You begin to feel wanderlust symptoms in your early 20s. One memorable trip and you’ll realize that you’re hooked and you’ll understand why there’s much more to life that what’s in your own backyard.
Whether you’re looking to travel somewhere romantic, to experience new cultures, or simply just for fun, we’ve put together a bucket list of essential travel experiences to seek out before you turn 30.
So grab your best friend, significant other, or go by yourself and get travelling — your adventure awaits.
Paris is always a good idea and it’s easily the most charming and romantic city in the world. Take in the mesmerizing beauty of the Eiffel Tower, stroll through the Tuileries Garden, eat some of the finest foods from around the world, and shop to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to stop by a Parisian boulangerie to pick up a fresh croissant or baguette.
Of all the tropical islands in the world, there’s no better place to take in a sunset than Bali. If you’re looking for a more laid-back vacation you can stay in Sanur,, or if you’re looking for a more lavish getaway stay on the Bukit Peninsula. Spend your days visiting the many beaches, surfing, diving, and exploring the hillside temples. Finish your evenings off with a romantic sunset dinner where you can take in Bali’s jaw-dropping views and amazing natural landscapes.
The contrast of the aged buildings with the deep turquoise canals creates a truly incredible sight. Take a romantic gondola ride down the intimate canals as you take in the kaleidoscope of colours of the surrounding buildings. Make sure to dine somewhere with outdoor seating along the water so you can take in the beauty of the city from a different point of view.
Turks and Caicos
No matter your idea of the perfect vacation, Turks and Caicos has something for you. You can charter a boat for you and your significant other to one of the islands where you will be the only two on the beach, go on an ATV tour and explore the dusty back roads and white sandy beaches, or spend your day on the water and try your hand at paddle-boarding, kayaking, snorkelling, or swimming.
It’s easy to get swept away by Buenos Aires’ colourful nightlife and diverse culture, which is why it’s an ideal place to visit with a special someone. Argentina boasts some of the finest restaurants and boutiques, so you’ll never have a problem finding something to do. The neighbourhood of Palermo features acres of beautiful parks that are ideal for long walks or sunset picnics. You can dance the night away at one of the city’s popular clubs, take in a cabaret performance, or go to the opera or ballet.
This Hawaiian island is known for its pristine beauty and is the perfect destination for true nature lovers. Spend your days exploring waterfalls in Haleakala National Park, hitting the surf for an unforgettable windsurfing, surfing or snorkelling session, and driving the scenic road to Hana along the island’s northeastern shore.
With stunning mountains, natural hot springs, and whale watching available, St. Lucia makes an excellent destination for a romantic getaway. Couples can spend their days sunbathing on the beach, scuba diving, or soaking in a hot tub that overlooks the sapphire ocean.
A popular East Coast vacation destination, Newport, Rhode Island is a mansion-strewn coastal town that is just as idyllic in the winter as it is in the summer. Plan a weekend trip to one of the unique hotels, lodges, and inns where you can rejuvenate with spa treatments, try the incredible food, and go on romantic walks with a breathtaking view.
In addition to the truly beautiful scenery, this small area of Northern California boasts some of the world’s best wine and food. Spend your days strolling hand-in-hand with your special someone through the many vineyards, experiencing local and international foods, and exploring downtown Napa to see the fine art and sculptures that make up the Napa Art Walk.
This charming French-Canadian city is an ideal travel spot for couples year-round. In the warmer months, you can explore the eclectic galleries and shops and check out some of the cultural festivals that take place throughout the city. In the winter, you take in the snow-covered streets, dine at one of the many romantic restaurants, or cuddle up next to a fireplace.
There’s no better way to get a taste of a country or city’s culture than participating in its traditions and celebrations. So if you’re looking to experience culture and fun, head to Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich. This folk festival is one of the largest parties in the world and one of the few places where eating yourself into a bratwurst coma is socially acceptable.
For millennial travellers who are looking to get the best bang for their buck, Thailand definitely fits the bill. In Bangkok, you’ll be blown away by the palaces and temples, food offered by street vendors, and the floating market, which is truly a site to see. From the inexpensive shopping to amazing hotel rooms boasting unbeatable prices, this is a city you’ll want to visit time and time again.
Machu Picchu, Peru
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this Incan citadel is definitely one spot that you’ll want to visit in your 20s while you have the energy and good enough knees to scale up the Andes Mountain. Explore the abandoned cities, sand board down the Cerro Blanco sand dune, and enjoy the eclectic cuisine scene, and dine at some of Peru’s most unique restaurants. Chez Wong is always a popular dining choice.
Easily one of the most culturally stimulating Italian cities, Florence is full of so much energy and history it needs to be at the top of your travel bucket list. Spend your days wandering the narrow cobblestone streets as you take in the breathtaking architecture that has hardly changed since the Renaissance, or visiting one of the city’s historical landmarks like the iconic Duomo or the Leonardo da Vinci Museum for a taste of Florence’s rich history.
