31 Things Every Woman Should Cross Off Their Bucket List Before Turning 30

Many people consider your 30s to be the best decade of your life. Sure, you may not have everything together, but you're likely fairly established with a career path, some friends, a home, and maybe even a pet or two. Once you reach 30, your life really kicks into full gear, and one thing's for sure — you don't want to enter them unprepared.

Now, there's no foolproof list of things to do to ensure your 30s go on without a hitch. You can prepare by making the most of your 20s, though. Now is the time to adventure, master valuable life skills, learn about yourself, and make plans for the future before life hits you full force. Wondering what experiences you should have under your belt by the time you hit the big three-o? You can make sure you're ready to enter your thirty, flirty, and thriving 30s by crossing these 31 things off your bucket list. 

Travel to another country

You have the stamina, the time, and you may not have kids yet — travel while you can! Travel can teach you not only about the world and other cultures, but you might even find that you learn more about yourself, too. Plus, your 20s are a great time to travel to a country whose native language differs from your own, as it's easier to pick up a new language when you're young. Wherever you go, now is the time to get out there and explore.

Have $10,000 in a savings account

Having $10,000 in a savings account sounds like a solid goal. But in this economy? Just save as much as you can. If saving $10,000 is a lofty target, save whatever amount makes sense for you. Here is one helpful money-saving method: Save 10% to 20% of each paycheck and break up your savings into different funds. For example, you could have one savings fund for a vacation, one for emergencies, and one for a down payment on a house. The most important thing is to start saving early and cultivate a good savings routine by the time you hit 30.

Invest in property

Your 20s are a great time to start at least thinking about investing in property. We don't necessarily mean buying a house, either — though if you can, go for it. Nowadays, investing in property can take a lot of different forms and can even be used as a side hustle. For example, you could buy (or build!) a tiny house, list it as an Airbnb, or even use it as a rental property. 

Develop a solid skincare routine

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and the same applies to your skin. Your 30s are when you're likely to start noticing signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. To keep them at bay, get a solid skincare routine going while you're in your 20s! What should it include? For starters, it should at least have a cleanser, treatment (such as retinol or vitamin C serum), moisturizer, and sun protection. If your skin needs extra attention, you could also add products like DIY face masks, exfoliators, and eye creams.

Have a regular exercise routine

For some, this is a no-brainer. You've been playing a sport, running, or avidly hiking most of your life, and staying active really is second nature. Others of us, though, are more inclined toward the couch potato lifestyle, and getting regular exercise is a struggle. If this is you, it's never too late to start exercising! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says you should be getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week and strength training at least twice a week.

Go on a solo trip

Traveling alone is one of the best ways to discover yourself in your 20s. Solo travel gives you the opportunity to not only explore the world on your own schedule but deal with navigating the intricacies of other countries alone. You'll become more independent and probably more self-confident as you learn how to take the public transit system, deal with delayed flights, book accommodations, and even eat at a restaurant all on your own. 

Have a solid group of reliable friends

Making friends only gets more difficult as you get older. Once life kicks into full gear, and you're working full time and maybe in a relationship or having kids, it's way harder to meet people organically. Make sure your 30s don't become lonely by entering the decade with a solid group of strong relationships that are healthy and built to last. The quantity of friendships doesn't matter as much as the quality — having even just a few strong friendships can make a world of difference.

Pay off all your debt

Entering your 30s debt-free — whether it be from student loans, credit card bills, or crushing medical debt — lets you kick off the best decade of your life with a clean slate. Your financial goals will seem way more feasible without debt added into the mix, so be frugal enough to pay it off in your 20s if you can. Want to make paying it off more manageable? Try the snowball method, where you tackle your smallest balance first, then the next smallest, and so on.

Go on a cross-country road trip

Your 20s are the perfect time to tackle that cross-country road trip you've been wanting to take. You could go solo, with a friend, or with your pet. Use your current car, or up the ante and travel in a camper van. Going on a road trip is a great way to hit hot spots in the country you may not be able to otherwise. Plus, who knows — you might even find yourself in your next hometown along the way.

