Have you been thinking about things to do before 30? Check out this 30 things to do before 30 checklist of ideas to try out before your 30th birthday.
It’s funny to see this 30 things to do before 30 list because I officially turned 30 this year! I originally wrote this post when I was 28 and had big hopes for this list… then the pandemic hit – oof.
So I may not have been able to accomplish everything here, but with the world slowly returning to a more normal place, I’ve updated this post for those of you who still have their 30th birthday on the horizon.
Even at 30 years old, I can’t help but think about where my life is currently vs. where I had expected things to be, especially after the previous year and a half. Some things I’ve hit the target on, and others I feel like I’ve missed out on.
This has me thinking about where I would like life to be by the time I turn 31 and beyond, and I know I can’t be the only one thinking about this. I feel like the past few years didn’t count, so I’ll be trying to make some of these up soon!
Turning 30 is a huge milestone in everyone’s life.
When you come across these types of milestones, it’s natural to reflect on life so far and what you’ve accomplished so far. It can become inspiring to think about other things you can achieve.
Why not get started now, and see how much of the 30 before 30 manage to squeeze in?
Of course, this post is not limited to those who are 29 and under. If any of these ideas stand out to you, definitely try them out! No age requirements here!
Enjoy this realistic 30 before 30 list of bucket list birthday ideas!
30 Things to Do Before 30
Do Something that Scares You
Doing something that scares you, usually helps you grow as a person.
I’m not just talking about things like sky diving, bungee jumping etc. Although if that’s your jam, then definitely go ahead and live your best life!
When I’m mentioning to do something that scares you, I’m also talking about something likely a bit safer. Tell someone how you feel about them, go to a movie alone, hold a spider.
Doing something out of your comfort zone and seeing that you can do it and survive is a great feeling!
Forgive and Let Go of the Past
Forgiveness is so healing, and what better time to clear out emotional garbage than when you’re heading into a new decade.
When you hold grudges, you’re the only one truly affected by it. The person you hold a grudge against will have no idea that you’re harbouring these negative feelings towards them, and you’re the one that ends up suffering in the end. Take this time to stop holding grudges, and finally allow yourself the space to move on.
Releasing past grievances will leave you feeling so much lighter, especially if you find that you’re still holding onto a situation that happened years ago.
Put an end to it, and choose to forgive them. You’re doing it for yourself.
Money can be confusing and overwhelming, but once you start making money, it’s a really good idea to begin investing some of that hard earned cash. Learn about different methods of investing, and choose the one that suits you best.
Do One Good Deed for Someone Daily
Being kind is cool!
Think of the last time someone did something nice for you just because. It made you feel pretty darn good right? Aim to make someone feel that way every day! It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day!
Learn a New Language
Learning a new language is a lot of work, but it’s so much fun.
When you learn languages it actually improves your brain overall too, so that’s a pretty sweet bonus!
Choose a language that you think you would love to take a lot of time practicing, and preferably one that you can use somewhere you’d like to travel! Imagine going somewhere you already love, or somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit and being able to communicate with the locals!
If you haven’t gone camping in nature yet, what are you waiting for?
Camping is a fun adventure and a great way to connect with yourself and disconnect from electronics for a bit, as well as get a break from city living.
With fun things to do like hiking, canoeing, and swimming, what can be better than spending the weekend under the stars? Just make sure you remember to bring your bug spray!
Go on a Road Trip
This can be a long distance, cross country type of trip, or it can be just driving an hour away to explore a new town.
Get in the car with a couple of great friends, blast the tunes, and go exploring! You’ll see so much that you would have otherwise missed it you were traveling by train or plane!
A cross country road trip is a great way to get to see the nooks and crannies of your own backyard.
Take a city break to a fun city like San Francisco, or experience some magical wonders of nature like the northern lights, or take a walk around the Grand Canyon National Park.
Be Financially Independent
Your 20’s can be a bit of a financial mess since finances aren’t often taught in school.
Try to clean things up as much as you can before hitting your 30’s. Pay off your credit card debt and loans, start working on your student loans, start saving, and start an emergency fund!
Bonus points if you also have a retirement fund in place. It feels great to have that feeling of financial freedom, and what better way to feel like a proper adult than that!
