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Best trips for young marrieds, 30-40

My daughter wants to know of any trips that are more geared toward her age group. She doesn't want lots of museums or history. I laugh at her when she says this. I told her she could opt out of any activity and pick something more her style, if she does her research. That's the kicker--she doesn't want to do research (odd for a veterinarian who went through 8 years of intense schooling so say, but there you are....). My guess would be tours that concentrate on cities: Paris, London, Budapest, Prague.... or small country tours, Ireland for instance (husband has Irish heritage). I would be interested to know of others who had "youngsters" on their tours and if they deviated from the tour in any way. Thanks.

Posted by
51 posts

I would suggest looking at some of the trips that focus more on experiencing the local culture rather than traipsing through museums.
Review the itineraries for Village Italy, Portugal, Basque Country, Sicily for starters and see if any of those resonate with her. Please note that I haven't personally been on all of these tours, only the Basque tour, so these are just my thoughts.

Posted by
13234 posts

If they really want to take a tour, they should look for something aimed at the younger set.

REI Adventures offers tours for the "under 35s" and I am sure that number is a suggestion, not an absolute. These are the ones in Europe---Greek Islands or the Amalfi coast. Focus on food and wine, as well as exploration.

We have taken three hiking trips with REI ( the ones without an age focus) and they are very well-done. But the youngest people on these are usually 40-something. Our Slovenia trip did have 3 solo travelers in their 30's so that one seems to attract a younger crowd.

Posted by
1017 posts

The MyWay tours might be worth considering. You get all the relaxation of transportation and lodging taken care of by RS, but your days are your own. Just be on the bus when scheduled.

I did the MyWay Alpine a few years ago. The group actually really clicked so I could opt for time alone or connect with someone to explore. There was a broad age range on that tour.

Posted by
855 posts

We have taken 7 RS tours over the years and have traveled independently. Now, we are 70, BUT, on our RS tours we have had 20 somethings and 30 somethings. On one tour the couple in their 30s were on their honeymoon! They were welcomed into the group and included in small breakouts on free nights. But at the same time, everyone understood when they went out on their own on free nights. They seemed to enjoy the tour a lot.

If your daughter wants to take a RS tour with not too many museums, I would suggest the Village Italy tour. We have done this one and it's a favorite! Starts in Padua, very short train ride from Venice. We flew into Venice and spent 3 nights to decompress (get over jet lag).

Tell your daughter to take a look at it on the RS tour sight. She will have to realize that many if not most people will be older than then,
but she will be treated as an adult and probably an interesting one. Some people will be thinking that they wish they had started traveling at her age!

Keep us posted

Posted by
9933 posts

I like the idea of Village Italy but will also suggest GAS. It's got some museums and castles so of course there is some history but there are 2 full days in Switzerland where they can hike or do more strenuous activities other locations where they can fit a hike in such as Baden Baden, Salzburg and Hallstatt. On ANY trip the guide will talk about history and culture on the bus.

The tours I've done where there were the most young folks were Best of Scotland and Heart of Italy. Both were done late May/Early June so had college age kids traveling with parents. Heart of Italy had a couple of young couples as well.

Posted by
124 posts

I had a friend go on a Contiki tour. May be worth looking into since it's not focused on history or museum, but more young adult lifestyle/culture.

Posted by
13735 posts

What is this couple's travel style and what are their interests? Where have they chosen to spend their vacations, and how have they spent their time? That might give us a bit more to work with. :O)

Also, a tour can be a trip, for sure, but a trip isn't necessarily a tour, if that makes sense. Is she sure an escorted tour, regardless of the ages of the other participants, is even what she wants?

While Contiki provides escorted tours for younger set, I've a feeling that the Vet and her DH might fall outside of the exclusive 18-35 age group (and maybe not.) Even so, I'd have them research the company's style of tours (yep, they'd have to do the work) carefully to see if these tours would appeal. One example:

An RS "My Way" tour might be a good choice as it's less structured BUT, and this is a biggie given the reluctance to do any research , that also means doing some reading up to figure out what they want to do, and how to do it, in each location.

Posted by
342 posts

They should look at Rick Steves My Way tours. All of the transportation and hotel logistics will be taken care of by RS with no structured/guided tours. The tour participants are free to do/see what they want. So if your daughter is not into museums or history, she can choose to do something else. Of course, this would still require some research/planning by your daughter.

Posted by
3356 posts

If your daughter doesn’t want to do research, why are you doing it? 🧐

Why assume any kind of tour? So many things you included I don’t understand. She wants to do things appropriate for her age group which means no museums.....When did enjoyment of museums become part and parcel to an age bracket? I have loved going to museums since I was a child. My husband has never liked them and he is in his mid-50s. 😂

If she and her husband want to do things last minute with zero planning if any, let them. That’s probably THEIR recipe for a fantastic trip.

