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9 Unforgettable Trips for a 50th Birthday

By Sandra Roussy November 21, 2023 Travel

The 50th birthday anniversary is a milestone in life – a momentous occasion that deserves to be celebrated in a grand and unforgettable manner. As the years of wisdom and experience accumulate, so does the desire to venture on new adventures and explore the world.

What better way to mark this significant chapter than by fulfilling your long-held travel dreams and embracing the spirit of wanderlust.

  1. Machu Picchu, Peru – Embark on a journey to the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, nestled amidst the Andes Mountains. Trek the iconic Inca Trail or take the scenic train ride to witness this archaeological wonder up close.
  2. African Safari, Tanzania or Kenya – Experience the thrill of a safari in the Serengeti or Maasai Mara, where you can witness the majestic wildlife of Africa, including the Big Five, in their natural habitat.
  3. Northern Lights in Norway – Head to Norway’s Arctic region, such as Tromsø or Lofoten Islands, for a chance to witness the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights across the night sky.
  4. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador – Explore the unique and diverse ecosystem of the Galápagos Islands, where you can encounter fearless wildlife and marvel at the pristine beauty of this volcanic archipelago.
  5. Greek Islands Cruise – Sail through the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, hopping from one enchanting island to another, and indulge in the rich history, cuisine, and beauty of this ancient civilization.
  6. Japanese Cherry Blossom Tour – Time your 50th birthday with the cherry blossom season in Japan for a picturesque experience of these delicate blooms and immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture.
  7. Icelandic Adventure – Discover Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes, including geysers, waterfalls, glaciers, and volcanic terrain. Relax in geothermal hot springs and relish the beauty of this Nordic wonderland.
  8. Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula – Sail to the frozen continent and witness stunning ice formations, penguins, and other unique Antarctic wildlife in one of the world’s most pristine and untouched environments.
  9. Tuscany, Italy – See and feel the charm of Tuscany’s rolling hills, vineyards, and photogenic towns. Savor delicious Italian cuisine and absorb the art, history, and romance of this region.

This is a compilation of memorable and awe-inspiring destination ideas that promise to make your 50th birthday an unparalleled celebration of life, joy, and adventure. From breathtaking natural wonders to vibrant cultural experiences, these handpicked journeys will not only nourish your soul but also create memories to be treasured for a lifetime.

Whether you are an intrepid explorer yearning to conquer distant peaks, a cultural enthusiast eager to immerse yourself in distinct traditions, or simply seeking a serene escape to connect with nature’s beauty, there is a perfect bucket list trip waiting for you.

How to Choose a Destination for a 50th Birthday

To choose the perfect destination for your 50th birthday celebration, start by having a conversation with yourself. Reflect on your dream destinations, places you’ve always wanted to visit, and specific experiences you wish to have. Consider your interests and preferences – whether it’s adventure, history, culture, nature, relaxation, or a mix of these.

Next, take into account your physical abilities and health condition. Opt for a destination that offers activities and experiences you can comfortably enjoy. If you have a bucket list of destinations, consider choosing one from your list – fulfilling a long-held dream can make the celebration even more special.

Think about who will be accompanying you on the trip. Whether it’s a family celebration or a solo adventure, ensure that the destination caters to the interests and age groups of everyone involved.

Research the weather conditions and seasons of potential destinations. Choose a time of the year when the weather is pleasant and aligns with your preferences – whether you prefer a warm beach destination or a snowy mountain retreat.

Consider your interests in art, history, and cultural experiences. Some destinations offer unique cultural events or festivals that can add a special touch to your celebration.

Tailor the destination to your hobbies or passions. Whether it’s a culinary tour, wine tasting in a renowned wine region, birdwatching, golfing, or a photography expedition, make sure it aligns with your interests to make the trip more enjoyable.

Remember, the key to choosing the perfect destination for your 50th birthday celebration is to make it a thoughtful and personalized adventure that reflects your desires and creates lasting memories for years to come.

