Looking for an incredible destination to celebrate your 30th birthday? I have some of the most epic destinations that you should consider. Having traveled all over the world both as career and for pleasure, I am confident any of these destinations would be perfect.
Do not fear entering your 30’s. You are probably more established than you were entering your 20’s, you have better taste and your budget is larger, which means it can take you further. So skip the hostels and shared dorms and go all out for yourself.
Of the destinations I selected, which are some of my favorite in the world – they are not all party destinations. However, a party is what you make it. It’s your birthday – celebrate how you want!
I would recommend before picking a destination, consider when you will be traveling as some destinations may not offer desirable weather at that time.
Best 30th Birthday Travel Destinations
Greece is fantastic and has something for everyone! Whether you want to stay on mainland Greece and visit Athens and the like OR island hop, it will be incredible. There is a ton of outstanding things to do in Greece that should not be missed.
If you have time, I highly recommend island hopping and then visiting Athens either on your way in or out of the country. You can visit a few of the major attractions in Athens easily in one or two days, no problem.
Deciding on which islands to visit may get harder. The two most visited islands that are popular are Mykonos and Santorini. Both of these islands are really popular on social media and people flock there all summer. The most popular hotel chain on both islands is Cavo Tagoo. You cannot escape social media from May/June-September without seeing these famous hotels. Which also means: you need to book in advance!
I strongly believe Mykonos is the better island if you are looking to party and Santorini is a bit more relaxed. However, both islands are beautiful and I am confident you would have an amazing time at both or one.
Here are some of the best things to do in Santorini:
Best things to do in Mykonos:
Best things to do in Athens:
2. Bora Bora
Bora Bora will mostly likely be the most expensive destination on this list, but arguably the most beautiful, in my opinion. There isn’t a ton of options for overwater bungalows (less than 10 resorts), so narrowing down where to stay will be pretty easy.
My personal favorites are the Four Seasons and St Regis. If you are planning to have a group with you, I can’t stress enough that getting a land villa at either of these properties is the best way to go. I have stayed in overwater villas all over the world, and the land villas at these two resorts are my preferred way to visit here. Plus, you can stay together in multi room villas.
I have also stayed at the Conrad and Le Bora Bora. I like both properties and they are both unique, but I prefer Four Seasons and St Regis. Although I do want to stress, if you don’t want to full splurge in Bora Bora – I have found Le Bora Bora to be more budget friendly and the land villas at Conrad as well.
If you have never stayed in an overwater villa and that is your dream, then do not skip it.
If you want the best opportunity for great weather, which I would stress should be important because this is going to be expensive for all parties involved, I would visit June-September. You can look at some of the best times to visit and make a decision from there.
When it comes to things to do in Bora Bora, a lot of people think it is just a beach in paradise. It can be if you want it to be, but there is so much more to do than sit at the pool or beach.
Here are my top picks of things not to miss:
Iceland is for the people looking to do something different but equally iconic. Iceland is great year round. In the winter, you have opportunities for the Northern Lights and in the summer its much warmer and long days of sunlight, making exploring easier.
There is no Uber in Iceland, but if you plan to stay in Reykjavik, it is pretty walkable and you can always get a taxi. Alternatively, you could rent a car. Gas is very expensive so I would recommend planning for that especially if you plan to do big road trips around the country.
Alternatively, and this is my preference and makes things easier, you could just arrange tours who provide transportation to the places you want to visit. Tours can sometimes be boring but I loved every single tour I have taken in Iceland.
When I was in Iceland in 2017, my best friend and I stayed in a penthouse airbnb that was superb. The property has 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms and could easily accommodate six people. What I loved was the location. You could easily walk around Reykjavik, great restaurants all around and the tour picks up and flybus drop offs were right there. So we never had to venture far.
Top things not to miss in Iceland:
4. Charlottesville, Virginia
If you love wine but don’t want to go to California, please consider Charlottesville, Virginia. Virginia has over 250+ wineries and the Charlottesville wineries are part of the Monticello Wine Trail. Personally, I think some of the best Virginia wines come from this mountainous region.