Posted by
5778 posts

She doesn't want lots of museums or history.

And she doesn't want to make any effort to do research.

OK. Are you sure she really does want to go to Europe? Is she? If yes, why do you think so (and why would she say Europe interests her)?

Not trying to be snarky, it's a sincere question, no judgement intended. Honestly, not everyone enjoys going to Europe (maybe shocking, but certainly true). And I'd add, not everyone should go to Europe (those whose interests don't really align with what Europe has to offer that's unique). There are plenty of other places people visit that make them happy, and some folks are happier just staying home. There's nothing wrong with either.

As mentioned in a previous post, what are her interests (besides "no museums, no history")? What does she like? Knowing that would help make better suggestions.

Posted by
5160 posts

We've been on 14 RS tours, and have had tour mates of all ages, from 12 to 85. While the average age skews 50 and above, I haven't noticed much, if any, difference between the under- and over-40s in terms of what activities they chose to join in on or opt out of. There have been a few exceptions, but not many. I'm thinking one fellow on our Best of Europe tour who wanted to climb all seven hills in Rome during our free afternoon there.

A final thought: we get so much more out of our tours when we've done our research. As guide extraordinaire Francesca Caruso says: "The more you know, the more you see."

If they just want to go to Europe to say they've been, I'd suggest they join the cheapest tour group they can find. If they want to learn something while they're there, then RS tours are a good place to start.

Posted by
2576 posts

The short answer is no. There are no RS tours “geared toward her age group”. We have been on many RS tours and the demographics are decidedly over 50. Yes, an occasional younger group or adult child. How would they feel if they got there and they were the only tour members under 60? We’ve been on 8 tours and a few were like that. Our adult daughter travels with us (late 30’s) but she is an old soul. Once we took our son, late 20’s, and although the group was nice to him it was like traveling with 25 of your parents (his words). We traveled with my brother, his son, our nephew on Village Italy. They were always looking for something else to do as they don’t like history or appreciate art. Yes, you can opt out, but RS tours are very heavily about history, churches, art. Every time you opt out you are essentially skipping something you have already paid for as part of your tour package. We’ve done it when we are just churched out or just too tired. So an occasional opt out is fine. But, if you don’t like history or museums you’ll be paying a lot for a tour that has very little for you, opting out of many activities. Just a waste of time and money. Our nephew who did not like Village Italy has since toured with this company and loves it.

Posted by
1220 posts

IMO, it doesn't take a lot of research to have a lot of fun on your own in places like London, Berlin, Amsterdam, or Paris. Spend a couple hours flipping through a RS or Lonely Planet guide book, go with the mentality that 'perfect is the enemy of good enough' when it comes to picking hotels and charge forth to meet a wonderful and serendipity-filled vacation day.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks for all your suggestions. She and her husband went to St. Lucia with us in 2018. In that case, we were doing light sight-seeing, zip lining, snorkeling, sailing, beach lounging, etc. They LOVE to lounge on the beach and partake of the swim up/beach-side bar. Not us oldsters--we like the history and some of the activities.

But also, in St. Lucia we visited a former Spanish exchange student who was working in St. Lucia for an NGO. The Spanish gal was there with her family so we spent time with her French husband and three small children. Our daughter was her "little sister" when the Marta was in our home many years ago, so she had a personal incentive to travel with us. Plus, we paid for the hotel bills. :) She and her husband like night life, shows, some famous landmarks and anything WWII-related. Europe is the place for the latter, for sure. I told her London would be a great place (Churchill museum and underground) or France/Paris. On their own, they went to NYC for a week of Broadway, for instance. They can probably only afford 7 days away from work, so concentrating on a city is probably good.

Thanks to the person who suggested Contiki tours. I passed that along to her. This forum has been MOST helpful!

Posted by
2747 posts

If they like theater (you said Broadway shows) and WWII, and nightlife...that screams London. Great theater, lots of pubs and clubs, everything a big city like NY offers but bigger, and WWII sights. Look at the Churchill War Rooms for example.

Nightlife and beaches says Barcelona. But there’s not WWII stuff, and the theater will likely be in Catalan or Spanish.

Honestly they don’t sound like tour people. They seem like they’d like to get an Airbnb or trendy boutique hotel in one place, sleep in, go out to eat and see a few sights, and stay out late. Much easier to do that on their own.

Re: Contiki tours - my husband went on one after college. He enjoyed it but it’s very geared toward single 18-25 year olds partying like college students. Which is fine but by close to 40 many of us aren’t into that as much (even if we like to drink and stay out late).

