to see the Great Wall of China from space. Unfortunately, we hate to break the news that this is an exaggeration—but that’s okay, because the sight of it in person is spectacular enough! According to China Highlights, the Great Wall can get very crowded, but it is still worth the trip—it was built more than 2,300 years ago, and it is over 13,000 miles long! It sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it?
21 Dive In The Great Barrier Reef
If a real diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef sounds just a little too intimidating, you could always go snorkeling instead! Either way, this world famous reef is truly an incredible sight, and it should definitely be on your list of dream destinations! According to The New York Times, some parts of the reef are struggling due to pollution, but if you are a responsible tourist, your money will go towards helping the reef stay protected—it’s for a good cause!
20 See Cambodia’s Angkor Wat At Sunrise
Cambodia may seem like an exotic destination, but the truth is that this country is opening up to more and more tourists, and it is a perfectly safe place to visit with many wonderful attractions and comfortable places to stay. According to UNESCO, the temples of Angkor Wat are one of the most incredible sights in Cambodia. You can get a pass to spend three days visiting these temples and learning all about Cambodian culture and this country’s rich history.
19 Play With The Elephants At A Sanctuary In Thailand
We can’t say enough good things about visiting an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. It definitely should be on the itinerary for anyone who is lucky enough to visit this amazing country! According to Matador Network, you will definitely want to do a little investigating beforehand to make sure that you choose one where the elephants are treated very well. You will get to play with the elephants, feed them, and even bathe them! These creatures are just friendly, gentle giants.
18 Ride A Camel In The Sahara Desert
Did you know that it is actually surprisingly easy to visit the Sahara Desert? It is fairly accessible from the city of Marrakech, Morocco. According to the travel blog Never Ending Footsteps, one of the easiest ways to get to the Sahara is by flying into Marrakech and then booking a guided tour that leaves from the city. The local guides will take you into the desert on camels, and you can even book a multi-day tour to spend the night!
17 Take A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Cappadocia, Turkey
Ever seen those photos on Instagram of girls who are surrounded by hot air balloons in the desert and wondered, “Wait a second, where on earth is that!?” Well, mystery solved—this is Cappadocia, a region of Turkey famous for the hot air balloons flown every day! According to The Blog Abroad, this is definitely a trip to do as a couple if possible—just imagine taking a romantic hot air balloon ride with the love of your life above Turkey!
16 Swim With Whale Sharks In Mexico
Swimming with whale sharks might sound impossible, but it is actually totally doable—if you’ve got the skills! While we definitely wouldn’t recommend this activity to everyone—obviously, you will have to train for diving if this is a goal of yours—for those who are prepared, it can be truly magical. According to Expert Vagabond, off the coast of Mexico near Isla Holbox is one of the best places to swim with whale sharks. Can’t dive? Just hang on the beach!
15 Take The Stairs To The Top Of The Empire State Building
Have you ever seen a photo of the New York City skyline and thought to yourself, “Wow, I would love to see this view in person?” Well, this is why millions of people climb to the top of the Empire State Building every year. According to NYC Go, it is one of the most popular destinations in New York! But don’t just take the elevator to the top—to get the full experience, take the stairs if you can do it!
14 Float In The Dead Sea In Israel
Swimming in the Dead Sea is not like taking a dip in the ocean—you will be amazed at how different it feels! According to Slate, it is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth. Therefore, when you go swimming in it, you will float easily! This can actually make swimming properly quite difficult. That just means you’ll want to spend your time floating and relaxing instead! There is nowhere else on earth quite like the Dead Sea.
13 Ride The Glacier Express In Switzerland
The Glacier Express is no ordinary train! The name says it all—this train goes straight through the mountains of Switzerland, and the views are unmatched. Switzerland is a country full of natural beauty and untouched wilderness, and according to The Culture Trip, taking a ride on the Glacier Express is one of the best ways to see it all from the comfort of a cozy, warm cabin. If you want the scenic route through Switzerland, hop on the Glacier Express!
12 Go Surfing In Hawaii
This one is a no-brainer for your dream vacation list! And here’s the best part—you don’t actually have to be a surf champ to catch a couple waves in Hawaii. Nope, according to Lonely Planet, there are plenty of beaches with small breaks where even total novices can give it a try. And even better, there are tons of local surf teachers who will happily take you out on the water and give you a surf to lesson!
11 Visit The Cliffs Of Moher In Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher is one of those destinations that just look too good to be true. Seriously, standing near the edge of these cliffs will give you a thrill like no other. According to Matador Network, Ireland is one of the friendliest, safest countries on the planet, so even if you don’t have a travel buddy, it is easy to link up with a welcoming tour group and head out to the cliffs with some of your new friends!
