A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die. The term itself comes from the phrase “to kick the bucket,” or to die. What you put on your bucket list is completely up to you, but sometimes it can be hard to get started. Why wait until your golden years to make real progress?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Fun Things to Do Before You Turn 30
- Things to Do to Get Your Finances and Life in Order
- Things to Do for Personal Growth
Here are 50 things to cross of your bucket list before you turn 30. Use these as inspiration for your own list of things you want to do.
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Fun Things to Do Before You Turn 30
Fun activities are both rewarding and challenging, so don’t overlook any of these ideas below. It’s all about making memories and connections that last a lifetime.
1. Go skydiving or bungee jumping
Taking a risk by skydiving or bungee jumping is one of the most popular bucket list items. For people who tend to play it safe, taking a literal “leap” of faith is exhilarating.
2. Take a road trip
See the world beyond your backyard! There’s something magical about an old-fashioned road trip. It really is about the journey, not the destination.
3. See your favorite music artist
The bands and artists you love won’t be around forever. Take that trip to go see them live while you still can! You’ll never regret it.
4. Get a tattoo
Doing something permanent is intimidating. That’s why a tattoo is such a good challenge. If you’re not into tattoos, get a new piercing or a temporary tattoo.
5. Go camping
If the great outdoors feel far away, why not become one with nature? Going camping challenges yourself to see the wilderness in a new way.
6. Try new cuisines
When was the last time you stepped outside of your culinary comfort zone? Try a new cuisine from an exotic part of the world. You might love it!
7. Go wine tasting
Your 20s aren’t always known for the finer things in life. Taste something a bit more luxurious by going on a wine tasting tour.
8. Learn a new sport
Staying active isn’t always easy. Learning a new sport or activity gets your body moving while introducing you to something new.
9. Send snail mail
The art of letter writing is slowly slipping away. Taking the time to write letters to the ones you love gives you a chance to tell them how you feel.
10. Make new friends
You should never stop making new friends! After college, it’s hard to form new friendships. Vow to put yourself out there.
12. Fly first class
Sure, it might be a bit of a splurge, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Look for travel discounts or rewards cards to score savings.
13. Travel solo
Traveling alone is a huge challenge and one that everyone should take at least once. You can even make it a mini-trip to a nearby town to get a feel for it.
14. Visit a huge city
If you live in a suburb or rural location, take a trip to a big city like New York or Los Angeles.
15. Go hiking
If you’re used to city life, find the nearest hiking trail. Let yourself enjoy the solitude of nature.
16. Do karaoke
Putting yourself out there by getting on stage is a huge leap of faith. Grab some friends and make it a night to remember.
Things to Do to Get Your Finances and Life in Order
The years leading up to your 20s won’t be all fun and games. There are a few financial and life decisions to get in order before you turn 30.
17. Start your 401(k)
While retirement is usually the last thing on your mind before you turn 30, it’s never too early to start planning. The sooner you start saving, the more time you’ll have to grow your money.
18. Pay off your credit card debt
Starting off your 30s without worrying about lingering credit card debt will be a financial relief.
19. Start investing
Investing is intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Learning some investment basics or working with a financial advisor sets you off on the right foot.
20. Save for emergencies
Not having to rely on credit cards or family members when things get tough is key to building a strong future. Create your own emergency fund with a few months of your living expenses saved.
21. Make a budget
Aside from your emergency fund, learn how to make a budget. Setting a realistic budget is a skill you’ll use all of your life.
22. Pay off your student loans
Student loans are notoriously hard to get out from under. Making big strides to pay off your loans while still in your 20s is a great achievement.
23. Think about your medical care
Even if you’re still young and healthy, think about what type of medical care you might need in the future. Reviewing your health care needs through an advance directive prepares you for anything.
24. Donate your old things
While it’s good to keep things that matter to you, don’t hoard more than you need. Donating old clothes and goods when you no longer need them gives your space a refresh.