Practice mindfulness

Nailing down a solid mindfulness strategy early on will really help you develop good coping strategies as life gets more difficult. Mindfulness can sometimes seem daunting — after all, how do you completely clear your brain of any thought activity? Fortunately, that's not the goal here. We recommend using your mindfulness time to notice how your body feels and tune into your breath. It's okay if your mind wanders; just bring it back to your body and breath when you notice it straying. You can even download apps for mindfulness and meditation for further guidance. 

Brush up on classic movies

Have you ever been in a situation where your friend is waxing poetic about a universally beloved movie, and you're smiling and nodding along, but you've actually never seen it? It's time to conquer that problem once and for all by getting all the classics under your belt by the time you're 30. "The Breakfast Club," "13 Going On 30," and "Pulp Fiction" are fantastic ones to start with, but it's also a great time to make sure you're familiar with even childhood classics (yes, we're looking at you, everyone who hasn't seen "The Lion King").

Face a fear head-on

Your 20s are a great time to practice conquering your fears, big and small. Afraid of eating out at a restaurant alone? Take yourself on a solo date. Are you daunted by the idea of moving to a new city? Try it! Worst case scenario, you can always move back. Psychology Today teaches that facing your fears can even help heal your brain. When you do something scary, and it goes well, your brain learns that the scenario isn't a threat, and you'll be less anxious the next time around.

Have a retirement account

By the time you're 30, you'll want to have a retirement account and contribute to it monthly. Wondering how to prepare for retirement when it still seems so far away? Starting early is step one. You can amp up your retirement savings by freeing yourself from debt early and finding a career that will also contribute to your retirement fund. You'll want to be prepared in case you have to retire early, so it's important to start putting money away as soon as possible.

Learn how to invest, and start investing

Even if it's just a meager amount, learn how to invest and start investing early. Investing really is a no-brainer; if you do it well, you'll probably see a significant net gain over time, as long as the stock market doesn't go belly-up. Fortunately, it's not hard to invest with the plethora of great investment apps available. Fidelity Spire, Betterment, E*Trade, Acorns, Robinhood, and Stash are great options.

Eat at a Michelin star restaurant

Everyone should experience ultra-fine dining at least once, and there's no better time to check that off your bucket list than in your 20s. We recommend trying a Michelin star restaurant, all of which go through a rigorous review process to earn their stars. If there isn't a Michelin-awarded establishment near you, why not combine this bucket list item with a road trip? There are also tons of Michelin-star dining options outside the U.S., so you could also try one on your next overseas excursion.

Learn how to meal prep

Learning how to meal prep and getting some meal prep recipes under your belt now will make a world of difference once you hit your 30s. Cooking can be time-consuming, especially once you add kids and a career into the mix. Dedicate one day a week to planning your meals for the week and preparing what you can. Start by prepping lunches, so you're not just grabbing a protein bar as you run out the door to work. You'll likely eat healthier, and preparing will help you be less stressed during your day-to-day.

Learn how to host a good dinner party

We promise you: The time will arise in your 30s when you have to (or want to) host a dinner party, and you won't want to be scrambling at the last minute to figure out how to do it well. Start throwing dinner parties in your 20s, so you have it down once you hit 30. Worried about breaking the bank? Don't be! Hosting a classy dinner party on a budget is totally feasible.

Actually, just learn something new in general

Have you always been interested in learning how to code? Maybe you want to sharpen your knife skills (pun intended). Or, perhaps you're interested in knowing everything there is to know about acting. Whatever your interest may be, there's (probably) an online class for that, so why not learn about it while you still have the time and energy? Masterclass and Coursera are great options for online courses that won't break the bank.

Run a marathon

Running a marathon is a fantastic goal, but you could even tackle a half marathon or just a 5K! The length of the race doesn't matter as much as the sense of accomplishment you'll get from training for and completing it. The discipline required to finish a marathon is a life lesson in itself. Intrigued but unsure how to start training? Start early and start small. Don't try to run all 26.2 miles when you're just starting out! Start with smaller distance goals and work your way up.

