So, today is my birthday. You maybe be wondering hey – why the heck are you here?, but actually, I don’t often do much for my birthday. (Heck, I have to use a calculator to check my age, because, well, it’s just not important to me. I try to make life awesome everyday, not just on one day.)
However, what is important to me is you – my dear travel-y reader. And then I was thinking how fun it would be to spend today talking about birthday travel ideas. So, I asked around on Facebook, and got a huge pile of responses on where to travel for your birthday. Some pretty awesome suggestions, actually. So, to celebrate the big day, here are your suggestions for some awesome birthday travel ideas! Apologies that I couldn’t print every single one due to the overwhelming response, but I did read every single one.
by Viviana Goldenberg
I am not sure if this is a tip but my BD will be in November, the BIG “40”. I am already depressed for it and I thought that going back home, to see mom and dad and get drunk with friends is always good for the spirit… So I am going back to Argentina for 3 weeks!
My little boys have never been there and it will be great to have them seen the place where mom comes from.
Argentina is a wonderful destination anyways. If you like hiking or skiing the South West is a magnificent place, virgin of human touch compared with the overpopulated Alps, the Andes is rougher and wilder. You can also enjoy the European taste in little mountain towns such as Bariloche or San Martin de los Andes.
The North East is as astonishing as the mountains in a subtropical way. In the border with Brazil you can enjoy one of the most amazing places in the world: Iguazu falls. Check the movie ” The Mission” and you know what I am talking about!
If you love hunting (I will not judge you but … How can you love that!?) Patagonia is the place to go.
The beaches in summer are great but if you are used to the warm, calm sea of the Caribbean it might not be your first choice.
It doesn’t matter where else you go, you HAVE to go to Buenos Aires. I cannot find enough time to tell you how amazing that city is but the food, the people and the cultural life is unique. Of course you might have to deal with transportation strikes, several demonstrations in favor or against the government, take care of you wallet, etc; but it is cheap for American and European standards and you can take tango lessons in the “crib’ of tango and not that Hollywood parody that we see on TV…
Andy’s Note: If you are on a budget, then another community member has some suggestions on how to enjoy Buenos Aires for Free.
Celebrate A National Holiday
by Paul Milton
Go somewhere that is celebrating a national day, or a festival that has fireworks. Coincidently, when we were in Antigua Guatemala, my birthday coincided with the town fair on July 25 honoring the Patron Saint of Conquistadors. All day long there were parades, music, and games everywhere. We wandered around the town square all day long eating and enjoying the festivities. Once the sun set, we returned to the roof of our guest house down the street to enjoy the fireworks.
Shout From the Rooftops
by Miss Britt
Tell everyone! The hotel, the restaurant, the tour guides, the shuttle driver – EVERYONE. It’s amazing what little surprises people will throw in when they find out you’re celebrating something.
A girlfriend and I take a trip every year for my birthday. The only rule is that we go somewhere I’ve never been. It can be a little town within driving distance I’ve never gotten around to checking out or a grand adventure several plane rides away – it just has to be new! (Like the year the attached photo was taken – we drove to Savannah and Charleston, just because we never had before!)
Cruising in Perth, Australia
Not quite birthday travel (because I was already over there). But possibly the best birthday I had was in Perth (Australia). Went on a wine cruise up the river, visited a load of wineries. Was the most random group of people on the cruise. After much wine was consumed it turned into a very surreal day!
Speaking of Australia…Fly There to Avoid It Altogether
Oh I have a good one…..if you are feeling funny about turning a certain age (like I was when I turned 40), try buying a ticket to OZ and fly the day before your birthday. You will cross the dateline and ‘poof’, your birthday will be eliminated. You will instantly be 39 again and imagine all the fun you will have with all those ozzies.
Find Some Birthday Travel Rituals
You will run out of them soon enough so make them count.
Just create a habit of doing something on them each year. I am always traveling on mine because it has become a habit at that time of year.
Target the big ones 30, 40, 50 etc. I have just under 5 year to my big 50 when I will be jumping in the trusty Landcruiser and setting off on an around the world drive
Make It an Experience
Annapurna circuit in Nepal: you’ll come away from this 10-15 day trek with a clear head, feeling physically great and ready to take on the world
Skydive: The thrill and risk will put you in the right mindset to take on your next year.