Posted by
729 posts

You mentioned Ireland. We did an adventure tour with this Irish company: the Driftwood tours are for a slower-paced crowd. The Vagabond tours are small groups, adventurous and geared towards active people (horseriding, Canoeing, Hiking, Cycling). Great guides and great hotels. Reasonably priced. A night or two before the tour in Dublin would be a great place to drink and have fun. They could also add London if they had the time (thinking open-jaw tickets).


Posted by
918 posts

Are you going with them and inclined to do a tour instead of independent travel?

If it’s just her and her husband, they could easily pick a few cities that interest them, arrange transportation and book hotels. It’s never been easier to travel on your own - even if you don’t want to research. Once they get to a city, if they want to do a food tour or guided walking tour, they could always book that online.

Posted by
965 posts

There are travel fairs happening at many travel agencies now as folks fight winter blues and cabin fever. You can meet representatives from a dozen tour operators, see their slide shows and video clips, and take home a bag full of catalogs. And it's all free. Might even be cookies or wine. Agencies have thousands of possibilities to sell and a meeting could suggest other vendors like G-Tours, National Geographic, Road Scholar, many many many more.

I have a friend who has been in the travel biz for decades. She knows everything about the travel business and handles all of my international connections, insurance, and pre- and post-Rick bookings. Your experience with travel agencies will vary, of course, but I wouldn't think of doing this any other way.

Posted by
1220 posts

If they do want something more organized, there's also U by Uniworld, which is the company's experiment in creating a river cruise geared toward millenials

Sample included excursions

Fresh air and beautiful views are guaranteed on this walk as we head to the cutest of German towns set in a gorgeous backdrop of vineyards. First, explore Rüdesheim and the famous Drosselgasse, then hike through the hilly vineyards to the Niederwald Memorial. There you’ll have one of the most stunning views of the Rhine!

Get ready to hike up and explore Rheinstein Castle and its beautiful Burgundy Garden. Toast with the owners and then explore this fascinating castle on your own. When you roam around in the crypt, banquet halls, private quarters and spectacular towers, you’ll get the spookiest up-close insights into what castle life was all about. Afterwards, return to Koblenz and hit one of the local pubs!

Posted by
22 posts

I appreciate all the links and replies to this post--minus the parenting advice. :) If I felt it was NOMB, I would not have posted. I think I have enough to pass along to them and let them take it from here. Hopefully, this post may be of use to others in the future.

Posted by
759 posts

jdill7- Thank you for the positive attitude! Sadly we have several members on this forum who repeatedly simply refuse to actually answer an OP’s question but ............. Again, thank you for staying positive.

Posted by
26 posts

I'd toss in another suggestion: If they haven't been to Europe previously, the Best of Europe in 14 Days tour was awesome! We've only been on two tours (and are signed up for our 3rd) but we still talk about the BOE 14 day journey. We saw more than we could have imagined, and there was plenty of unplanned time to boot. And, there was a vet on our last tour :) Best of luck to your daughter!

Posted by
1684 posts

Since your daughter’s a veterinarian, she might like a horseback riding tour. Active, scenic, few museums. If they don’t ride, 10 to 20 lessons with a good trainer will teach them the basics. is a good company with a variety of tours. I rode in Ireland years ago when I was in my 40’s. Not too many 60 to 70 year olds can ride for 5 to 6 hours a day.

Another idea is the elephant rescue in Thailand. My vet went there for her honeymoon. You’ll have to search for it online.

Posted by
13735 posts

I'd never heard of this company (as I'm not in the age group) but what the heck, take a look at this one:

"For The Love of Travel: modern group travel for young professionals"

Yelp reviews:

Their published demographics:
Average age: 28 (most fall between 26 and 32)
80% go alone
70-80% women, 20-30% men (Note: the ratio really doesn't affect overall trip enjoyment!)
60% say they are single and looking to mingle
90% are college graduates
75% live in big cities
100% want to travel and meet new people

Also, "We try for a balanced gender ratio on our trips, which is why we hold a certain number of spots for the gender who tends to book later (ahem, guys)." Their groups are also small (6-14 people), which would be a plus for many of us here but maybe not for everyone...especially if the group is short of males for your son-in-law to bond with (if that matters to him.)

Contiki groups are large and are mainly composed of singles as well (again, they should research that one carefully as they have rep for heavy partying, and you can't be picky about accommodations.) I don't know as there's anything out there that leans specifically to young married couples but never say never! And shoot, yours may be happier with a package for a Caribbean beach resort or a cruise than scoping out European cities?

London would be a great place to get their feet wet abroad. It's an interesting city, although the history is huge part of that, IMHO. Of course language isn't a concern for newbies, not that it's been a concern for us in Italy, Belgium, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich... They might like Paris too. In either case, though, some advance reading up is going to be a necessity to make any sort of educated choice?