Work in the service industry

If you've already worked a service industry job, you know exactly where we're going with this one. Working in the service industry will teach you tons of invaluable life skills, like working with a team, dealing with difficult customers, and multitasking. Snag a job as a barista or waitress (even if it's just part-time), grit your teeth, and get to work. The skills you gain will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Work a 9-to-5

Listen, we'll be the first to say it: The traditional 9-to-5 job isn't for everyone. The stability and routine that it offers are great for some people, but others of us benefit from jobs where we can make our own schedules. The best way to figure out which one is best for you is to try out a 9-to-5 job while you're still young and thinking through your career options.

Live in the city

Especially if you're unaccustomed to city life, you should make an effort to live in a city for at least a brief stint in your 20s. Big city living requires a whole new set of skills. You'll learn how to navigate public transit, deal with crowds, and maneuver traffic. Plus, living in the city can be as liberating as anything, and having the freedom to walk to the office, grocery store, park, and restaurants will give you a sense of independence you may not get from suburban life.

Live in another country

On the subject of finding a place to live, why not try a whole new country? The idea of living in a new country may be daunting, especially if you've never left your hometown, but your 20s are the perfect time to try it. To make the transition easier, you could pick a country where the majority of its population speaks English. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, go somewhere where you're unlikely to hear English daily and learn the local language.

Volunteer for a cause you believe in

Donating your time to a local cause you care about is one of the most personally fulfilling things you can do. Volunteering gives you a greater sense of engagement in your community and can make you aware of local issues that you may not necessarily face. Volunteering is also a great way to meet like-minded people who might even eventually become your friends.

Work in nature or with animals

What's better than being stuck in a boring, stuffy office 40 hours a week? Well, lots of things — including working outside! If you can, dedicate a small portion of your 20s to working in nature, whether it be with food, animals, or just caring for the earth. Working in nature will help you feel more grounded, and taking care of living beings outside of yourself can give you a greater appreciation for life.

Fall in and out of love

Your 20s are the best time to try love, mess it up, and try again. Living life intimately with different people will help you learn more about yourself, the type of person you're compatible with, and what you want in a life partner. Don't rush into marriage; be willing to deal with the pressure of a relationship timeline, take it slow, and really assess what's good for you in a relationship. You may find that some things you thought you wanted aren't that important, or vice versa.

Ask your boss for a raise

This may be a news flash for you, but yes, you can ask for a raise — you don't have to wait for it to be offered to you. Knowing how to ask for a raise (and knowing your worth in general) is an invaluable skill that will serve you no matter what career you find yourself in. If you do it well, you'll probably get not only a raise but some valuable respect from your boss as well.

Develop good emotional intelligence

Developing good emotional intelligence is a valuable life skill that some psychologists say is even more important than your IQ. Higher levels of emotional intelligence will enable you to better tune into the emotions of others, handle stressful situations, and understand other points of view. Having these skills before you turn 30 will come in handy as life gets busier and you're dealing with raising kids and navigating the workplace drama; after all, everyone loves to have a calm, even-keeled presence in the room.

Learn about your attachment type

There are three attachment styles in a relationship: secure, anxious, and avoidant. Learning which one you're prone to will be invaluable when navigating relationships as you get older. Have you ever been in a friendship with someone who seems to run away every time you get close to them? They may have an avoidant attachment style. Your "clingy" friend may just have an anxious attachment style. Learning which style applies to you (and your friends!) will help you develop healthier relationships.

Develop your personal style

Now is the perfect time to learn what clothes make you look great and feel comfortable. Nailing down your personal style will ensure you feel confident in what you wear daily. To define your style, you could make a Pinterest vision board of clothes you can see yourself wearing on a daily basis and consult the vision board before you shop so you don't buy garments you won't end up wearing.

Find out what little things bring you joy in life

Finally, your 20s are the best time to figure out what brings you joy in life, so you know what will bring you comfort and peace during life's tougher moments. Nail down activities, hobbies, and interests that bring you joy and aren't related to how you make a living. Pay attention to what you loved doing as a kid. For example, young actors may want to pursue community theater as a hobby. However, don't shy away from taking up a new hobby, like hiking or knitting! Finding out and committing to a hobby you love will make your 30s (and beyond) an enjoyable ride.