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7 Top Rated 40th Birthday Travel Ideas

 

40th birthday trip ideas

 

When I faced turning 40, I’ll confess I was a bit nervous. We are kinda conditioned to think the 20 somethings have it all, and it’s all big panties and boredom from 39 onwards. Luckily I soon realized this milestone birthday would be the gateway to a whole host of fun experiences and the perfect excuse to focus on myself, not my young kids for once.

In this article, I’ll offer some unique and fabulous ideas for 40th birthday trips to celebrate the start of this fourth decade. Whether you are craving a little relaxation or a big adventure, this is your go-to resource to make this an especially happy birthday.

 

How to Make a 40th Birthday Getaway Special

I actually love that slightly hackneyed phrase “live your best life” and your 40th birthday is certainly the time to do just that. At 40, many people are tied up with family or work commitments but you should still set time aside to celebrate you…

…even if it’s just with a day trip to the beach for an al fresco lunch round an open fire with your extended family and friends making a fuss of you.

Back in the olden days, 40 was considered old and people regularly died young from health issues related to poverty and lack of modern health care. It’s our duty to pay tribute to those generations by living life well and in abundance.

6 Adventurous 40th Birthday Destinations And Ideas

woman posing with bike on 40th trip in Croatia

1 Croatia: Hike, Bike, and Indulge in Scenic Views

One of my guilty pleasures is watching “Below Deck”, a fly on the wall program about “yachties” who work on private luxury yachts and their mega wealthy clients who enjoy exceptional service. Recently I watched the series set in and around Croatia and was blown away by the breathtaking views, history and culture of the region.

You might not be able to access a super yacht for your 40th birthday but you can still party on a sandy beach, hike and bike through spectacular scenery and explore historic towns and cities where you can spot the architectural and cultural influences from the ancient Romans, Venetian Gothic, Romanesque and Medieval eras.

Trip Tip: Take That TikTok

Get that on-body camera charged to record amazing views, natural wonders and your adventures sea kayaking, snorkeling and speed boating. Then watch your Tik-Tok following blow up with people who all wish they were you. Follow the Croatian part of the Parenzana trail on E-bikes, learn about truffles and get the best views ever hiking in Paklenica National Park.

Dump the built-in images on your smart display and replace them with stunning pics you take yourself on your Croatian island-hopping holiday. Spend time on the beach and dream about which private island you would like as a 40th birthday present. Visit Gothic cathedrals galore and immerse yourself in all the “must-do” cultural experiences before you head for a night of fine dining in Zagreb old town.

Book Your Croatia Adventure
women pose as mermaids in Belize

2 Belize: Enjoy Beautiful Beaches and Go Glamping

For the best 40th birthday bash EVER, join other intrepid explorers on a remote UNESCO designated marine preserve, Glover’s Reef, off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean.

Populate Pinterest with pics of the most beautiful beaches you can imagine and your tent-walled cabana complete with real beds, wooden floors and porches for the perfect glamping experience.

Trip Tip: I’m a Celebrity

Discover Mayan ruins and ancient caves. Be the celeb in the jungle who doesn’t scream “get me out of here” because you are having too much fun with outdoor activities like zip lining over the jungle canopy and hiking through lush jungles.

This is an amazing chance to experience jungle living without having to eat kangaroo testicles, and the opportunity to tick “SUP on crystal clear turquoise waters” off your bucket list.

Book Your Belize Adventure
woman smiling at view of mountains in Moab's national park

3 Moab: Explore Utah’s National Parks

Make memories in the magnificent Moab region in Southern Utah where you can squeeze a lot of fun into a long birthday weekend. This is the perfect birthday getaway for a small group of outdoorsy gals who can chat, laugh and take super selfies against a perfect backdrop of iconic rock formations. If vast and desolate is your vibe, then you are going to love this area which makes other parks look as busy as the mall on Black Friday.

Trip Tip: Amazing Al Fresco

Admire an amazing view as you tuck into a well earned lunch on the White Rim of the Colorado River. The next morning, catch an unforgettable sunrise at Dead Horse Point State Park, after which your al fresco coffee and breakfast will taste like the most delicious food you have ever eaten.

Of course, the birthday girl needs to relax too, so as well as lots of hiking, expect fresh cooked food in a shared lodge plus meals out in excellent restaurants and some time for shopping for the perfect 40th birthday mementos in quaint, artsy Moab.

Book Your Moab Adventure
women on birthday trip in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies

4 Banff, Canada: Walk on Glaciers

For a birthday getaway for the chick who yearns for big skies and vast views, a chance to hike while taking in all the charm of the remote backcountry of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies is the perfect trip.

Spend glorious days in the fresh air hiking hut-to-hut while admiring towering mountains, waterfalls and glacier-fed lakes as you celebrate the start of a new decade of your life. Face endless choices on what jaw-dropping view you share next on Instagram as mile after magnificent mile reveals more of some of Mother Nature’s best work.

Trip Tip: Alpine Style

Some of this birthday trip will be spent in a downtown centrally located Banff hotel with all modern amenities. BUT whereas other hotel guests might get glimpses of the wilderness from the foyer, you will be fully immersed when you step out to head onto trails leading to Alpine style huts where you will spend the night before trekking across an ancient glacier. Prove that 40 is the new 30 and return to daily life with socials crammed full of captures.