Travel Destination Ideas for a 50th Birthday

Visit the Archeological Wonder of Machu Picchu, Peru

Experience the awe-inspiring voyage to the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, nestled amidst Peru’s majestic Andes Mountains.

Choose between the iconic Inca Trail trek, offering challenging yet rewarding landscapes, or opt for a scenic train ride through the picturesque Peruvian countryside. Regardless of your chosen route, the sight of Machu Picchu’s terraced ruins, ancient temples, and enigmatic structures against lush greenery and misty peaks will leave you breathless.

As you explore this historical gem, a profound sense of wonder and reverence for the past will captivate you. Machu Picchu’s spiritual and cultural significance makes it a perfect destination for a 50th birthday celebration, a reminder that age should never deter you from embarking on extraordinary adventures that create great memories.

Hiram Bingham Round Trip Luxury Train to Machu Picchu

See Wildlife Up Close on an African Safari, Tanzania or Kenya

Go on an exhilarating African safari in the Serengeti or Maasai Mara for your 50th birthday. Witness the magnificent wildlife of Africa, including the renowned Big Five, thriving in their natural habitat.

Guided by knowledgeable experts, you’ll gain insights into the intricate ecosystem and behaviors of these impressive creatures. The stunning landscapes, from golden savannas to iconic acacia trees, add to the enchantment of your safari adventure. Engage with the Maasai people to learn about their rich culture and traditions, fostering a deeper connection to the region.

This once-in-a-lifetime journey is a celebration of nature’s beauty and a reminder of the importance of conservation. From encountering graceful lions to observing playful elephant herds, every moment will leave an indelible mark on your heart.

Classic Balloon Safari & Breakfast in Serengeti & Tarangire

Witness Northern Lights in Norway

For a magical experience, travel to Norway’s Arctic region, where you can witness the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights across the night sky.

Head to Tromsø or the Lofoten Islands, where the natural phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis takes center stage. Be prepared to be spellbound as vibrant ribbons of green, purple, and pink swirl and flicker in the darkness, creating a celestial spectacle that will leave you in awe. The Arctic wilderness provides the perfect backdrop for this magical display, offering a serene and otherworldly atmosphere.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or undertaking your first adventure, this incredible encounter with the Northern Lights promises to be an unforgettable highlight of your 50th birthday celebration. Embrace the wonder of the universe as you witness this spectacular natural marvel in one of the world’s most breathtaking settings.

Aurora Hunt Tour with Citizen Science from Tromso – Professional Photos Included

Observe Evolution in Progress in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Go on a remarkable journey to the Galápagos Islands, where you will discover a unique and diverse ecosystem unlike any other. This volcanic archipelago, situated in the Pacific Ocean, promises encounters with fearless wildlife and pristine natural beauty.

As you visit the islands, you’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to witness creatures found nowhere else on earth, from giant tortoises to playful sea lions and charismatic blue-footed boobies. The Galápagos’ remote location has allowed its flora and fauna to evolve independently, making each species a living testament to the wonders of evolution.

With its crystal-clear protected waters, vibrant coral reefs, and photogenic landscapes, the Galápagos Islands will captivate all your senses. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is a celebration of our planet’s incredible biodiversity.

Classic Galapagos: South Eastern Islands Cruise

Treat Yourself to a Greek Islands Cruise

Go on a captivating voyage through the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean as you hop from one enchanting Greek island to another. This amazing trip promises to be a feast for the senses, allowing you to engage in the rich history, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking beauty of this ancient civilization.

Each Greek island offers a unique and alluring charm, from the iconic white-washed buildings of Santorini perched atop volcanic cliffs to the lively and bustling streets of Mykonos. Explore archaeological treasures that harken back to ancient times, stroll through quaint villages where traditions are still cherished, and savor the flavors of traditional Greek dishes that have stood the test of time.

