Looking for some of the best trips to take? More and more 30 somethings are prioritizing travel time amidst the busy family time and career-building. You’re older and wiser. And hopefully more financially secure. Where to travel now that you’ve got your life together? (Relatively-speaking, of course.) Here are 10 trips that deliver the perfect mix of excitement, intrigue, adventure, luxury, and most importantly—fun!—from an off-the-grid getaway in Alaska to a bucket-list safari in Africa.
- Costa Rica
Cheap travel and world-class swells brought you to Costa Rica in your twenties. Now, experience some of the country’s more grown-up pleasures—namely, its jaw-dropping natural scenery, inspired cuisine, and wellness-focused attractions—at the adults-only Oxygen Jungle Villas. The boutique hotel is nestled within a plot of protected Costa Rican rainforest and perched above the Pacific Ocean, so you truly feel like you’re living in the wild. You’ll spend your days lounging in your Balinese-style villa, going on countless outdoor excursions (hiking, whale watching, scuba diving), and exploring the restaurants and storefronts of neighboring town Ojochal.
2. Lanserhof Tegernsee, Bavaria
Vacation days—and we mean real vacation days, sans work and family commitments—are hard to come by in your thirties. Which is why it’s important to truly relax, re-center, and recharge when you do get a few days to yourself. Enter the legendary Lanserhof Tegernsee detox resort in the Bavarian Alps. Here, spa-goers are retaught how to chew and sleep, forced to cut sugar and alcohol from their diets, and if the specialists deem it necessary, subjected to futuristic medical evaluations including sleep assessments. The amenities make up for the rigors of the program: we’re talking an 18-course golf course, a saltwater swimming pool, nightly classical music concerts and a monastically beautiful setting (all glass and stone and embowered by the forest).
- Stockholm, Sweden
Your thirties are all about cultivating a distinctive sense of taste and style. And in Stockholm, you’ll have world-class museums, galleries, design stores, and concept boutiques at your fingertips. A few must-stops: Sven Harrys-Art Museum, a slick new art space that houses the private collection of collector Sven-Harry Karlsson; Malmstenbutiken, a storied Swedish brand known for its furniture and textile designs; and hotel At Six, a boutique high-rise with an art collection that includes big names like Sol Le Witt and Jaume Plensa.
- Amalfi Coast
You’ve dreamt about Amalfi’s pastel-hued villages, cobbled streets, and cerulean waters for as long as you can remember. Now that you have disposable income to spend and (hopefully) more vacation days, it’s time to make those dreams a reality. Stay in Amalfi at the five-start Hotel Santa Caterina, set in a 19th-century, liberty-style villa above the sea. When you’re not lounging by the private pool or the beach club, explore the town’s charming maze of narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, precipitous steps, and bustling piazza.
- Sri Lanka
If you’re celebrating a big anniversary or birthday, there’s no better place to do so than Sri Lanka. The exotic island offers out-of-this-world Indian Ocean coastlines, lush tropical vegetation, elephant-filled national parks, and plenty of luxury resorts like the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, spread across a 21-acre former coconut plantation on the southernmost coast of Sri Lanka. Splurge on a private villa—which comes with a private plunge pool, expansive deck, butler pantry, tiled rainfall shower—and you may never want to leave your guest room. But we’d recommend peeling yourself away for at least a few hours to indulge at an authentic Ayrvedic treatment at the spa, learn the ropes of Sri Lankan cooking at Anatara’s popular Spice Spoons Cooking school, or take part in a traditional high-tea service.
With age comes wisdom—plus, an affinity for the finer things in life. And at Chile’s Viña Vik Hotel, a design-forward retreat and spa located two hours from Santiago, in Chile’s Millahue Valley, you’ll find plenty of amenities that will appeal to your refined tastes. We’re talking an award-winning spa, infinity pool, two restaurants, and high-design guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, original artwork, and curvilinear furniture (an homage to the property’s undulating titanium rooftop). Want to get outside and take in some of that jaw-dropping scenery? There are seven horses on standby that can whisk you around the property’s vineyard.
There will come a time in your thirties when you just need to get away from it all (the job, the bills, the responsibilities) with a back-to-nature trip. And for this kind of escapist getaway, we’d recommend Alaska—a land of impenetrable forests, vast tundras, towering glaciers, and some of the world’s most awe-inspiring animals. To see the region’s wildlife up close and personal, hop on a guided glacier or wildlife walk with Salmon Berry Tours, where you might spot Dall sheep, mountain goats, and caribou as you explore the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. Then it’s on to the Kenai Fjords National Park, the smallest national park in Alaska, to see The Harding Icefield (almost 714 square miles of ice up to a mile thick) and Resurrection Bay. Make your home base The Hotel Alyeska, a rustic mountain lodge with direct access to hiking and biking trails.
- Shanghai, China
It can be easy to fall into a bit of a vacation rut in your thirties, returning to the same hotels and destinations over and over again. To rediscover your love of travel—and immerse yourself in an intoxicating foreign environment—pack your bags for Shanghai. The cosmopolitan city has it all: sleek skyscrapers, high-end shopping, innovative restaurants, and cultural landmarks, from the French Concession and Nanshi to the riverfront Bund. Check into The Puli Hotel and Spa, a serene urban hideaway with a central address in city’s Jing’An district and Zen vibe.
9. Douro Valley, Portugal
You did Lisbon and Porto in your twenties. Now, it’s time to see a different side of Portugal by spending some time in Douro Valley—a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards the blanket steep mountainsides, with the majestic Douro River as the centerpiece. Visit the historic Six Senses, a 19th-century manor house restored for the 21st century by New York-based firm Clodagh Design. Guests can unwind with treatments in the spa. Take a break from your education in viniculture at the property’s magnificent infinity-edge pool, which looks out over the winding river.
If you’ve been to Canada, chances are it wasn’t to Newfoundland. The sleepy Atlantic Canadian province doesn’t exactly have the uh, international appeal as cities like Montreal or Toronto. What it does have? Quaint fishing villages, arctic wildlife, jaw-droppingly beautiful national parks, and plenty of Maritime charm—all things you likely have more of an appreciation for now that’s you’re older. Start your adventure in the capital city of St. John’s, a colorful little town with steep streets and clapboard houses. Then hit the road in the direction of Fogo Island. The tiny, salt-tanged isle offers fewer than a dozen restaurants and cafes, but makes up for it with a burgeoning art scene and plenty of design-forward accommodations—like the 29-room Fogo Island Inn.