Turn off all your devices and the internet and enjoy a day doing whatever you want to do without any guilt whatsoever, whether that’s sitting in your pajamas all day eating ice cream or hiking up a mountain.
Take a Break – with Your Friends
Birthdays are really the most fun when you have your friends around, even if that’s while traveling. If you have a fun city you’ve been dying to check out ask your friends if they’re willing to meet you there in lieu of a present – shared hotel rooms and transport make birthday travel not much more than a night out on the town locally!
Don’t spend the whole day in the car. Make it a point to get to your destination the day *before* your birthday, so you can spend your birthday doing fun things in a new and exciting place instead of in the car or on a plane.
and also by Craig Martin
Whatever you do, make sure you’re not flying against the timezones. Celebrating your birthday with the rising sun in Napier, New Zealand (the first city to see the sun each day) might be stunning, but losing a day on the flight from Los Angeles might mean you never see your big day!
The Hill of Nymphs, Athens
by Ruth Kozak
For two years in a row I celebrated my special birthdays on the Hill of the Nymphs in Athens, a sunset picnic with friends. Not only my Athens friends, but some came from abroad as well.
Do What Makes Sense
As I get older, I celebrate my birthday for a longer period of time. Why not make it a birthday week – or dare I say a birthday month?
As someone who travels on a budget, I can’t really afford to travel far and often, so I would come up with creative ways to incorporate travel into my birthday.
For non-milestone birthdays – stay pretty local. Travel to your nearest city and see a show, or try a new restaurant, or maybe rent a convertible for the day and take a scenic drive.
Save up your pennies to take a dream vacation for the big milestone birthdays – those are the special ones and traveling will make the big birthdays even more memorable. My husband and I celebrated our 40th’s in Paris.
And if you can’t travel to a destination, why not bring the destination to you? Pick a place that you’ve always dreamed of going and throw a themed birthday party centered around that destination. Make the decor, the food, the music and maybe even your attire transport you to that land far away. Morocco, China, India, Italy, Australia…the possibilities are endless. And so much fun!
Get Upside Down
Does being upside down count? Ever since I celebrated a certain big birthday, wherever I am I’ve done a cartwheel. The first time I think I did it just to prove to myself that I still could. I’ve always liked the feeling of being upside down and of being in that moment when you’re not so sure how it’s going to come out.
Sometimes I’ve performed this in front of a very small audience; sometimes not. Photos are never allowed and I’ve always been wearing pants. Since my birthday always falls around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I’ve been lucky to be able to travel occasionally over my birthday. I’ve turned cartwheels in my backyard, at the park at Poipu Beach, Kauai, and on the lawn at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. I forgot one year, but I’m gong to try to not let that happen again.
Find the nicest most expensive Spa and pamper yourself all day and then go have an amazing dinner. 🙂
And/Or look into places that give freebies and discounts to birthday people.
Meet Someone New
For my 70th birthday I was in London doing research for a travel story. On Twitter, before I left Canada, I sent out a tweet asking if anybody would like to be my guest for my birthday dinner. If yes, would they please tell me what they would like to talk to me about over that dinner. I chose the ‘guest’ whose interests seemed to be closest to mine. My birthday guest turned out to be Lynne Gray (@lynnerosie), a delightful woman who took the train in from outside London. She brought me a wonderful box of chocolates. I gifted her with a bottle of champagne and we talked, talked, talked as if we knew each other for ever. What a great birthday celebration. I won’t soon forget it!
I turn 40 in three weeks and am headed off for my trip of a lifetime — photographing 40 different types of wild animals on safari in Botswana and Tanzania.
However, if I was staying home in L.A., I’d modify my journey by photographing 40 different types of plastic surgery mistakes around town…and celebrating my decision to age gracefully.
Photo Credits: All are by tip submitters except Argentina (Matito), Perth (William Hook), Airplane Window (amiefedora), Candles (Jessica Diamond), Nepal (krakluski), Pillow Fight (Wharman), Athens (RobW), Sunset (yashima, Cartwheel (jodi tripp), Spa (lhabbmar2008, Lion (Martha)