Celebrating the Big 4-0! Here are my favorite 40th birthday trip ideas!
If you want to celebrate the big 40 birthday by taking an epic trip – then my list of the best unforgettable 40th birthday trip ideas is going to give you loads of inspiration!
After all, stepping into your forties is a momentous occasion, deserving a grand celebration that echoes the journey you’ve had so far and the exciting years that lie ahead.
And the best way to celebrate? It has to be an epic 40th birthday vacation!
In this blog post I’m going to talk about some of the most amazing birthday trip ideas for your 40th birthday, places that are dear to my own heart, and some places I dream of going to myself one day!
I’ve purposefully included locations both within and beyond the USA, because if there’s ever a time to splurge on a big international trip, it’s for your 40th birthday trip!
Let’s start with USA based 40th birthday trip ideas!
New York City
New York City is the ultimate USA city-break. It’s my favorite place in the world, and it’ll always be at the top of any list I write for unforgettable 40th birthday trip ideas!
Why does NYC make a perfect 40th birthday trip destination?
Well, during the day you’ve got endless sightseeing options, from observation decks, to world-famous parks, to movie sets iconic bridges and buildings.
Then, in the evening, you’ve got a massive selection of some of the most incredible restaurants in the country. Restaurants in NYC cover every cuisine imaginable, so if you want to spend your 40th birthday trying something new – this is it!
And of course, after the food, comes cocktails, and NYC has such a huge variety of bars. From sophisticated rooftop bars, to dive-bars, retro gaming bars, and lively party venues.
Oh, and just to top it off, there is Broadway! Why not celebrate your 40th birthday by enjoying one of the best musicals in the world? They’re all in NYC!
You can tell why this made the top of my list for 40th birthday trip ideas, right?
Las Vegas is my next choice for 40th birthday trip destinations. And I LOVE Las Vegas.
If NYC isn’t quite your vibe, or maybe you imagined your 40th birthday trip somewhere a bit more resort-style, then Las Vegas is an amazing pick.
Las Vegas just has everything. It has the glamorous bars, incredible food, celebrity chef restaurants, astounding and awe-inspiring shows (Cirque-du-Soliel anyone?), the nightclubs, and even nature (if you don’t mind driving out to the Grand Canyon!).
Another reason I love Las Vegas, is how great it is for groups. Restaurants are used to big group bookings, and so are hotels.
Oh, and there’s the sunbathing and pool-side life too – if celebrating your 40th birthday at a pool party sounds like your idea of perfection, this might be the place for you!
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is another lively city, that would make an amazing choice for unforgettable 40th birthday trip ideas.
New Orleans has a little bit of everything.
From lively nightlife and a great bar scene, to an interesting culture and history too. Oh, and did we mention the amazing food?
If I spent my 40th birthday in New Orleans, I’d want to spend it enjoying some of the incredible local cuisine, and then experiencing the famous nightlife in the evenings!
Napa Valley, California
Next on my list of the best 40th birthday trip ideas, it’s Napa Valley.
Napa Valley is an ideal choice for people looking for a more relaxed and chilled-out 40th birthday trip.
Napa Valley is obviously famous for the wonderful vineyards and wine, so I’d recommend centering your trip there around this.
Book yourselves a stunning B&B in the countryside, and organize some scenic days in the local vineyards, sampling all the fresh produce and local wines.
This is a laid back, grown-up approach to 40th birthday vacation ideas, and I love it.
Now, if you’re looking for truly unique 40th birthday trip ideas, Alaska is an amazing idea.
A 40th birthday trip in Alaska, is going to be the ultimate adventure. Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip, and it’s something you’ll never forget. Like, ever.
So what would your 40th birthday trip consist of if you head to Alaska?
Ok, so picture lots of outdoor activities. Sailing, hiking, kayaking, whale-watching, all the good stuff. Alaska is like nowhere else in the world.
For landscape lovers, and photography lovers, this would be an incredible choice for an unforgettable 40th birthday.