This is a culinary hotspot that all foodies need to check out at least once in their life. Here you can go on an exotic food tour where you’ll be able to try local flavours you won’t be able to find anywhere else, or try an authentic cooking class at one of the many tourist cooking schools found throughout the city.
Spend your days checking out the eclectic marketplaces where your dollar will go a long way, exploring the mosques and palaces, and dining on local foods that are so flavourful you’ll be able to smell the spices and herbs before your dish is placed in front of you. Finish your trip with either a camel ride through the Sahara Desert or a hot air balloon ride above the city streets — giving you a different perspective of the land.
This well-preserved city is full of beautiful landmarks like the historical Prague Castle. Other stops include the chapels and cellars, Gothic cathedrals, Baroque palaces, and gardens. Prague is also an art lover’s paradise with an abundance of street art and statues lining the cobblestone streets and promenades.
Often referred to as one of the friendliest cities in Sweden, Gothenburg is known for its incredible food, beautiful people, and stunning views. Gothenburg also has quite a creative side, spawning artists and musicians alike. Make sure to check out one of the great street food trucks and go for a stroll along the picturesque waterways where you can take in the elegant architecture.
Cuba is a country that appears to be frozen in time, which is why it’s bursting with rich culture, immaculate cuisine, history, and plenty of vintage cars. You can spend your days strolling through Old Havana, eating authentic Cuban sandwiches, and checking out the city’s many museums and churches. Make sure to swing by Tropicana Nightclub, a world-known cabaret on the outskirts of Havana.
Known for its world-renowned art museums, vibrant nightlife, important historical monuments, and unique architecture, Amsterdam is a culturally stimulating city that is a wonderland for young professionals. Spend your days exploring the city by bike, wander the canals, tour one of the many breweries, and take in some of the world’s most iconic pieces of art at the Rijksmuseum (State Museum).
Yacht Week, Croatia
If you’re looking for fun in the sun, head to Croatia for a seven-day summertime party on the Adriatic Sea. Book a yacht for 6-12 of your closest friends and sail along the coast to explore different islands and hidden travel gems with your skipper acting as your own personal tour guide. In the evening, your yacht will dock and you and your friends can check out live music and dance the night away.
Sin City is not only the entertainment capital of the world, it’s also home to many of the largest hotels and casinos on the planet. Whether you’re in town for two days or a week, you’ll be blown away by the impressive shopping, dining, and nightlife options. Always remember to give yourself at least one extra recovery day before heading back to work because there are very few things more painful than a Las Vegas hangover.
This sun-drenched Mediterranean isle is the best place to visit if you’re into house and dance music. The party scene is in full force in Ibiza Town and Sant Antoni, and during the day the party spills out onto fabulous white sand beaches studded with cafes and bars. In the evening, you’ll find a string of world-famous super clubs that bring in leading DJs from around the world lined up along the beach.
This coastal city is bursting with beautiful people and just so happens to be one of the most visited cities in the world. The weather is amazing all year round and there are literally hundreds of great things to check out, from the museums and art galleries to the impressive nightlife scene, and incredible dining options, which feature trailblazing local chefs and authentic Latin American cuisine.
If you’re interested in partying in paradise, make your way to Mykonos, Greece’s party island. Known for its sandy beaches and diverse nightlife options, Mykonos’ party scene focuses mainly on beach bars rather than clubs, yet a number of notable clubs can be found throughout the island.
There’s really no better place in the world to spend your twenties than New York City, full of nightlife, non-stop adrenaline, and delicious food. Here you’ll be able to party until 4 a.m., dine at some of the world’s most unique restaurants, and experience what it’s like to live in a city that never sleeps.
This is the ideal spot for music lovers who are interested in experiencing Southern hospitality, unbelievable cuisine, and a boundless spectrum of nightlife options. Make sure to check out Music Row and visit historic RCA Studio B, the famous recording studio where Elvis recorded over 200 songs. When the sun goes down, make your way to Honky Tonk Highway where countless country bars will be playing the hottest live music.
Tropical beaches, extraordinary wildlife, a diversity of landscapes, and adventurous activities are plentiful in this Central American country. This is the perfect travel spot for adventure seekers who are looking to stay busy while hanging out in the warm Costa Rican sun. Make sure to check out the white-water rafting, forest zip-lining, hiking near an active volcano, ATVing through the mountains, and surfing in the small surf town of Nosara off of Costa Rica’s Atlantic coast.
Spend your afternoons lounging on the beach, strolling the cobblestone streets, and admiring the city’s surreal architecture. When the sun begins to set, start your evening with sunset drinks from a panoramic terrace, and as darkness falls, live music will begin to transform the city. Towards midnight, the bars fill and you can check out the countless taverns and plush lounges throughout the city centre. If you’re still standing at 3 a.m., check out some of Barcelona’s clubs that are usually open until well past sunrise.
Rio De Janeiro
Rio is known for its sublime natural setting and exuberant culture, which is why it needs to be at the top of your travel bucket list. Spend your day lounging in the hot sun on Copacabana Beach, enjoy a cold beverage from one of the alfresco bars lining its promenade, or take a scenic ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain for the view from the stunning Christ the Redeemer statue.