25. Splurge on something
Don’t be afraid to treat yourself! As long as you save responsible, a big splurge is a shining achievement.
26. End of life planning
We never know what’s around the corner. Reviewing an end-of-life planning checklist now is a smart move.
27. Buy a house
While it might not be an option for everyone, buying a house is a great investment.
28. Learn about credit
Do you understand how credit scores work? Now is the time to really learn about the credit system and how to build credit.
29. Stop impulse spending
It’s easy to swipe your cards without thinking. Learning how to control your impulse spending is the perfect skill to master in your 20s.
30. Ask for a raise
Asking for more money from your boss can be intimidating. It might be time to stand up for yourself and know your worth.
31. Set financial and life goals
Where do you want to be in five years? What about a decade? Set goals now, even if you change them later.
32. Buy insurance
Insurance isn’t just an extra expense. It’s protecting against the things we can’t control in life. Things like life insurance, health insurance, renter’s insurance, and so on will only help you.
33. Start a side hustle
What you love might make you some extra cash! Investing time in a side hustle can help you achieve your financial goals.
Things to Do for Personal Growth
Finally, spend some time before you’re 30 developing yourself as a person. These things are what make life worth living.
34. Travel somewhere you don’t know the language
While traveling on its own is a great way to step outside your comfort zone, take it a step further. Go somewhere where you don’t speak the language. Communicating in new ways is an eye-opening experience.
35. Develop your political opinion
In this day and age, your political opinion matters more than ever. Educating yourself about what you believe in and what you stand for is necessary.
36. Start a collection
What are you passionate about? While you shouldn’t go overboard, collecting something that matters to you is a great way to explore your hobby.
37. Let go of an old grudge
Whatever you’re holding onto, it’s time to let it go. Past grievances hold us down. You don’t need any of that lingering when you turn 30.
38. Create a reading list
What books do you want to read in the next year? What about in your next lifetime? You’ll never regret your time spent reading. Check out our picks for the best books about grief or pet loss books to get started.
39. Run a marathon
Pushing your body to its limits is a great way to learn what you can accomplish. Whether you run a marathon, half marathon, or just a 5k, put yourself out there.
40. Forgive yourself
If you’ve made a huge mistake in your life, don’t let it define you. Learn to forgive yourself.
41. Learn cooking skills
Your 20s is the perfect time to master a few dishes. You don’t need to be the next Julia Child, but know how to throw together a few dinners you love.
42. Give to charity
Pay it forward. If you’ve ever been offered help in a tough time, now is the time to give back. You can volunteer, donate, or just help someone in need.
43. Conquer a fear
As we get older, the fears we held before shouldn’t get in the way. Make a vow to conquer at least one fear in your 20s.
44. Write a book
Have you always dreamed of finishing a novel or memoir? Now’s the time.
45. Do a social media cleanse
Staying away from social media for a weekend, a week, or even a month could be just what you need. Clear your mind of all that clutter!
46. Buy a piece of art
Find a work of art you love from an artist you respect and make a purchase. Supporting the arts is a great way to give back.
47. Live alone
Living alone lets you really learn who you are for the first time.
48. Get a degree
Whether you get a traditional 4-year university degree or a trade certificate, earn a degree in something you’re passionate about.
49. Learn your family history
Do you know your family’s history? Now is the time to talk to your parents and grandparents about their stories. You can even try an at-home DNA test kit and get your results analyzed.
50. Make your next bucket list
Finally, make your next bucket list. What do you hope to accomplish by age 40? It’s never too early to look ahead.
What Can You Cross Off?
Odds are you can already cross some of these things off your own bucket list. What have you accomplished? How do you want to be remembered? It’s okay if you can’t do everything by the time you’re 30. Having clear goals is a part of life.
The sooner you learn how to challenge yourself, the better prepared you’ll be for the future. Life is best when it’s lived to its fullest. Start your own bucket list today to see where it takes you.