50th Birthday Travel Ideas
Celebrate in style somewhere special
Your 50th is around the corner and you now have the exciting task of planning an ultra-special celebration. What better way to celebrate reaching a half century than by heading to a far flung corner of the world on holiday? Whether it's setting out on a daring Antarctic cruise, heading into the African bush on safari or finally visiting the legendary Taj Mahal with your family, we have a selection of ideas to inspire you.
Age is but a number and turning 50 is no reason to start slowing down. If your idea of the perfect birthday celebration involves taking on some of the world's most demanding treks, but also rewarding yourself with incredible experiences, these suggestions might be right up your alley.
Set sail on an Antarctic cruise
Head south from Argentina to the ends of the Earth on an Antarctic cruise. Setting sail from Ushuaia, our range of expedition cruises allow you to take in the Antarctic peninsula as well as a range of destinations, from the Falklands to South Georgia. Home to lumbering seals, cute penguins and majestic whales, this is as close as you can get to an untouched wilderness in todays modern world.
Recommended tour: Classic Antarctica →
An incredible place to celebrate half a decade’s worth of living is from the top of Africa's highest mountain. To get there, take the invigorating hike up Mount Kilimanjaro enjoying the breathtaking views from Africa’s highest point. Look out over the Tanzanian savanna, filled with wildlife, before heading back down for a spectacular safari adventure and a closer view of the animals. And what better way to recover from such a physical challenge than on the pristine beaches of Zanzibar for a few days unwinding in the sun?
Recommended tour: Mt Kilimanjaro Climb →
Hike in the shadow of Everest
If you really want to achieve something remarkable, consider travelling to Nepal for a trek in the Himalayas. On our Annapurna Panorama tour you can explore Kathmandu and spot wildlife in Chitwan National Park before enjoying a six day trek in the foothills of the mountains, with Everest towering above you in the distance.
Recommended tour: Annapurna Panorama →
Bucket List Destinations
You only turn 50 once. So why not celebrate the occasion with a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, ticking off a bucket list destination or two? Discover one of the New Seven Wonders of the World - or see them all with our Ultimate Bucket List Tour - or make the journey as much a part of the experience as the destination with some of the planet's most thrilling train or cruise voyages. These destinations are a top spot for your friends and family to get together for a memorable celebration with plenty of options after the party for those who want to go off and explore further and our travel consultants are on hand to recommend individual tours to suit everyone.
The Taj Mahal
Discover the charms of India and the world's greatest monument to love with one of our tours, taking in the magical Taj Mahal in Agra. While in India you can feast on tasty curries, stay in lavish heritage properties ranging from forts to palaces, go wild on a tiger safari, head south for the tropical beaches of Kerala and Goa, and immerse yourself in the culture of this captivating country. The choice is yours!
The Lost City of Petra
Journey to Jordan to marvel at the Rose City of Petra and enjoy the country's natural wonders with a dip in the Dead Sea and a night spent under the stars at Wadi Rum. And if there's not enough candles on your birthday cake, visit Petra by Night for a magical experience and more than enough candles! Thanks to Jordan's proximity to Egypt, a visit to Petra can easily be combined with a trip to the Pyramids.
The Great Wall of China
The world's longest man-made wall sure is great and imagine starting your 50th watching the sun rise over this world wonder? A visit to the Wall can be perfectly combined with the imperial and culinary delights of Beijing and beyond from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Our extensive range of China tours is sure to have something to your liking.
The Pyramids of Giza
If we're talking about world wonders, the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World surely deserves a moment of your attention. Claimed by some to be the work of aliens, these three great monuments are sure to leave you astounded and are easily the jewel in the crown of ancient Egypt's many treasures. And with the Grand Egyptian Museum due to open later in 2021, there's never been a better time to visit.
In 2011 the karst islands and jade waters of Halong Bay were voted one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and if you haven't already, it's about time you discovered why. Cruise among stunning scenery on board a beautiful junk boat with excursions to amazing caves and floating villages. Vietnam has plenty else to offer, from the charming town of Hoi An to the beaches of the south, with neighbouring Cambodia a great option too!
The archipelago that inspired Darwin's world-changing theory of evolution is a destination like no other in the world, home to a staggering number of endemic species and dramatic landscapes of lava beaches and volcanic mountains. Cruise around the Galapagos islands in comfort, meeting these unique animals for a birthday with a difference.
Active throughout the polar regions during the winter months, the Northern Lights are one of Mother Nature's most impressive displays and a night or two spent admiring the show in Iceland is the perfect way to mark your birthday. Throw in active volcanoes, erupting geysers and the famous Blue Lagoon, and you have the perfect birthday trip.
Ride the world's longest and greatest train journey from Beijing to Moscow via the rolling plains of Mongolia on the trip of a lifetime. As one of the world's most popular journeys, the Trans-Siberian has plenty to offer, from stunning landscapes to historic cities. We can even tailor your choice of stops to create the perfect tour for you.
