Yvonne is now in her early 30’s and I will be tuning 30 next year, so, I thought this would be a fun post. Below is a bit of a bucket-list post, but we have also been to quite a few places on the list of the top 15 trips to complete before you turn 35! Be sure to click on the links to find out more about our trips or about the destination.
1) Beijing, China
I started the list with Beijing because we live here! One of the best places to visit for anyone looking for unique culture, food and historical sites. Beijing offers a little of everything for the global traveler. You can hike, bike, or camp on the Great Wall if you are into outdoor activities or shop in one of the busiest cities of the world. The night life and historical attractions are great for the under 35 crowd.
2) Paris, France
Why? Because it is Paris. I loved Paris because of the food, culture, gardens, and museums. Go before you are 35 because you can experience the gritty side of Paris without feeling dirty. Paris has a great nightlife and risque district. Have fun at the Moulin Rouge and raving in catacombs (if you can find one), drink too much wine and explore the city before the annoying aspects of the city become too great.
3) Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is one of my favorite places for a jungle adventure. Biking, hiking, and kayaking are just a few of the awesome things you can do in the area. You can rent a motorbike and head out into the jungle looking for a swimming hole, hike into the mountains and spend the night in a village. We kayaked 15 km on a rapid river. This is one of the best spots for young adventurers looking for an active vacation.
4) Amsterdam, NL
Amsterdam is just one of those cities everyone wants to visit. I loved the food, museums, and cheese! I separated cheese out of food, because it is just too delicious. The reason this is one of the trips to complete before you turn 35 is because I happened to be traveling with my father (age 68) in Amsterdam and he wanted to see things I was not interested in seeing. There is a lot of great nightlife and the redlight district is worth seeing, but don’t make that your reason for going. There are a lot of great things to do in Amsterdam.
5) Seoul, South Korea
One of our favorite places in Asia is Seoul. Yvonne and I both enjoyed the city and culture. There is a ton of great things to do around the city. You can go on ghost tours, food tours, explore markets, or (if you are up for it) spend a night in a sauna. Seoul really has a lot to offer and is often overlooked by backpackers and budget travelers. We feel it is a great blend of modern and traditional Asian culture, you really shouldn’t miss it.
6) New York, USA
The city that never sleeps! New York is a must see because it is New York. One of the greatest cities in the world has everything to offer, from great sites and museums to street food and nightlife, New York has it all. We enjoyed exploring the SOHO area, China Town, and walking the Brooklyn Bridge. There really is no other city like New York.
7) Buenos Aires, Argentina
With its unique blend of European style and Latin American flair, Buenos Aires is a travelers paradise. Learn to Tango or get rowdy at a fútbol match. According to US News, “Shop San Telmo’s boutiques, explore the National Museum of Fine Arts, meander through the ornate Recoleta Cemetery, or catch a horse race at the Palermo Hippodrome. Just save time to enjoy the simple pleasure of sipping a cafecito (espresso) and snacking on churros at a cozy café, taking a romantic stroll along Palermo Woods’ Rose Garden Walk (Paseo del Rosedal), and staying up late to revel in the sultry tango sessions that give the city its evening zest.”
8) Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is a city that is tranquil and busy at the same time. You can duck into a temple and feel like you are all alone and the next minute be traveling on the subway with thousands. Tokyo (and Japan for that matter) has some of the best food I have encountered while traveling. The sushi and Ramen noodles are the best I have ever had and the uniqueness of the people is unbeatable. From anime in Akihabara to KTV bars in Shibuya, you really can have a great time in Tokyo.
9) Sydney, Australia
This is a bucket list place on the list! I have wanted to visit Sydney for a few years now, but haven’t made the grueling flight. I think anyone under 35 should head out to Australia for some fun & sun. I have wanted to visit Sydney for the local culture, food, and attractions. I have also wanted to visit Australia to dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Anyone looking for some great outdoor adventure, surfing, diving, or sight seeing should definitely check out Australia.
10) Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu is definitely on the bucket list. We have all seen the pictures and heard the stories about Machu Picchu’s beauty. My father spent time in Peru when he was in the peace corps and he told me about the natural beauty of Peru. I have always wanted to go here, but I have heard the hike can be long and tiring, which is why I say go when you are young.
11) The Philippines
The Philippines is relatively small compared to China or the USA, so, I added it as a country to see and not a particular city. The Philippines offers it all, in terms of an island adventure, you can surf, Trek, or enjoy the local culture. From Boracay to Sagada, there is a little bit of everything. If you are young and love hiking and exploring exotic jungle islands than the Philippines is a great place to travel.
