20 Unforgettable Trips to Take In Your 20s

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Your 20s are usually when you get started out in your career, so it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But if you can swing it, it’s worthwhile to take some time to get away and travel—whether you adventure around the world, explore a different state, or just take a few days to get away with your friends and spend time in nature, there’s a vacation for everyone.

In the States

What happens in Vegas…

You don’t have to gamble (or drink and get married by an Elvis impersonator) in Vegas, but it’s something everyone should experience at some point—there’s tons of entertainment to take in, and there’s something for everyone.

Be a tourist in New York

Whether you’ve never been to New York City or you currently live here, sometimes it pays to do the majorly tourist-y things a city has to offer, and New York is no exception.

→ A Design Lover’s Guide to New York City

Rent a cabin at the Grand Canyon

Photos of the Grand Canyon just never do it justice until you see it up close and personal. And it’s even better if you stay in a cabin overnight—nothing beats waking up early to watch the sunrise.

Attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras is known as one of the best parties out there, but while you’re there, make sure to learn all about New Orleans’ rich culture.

→ A Design Lover’s Guide to New Orleans

Ride the cable car in San Francisco

San Francisco is home to the last permanently operational manually-operated cable car system in the world, so it’ll be like experiencing a little bit of history.

Go for a hike on the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail takes months to fully hike, but you can get a little bit of the experience by doing much shorter section hikes, ranging from an afternoon adventure to a ten-day long trip.

Watch the Northern Lights in Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska is one of the best places to see the stunning Aurora Borealis—you just have to make sure you go between September and April (although the middle of winter is the peak viewing time).

(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

Around the World

Celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Experience some of Germany’s culture by attending the Oktoberfest festival in late September, and enjoy all the beer and pretzels your heart desires.

Relax in the hot springs of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Iceland is home to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located that’s located on a lava field and known for its warm, milky blue mineral-rich waters.

Bike around Amsterdam in The Netherlands

In Amsterdam, there’s no shortage of things to do, from visiting historical landmarks to enjoying art museums and everything in between. Amsterdam is also known for having more bikes than people, so cycle your way through the city and take in all the sights.

See the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo, Egypt is the largest and oldest of the three pyramids, and it’s the only one of the original ancient wonders of the world still in existence, so it’s definitely a must-see.

Party all night in Ibiza

Ibiza is known as the party capital of the world, so if you’re looking to experience some truly incredible nightlife, Ibiza’s the place to go clubbing—make sure you go to Privilege, which holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest club.

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru

The Inca Trail is gorgeous on its own, but it’s also an significant part of history. At the end of the four-day, 25 mile hike, you’ll reach Machu Picchu or the “Lost City of the Incas”—one of the most important archaeological sites in the entire world.

Relax on the beach in Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand is known for its absolutely gorgeous beaches—there are more than 30 beaches to experience, along with nightlife and shopping. If you’re looking to escape and relax, Phuket’s the place.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Just for the Experience

Take a road trip

Road trips are commonplace on TV shows and in the movies, but have you ever just loaded up a car with your friends and driven off to experience other parts of the country? If you haven’t, it’s an adventure worth having.

→ Worth the (Road) Trip: Our Favorite Design Destinations in 16 American Cities

Attend a music festival

From Coachella in California to Glastonbury in the UK (and pretty much on every continent you can think of) there are tons of iconic music festivals happening every year. You can go for a day or camp out for a few, but it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.

Go on a cruise

Cruises are a great way to escape the real world and experience multiple places. Plus, they have tons of entertainment right there on board. Find a cruise that fits where you’re looking to go, and set sail.

Have a camping adventure

Take a few days and go camping with your partner or close friends—feel free to “rough it” as much or as little as you want to, but a little bonding time around a campfire can’t hurt.

Fly solo

If you’ve never traveled alone, now is the time—it may seem scary at first, but if you allow yourself to be open to new experiences, you might make new friends and have the time of your life.

→ How To Travel Alone If You’re An Introvert

Visit home

If you’ve moved away from your childhood home in your adulthood, it’s easy to get so caught up in your life that you forget to adventure home sometimes. Make it a point to take a trip home that isn’t about the holidays or something stressful so you can spend time with family and old friends.