Join a group or do it your own way?
We offer an exciting range of group tours to destinations around the world and our group tours are an excellent choice for birthday boys and girls on a budget or those flying solo and looking to share their big day with like-minded adventurers. Alternatively, we also arrange private Tailor-made itineraries, which are perfect for those organising a party to share with friends and families on a customised trip.
If you've haven't yet headed to Africa to spot the Big 5, then your Big 5-0 might just be the perfect time to indulge in a safari holiday, staying at some of Africa's best lodges. Spend your days on the look-out for the continent's most famous animal residents and relax with a sundowner under African skies when evening draws. Some of Africa's most popular destinations also give you the opportunity to combine wildlife adventure with beach relaxation, the perfect holiday combination. And if you're on a budget or get a thrill out of camping in the wild, then you can also take a look at our overland camping expeditions for inspiration but for now, here's our selection of top safari destinations.
Home to the dazzling watery world of the Okavango Delta and the vast, dry sands of the Kalahari Desert at the other extreme, Botswana offers some of Africa's most impressive wildlife spectacles. Here you can glide along rivers on a dugout canoe in search of wildlife or marvel at the barren, prehistoric lake beds. Botswana is known for its low-impact accommodation options with stunning lodges in remote locations offering unique safari experiences whether it's overlooking a popular watering hole or offering guided walks with local bushmen learning about their ancient culture.
Claiming the Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru to name just a few, Kenya has long been a top safari destination, offering the chance to spot the Big 5 with incredible landscapes and unique experiences. Here you can witness the Great Migration from the comfort of a luxury lodge or float above the Masai Mara and the herds of animals that inhabit the famed nature reserve by hot air balloon. And if that wasn't enough you can also top off your safari adventure with a few days of sun-worshipping on the tropical beaches of Mombasa.
Home to a number of world-renowned national parks and privately-owned game reserves, South Africa is a firm favourite among safari enthusiasts. With many of these reserves free of malaria, it's also a top safari destination if you're looking to celebrate your birthday with the younger members of the clan. Then, of course, there's the Kruger National Park, one of Africa's largest and home to an impressive range of wildlife, as well as excellent connections to Victoria Falls, one of the continent's most impressive natural wonders.
Cultural City Breaks
City breaks are a great choice if you want to celebrate with a group of friends and loved ones spending days discovering urban highlights, stopping off at local coffee shops to watch the world go by, before an evening dining and drinking in some of the world's finest restaurants and bars. Here's are some of our top city break picks:
The exotic city of Istanbul offers a true blend of both Europe and Asia with incredible ancient monuments, bustling bazaars, and a diverse cuisine that matches its fascinating heritage. Here you can discover a rich history influenced by some of the world's greatest civilisations and celebrate with a champagne sunset cruise on the Bosphorus with the night spent in one of the city's top hotels. And there's also the option to head further afield in Turkey to the staggeringly beautiful coastline for sun, sea and sand or to the interior for an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia at sunrise, the perfect way to mark the big day.
Rio de Janeiro
If your idea of celebrating a landmark birthday includes riotous nightlife, glamorous beaches and tropical landscapes, where better to celebrate the big 5-0 than in the party capital of the world? Whether you want to time your visit with the legendary Rio Festival held each year in February or spend your birthday experiencing the party atmosphere that prevails throughout the rest of the year, Rio de Janeiro is nothing short of an exhilarating option with the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana on the doorstep and one of the world's New Seven Wonders - the towering Christ the Redeemer statue - looking out across the city. Like any self-respecting city famed the world over, Rio is not short on chic restaurants and stunning hotels.
With delicate coloured minarets, lively souks and a melting pot of cultures, Marrakech is one of the planet's most evocative destinations. Here you can dine on delicious tagines in classy restaurants, shop for colourful crafts, explore the labyrinth-like medina and immerse yourself in the cacophony of Berber and Arab influences. The city is also perfectly located for adventures further afield from a night spent camping under the stars of the Sahara desert to trekking in the scenic High Atlas mountains where Richard Branson's luxury Kasbah Tamadot provides a magical place to celebrate your landmark birthday.
Recommended tours for your 50th birthday
To get you started, here's a selection of our tours that would perfectly suit a landmark birthday celebration. But these are just a small sample of the tours and itineraries we offer, so if you have something particular in mind, head to your chosen destination for our full range.
If the dates don't quite match then don't forget that we also offer Tailor-made holidays - we can create a private itinerary to perfectly match your dreams in many of our destinations, from Egypt to India and Vietnam to Turkey.
GET IN TOUCH TO START PLANNING YOUR 50TH →
If these recommendations have you reaching for your passport and suitcase, get in touch! Our reservations team would be happy to discuss the destinations mentioned here and any itineraries you may have in mind so feel free to contact us to start planning that dream 50th celebration.