How to Make Your 40th Birthday Trip Memorable

I made my 40th birthday memorable with a special vacation because it was a huge turning point in my life. Maybe it’s because you realize that almost half of your life is behind you and you’re trying to figure out what is ahead in the next half. When I turned 40 in 2013, I planned a memorable vacation I took by myself so I could do exactly what I wanted to –  when I wanted to. I visited Los Angeles and Hollywood, California. So here are some of the keys to planning that fabulous 40th birthday trip, including my referral links.

How to Make Your 40th Birthday Trip Memorable

Solo or Group Travel?

Decide if you’re going by yourself or in a group.

I decided to go by myself for my 40th birthday vacation because I made last-minute plans and I had a very targeted idea of what I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure if any of my other friends would want to binge on celebrity gossip in Los Angeles. You may remember I took the famed TMZ Tour and watch a taping of Chelsea Lately.

While traveling solo can be fun, I also invited a friend along when I took a Mom Escape this summer to Jeykll Island Club in Georgia. It was so relaxing. We spent great time together having dinner and exploring the island. But when we needed to do our own thing, we went our separate ways.

Mom Escape


I’m considering a 45th birthday celebration where I ask a few friends to come along. I’d like to give them at least eight months to plan that vacation in terms of requesting time off from work and making financial plans.

What is Your Budget?

For me the biggest part of my budget for my 40th birthday trip was the airfare to Los Angeles. I also booked my flight last-minute.

But I also saved a lot of money on where I stayed. An Airbnb rental was the best bet for me and most economical. I rented a lovely room inside of an Airbnb host home. There other air  Airnb visitors from around the world, so we had a great time chatting over coffee over the few days we stayed.

How will you get around?

I chose Airbnb location that was near the train system in Los Angeles because I didn’t want to rent a car and worry about getting around. Everyplace I went was accessible by train or city bus. Although public transportation is slower, it’s a great way to get to know was city because you can relax, look out the windows and enjoy your surroundings without worrying about listening to Google Maps directions.

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What will you visit?

I had a very targeted idea of what I was going to do when I took my 40th birthday trip to Los Angeles.

But I also learned some lessons from my 30th birthday trip to Europe. I was on a group tour where a lot of the excursions and activities were included. The idea of an all-inclusive package made my first European trip simple.  During the day we toured European landmarks, visited the Louvre in Paris and saw the Moulin Rouge.

Family Cruise Photo

Alert your bank

Before we took a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean in December 2015,  I let my bank know that we were traveling to several islands in the Caribbean and that there may be transactions there on my debit card. I didn’t want those transactions to be blocked while we were traveling.

I remember when I went to Europe almost 15 years ago, I also brought travelers checks along for easy monetary exchanges since I was visiting several countries

Share Your Journey

Create your own hashtag to allow people to follow your 40th birthday trip. For example, I created the #FiguringOut40LA hashtag. You can still search it online to see my social shares.

What will you share on social media while you’re gone? For safety reasons, especially if you live alone and don’t want people to know your house is empty, consider whether you want to tell the public you’re away. For Facebook especially, you can change your privacy settings to friends only or choose a select list to see your vacation photos.

Consider turning your photo memories into holiday cards and stationery with Tiny Prints.

Comment below: Have you ever taken a 40th birthday trip? What’s your ideal vacation spot to visit for your 40th birthday?

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. While it wasn’t my 40th, my hubby and I created a hashtag last year and everytime we went on an adventure we used it 🙂

  2. I love the idea of traveling solo, but when I get there, I want someone to share the fun with.

  3. It sounds like you had an amazing time. I really haven’t thought about taking a trip for my 40th birthday. We travel a lot to begin with, so I don’t think I need to do anything special.

  4. This was a great read. I’ll never have to worry about my 40th birthday trip being memorable, as I will never turn 40. I’ll always be 35. 😉

  5. Great post. My wife says she’ll never turn 40, but I know I will. I plan on my birthday trip being full of awesome food, craft beers, and quality cigars.

  6. This was a great read! I have 9 more birthdays until I hit the big 4-0 but I definitely think a trip is in order.

  7. We’re actually renting an Airbnb for our vacation this year to stay on budget. These are great tips for anyone wanting to plan a trip.

  8. Creating a hashtag for your trip was a really good idea. I wouldn’t mind doing some sort of getaway to a nice city.

  9. My 40th is right around the corner and I am hoping to take a tropical vacation away with my hubby. I love the idea of creating a travel hashtag so friends and family can follow along on the the journey!

  10. That is a great idea to go away for your 40th! I’m actually taking my BFF for her 50th to Atlantic City.

  11. My husband’s only sister turns 40 next Feb (a ways off for sure); but I know he would like her to have a very special 40th birthday. I agree with you that it has to be momentous.

  12. I still have 8 more years until I hit 40 and am planning on something pretty awesome and it will involve a memorable trip! So much fun.

  13. These are awesome tips! I would love to try this for my next birthday!

  14. This is such a great idea, i hope I can do this when i turn 40 (which isn’t that many years away!). I love the idea that you went alone. As a mom, you dont get to just do whatever you want anymore, so having an entire vacation to yourself sounds so amazing!

  15. It sounds like you really planned the trip you wanted to take and did it on your own terms. I love the idea of Airbnb accommodations and would like to try that on my next trip.

  16. You are a stronger woman than me! I would feel deflated spending my birthday alone but it sure sounds like you rocked it!

  17. Airbnb is so handy and saves so much money especially if it’s for a small group of people. You are a whiz at planning things!

  18. We made the mistake of not alerting our credit card people. Boy, that was fun lol! Love these tips and ideas!

  19. I like to book a place close to everything if I can too, so I don’t have to deal w/the hassle of a rental car. I like the idea of treating oneself to a trip for milestone birthdays. I have fifty coming up in a couple of years! 🙂

  20. It’s always important to work around the budget that you have when you’re planning a vacation. These are very good tips though. Research will definitely help your maximize your time and money.

  21. Our Family World

    I’ll be listing this down once I’ll be turning 40. Such a good thing to read on.

  22. Belated happy 40th Birthday! looks like you had a good time. I think informing your bank is a really important one, I have had several occasions when being away of the card being declined then spending a lot on my mobile calling the bank to get it fixed.