There is an airport that services the region, but you will need a vehicle or a driver to get around. I think if you are doing a vineyard trip and planning to drink, hiring one of the local companies to transport you is the way to go.
There is a variety of lodging in the area. My personal favorite is The Clifton. This is a boutique property but plenty of space for friends and family planning to travel with you. The best time to visit the area is the summer months and I highly recommend planning in advance because it does sell out.
If you want to stay outside the city, you could head to Wintergreen Resort and rent a large home for everyone to stay in. They have a fantastic spa and there is a number of wineries, cideries and breweries in the area.
Some of my favorite vineyards not to miss:
King’s Family – on Sunday’s in the summer they have polo matches and make sure to they their “Crose”
Pippin Hill – If you want a unique dining experience, book a private Vintner’s Table. The food and wine pairings are sensational
Early Mountain Vineyards
Cider + Beer:
Bold Rock Cidery
Starr Hill Brewery
Veritas Vineyard and Winery
5. Key West and The Florida Keys
Stretching over 180 miles and with 800 keys, narrowing down a trip could be challenging, but I got you.
With the TV show Siesta Key having so much popularity, a lot of visitors do flock there, but there is so much more to The Keys. If you are looking for a true all-inclusive in the USA, the only two in existence are Club Med Sandpiper Bay and The Bungalows. Club Med is family friendly. but The Bungalows is adult only. Something to consider there if that is a factor.
There are many fantastic properties along The Keys. For a once in a lifetime splurge, consider Little Palm Island Resort and Spa. You have to take a boat to get there and it is on its own private island. Depending on how many people are in your party, you may be able to take over the entire property.
One of my favorite road trips in the USA is the drive from Miami to Key West. You could essentially stop at various Keys and stay overnight or just do activities. There are a lot of ways to manage this type of trip.
Alternatively, you could just fly into Key West (or drive) and spend your time there. Some of the best resorts there include: Ocean Key Resort, Oceans Edge and Opal Key Resort.
Arguably Key West is known for their Key Lime Pie. Make sure and try plenty of it.
Top things not to miss in Key West:
6. Los Cabos, Mexico
Arguably one of my favorite escapes, Los Cabos in my opinion is better than Cancun and caters to the beyond 18 crowd. You will find much nicer resorts, incredible private villa rentals and amazing food and nightlife.
If you are looking for an excellent spa day, I highly recommend the spa at Zadun or JW Los Cabos. Both are absolutely incredible and stunning sanctuaries to wind down. I remember walking into both of them and being absolutely blown away.
My favorite resorts are: Zadun (you could rent out their multi-bedroom penthouse and throw a party), JW Los Cabos and Viceroy (also has multi-bedroom villas). Solaz is my other pick but they are currently closed with an anticipated opening date of September/October 2022.
Top things not to miss in Los Cabos:
Dubai is a city of extraordinary experiences. I don’t think I have ever seen so much money on display in my life, and its not in a tacky way. The city has blown up so much over the last couple decades and offers a lot of unique experiences.
If you want to go big, book a room at the self proclaimed only seven star resort, Burj Al Arab. You may recognize it as the resort shaped like a sailboat on its own island. It is very luxe and the price tag follows. However, you can get multi bedroom rooms and suites, which makes housing a birthday group easier.
If your goal is to have nonstop fun, I would recommend Atlantis Dubai. The waterpark alone will keep you busy for days. But there are so many sides to Dubai and it is hard to pack everything in. I spent nearly two weeks in Dubai and barely scratched the surface.
I would recommend going in with a plan, have some tours booked that are “must-do” sights for your trip and then go with the flow.
Dubai is big on brunch on Friday’s. Don’t question, just go with it. I highly recommend picking something in advance (and there is a never-ending flow of options) and making a reservation.
I would book here for a round trip airport transportation. It is so much easier to have someone waiting for you on arrival.
Top things not to miss in Dubai:
8. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is far, but Bali is also incredible. I remember going to Bali solo and loving it, so I know how much more fun it would have been with friends, family or significant other for my 30th birthday!
The nice thing about Bali is that it can be very affordable compared to prices in the USA, Caribbean and Europe. For example: you could rent an entire villa with a private chef and multiple bedrooms and a pool for less than $1500 a week on Airbnb! That is a substantial savings for lodging. Plus, food is budget friendly and you can get massages around $5 an hour.