Get after those financial goals! When you turn 30, your credit score will thank you!
Travel to a Place Where You Don’t Know the Language
There’s something exciting and terrifying being in a place where you can’t rely on speaking English. Get your adrenaline pumping by trying out places in a different country.
Trying to get by with minimal words you memorized ahead of time, and a little game of charades with some locals is an experience that you won’t soon forget!
You grow when you’re out of your comfort zone!
Go to a Concert
Even if you’ve already been to a concert in the past, planning to see a concert before you turn 30 gives you something fun to look forward to. Maybe even plan your 30th birthday party to coincide with a fun concert night!
Find out if any of your favorite artists are going to be performing near you and grab some tickets (you might want to look a fair bit ahead of time if they’re prone to selling out venues).
Or if you live in a more secluded area, you could travel to where your fave singer will be performing. You could also go to a local concert to find some new talent!
Get a Tattoo
Tattoos aren’t your thing? No worries, feel free to skip this one (you don’t want to begin this new decade feeling like you made a huge mistake). But if you’ve been wanting a tattoo for a while now, or want to add to your current collection, find a fun or meaningful tattoo to commemorate the once in a lifetime event of entering your 30s!
Join a Club
Finding a club with people who are into the same thing as you is a great way to make some friends and spend some time engaging with something you enjoy!
Maybe join book clubs as an excuse to make time to read more books this year!
You could also try out clubs that can help you expand your knowledge in a hobby that you currently enjoy. Make a point to go out and meet new friends with the options in your city.
Train for and Run a Half Marathon
If you’re not a runner, this may be out of your comfort zone, but that’s what makes it such an exciting prospect!
Have a look online for when a marathon or a half marathon will be happening near you for a cause that you feel passionate about, and begin training for it.
The feeling of accomplishment, once you reach the finish line in a half marathon, will be completely worth it.
Learn How to Cook in a Cooking Class
If you don’t know how to cook yet, this could be a good time to begin. You don’t want to go through your 30’s living on takeout and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Sign up for a cooking class to learn how to prepare a few healthy meals for yourself that you can meal prep ahead of time so you have something tasty to look forward to during the week when dinner time comes around.
You could even challenge yourself to create a signature dish and invite a few people over to throw a dinner party to show off all of your new skills learned in your cooking class!
See a Show on Broadway
There’s nothing quite like the big bright lights of the city. Take some time in the city and check out a musical while you’re at it.
There are so many shows to choose from these days so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something that you’ll enjoy. It’s quite the experience to see people performing their hearts out with so much passion and talent.
Work in a Retail or Service Job
As someone who spent my first working years in retail, I can say it can be very obvious to see someone who hasn’t worked in the retail or service industries (obviously not the case for everyone).
However, if you happen to be looking for a bit more money through the week, try picking up a job in a restaurant or a mall.
Even spending a few months in a job like this will give you a completely new appreciation for other people in these roles. It’s definitely a character building experience.
Want to be a world traveler? Traveling solo is a must at least once in a lifetime! It helps you to build independence and confidence.
Traveling just feels different when you know everything relies on yourself.
It’s a great experience to not have to compromise with others on how to spend your time, but it’s also exhilarating to know that you’re 100% responsible. It’s also a great way to get to know yourself since you’re experiencing so much time on your own.
You’ll learn so much about yourself and you will grow as a person very quickly. The confidence you’ll feel when coming home from your first solo trip is unmatched.
Go to Disney World
Disney World is certainly not just for kids! If you haven’t gone yet, or if you’ve already been and loved it, why not check it out again before the big 3-0? Or even better, maybe plan to celebrate your 30th living out your childhood.
Eat at a Restaurant Alone
This seems to be something that a lot of people find scary to think of.
Being in your own company is a great way to connect with yourself, and why not do that while taking yourself on a dinner date?
It’s not at all as scary as you may think, and even if the idea of dining alone does make you nervous, that just makes it an even better thing to try!
Remember tip number one? Do something that scares you!
Get a Productive Morning Routine
As a night owl by nature, I can say that even though waking up earlier than needed at first might be hard, and frankly a pain in the ass, it is so worth it when you realize how much you’re able to get done with that time.
