Over the years, we develop different travel habits. From the way we spend our money on the road to the types of destinations that catch our attention, our preferences change with time. While our younger selves might be enticed by the idea of venturing somewhere a little more exotic, our older selves might desire a relaxing getaway or a trip catered around a specific hobby. From the baby boomers to Gen Z, here’s one trip each generation should take this year.
Embrace the Mana in French Polynesia
The spiritual magic of "Mana," a powerful life force, lives strong on the islands of French Polynesia. Scattered over two million square miles in the South Pacific Ocean, the 118 islands that make up the overseas French territory are divided into five groups: the Society Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, and Tubuai Islands. A string of seductive, palm-fringed beaches and a collection of luxury villas on the water make the dreamy islands of Bora Bora and Mo'orea a top choice for those looking to unwind. Diving here offers an opportunity for up-close encounters with gentle manta rays and lemon sharks. Take on Tikehau and explore underwater seascapes recognized for the nation’s greatest concentration of marine life. If you're feeling adventurous, ride the waves at Tuheiava Pass during the surf season between November and April. Experience warm island culture as you stroll the Tikehau’s quiet coral beaches, kayak secluded turquoise coves, and bicycle through the laidback village of Tuherahera for a glimpse of traditional Polynesian life.
Cruise Turkey’s Turquoise Coast
Known to fun-in-the-sun vacationers as the Turkish Riviera, Turkey’s islet-studded Turquoise Coast spans roughly 600 miles between Çeşme Peninsula and Antalya in the nation’s southwestern region. Its craggy coastline is characterized by sheltered bays and the limestone peaks of the Babadağ, Akdağ, and Bey mountains. Explore the area by yacht or gulet, a traditional wooden sailing vessel that reaches up to 180 feet in length. Spend your days enjoying unspoiled scenery as you lay on the shaded deck and feel the cool breeze in your hair. Anchor at the golden beaches of Yahşi and Bitez, then uncover ancient sites in Ksantos and Tlos. Hike portions of the roughly 300-mile Lycian Way for sweeping views of the coastline and discover quaint fishing villages and ruins. Catch a break in the height of the summer heat with plates of fresh seafood at one of the waterside cafés.
Adventure in the Chilean Patagonia
Covering an extensive area of over 400,000 square miles, the rugged region of Patagonia is shared by Chile and Argentina. Its varied terrain beckons millennials who like a challenge and have a desire for outdoor adventures. Characterized by arid steppes, extensive ice fields, and untouched glacial lakes, the wilderness of Chilean Patagonia is perfect for the ultimate adventure that combines kayaking, horseback riding, and hiking. Base yourself in Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park and the perfect launching pad for outdoor activities. Hike through forests as you observe condors take flight and cuddly guanacos graze on hilltops. Kayak alongside glaciers on Grey Lake and experience the deafening silence of the remote wilderness. Witness the natural grandeur of Tyndall Glacier and venture the shores of the Serrano River on horseback to uncover sweeping views of the Paine Massif — the three granite peaks of Torres del Paine National Park. Rest at one of the park’s designated campsites and experience the stillness of the Chilean Patagonia under intensely starry skies.
Island-Hop the Azores
The pristine natural surroundings of Portugal’s Azores Islands provide ample opportunity for the Instagram-savvy Gen Zs to create a visually stunning feed. The nine islands of this remote archipelago lie almost 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal and are linked by ferry. For those who like to venture off the grid, the Azores are a must. Although they're tiny on a map, the islands are big in personality. Head to Pico Island to summit the 7,700-foot Mount Pico, Portugal’s highest peak, and hike down an ancient forested path to surf at Fajã de Santo Cristo lagoon. Bathe in the geothermal pools of Furnas Valley on the largest Azorean island of São Miguel. Composed of a blend of volcanic peaks, lazy seaside towns, and tidal pools, the spellbinding landscapes of the Azores Islands encourage all visitors to commune with nature.