Turning 50 is much more than just celebrating another birthday. It's commemorating the fact that you have successfully lived half a century. Celebrate this momentous occasion---whether you are the one turning 50 or it's someone near and dear to your heart---with a vacation. This can include a romantic getaway for two, a vacation for the whole family, or a retreat for you and your closest friends.
Consider Historical Landmarks
Birthday vacations have no established, written-in-stone history. However they are becoming increasingly popular, which is why certain destinations, such as "the happiest place on earth," offer free admission or perks for birthday celebrants. Planning a vacation for your 50th birthday is like rewarding yourself with adventure and relaxation for all of the work and time you've put in.
Visit a historical landmark you've always wanted to see in person, such as Mount Rushmore or the Washington Monument. Natural wonders, like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, would make logical choices for a nature lover.
Decide When to Travel
Choose a vacation destination according to when your 50th birthday is. If you can actually vacation on your birthday, your celebration may be more meaningful. However, your birthday vacation can be anytime that works best for you. Consider traveling "off season" if finances are a factor. Most vacation destinations have peak seasons which constitute higher accommodation fees.
October, November, April, and May are considered off season for Mexico's beaches. The weather is still warm then and many of the beach destinations offer almost any activity you could dream of from swimming, snorkeling, parasailing, skydiving, exploring ancient ruins, spa treatments, shopping, and world-class dining.
Choose Your Type of Trip
The type of vacation you take for your 50th birthday will likely depend on the activities you enjoy, wish to try, and who's going with you.
An all-girl vacation may include a fancy resort offering luxurious spa treatments, while an all-guy getaway may consist of sporting events, a world-class golf course, or extreme activities including hiking, dirt bikes, or whatever your passion is. Of course, none of these ideas are gender specific, meaning women can golf and men can enjoy a day at the spa if they wish.
Vacations for you and your honey may consist more of romance, such as a hot air balloon ride over Paris or renting a honeymoon suite in Hawaii. Couples celebrating a 50th birthday can be adventurous as well. If your husband is turning 50 and loves the Dallas Cowboys, take him to Dallas for a weekend to see a home game. If her family immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland (and if she's always wanted to see the Emerald Isle), take her there for a week.
Family vacations celebrating someone's 50th birthday can be low-key or a major event. Renting a cabin in the mountains or woods allows the whole family to be together while offering separate rooms---or nature---to escape for privacy. Renting a house on the beach offers the same, although it may cost more. Older children that are already grown may surprise or contribute to the vacation expenses. Plan a surprise vacation to New York City for your mom who's always wanted to go see a Broadway play, but never quite made it.
Let the Significance of 50 Guide You
The significance of turning 50 should be reflected in the vacation. Do as much as your time and budget will allow. Choose a destination that's always been meaningful, or go somewhere you thought you would never actually get to visit. Taking a cruise can streamline costs, as many offer all-inclusive packages and you can generally visit different places during a cruise. Cruise the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, or even the Panama Canal. Partake in a safari through an African jungle. Backpack through Europe for a couple weeks, or travel by train. Drive through the United States, hitting all the cities or monuments on your "always wanted to see" list.
Your Birthday Should Fit You---Not Others
Your 50th birthday vacation should fit you, as well as your traveling companions. Las Vegas is a great city to visit for gambling, shopping, dining, spas, golfing, and any sort of nightlife activities you can imagine. Graceland is a natural for an Elvis lover. This vacation should serve you and allow you to "let loose" and have the time of your life, literally. Don't give in to loved ones who want you to shape the vacation around them. The whole point is to celebrate your life---so you get to call the shots. (But you should take their needs and limits into consideration when planning a group trip.)