Next up, it’s a slightly more affordable pick for 40th birthday trip ideas.
Atlantic City offers the party-vibe of locations like Las Vegas, but it’s definitely a bit cheaper.
Now, I’m not saying that Atlantic City is the most sophisticated ideas, but it’s definitely fun.
And hey, if it’s good enough for the ladies on Sex and the City, it’s good enough for us!
Fun-filled, fiesty, affordable and cheesy – sounds like an ideal pick to me!
Next up on my ultimate list of the best 40th birthday trip destinations, it’s Seattle.
Now, I know Seattle might not strike you as an obvious pick for 40th birthday vacation ideas, but let me assure you, it’s great fun and has so much to offer.
Now, to be clear, if I’m planning a 40th birthday trip to Seattle, I want to be visiting in July or August when the weather is at it’s best.
In July and August, you’re going to get gorgeous sunshine most days, perfect weather for sightseeing, hiking, roadtripping, shopping, and even whalewatching.
Seattle is an unsung hero, but it needs a mention because it’s a gorgeous city with so many activities and things to do, especially for outdoorsy types and foodies.
If you want party vibes, and a glamorous 40th birthday trip destination, then Miami is a great shout.
Miami (if you’ve got the budget to go large) is a fantastic destination for a 40th birthday trip.
You could hire out an incredible beachside apartment for all your friends, or you could book yourselves into one of the luxurious hotels along Miami Beach.
Spend your days tanning by the pool, and your nights experiencing the famous Miami nightlife!
When you’re ready for a break from the nightlife, venture out to local area like Little Havana, and experience some incredible food and culture instead.
Lake Tahoe is a wonderful choice for unforgettable 40th birthday trip ideas because it’s fantastic during both summer and winter.
In the summer, it’s this friendly, energetic, sunshine-soaked lake resort. You can take part in so many water-based activities, and mini festivals, and it’s so much fun!
In the winter, it evolves into a winter-style resort, with skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating.
So you can see, this place makes an ideal location for birthday vacations, all year round!
Why not combine your ultimate 40th birthday trip, with one of the biggest bucket items in the world?!
Niagara Falls is one of those must-see locations, at least once in your life. So why not pick it for your 40th birthday trip destination?
Niagara Falls has a reputation for being a little cheesy and tacky in places, but that’s kind of what makes it so fun!
In my opinion, this is a bit of a left-field choice for 40th birthday trip ideas, but I love it because of that!
It certainly won’t be what anyone is expecting, but you’ll have so much fun!
Now, let’s move onto international locations for 40th birthday trip ideas!
Who doesn’t dream of spending a week in London? Soaking in all the history and culture, and seeing one of the most iconic cities in the world?
That’s why London makes our first international pick for 40th birthday trip destinations.
London has a little bit of everything (it’s very similar to NYC in that way!). It has amazing sightseeing, historical buildings, tours, parks, iconic bridges and food markets!
London also has the Westend (similar to Broadway) where you’ll find some amazing theater and shows.
There are also some great day trips you can do from London too, such as the quaint beach town of Brighton (just an hour away on the train) and the royal town of Windsor (less than an hour!).
I adore London, so I obviously had to include it on my list of unforgettable birthday trip suggestions!
Singapore is one of the most modern and beautiful cities in the world, in my opinion, which is why I’ve included it in my list of 40th birthday trip ideas.
Singapore is definitely a ‘big trip’ because it’s soooo far away.
But is it worth the long flights? Hell yes!
You’ll find so much to do here, from world-class shopping, amazing temples, stunning nature and wildlife, beautiful beaches, theme parks, awe-inspiring hotels and so much more.
Oh, and that’s not even mentioning the FOOD. Because the food is the main reason you visit Singapore.
Singapore is a perfect 40th birthday trip destination for foodies. You would struggle to find somewhere most perfect for food lovers!
If it’s adventure you’re in search of when it comes to unforgettable 40th birthday vacation ideas, then let me suggest New Zealand.
New Zealand is an adventure paradise.
