One of the best parts of my 20s was having the privilege and ability to travel and see the world. I started The Blonde Abroad when I was 24, and having just turned 30 this past year, it’s safe to say I had some of my biggest adventures before hitting the big 3-0!

There are SO many amazing, unique and life-changing destinations and experiences around the world that make for some incredible memories. Whether it be an African safari, traveling solo for the first time, an epic road trip, or facing your fear of heights (or the deep sea), there are so many things to add to your “30 Before 30” bucket list.

Here’s my “30 Things to Do Before You Turn 30” travel bucket list!


Learn to Cook a Traditional Dish

Whenever I travel abroad, I make it a priority to check out the local food and learn how to cook a new cuisine. Over the years, I’ve learned how to whip up traditional dishes from Amman, Chiang Mai, Barcelona, Tokyo, Rome, and New Orleans.

Adding a global twist to your cooking repertoire will wow your friends and family, but also transport you back to an incredible trip.


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Backpack Around Europe

Staying in hostels and exploring Europe on the cheap is a rite of passage and an amazing travel experience in itself. When I first started my blog, I traveled around Europe with less than $30 per day.

I learned important travel skills, like how to plan and budget for trips, tips for finding cheap flights, and figuring out public transportation in another language all by myself.


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Go Somewhere That Requires a Visa

Since I started dating a South African, I’ve really come to appreciate how fortunate I am to have a first-world passport. I don’t need to apply to Europe, Australia or Canada. More often than not, I get a free visa on arrival, or I pay a small fee.

Before entering a whole new decade of your life, travel somewhere that’s not easy. Go to places like Brazil, India, Mozambique or China where you’ll need to visit a consulate beforehand. It will make you appreciate the trip and your passport that much more.


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Overcome a Fear

If you scroll through my Instagram, I might seem fearless on the surface. I’ve jumped out of a plane, gone scuba diving around the world and hiked the world’s most dangerous trail in China.

But, before I did any of those things, I was terrified.

Try doing something that scares you– whether it’s heights, flying or the deep ocean. When you step out of your comfort zone you grow as a person.


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Get a Travel Rewards Credit Card

Curious about how I afford to travel? I signed up for a rewards credit card a few years ago, and it’s changed how I travel!

It’s helped me afford bucket list worthy trips, travel more comfortably on long-haul flights and stay in luxury hotel rooms for a fraction of the price. Recently, I’ve started using my miles to upgrade my seat from economy to business class.

It’s totally worth it!

With so many different travel credit card options out there, it’s easy to find one that works for your lifestyle. Plus, many of the sign-up bonuses are super generous, and you’ll be able to afford a trip before you even make your first swipe.


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Book a Business Class Flight

Once you’ve saved up your miles with your travel credit card, splurge on a long-haul business class flight. You’ll get delicious food, more than enough legroom and high-class service.


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Go Camping

As a native Californian, I grew up spending my summers outdoors with my family. We organized trips to some of the states most beautiful camping sites on the beach, in the middle of the forest and out in the desert.

Use your camping trip as an opportunity to disconnect from the online world for a weekend. Swap the buzzing of your phone for complete silence as you gaze up at the stars and roast marshmallows by the campfire.


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Inca Trail

Go on a Multi-Day Trek

One of the most challenging, but rewarding things I’ve ever done is the Inca Trail. It took me four days to finally reach Machu Picchu, and the sore muscles were worth it!

Before you set on your first multi-day trek, make sure you’re prepared. You’ll need to train for it (even if it’s hiking smaller one-day trails) and have good quality gear to make the experience as comfortable as possible.


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Visit Every Continent

Every continent offers completely different cultures and experiences. While getting to some might be difficult (like Antartica), visiting every continent is top on my bucket list.


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Explore Your Own Country

While I’ve visited over sixty countries around the world, I’m guilty of neglecting the United States. I’ve only traveled to a handful of states, and there’s a long list of National Parks I still need to cross off my list.

Instead of visiting your usual haunts on the weekend, explore your city like a tourist! Or if you have the time, plan a road trip to a nearby state.

Check out all of my USA travel guides here!

Eat  Something a Little Foreign

Besides jumping out of planes, I like to test the boundaries of my comfort zone by trying weird and strange foods in countries around the world.

I’ve nibbled on rotten shark in Iceland, roujiamo (marinated beef or lamb in a wheat bun) and yangrou paomo (pita bread soaked in lamb soup) in China and I ate my weight in Pho (a traditional broth) in Vietnam.


Eat  Something Delicious

Once you’ve tried all the unusual local delicacies, spoil yourself with a fine dining experience in another country. While living in South Africa, I’ve had the chance to eat out at one of the top restaurants in the country, Test Kitchen.

It’s usually booked out up to three months in advance, but the food was worth the wait!

If you’re a foodie like me, spend some time researching a country’s dining scene. Whether it’s a Michelin-rated restaurant or luxury wine tasting—choose something that’s going to make your time there an unforgettable experience!


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Learn a New Language

Always learn a little bit of the local language when you travel! Not only will it make getting around easier, but you’ll learn a new skill.

If you want to take it up a level, travel to a destination like France or Italy for a month or an entire semester and immerse yourself in the local language.

My boyfriend, Meyer, spent four years living in Italy as a professional rugby player. As a result, he speaks fluent Italian!

Bora Bora

Travel  to a Remote  Tropical Paradise

Are you dreaming of sandy white beaches and sparkling blue water? Then make it your goal to travel to a tropical paradise before you turn 30!

Venture out somewhere remote, like Mozambique, French Polynesia, The Seychelles, or Mauritius. You’ll escape the crowds and have miles of pristine beaches all to yourself.


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Stay in an Epic Airbnb

Instead of staying in another hotel for your next vacation, hop onto Airbnb and stay somewhere unique! You can spend the night in Airstream trailers, yurts, tree houses—you name it!

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Ski Week

Go on a Ski Vacation

You don’t need to be a whiz on the slopes to go on a skiing vacation! There’s nothing wrong with taking lessons and learning a new skill while you soak up the winter wonderland atmosphere!


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