50th Birthday Travel Ideas

Our guide on where to celebrate this landmark occasion

Celebrate in style somewhere special

Your 50th is around the corner and you now have the exciting task of planning an ultra-special celebration and what better way to celebrate the landmark of reaching half a century than with the perfect holiday? Whether it's setting out on a daring adventure, spending time in a cosmopolitan city with your nearest and dearest or retreating to a hidden beach hideaway with a special someone, we have a selection of ideas to inspire you on the best way to ring in your 50th year.

Active Adventures

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.

Couple in front of Machu Picchu - Peru Tours - South America Tours - On The Go Tours
Andean landscapes and Inca ruins

Trek to Machu Picchu

Follow the ancient road of the Incas through the stunning terrain of the Andes to the lost citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru. The 4 day Inca Trail is a mix of challenging ascents, steep descents and enjoyable flats that bring you to the famed Sun Gate for that first glimpse of Latin America's most popular New World Wonder. Celebrate your achievement in the charming colonial city of Cuzco with a thriving nightlife, perfect if you're looking for a party. And while you're in Peru, why not tick off another bucket list entry with a visit to the Amazon Rainforest?

Mount Kilimanjaro Main
Africa's toughest challenge

Tackle Kilimanjaro

An incredible place to celebrate half a decade’s worth of living is on top of the world’s tallest free-standing 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?

Everest Base Camp Highlight
The world's tallest mountain

Make it to Everest Base Camp

If you really want to achieve something remarkable, consider taking on the world's tallest mountain with a trek to Everest Base Camp. No mean feat, this trek inspires thousands of people each year with the promise of dramatic Himalayan scenery and remote tea houses. Alternatively, there's the equally scenic though less challenging trekking route of the Annapurna Circuit with the chance to relax at lakeside Pokhara at the end. And once you've made it, unwind in the imperial cities of Nepal from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur where you can explore grand squares and attractive palaces.

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.

Agra Highlight

The Taj Mahal

Discover the colours of India and the world's greatest monument to love with a trip to the spectacular Taj Mahal in Agra. And why not treat yourself to an overnight stay at the luxurious Oberoi Amarvilas for a room with a view? While in India you can feast on tasty curries, stay in more 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.

Petra Highlight

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 out 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! For a short and easy walk back after your big night, opt to stay at the Movenpick located right at the entrance to Petra. Thanks to Jordan's proximity to Egypt, a visit to Petra can easily be combined with a visit to the great Pyramids.

Great Wall Highlight

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? Spend a night beside the Great Wall for a chance to appreciate its changing moods as the light of day waxes and wanes with the Brickyard at Mutianyu combining rural charm with modern comfort. A visit to the Wall can be perfectly combined with the imperial and culinary delights of Beijing and beyond from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

Giza Highlight

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. If you want the Pyramids of Giza on your doorstep, opt for a Pyramids View Deluxe room at the 5* Le Meridien Hotel and Spa located just 1km from the ancient wonders.

Inside-Indochina-Halong-Bay

Halong Bay

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 or enjoy a spot of tai chi at sunrise. Vietnam has plenty else to recommend it from the charming town of Hoi An to the beaches of the south and while you're here, you can easily add a little side trip to neighbouring Cambodia for the spectacular temples of Angkor Wat.

Amazing-Amazon-Itinerary-2-Ecuador-&-Galapagos-South-America

The Galapagos

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 islands in comfort meeting these unique animals for a birthday with a difference or if your legs are not the sea-faring sort, stick to terra firma and base yourself at the eco-friendly, beachfront Finch Bay Hotel for a different way to experience the islands.

Iceland Group Tour Main Image

Northern Lights

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. Fall asleep to the dazzling spectacle at the award-winning Ion Hotel with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking mountainous lava fields just an hour's drive from the international airport in Reykjavik. You can also combine the experience with the Blue Lagoon for a bit of deserved R&R.

