4 Ideas for Celebrating Special Occasions with Travel

Mitchell and Megan on hike in Malibu

If you’ve read a little bit about me before, you’d know that as a kid, my parents gave my little brother and I a choice for what to do for our birthdays each year; have a party or choose celebrating with travel somewhere in California.

Quite the Sophie’s choice for an extroverted adventurer.

I adored parties but I loved exploring more, and if I didn’t choose party, I know that I could count on my introverted brother to choose a trip for his birthday a few months later. A win-win!

As I got older, I continued this tradition with my college and now post-grad friends. Here are some of my best ideas so far that you can implement for your own or others’ secial occasions.

Materials needed: a birthday or anniversary, the adventure bug, and friends.

Celebrating with Travel

Idea 1: Camping

One of my most frequent choices – this one is a great way to save money while still getting to go somewhere new. I can invite a lot of friends for very little cost once it’s split up. 

You can make it extra fun by bringing along birthday – themed snacks to eat around the campfire or just add rainbow sprinkles to your S’mores.

Past location choices include: Montana de Oro State Park, San Clemente, & Malibu.

Megan and Shelby at Bear Cost Coffee
Montana de Oro Camping Ocean Overlook

Idea 2: Book a Day Trip

If you and your friends have tight schedules, you can just plan a quick afternoon trip doing something you’ve always wanted to.

Even if it’s just a brunch stop you’ve always driven past, it’s a way to get out of your typical day and make your birthday something special. 

Past day trips include: San Diego Zoo, Huntington Beach, & this 27th birthday: Temecula Wine Tasting!


Idea 3: Plan Ahead to Travel Further

While living and working in China, it just so happened that our holiday break for Lunar New Year fell around my February birthday.

As my friends and I narrowed down our options in Southeast Asia for 6 weeks of travel, we chose our top 4 countries and I thought of what a dream it would be to spend my 25th birthday in Bali, so we planned the rest of the itinerary around being in Indonesia on February 11th.

We applied the same plan again as we decided to spend Laura’s birthday the following week in Shanghai instead of going back to our school in Henan province right away.

Megan with monkey on shoulder in Ubud

Idea 4: Staycation

There’s just innately something fun about sleeping in a hotel or AirBnb! So if you don’t have time to go out of town, you could try one of these.

Book an AirBnb in a part of town that you really enjoy and walk to breakfast the next morning!

OR use Hotel Tonight to book a room at an upscale hotel for 40-60% off full price! This way, you’ll get to stay somewhere you wouldn’t usually be able to splurge on.

Breakfast Republic eggs and cinnamon roll pancakes

Use these tips to celebrate with travel for any occasion and make lifelong memories. Cheesy but true!

Want to plan budgeting ahead of time? Use this tool!

Pinterest: Celebrate with Travel

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