As you sail through this storied sea, you’ll feel a deep connection to the past and an appreciation for the enduring legacy of Greek culture. Let the Mediterranean winds carry you on this unforgettable 50th birthday odyssey, revealing the timeless allure of Greece’s sun-kissed islands.

Greece Sailing Adventure: Cyclades Islands

Bask in the Japanese Cherry Blossoms

Plan a truly unique 50th birthday celebration by timing your trip with Japan’s cherry blossom season. This enchanting experience will immerse you in the delicate beauty of these blooms and allow you to bask in the richness of Japanese culture.

As the cherry blossoms blanket the landscape with soft hues of pink and white, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking scenery that unfolds before your eyes. From strolling through ancient temples and traditional gardens to partaking in hanami (flower-viewing) picnics under the blooming trees, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the essence of Japanese traditions and customs.

Indulge in the delectable flavors of seasonal sakura-themed treats, witness time-honored rituals, and be welcomed by the warmth of the Japanese people. This extraordinary trip during cherry blossom season will create unforgettable memories and fill your heart with the beauty of spring’s fleeting magic in Japan.

Cherry Blossom Tours – Essence of Spring

Feast Your Senses on an Icelandic Adventure

Venture on a journey of discovery through Iceland’s enchanting otherworldly landscapes, where nature’s wonders abound. Prepare to be amazed by geysers shooting hot water into the air, majestic waterfalls cascading down rugged cliffs, immense glaciers that stretch as far as the eye can see, and the striking beauty of volcanic terrain.

To unwind and rejuvenate, treat yourself to the luxurious experience of relaxing in geothermal hot springs. These soothing pools offer a unique way to connect with the earth’s natural warmth while surrounded by the untouched beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

Iceland’s allure lies not only in its captivating natural wonders but also in its vibrant culture and friendly locals. Embrace the spirit of adventure as you traverse this unique land, exploring its folklore, traditions, and modern artistic expressions.

Premium Iceland Tour

Adventure on a Cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula

Go on an extraordinary sailing adventure to the frozen continent of Antarctica, where a world of breathtaking ice formations and unique wildlife awaits. This unique environment offers an unparalleled voyage into one of the most remote regions on Earth.

As your ship navigates through icy waters, you’ll be mesmerized by the grandeur of towering icebergs and magnificent glaciers that glisten under the sun. The sight of vast colonies of penguins, gracefully gliding seals, and majestic whales breaching the surface will leave you in awe of nature’s wonders.

Antarctica’s allure lies not just in its incredible landscapes and wildlife but also in the profound sense of tranquility and wonder that surrounds you. Let the magic of Antarctica capture your heart as you experience the majesty of one of the world’s last great frontiers.

WWF Journey to the Circle and Giants of Antarctica (Ocean Endeavour)


Pamper Yourself in Tuscany, Italy

Indulge in the irresistible charm of Tuscany, where rolling hills, vineyards, and quaint towns beckon with their timeless allure. This Italian region promises an unforgettable experience, where every moment is a celebration of life’s simple pleasures.

Immerse yourself in the art, history, and romance that permeates the very air of Tuscany. Visit iconic cities like Florence, renowned for its Renaissance masterpieces, and wander through cobbled streets that seem frozen in time. As you explore, tantalize your taste buds with delectable Italian cuisine. From savory pasta dishes to luscious wines, Tuscany’s gastronomic delights are a sensory delight that will transport you to culinary heaven.

Tuscany’s allure lies not only in its captivating landscapes and gastronomy but also in the warmth and hospitality of its people. Embrace the spirit of la dolce vita as you bask in the welcoming embrace of this enchanting region.

A trip to Tuscany is a celebration of life’s simple pleasures – where art, history, cuisine, and breathtaking scenery converge in a symphony of beauty and romance.

Premium Tuscany Tour



Let’s Have a Conversation:

Is your 50th birthday coming up? Are you planning something grandiose like a bucket list trip of a lifetime? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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