There are a lot of things to do in Bali, and a lot of great places to stay in Bali – so narrowing it down can get tricky just because there is a lot of great options. Just go with what feels right for your group.
A lot of people think of Bali as two regions: the beach and the jungle. From personal experience, I think you would enjoy splitting your stay between Ubud and a beach town like Canggu or Jimbaran. You get the best of both worlds and it is not hard to switch places.
One of the top day trip destinations is to the Gili Islands – you can grab a fast boat in the morning and enjoy the day or stay. There’s a few destinations you could add on for a multi-day trip that are popular in the area: Komodo Island (you can see Komodo dragons!!) and you could take a three day trip to Gili.
One thing you will want to do in Bali is the floating breakfast ad the bath or spa filled with flowers. It started here and has become an iconic experience (as displayed on Instagram). While the floating breakfast seems not practical, its actually pretty cool. You just need to shoot photos quickly and eat.
I would also recommend booking a private airport transfer before arrival so everything is ready upon your arrival.
Top things not to miss in Bali:
Instagram Highlights Tour – visits most famous places on the gram
9. Nassau, Bahamas
If you are based on the east coast in the USA, the Bahamas is one of the easiest tropical destinations to visit outside the country. I believe the flight from Miami to Nassau is about 30 minutes, which isn’t bad at all.
What I love about Nassau is that there is something for every kind of traveler. If you want to do a couples all-inclusive, you have Sandals. If you want something exciting for everyone to enjoy (and offers varying levels of rooms and price points for all budgets) you can stay at Atlantis. Personally, I love Atlantis. Even at almost 40, I find it to be exciting and equally relaxing. The casino is amazing, the food is great ( I love FISH by Jose Andres), Aquaventure waterpark is a thrill of fun, and there is so much to do on property.
One of my favorite bars to visit for a nonstop party is Senor Frogs. If you and your group want to go all in on a party – that is where I would recommend.
You can book a private transfer before you arrive to make the transition easy.
Top things not to miss in the Bahamas:
Often Maldives is viewed as a honeymoon destination, but I assure you, it is for everyone. So whether you want to celebrate with your significant other, family and friends or even if you have kids – it is worth the trip.
Depending on time of year when you go, where you stay and what type of room you decide on, your overall costs will reflect that. One thing I do want to note is that there are a few all-inclusive resorts and if you don’t want to be shocked by your bill at the end, I would consider this route. Food and drinks can be extremely expensive. If you are set on a resort, you can always ask them for their menus with prices so you know what you are looking at on average.
I remember doing extensive research before visiting and there are endless options in the Maldives on resorts, room types, etc. You could rent a big water or land villa with multiple bedrooms for everyone to stay together, everyone could book their own rooms or however you want to stay. One thing I do want to note, most of the resorts are on their own island – so you will all need to book at the same resort if you plan to see each other.
The Maldives is very interesting as it is not like say Jamaica, where all the resorts are on one island. All the resorts here are spread out on over 100+ islands. The only way to get to these resorts is by speedboat or seaplane, and you almost never have the choice. If the resort is far from the airport, you will need to take a seaplane.
This type of trip can get expensive, I highly recommend looking out for all-inclusive deals from companies like VIP Traveler (I have used them to go to Maldives twice) and TravelZoo (I have used them for various travel over my life).
One thing I do want to note is that the Maldives aren’t a huge party destination. Yes, the main resorts will have alcohol and you can drink (you cannot bring your own into the country because of the law).
When it comes to resorts:
For an all-inclusive – I recommend Heritance Aarah. The food is insane. The property is also beautiful.
Luxury non all-inclusive worth the splurge:
If you made it to the end of this article, you have a lot to think about. I truly think these destinations are some of the best I have been able to visit and a lot of them can accommodate varying budgets. Whether you decide to host a huge party in the states or even around the world – there is something for everyone. Maybe you just want something quiet with your significant other or best friend – all of these destinations work.
I hope you have the absolute best 30th birthday no matter where you decide to go!
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