Top Destinations for Celebrating Life’s Milestones

Cherish moments in your life with travel to places such as France, East Africa, Bora Bora, and Maui.

picture of a couple snorkeling in Bora Bora
Celebrate your anniversary by snorkeling in the turquoise waters of Bora Bora. 
Martin Valigursky / Shutterstock

Psychologists tell us that celebrating life’s significant moments can be a way to express appreciation for the gifts we’ve received, our accomplishments, and the people in our lives. Mark your special milestone with a unique travel experience you can enjoy with your spouse, life partner, family, or friends.

25th Wedding Anniversary: Luxury Villa in Provence

It’s true that the French know how to live well. What better way to truly experience their joie de vivre than to anchor yourself in a luxury villa in Provence to celebrate your anniversary? Surrounded by lavender-scented gardens, olive groves, and vineyards, you’re perfectly situated to explore quaint villages, go wine tasting in the countryside, and frequent street markets to sample local wares. Famous for its soft, warm air and clear light, Provence has drawn a host of renowned artists, including Matisse, Van Gogh, and Cezanne, who captured the area’s rare beauty on canvas. Visit historic Avignon, immerse yourselves in the arts, explore Roman ruins in Arles, and savor vistas from Mont Ventoux. No need to choose between the countryside and the coast: Chic seaside towns on the Côte d’Azur are just a two-hour drive away, a perfect distance for a day trip ending in a romantic sunset dinner overlooking the glorious Mediterranean.

Fabulous 50th Birthday: African Safari

Wake up on the morning of your 50th birthday to sweeping views of the Serengeti and the murmur of the savanna in your ears. Celebrate your milestone year on safari. Camp in a luxurious tent in the midst of a game preserve, take a camel ride across the desert sands, and get a rare glimpse of the Masai Mara as you oversee the vast plains from the Olympian heights of a helicopter.

For your once-in-a-lifetime celebration, you’ll descend into the Great Rift Valley of East Africa. Of course, you’ll encounter lions, cheetahs, gorillas, gazelles, and giraffes, but the crowning achievement of your journey may be ascending fabled Mount Kilimanjaro.

A safari can easily accommodate a multigenerational family, so bring along your loved ones, if you like, to enjoy all these “firsts” together.


Honeymoon: Romantic Bora Bora

Considered by many the jewel in the Tahitian crown, the pristine island of Bora Bora is undoubtedly among the most romantic places on Earth. Seductive as only French Polynesia can be, Bora Bora has lush jungles, dramatic peaks, Technicolor turquoise coves, and a turtle sanctuary just steps from your front door.

From the moment you glimpse Mount Otemanu rising from the jungle and catch the seductive scent of tiare flowers in the air, you’ll feel the day-to-day world fade. Choose a glass-floored over-water bungalow and you’ll fall asleep to the lapping of waves and wake to the flash of iridescent fish flitting through transparent water beneath you. Against the curtain of a fiery sunset, you’ll hop aboard a fleet catamaran for yet another memory you can hold on to forever.

Second Honeymoon: Indulge In Maui

If swinging in a hammock beneath swaying palms and savoring some of the best seafood you’ll ever taste are on your checklist for a picture-perfect honeymoon, Maui is the place to realize your dreams. On the laid-back “Valley Isle,” it’s all about enjoying every minute of your visit. Some lovebirds just want to lounge around the pool and stroll on Maui’s soft sand beaches; others want to bond over an adventure. Take your pick: Choices include a helicopter tour of the island, paddleboarding with humpback whales, viewing the sunrise from the crater atop the volcano Haleakala, and snorkeling in Honolua Bay, where angel fish, sea turtles, octopuses, and eels flourish.

Maui’s all-inclusive honeymoon packages can be tailored to suit your preferences. Why not enjoy being catered to for your special occasion? Whether your plans include a restorative honeymoon massage, a wild night of Luau fun, or a candlelight dinner on the sand, delivering personal service is a Maui tradition. Go ahead and indulge.

This article was first published in November 2012 in Traveler and updated in March 2019.