Book Your Banff Adventure

5 Jordan: Combine History, Culture, and Adventure

Maybe you are more hot stuff than ice queen, in which case head straight to Jordan where you can slap on a battered Fedora and release your inner Indiana. (Whip optional????) Although some of the locations in this region have been featured in many movies, the desert retains its wild vibe and with the right guides you will be able to dodge most of the tourists to enjoy a more authentic experience for your special birthday.

I don’t know what appeals to me more about this trip—floating in the Dead Sea,  which is like the ultimate in spa treatment, or riding a camel across the desert pretending I’m looking for ancient magical treasures.

Trip Tip: Bedouin Life

Experience a true taste of authentic Bedouin life with a memorable glamping experience (yes, there will be an actual bed to ensure your comfort). Throw in a jeep safari and a chance to prepare one of your meals with experts from a female owned and run local culinary school and this HAS to tick many boxes on the old bucket list. You’ve grown up watching Indiana Jones (can you believe the first one came out in 1981?!), now go on your own Jordan crusade for your milestone birthday.

Book Your Jordan Adventure

6 Palm Springs, CA to Las Vegas, NV: Road Trip

Nothing shouts fun birthday trip like a gals road trip—just ask Thelma and Louise. Actually, maybe don’t…. But if you want to glow up the standard pilgrimage to Sin City, a road trip starting or ending in Palm Springs is perfect for a 40th birthday celebration without eating too much into the family vacation allocation.

Make sure you build in time for a dip in the eponymous hot springs. Meanwhile, the city’s Aerial Tramway offers great views through Chino Canyon en route to a museum and some beautiful hiking trails. If you like art galleries, check out Palm Springs Art Museum where you can enjoy live music. (There’s also an onsite restaurant.)

Trip Tip: En Route

On your journey, make sure you stop and visit some of the many fascinating and sometimes completely bonkers sights along the way. From the world’s tallest thermometer and the themed Alien Jerky store, both in Baker, there are lots of fun things to do and see to make your birthday memorable.

Travel by motorbike, RV, car or bus. You’ll get a great price going by bus (make sure it has air conditioning though) and you could put what you save towards staying on one of Vegas’ many luxury resorts but you will have more freedom self-driving.

Book Your Vegas Adventure
Explorer Chick women at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park overlooking Half Dome

7 Private Guided Birthday Getaway!

Celebrate your 40th birthday in style by booking a private trip with Explorer Chick! Gather your closest friends, family, or whoever makes your adventure squad, and embark on a personalized journey tailored just for you.

Whether it’s a serene escape, an adrenaline-pumping adventure, or a cultural immersion, we’re here to make it happen. Choose one of our trips, but know we’re flexible with duration, route, and excursions —  your private trip is customizable. And because it’s YOUR private trip, you can even invite the Explorer Dudes and kiddos along.

Other 40th Birthday Destinations

Alaska Hiking, Kayaking, and Glacier Tour
Alaska Hiking, Kayaking, and Glacier Tour

7 DAYS, ALASKA

Bucket List, Glacier Trek, Hiking, Ice Climbing, Multisport, National Park, Paddling, US-Based, Water Sports, Wildlife
Hotel, Locally Unique
Galapagos Island Hopping Multisport Adventure
Galapagos Island Hopping Multisport Adventure

9 DAYS, ECUADOR

Bucket List, Hiking, International, Multisport, Paddling, Tropical, Water Sports, Wildlife
Hotel, Locally Unique
Iceland Glaciers and Hot Springs Winter Adventure
Iceland Glaciers and Hot Springs Winter Adventure

7 DAYS, ICELAND

Bucket List, Glacier Trek, Hiking, Hot Springs, Ice Climbing, International, Multisport, Off Roading, Snowy Adventures
Hotel
Machu Picchu Hiking, Biking, and Rafting Adventure
Machu Picchu Hiking, Biking, and Rafting Adventure

8 DAYS, PERU

Bucket List, Camping, Cycling, Hiking, International, Multisport, White Water Rafting
Hotel
Patagonia W Trek Hut to Hut New
Patagonia W Trek Hut to Hut

7 DAYS, CHILE

Backpacking, Bucket List, Hiking, Multiday Treks, New, Trekking
Hotel, Mountain Huts
Shenandoah Hiking, Winery, and Sunsets Weekend New
Shenandoah Hiking, Winery, and Sunsets Weekend

3 DAYS, VIRGINIA

Hiking, Multisport, National Park, US-Based, Weekend
Locally Unique
Yellowstone Hiking and Wildlife with Grand Teton
Yellowstone Hiking and Wildlife with Grand Teton

7 DAYS, WYOMING

Bucket List, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hot Springs, Multisport, National Park, US-Based, White Water Rafting, Wildlife
Hotel

Why the big 4-0 is a milestone birthday

The big 4-0 is a big birthday for many reasons. Like any birthday with a 0 in it, it marks the transition from one decade to another and gives us a reason to examine the past and move forward into the future, wiser and hopefully stronger. Our sisters in the past could not dream of the opportunities we have, especially at the age of 40 and beyond. Turning 40 is a great time to finally learn who we are and what we are capable of and these 40th birthday trip ideas are aimed at helping you have fun, make friends and memories and realize your potential.

 

Other milestone birthdays

Obviously these suggestions are not exclusive for those turning 40.  Whether you are waving goodbye to your 20’s or striding into your 50’s there’s an experience out there for you. Check out some trip ideas for memorable 50th birthdays or 60th birthdays for some more birthday inspiration.

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