Is there something in your life you wish you had more time for? Try waking up earlier in the day to fit it into your daily routine.
Working out, reading a book, and practicing self care are some of the countless ways you can spend the extra time you will have in your day.
Putting a morning routine into your day is a great way to show yourself some self love, and show up as your best self!
Show Your Loved Ones How Much You Love Them Daily
This is so underrated, and something we should all do more of. Make sure that every day your family, friends, pets all know how much they mean to you.
You don’t have to be all mushy and profess your love to them, but just be kind, and show love in your actions.
Start a Hobby that will Challenge You
Finding new hobbies as an adult isn’t something we do as frequently as we did when we were younger.
If you’ve always wanted to dance, why not try now?
Learn to draw, learn how to code websites, try horseback riding. The options are endless.
Try something out that you’ve always wanted to try, and enjoy the learning process.
Learn How to Budget
Learning how to budget is key for keeping your finances in a healthy state.
By the time you turn 30, learning how to budget and save is important for the things you want to do in your future, like buying a house (if you haven’t already) or retiring!
Work at not going above your budget on frivolous things, and hopefully, it will lead you to a life of financial health.
Binge Watch a Show You’ve Always Wanted to See
We all have a show or two that we were interested to watch but never quite made the time to sit and see.
Why not take the time with all of the current streaming services at our fingertips and spend a weekend with some good snacks and knock it off of your bucket list and see what all the fuss was about?
This is likely the biggest idea on the list and I’m sure it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if moving abroad is something you’ve always wanted to do, why not see if you can make it work now?
There are an increasing amount of jobs where you can now work remotely, so why not see if you can pick up something like that, or see if your current placement would allow for that situation.
Try to find an amazing job offer in your country of choice and get out of your comfort zones.
There are other options, such as working as an au pair, bar tending, and hospitality that could help you work outside of your own country.
See what you can find around the world somewhere that is one of your bucket list destinations!
Start Your Dream Business or Job
Your 20’s are the best time to take career related risks before you have too many life and financial responsibilities on your plate that you have to consider.
Have you always wanted to start your own business? Or maybe there’s a specific position at a specific company that you’ve long had your eye on. Figure out what you can do to land the career of your dreams, and work your hardest to reach your goals.
Maybe you cant to do a complete career change! Learn a new skill and see if you can turn that into a new business!
Volunteer for a Cause You Care About
When you find something that you feel passionate about and you want to find a way to help, volunteering is always a great way to participate in making a difference. Plus it’s good to take some time from your life to dedicate to thinking about others and helping others.
Learn to Drive
If you haven’t mastered the skill of driving yet, why not take some lessons to improve, or to begin if it’s new to you.
The feeling when you get comfortable driving is very fulfilling and a confidence booster. Plus as you get older you’ll likely find that being able to drive yourself or your family around is a lot more convenient than using public transit, ride shares, or waiting for someone else to drive you around.
Start small and take your time until you’re comfortable, you’ll get there!
Enjoy a Meal at a Michelin Starred Restaurant
Going out to eat is a favorite pastime for many, but why not take it to the next level and go out with some loved ones and enjoy an amazing meal at a Michelin starred restaurant? Pick out your favourite items on the menu, and this will be a meal you’ll be remembering for years to come.
I’m not a big foodie, but I’d also love to experience the cooking at a Michelin star restaurant, so I’ll likely begin looking into that too!
Keep in mind, age is nothing but a number! Keep living your best life at every age!
Watch a Live Comedy Show
Enter your 30’s with a belly full of laughter by checking out a live comedy show in your city, or if you have a favourite comedian, find out their tour schedule and travel to see them on the road!
Watching a really good comedy routine feels healing to the soul. This could be another great way to celebrate hitting your 3rd decade milestone with some of the best memories!
Bucket List Before 30
If you plan on trying any of these ideas out in the near future, let me know in the comments which ones you’ll be trying! Personally, I’m currently trying to learn French, but have also started back up with trying to learn Danish!
Spend time leading up to your thirties to end some of your bad habits, and begin to live the life you’ve been dreaming of.
Reflect over the last decade, as you celebrate entering the next.