12) Rome, Italy
Who doesn’t want to visit Rome? I know I want to visit this historical, yet modern city. Another bucket list item for me, because of its historical significance. I have always thought Rome offers a great escape for lovers and history buffs. From food to religion, Rome has it all. Spend time at the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum, or take a food tour through the culinary delights that Italy has to offer. Whatever you like Rome has you covered!
13) Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok has a vibrant nightlife and amazing street food. From temples to bars, Bangkok has it all. Use Bangkok as a staging area for your adventure holiday. Get out to the islands for some sun & fun or trek up to the north where there are fewer tourist, but get tour trips to explore. I found Bangkok to be lively and fun with many options from dinning to entertainment.
14) Grand Canyon, USA
Another bucket lister, I have yet to travel to the Grand Canyon, but it is on the list. Last time I was in the US, I looked into visiting but it requires more planning then expected. If you are interested in visiting make sure you plan ahead. I wanted to take a donkey down the canyon and camp overnight, but the planning involved required a few months of preparation. Again, like with Machu Picchu, the hike in and out of the canyon can be intense, so, best to go when you are young.
15) Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Last on the list of trips to complete before you turn 35 is Rio De Janeiro. This is another bucket list item for me because of Carnaval. Anyone can enjoy Carnaval, but I imagine the under 35 crowd will have a better time during this wild festival. Along with the sites and sounds of Carnaval, Rio has a lot to offer to travelers. I personally want to visit Cristo Redentor and explore the jungles around the city.
Final thoughts on the top 15 trips to complete before you turn 35!
Yvonne and I have been to 9 places on this list of 15 trips to complete before you turn 35, which means we have 6 trips to complete in the next 4-5 years. I think that is possible, but will require us to get traveling. These cities and countries are some of the best places to visit in my opinion based on my travels and desires. Of course everyone is different, so, add a comment below telling us which country you think one should visit before they turn 35.
MartaDecember 1, 2015 at 5:21 am
Can I change the deadline and make it 40 (or even 45?)? I have seen some of these places and would love to see many more (my top top top place to visit is Buenos Aires) but I missed the 35 deadline 😉 The one place I did see before then and I would recommend to anyone is Japan, Kyoto in particular:absolutely incredible
Miguel RobergDecember 2, 2015 at 1:45 am
40 or 45 works also. Really depends on the person and their travel style! Buenos Aires looks amazing, I am doing a report on the country at work and added Buenos Aires on the list because it looks like a great place to visit. 🙂
InmaDecember 1, 2015 at 5:55 am
Glad you said before 35 and not 30 as usual ! So much to catch up on 😀
Miguel RobergDecember 2, 2015 at 1:43 am
If I had said 30, I would have to start a world trip now!
StephenDecember 1, 2015 at 6:08 am
STAY AWAY FROM THE VENDING MACHINES IN AMSTERDAM! There’s a lot I love about the Netherlands…. but Dutch fast food is definitely not on that list.
I’m curious, was your visit to Luang Prabang before or after they banned the tubing? I’m curious whether it has actually chilled out now that they’ve tried to ban the backpacker scene.
Yvonne HorstDecember 1, 2015 at 7:53 am
Haha, you’re clear on the vending machines Stephen! 🙂
When I was still living in the Netherlands I wouldn’t get my snacks from the vending machines, I would either go to the ‘snackbar’ or make them my own 🙂 You have to give us our kroket & eierbal though! 🙂
StephenDecember 1, 2015 at 11:55 am
Give them to you? You’re more than welcome to them! Pofferitjes or herring are more my style.
dannielle | While I'm Young and SkinnyDecember 1, 2015 at 3:39 pm
I’ve only done 5 so far but I’m only 23 so I figure I have some time. I’m definitely working on it though! Rio is my big one at the moment, I’m obsessed. Love a good bucket list!
Miguel RobergDecember 2, 2015 at 1:27 am
That is only like 1 a year for the next 10 years. I think you can make if before you turn 35!
JoellaDecember 29, 2015 at 2:35 am
I’m 31 and my husband is 33- I’ve been to nine of these and so has he, but funnily not all the same nine (though most of them we went to together of course). Even funnier is that two that I have been to and he hasn’t are in the US (NYC and Grand Canyon) and he is the one who is American! I think we still have time to finish the rest. 🙂