Whether you're a budget backpacker or prefer the luxury of a five star boutique hotel, there are certain travel experiences that any discerning wanderer should have after hitting the big 3-0. "Even though many of us are well into our careers or starting a family by the time we hit our thirties, it's still worthwhile making time for some special travel experiences at this life stage too," says vitality expert and executive coach Nikki Fogden-Moore. So why not raid that rainy day fund or cash in those unused rewards points (which can help cover everything from flight upgrades to car hire or get you checked into that sweet suite) to help facilitate a truly memorable getaway. Need inspiration on where to go? Take some tips from the travel pros on the must see and do destinations for the intrepid 30-something traveller...
The Bucket List Destination Break
Your thirties are the ideal time to see your bucket list destinations. "Why wait? Life is very short and travel -- especially to dreamed of locations -- is so worthwhile," says travel blogger Anthony The Travel Tart. His must see spots for the 30-something traveller are as follows:
Cape Town: "One my favourite cities in the world, and not just for its spectacular location. The great night life -- from buzzing bars to cool restaurants -- means you'll always find an excuse to party with the locals and other travellers every night of the week."
Istanbul: "This incredible and spectacular city is one of the most diverse I've ever been to. It really is an 'east meets west' spot, plus its got great food, the local hospitality is incredible, and I'd argue that there are better Roman ruins in Istanbul than in Rome.
New Orleans: "A culture rich spot especially for music lovers. You could be sitting next to a guy playing a piano in one bar, and then watching a full brass band a couple of hours later in another. The party never stops."
The Worth Taking A Career Break For Break
For travel journalist Megan Jerrard hitting up the more exotic locations the globe has to offer is well worth cashing in long service leave for. One of her top spots to spend time exploring is iconic Iceland. She recommends:
Chasing Waterfalls: "Iceland is a country brimming with magnificent waterfalls, and it's impossible to recommend only one. There are glacial falls -- which originate from melt water from glaciers across the country -- as well as golden falls, and those which plummet through canyons onto black sand beaches. There are Waterfalls of the Gods (Godafoss), "Black Falls" (Svartifoss), and the largest and most powerful waterfall in Europe (Dettifoss). Simply stunning."
Become a Bird Nerd: "If you're not an active bird watcher before you visit Iceland, I guarantee you will be by the time you leave. The country has a huge range of exotic seabirds, including the Icelandic puffin. These comical birds and one of Iceland's biggest wildlife draws, arrive by the million for the breeding season between April and August, nesting on coastal cliffs around the country in massive colonies. Head to Tjörnes for the best site to spot puffins in Iceland."
Get Glacial: "Jokulsarlon is one of the most spellbinding sights in southeastern Iceland -- a stunning glacial lagoon filled with icebergs which float onto a black sand beach. This is a great spot to watch for seals, and if you're lucky, even an orca whale."
The Close To Home Break
Claudio Saita, from travel insurers World2Cover says that while globetrotting has its place, 30-somethings shouldn't ignore a homegrown adventure -- after all we live in an incredible country!
Drive The Nullarbor: "Winter is a great time to experience an authentic outback adventure without frying in your car," Saita says. "Drive during the day time to avoid kanagroos and make sure you have adequate water supplies and, if possible, a satellite phone in case of emergency."
Kakadu National Park: "Kakadu is warm all year round and it's a great place to crocodile spot. You can't go past seeing these ancient predators up close and in the wild."
Port Lincoln: "If thrill-seeking is your thing, give shark cage diving a go. You'll be able to spot the giant mature female sharks -- over five metres in length -- between April and September. Terrifying and exhilarating at the same time!"
The Break Up Break
If you've just come through a bad break up, a healing holiday could be just the thing. Marie Swanson of Geckos Adventures and Adventure Tours Australia has two exotic suggestions to help wash that guy/girl right out of your hair...
Cuba: "It's a fantastic destination to get over a break up as it really has it all: sunshine, beautiful beaches, friendly faces and music, music, music -- so much dancing! It really is impossible to be unhappy here."
Nepal: "After a breakup, especially at the end of a long relationship or even a marriage, many people want to reconnect with themselves and learn more about the world. There is no better way to do this than to head to the Himalayas. You'll realise just how big the world really is."
The Philanthropic Break
By the time you hit your thirties, you may be looking for a holiday that offers more than just beaches, sightseeing and shopping -- making it the perfect time to take a more meaningful philanthropic break. Anthony Fitzgerald from World Ventures Australia organises 'voluntour' trips to Guatemala where participants build 'bottle schools' alongside locals. He says, "Using discarded plastic bottles filled with inorganic rubbish, tour participants form walls with chicken wire and cement. The program is run in conjunction with respected charity, Hug It Forward, and has already built 68 schools across the country... People in their early thirties are particularly well suited to these trips. They're physically able to help, generally have time and money saved and can cope with often basic accommodation."
The Budget Friendly Break
If you're a 30-something whose sizeable, grown ups mortgage is curbing your taste in exotic holidays -- both at home and abroad -- it's still possible to enjoy an Instagram-worthy vacation on a budget. Blogger Steph Parker from Big World Small Pockets suggests:
A Roadtrip to Uluru: "Getting to see the icon of Uluru at sunrise is definitely one of the top things you must see once you're 30 -- and don't let the price tag put you off! Undertaking a road trip to the Red centre of Australia is a great budget way to see this truly spectacular part of the world and it's super fun too."
Unexplored Europe "Eastern Europe is an amazing destination if you're looking to see this continent on the cheap. With great beaches, wonderful history, friendly people and a rich countryside, Albania presents a whole different side to this otherwise expensive part of the world and is suitably off the beaten track enough to still make travelling Europe feel like an adventure!"
Holidays are meant to be taken, so whether you're considering travelling within Australia or taking an international break, the Citi Rewards program lets you earn and redeem points that expand your world. With access to a world of preferential treatment and benefits across your favourite restaurants, hotels and shopping malls, there is something for everyone. Live more with Citi.Suggest a correction