The best places to travel for your birthday

The best places to travel for your birthday

Taking a trip for your birthday can be a memorable way to mark the special occasion. Whether traveling alone or with family or friends, it’s fun to kick off another year around the sun by getting to know a new city. Explore some of our favorite places to travel for your birthday, plus discover practical tips for making your trip as easy as possible. 

New York City

The City That Never Sleeps is one of the best places to travel for a birthday any time of year. This buzzing cosmopolitan metropolis offers the best of everything, from high-energy concerts to captivating theater performances to world-class restaurants. New York City is affordable for any budget, too. If you’re open to spending a little extra, go all out and stay at a five-star luxury hotel, sip cocktails in a dimly lit speakeasy and treat yourself to an afternoon at the finest spa. If you’re cash-strapped, you can still find plenty of inexpensive activities. Board the Staten Island Ferry for a free trip past the Statue of Liberty, walk the High Line rail trail and score discounted Broadway or off-Broadway tickets at a TKTS booth. 

The “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign is lit up at night with palm trees and colorful lights in the background behind it.

Las Vegas

If you’re looking for places to travel for a 21st birthday or even 51st birthday, Las Vegas should be a contender. Feeling lucky? Stop in at the casinos on The Strip or around light-filled Downtown to try your hand at poker, craps, blackjack and many more games. If you’re looking to party, head to a rooftop pool during the day and a lively club at night. Those who want a more low-key experience can head to the Arts District, where you’ll find performance spaces in former warehouses and a number of microbreweries. Beyond the usual Vegas experience, you can take an adventurous day trip to Red Rock Canyon, Valley of Fire State Park and even the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

Anchorage 

In the mood for travel birthday ideas that are off the beaten path? Consider heading to Anchorage, Alaska, where you can take a day cruise through majestic waters to see incredible glaciers and wildlife, like otters, whales, seals, bears, bald eagles and moose. Taking the train through Alaska offers a unique way to see the countryside in a relaxed, comfortable space. Likewise, a bike tour offers an opportunity to really explore and reach remote areas as you cycle off-road through mountains and alongside rivers. 

A green vineyard that curves uphill toward a setting sun. A colorful hot air balloon floats on the top left side of the image.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a summer birthday idea that lets you enjoy California’s wine country. In addition to tasting your way through some of the country’s best wineries, you can map out your meals at incredible Michelin-starred restaurants. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including golfing, cycling and hiking. Want to try something a little different for your big day? Drift over the beautiful valley in a hot air balloon. Opt for a sunrise or sunset tour for an even more colorful sight.

New Orleans

New Orleans is a vibrant city most known for its jazz scene, Creole cuisine and annual celebrations, like Mardi Gras, the French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest. Take a walking tour through the historic French Quarter, where you can try a beignet at the famous Café Du Monde, scope out the clubs and bars you’ll go to later on Bourbon Street and appreciate the neighborhood’s unique architecture that blends French, Spanish and Caribbean influences. Treat yourself to a ride aboard Steamboat Natchez to cruise down the mighty Mississippi River with a cocktail in hand and live jazz in the background.

Birthday trip tips 

The more money you can save on hotels, flights and a rental car, the more you’ll have to splurge on experiences. Treat yourself to more — and ensure a stress-free trip — by following these four tips.

Save money by booking in advance

You’re likely to find good deals when you book in advance. Hotels often slash rates if you book 30 or more days ahead of your trip or stay for at least three or four consecutive nights. Likewise, you can find early bird specials for flights and lower daily rates for rental cars.

Take advantage of credit card rewards

Many credit cards have rewards programs that allow you to redeem points for travel. Check your points to see if you have enough to use toward a hotel or flight, either by transfering to a rewards partner or booking directly through your credit card’s booking platform. Some rewards programs have special hotel partner offers that give you perks like free breakfast, a food and beverage credit, early check in and late check out if you book directly through the program. If you aren’t familiar with what your rewards program offers, poke around its website or call the benefits line to see what they have to offer. 

Ask for group discounts

If you’re traveling with a squad of friends or family for your birthday, you might qualify for a group discount for things like group tours and hotel blocks. It’s a great way to save money and ensure there’s enough room for everyone who is coming to celebrate with you. 

Find the right car rental

A quality rental car with perks can remove a lot of stress from your birthday trip. Using Avail car sharing, for instance, means you automatically have insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance included in your trip. Plus, there’s no cost to add a second driver or cancel if your birthday plans change at the last minute. Planning a birthday trip is a fun experience regardless of where you’re headed. Getting around town with a rental car gives you flexibility to travel on your own schedule, or explore a bit further off the beaten path.