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Trans-Siberian

Ride the world's longest and greatest train journey from Beijing to Moscow via the rolling plains of Mongolia for a 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 with the option to tailor your choice of stops for a holiday that's as individual as you are. And if you're looking for a touch of luxury while traversing one of the world's largest countries, nothing beats the Golden Eagle, a private train offering unrivalled service and comfort.

Safari holidays

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.


Okavango Delta Highlight
Iconic landscapes

Botswana

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.

Madagascar Vegetation
A unique eden

Madagascar

With a unique collection of animal species, stunning untouched beaches and superb underwater adventure offerings, Madagascar is a fantastic destination for a special celebration. Flights to and around the island aren't cheap with entrance fees to national parks also a little on the pricey side, which makes it a once-in-a-lifetime option for many travellers but with the chance to get up close and personal with cheeky lemurs, and explore lush jungles and underwater wonderlands, a trip here is priceless. Those of you with cash to splash will find plenty of temptation in the island's choice of exclusive accommodation options too.

Masai Mara Highlight
Wildlife spectacles

Kenya

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.

Serengeti Highlight
Safari and beach

Tanzania

Like its neighbour Kenya, Tanzania also excels at safari adventures sharing with Kenya the Great Migration, an excellent choice of lodge accommodation and plenty of spectacular landscapes from the endless plains of the Serengeti to the awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater. Here too you can also take a safari with a bird's eye view on board a hot air balloon and combine some rest and relaxation with Zanzibar, a slice of paradise lying in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean with miles of idyllic beaches.

Fish River Canyon Highlight
Natural wonders

Namibia

From the towering sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the expansive desert of the Kalahari, Namibia is home to some of the most unique landscapes in Africa. Keen photographers will find no end of opportunities while wildlife seekers will be sufficiently entertained with the national parks on offer. With interesting colonial towns, charming guesthouses and luxury hotels, excellent infrastructure and reputation as one of the safest countries in Africa, Namibia is the perfect self-drive destination, ideal if you prefer an independent holiday.

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Family friendly

South Africa

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:

Buenos Aires Highlight
A feast for the senses

Buenos Aires

The seductive capital of Argentina is a top choice for a cultural city break. By day you can explore the European-style streets lined with excellent shops and at night you can experience the true sensuality of the city from the busy restaurants serving up mouth-watering steaks to the hip bars offering the country's great wines. Top it off with a traditional tango show or why not give it a go yourself with beginner classes held throughout the city. For something even more special, head out of Buenos Aires to a nearby estancia for a taste of the Argentinean pampa with horse riding and spa services just some of the activities to tempt you.

Cape Town Highlight
Nature on the doorstep

Cape Town

Backed by the soaring Table Mountain and fronting miles of coastline, Cape Town is not short on natural beauty and offers the best of urban and outdoor adventure. The proudly multicultural city is home to a world-class restaurant, arts and shopping scene, as well as charming boutique hotels, with easy access to pretty vineyards around Stellenbosch and sunny beaches while the nearby national parks contain an astonishing bio-diversity with ample hiking opportunities. Cape Town is also the perfect starting point for exploring the famed Garden Route and its charming towns, ancient forests and secluded beaches, ideal for a self-drive holiday with friends.

Istanbul Highlight
An incredible history

Istanbul

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 Highlight
Party capital of the world

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.

Marrakech djemaa el fna square - On The Go Tours
Magical escapes

Marrakech

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.

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Asian flavour

Bangkok

The capital of Thailand is well-known for its excellent street food, gleaming temples, lively markets and sense of fun, a brilliant combination for a birthday celebration where you can combine culture with a raucous party at the end of the day. There's no shortage of great hotel options in the city and if your idea of the perfect birthday break includes a few days relaxing on a tropical, palm-fringed beach then Thailand delivers in spades. Combine Bangkok with the nearby ruins of Ayuthaya, the war history of Kanchanaburi, the hill tribes of Chiang Mai or your pick of beaches in the south from Phuket to Krabi, Phi Phi island to Koh Samui.

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.

Classic Tours

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.

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.

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