10 See The Tortoises On The Galapagos Islands
You probably learned about the Galapagos Islands back in your elementary school science classes. Getting there can be a bit of a long journey, but trust us, it is worth the extra time and effort! According to Travel and Leisure, you will need to catch a flight into Ecuador first, and then you will get your connecting flight to the islands. When you arrive, you can either stay in a hotel or on a boat that will cruise around the islands!
9 Cruise Along The Alaskan Coastline
Taking a trip to Alaska is an incredible way to see some of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the whole United States. This state is enormous, so no matter what you want to do, you will be able to find it here. According to Travel Alaska, the best time to visit is over the summer so that you get maximum daylight. Taking a cruise along the Alaskan coastline is a great way to visit many different destinations across the state.
8 Explore The Ruins Of Petra, Jordan
The “city” of Petra in Jordan is a very unique destination—there are not many places in the world like it! According to UNESCO, this city is basically collection of homes and temples carved into rocks, where people used to live and work. There are a few native families that do live there to this day, but this is quite rare, and it is mainly just a historic site now. It should definitely be on your “before 30” travel itinerary!
7 Play With The Swimming Pigs At Pig Beach, Bahamas
Can you think of a better way to spend a beach day than swimming with some friendly pigs? It may sound a little strange, but you’ve got to admit that it seems like fun! According to Travel and Leisure, “Pig Beach” is an uninhabited island populated solely by pigs in Exumas, a chain of islands in the Bahamas. However, tourists are welcome to come stay on the island and even go for a swim with the pigs—they love people!
6 Spend A Day At The Taj Mahal In India
The Taj Mahal is one of the seven modern wonders of the world—is it any surprise that so many people want to visit every single year? According to Cultural India, the Taj Mahal is actually a tomb that was commissioned by an emperor centuries ago for his wife. It is located in the city of Agra, and you can visit on your own, as part of a tour of India, or stay in Agra and visit with a local guide.
5 Go Exploring In Canada’s Banff National Park
Banff National Park in Canada has been getting a lot of positive buzz over the past couple years! Although this park has always been a beautiful destination, more and more people are visiting now, so we recommend going as soon as possible! According to Lonely Planet, this enormous park is the perfect place to visit in the summer—those Canadian winters can be quite cold and harsh, so it is best to go when you can enjoy some sunshine outdoors!
4 Snorkel At The Blue Hole In Belize
If you love to snorkel and dive, you’re in luck—we have another amazing destination for you to add to your list! Belize is becoming a bigger tourist destination every year, and divers from all over the world flock to the Blue Hole, which is an impressive dive spot with plenty of marine life. According to Belize Adventure, it is one of the biggest submarine sink holes on the planet, and if you’re lucky, you may even see some sharks!
3 Visit The Villages Of Italy’s Cinque Terre
Honestly, going anywhere in Italy is an incredible experience—the culture, the language, the history, and the food combined make for an amazing trip no matter where you end up! But the villages along the Cinque Terre are a must-see for any twenty-something traveler. According to Lonely Planet, there are five fishing towns along this route, and if you are feeling ambitious, you can even hike the whole thing! Just bring some sturdy boots and be ready to push yourself!
2 Go Skiing In The Mountains Of Chile
Many people dream about going skiing in the Alps one day—and there’s no denying that this is an amazing experience. However, there are other unbelievable ski destinations around the world where you can really test your limits and get an adrenaline rush. According to Trip Savvy, Chile is actually an amazing place to go skiing! The mountains are beautiful. Why not catch a flight down to one of South America’s coolest destinations and see what the buzz is all about?
1 Stay In Chefchaouen, The Blue City Of Morocco
We’ve got to let you in on one more Moroccan destination—looks like this country is a great place to visit overall! According to Travel and Leisure, the “Blue City” of Morocco, Chefchaouen, is a must-visit on any Moroccan excursion. You can wander through the blue-washed buildings of this historic city, visit the markets, and try some amazing Moroccan food. And look, to be quite honest, can you imagine how amazing your Instagram will look if you visit here?
References: lonelyplanet.com, nomadicmatt.com, theculturetrip.com, tripsavvy.com, travelfish.com, alexinwanderland.com, chinahighlights.com, thenewyorktimes.com, unesco.com, matadornetwork.com, neverendingfootsteps.com, theblogabroad.com, expertvagabond.com, nycgo.com, slate.com, travelandleisure.com, travelalaska.com, culturalindia.com, belizeadventure.com