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Travel Bucket List: 9 Places to Experience Before You Turn 30

This post is in collaboration with EF Ultimate Break

We’re jumping right into this—bucket lists! They’re not just for old people. #SorryNana. As 20-somethings trying to live our lives like Beyoncé and treat ourselves, yet also be fiscally responsible adults, we can use bucket lists to give us the power to do both.

Which is why everyone needs to have a bucket list. Now, as you go back and forth on what deserves to be on there, and what doesn’t… leave “travel more” off.

Yes, traveling is great, and amazing, and 100% worth it. But, I think your bucket list is all about the specifics. When your list items are specific, you can check things off easily as you complete them and then add new things to the list! 

Now when it comes to determining which specific places to travel to, I’ve got you covered. I’m lucky enough to travel to new countries for EF Ultimate Break (a perk of the job) and these are a few I suggest based on my experiences.

9 bucket list-worthy places to travel to before you turn 30:

1. Australia

Not just first because I wanted to go in alphabetical order, but Australia is a bucket list fave for so many reasons: koalas, kangaroos, and other non-animal reasons, of course. Plus there’s also something so cool about flying halfway across the globe to get there. Being on the other side of the world, you want to make every moment count because it took so much to get there!

2. Germany (during Oktoberfest)

Everyone should travel abroad and celebrate a local event. For some it’s St. Patrick’s day in Dublin. Others might be La Tomatina in Spain. For me, I recommend Oktoberfest in Munich. There’s fried chicken. Giant steins of beers. And people standing on tables having a great time. Everyone’s your best friend, even if you just met them four minutes ago. 

To make the most of your trip, why not learn a little German before you depart? You can then chat to the locals and really soak up the atmosphere. Don’t worry, it’s easy to learn through Lingoda’s online German courses. Plus, the live courses with professional teachers are flexible to fit in with your schedule. 

3. Dubai

Dubai is like no place else in the world. Literally. Dubai is this elaborate and innovative hub built on layers of history and culture. Plus, it’s like a 20-minute drive from the desert (camel rides) and you will never see more bling anywhere in your life. You can literally buy gold from vending machines! 

4. Tokyo

Tokyo has it all: ancient history, an amazing culture, and every KitKat flavor imaginable. It’s a place I highly recommend, and if you’re a sushi lover, I recommend watching “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” beforehand. It’ll make you want to go only that much more.

Tokyo at night

5. Anywhere in Ireland

Ireland is only a quick 6-hour flight from the East Coast, and has some of the most picturesque scenery you’ll find anywhere in the world. 

6. Copenhagen

Everyone needs to be about that hygge life. And if you don’t know what hygge is, imagine lots of candles, tons of blankets, and the most welcoming environment. Ever.  It will shift your perspective on inner comfort. Plus, Copenhagen is the new Amsterdam: Just as beautiful, way less crowded.

7. Santorini

Really any part of Greece, but Santorini has it all – the picturesque homes along the hilly coast, and wine. Plus, shout-out to “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Picture yourself there frolicking around Greece with sun-kissed skin, beachy hair, and a never-ending glass of wine.

The town of Oia on the island of Santorini

8. Barcelona

I’m not a club person by any means. But there’s something about the clubs in Barcelona not opening until 11pm or midnight and going until 6am or 7am that is epic. Going home at the same time as some people are going to work is something you need to do once in your life, and Barcelona is the place to do it. Morning tapas anyone?

9. China

Three words: The Great Wall. While I don’t recommend walking all 13,000+ miles of it, but you need to at least walk a bit of it. And then when you’re done, take in the rest of the history and culture China has to offer.

3 Tips for Creating the Perfect Bucket List:

Now that we’ve covered the specific places I recommend for putting on your bucket list based on my experiences, here are my top tips for creating your perfect bucket list:

1. Make it yours.

No two bucket lists are alike. That’d be boring. And it wouldn’t be yours. Your bucket list should match your interests, not what’s popular or trending right now. What do you like to do in your day-to-day life? Whether you’re a beach bum or a book worm, your interests will start to define your bucket list and the things you want to accomplish.

2. Add to it.

Bucket lists are like sandwiches. The more you add onto it, the better. (We can debate this in the comments if you want.) As you cross things off your bucket list, add new things on there. If you’re 80 and your bucket list is the same as it was today, something went wrong.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Bucket lists are like sandwiches. The more you add onto it, the better.” quote=”Bucket lists are like sandwiches. The more you add onto it, the better.”]

3. Think about group travel to make your travels happen faster.

Okay, I admit, this is a big callout for EF Ultimate Break. And not only because I work there, but because group travel is a great way to experience the world and get out of your comfort zone, while still finding comfort in having the guesswork taken out of your trip!  With EF Ultimate Break, you’ll join 20(ish) other 18-29 year olds and make new memories, forge new bonds, and maybe even pet an elephant. After only a couple of days, people who came in as strangers, leave as best friends. That is the power of group travel. #Nojoke.

Plus, EF takes care of everything—flights, accommodations, food, itineraries—so you travel stress-free. EF has trips to practically anywhere, and loves helping people check off and add new places to their bucket list.  And I have to say, I get to travel on some of our trips (perk of the job) and they’re so much fun! Take a look at what EF’s about about at 

EF Ultimate Break was also awesome enough to give anyone interested in booking a trip $100 off. Just use the code: GEN100 when you check out here. That’s it! Click here for your next great adventure!

EF Ultimate Break is the best way to experience the world for anyone 18-29. We’re all about taking the stress out of travel, introducing you to new travelers who also love getting out there, and adding in the things you need to have an incredible time abroad. Get ready for unforgettable/tasty/exciting/holy-crap-is-that-an-elephant types of moments.

When the world beckons, take a break.