You’ll need at least 3 weeks in New Zealand though, so this is a big once-in-a-lifetime trip, perfect for celebrating your 40th birthday.
New Zealand has something for everyone, but it’s especially enjoyable for outdoorsy types and people who love walking, being active and being in nature.
You’ll find incredible hikes, stunning scenery, glacial lakes, mountain ranges, whale-watching, rugged beaches, cliffs, seal colonies, bustling cities and so much more.
I have a personal weak-spot for New Zealand (it’s my favorite country in the world), and I always want to encourage anyone to visit.
Edinburgh is my next suggestion for 40th birthday trip ideas.
Edinburgh is a magically city, full of gothic mystique and many historical curiosities.
If you want to visit somewhere friendly, lively and interesting, then Edinburgh is such a perfect pick.
The nightlife is fabulous, the restaurants are great, and the sightseeing is plentiful! They even have a castle!
And the best bit? You can also explore the rest of Scotland from Edinburgh too, as it doesn’t take much driving out of the city, to start getting into the countryside and scenery that makes Scotland so famous and well-loved.
Within a 1-2 hour drive of Edinburgh you have whiskey distilleries, mountains, lakes, beaches and so much more!
Overall, it’s a fantastic choice for 40th birthday trip destinations.
Dubai is one of my new favorite city locations, and I think it’s a wonderful pick for 40th birthday trip ideas.
Dubai is a global hub, located in the UAE, and it’s a magnificent modern city full of so many great attractions!
Why do I love Dubai?
Well, first of all I love how safe it is. This is one of the cities I feel most safe in as a woman traveler, and for that reason it would make an amazing choice for birthday vacations.
Dubai is also a really friendly city, and there’s so much for people to do there!
From luxury hotels, beach days, and rooftop bars, to shopping malls, food courts and dessert safaris. It’s really fun, and wonderful!
Rome is a wonderful choice for a magical birthday vacation.
Rome, which feels like stepping back in time, is one of those amazing European destinations that you shouldn’t miss!
Rome feels like walking around a movie set, you’ll recognize so many places here, and it’s so much fun!
And then you have the food scene too! Rome is home to some of Europe’s best Italian food! So if you’re a foodie celebrating their 40th birthday, this is such a perfect pick.
For history lovers, for food lovers, this place has it all.
Barcelona is another wonderful choice for 40th birthday trip ideas!
Barcelona is a bustling metropolis in Spain, but it also ha so much charm, history and culture too.
In the day time, spend your hours sightseeing or laying on Barcelona’s beach, and then in the evening enjoy some traditional Spanish tapas and sangria!
Barcelona is a city that can match whatever vibe you’re searching for. If you want nightlife and party vibes – Barcelona has it.
If you want laid back beach vibes, Barcelona has that too!
Machu Picchu, Peru
A once-in-a-lifetime pick for 40th birthday trip ideas, if you want to tick of an epic bucket list item this might be perfect for you!
Obviously, this is one of those birthday vacation ideas for adventurous types and people who love the great outdoors!
The views, the people, the epic landscapes, it’s incredible.
If you want to pick a showstopping choice for 40th birthday trip ideas then maybe Venice is for you.
Venice is a magical city, and you simply have to see it, to believe it.
The beauty of Venice is pretty indescribable, so the best thing to do, is to visit it for yourself!
From stunning canals, and gondolas, to historical buildings and wonderful food.
Venice has it all, and I think it’s a truly incredible choice for a fun birthday vacation! Just make sure you pack some comfy shoes – because (of boy!) you’re going to do lots of walking here!
Take a European Cruise
Lastly, on my list of the best 40th birthday trip ideas, it’s a ‘destination’ that covers many other destinations!
If you didn’t know, cruising around Europe is something relatively easy (because so many key cities and locations are grouped so closely together geographically).
I don’t know about you, but I think taking a European cruise would make a pretty epic choice for your 40th birthday!
You could spend your 40th birthday trip exploring many cities all in one trip, including some of the ones mentioned above!
Not bad, huh?