How I Traveled to 50 Countries Before Turing 28
I did it! My long-term goal of visiting 50 countries before turning 30 was accomplished about 2 years and 1 month early! Visiting 50 countries in less than 28 years is A LOT, and I realized when putting this post together, the tool I was using to keep track and count my countries counted some overseas territories such as the BVI, Puerto Rico, and Aruba. After some thought, I still think it counts 50 countries just because each of these places has their own unique culture that wouldn’t have been otherwise experienced if I only visited the territory’s parent country. I don’t have a full story for each of the countries below but I can share stories from a few of my favorites.
How to visit multiple new countries in a short period of time
I made it a goal of mine to visit 50 countries before turning thirty around the time I started this little travel blog just over two years ago. I realized I was well on my way to 50 and why not make it a personal challenge. There are a few ways to see a number of new countries in a short period of time. Some people enjoy backpacking across Europe of South East Asia, and while that isn’t exactly my style of travel it would definitely be effective. I was able to visit 16 new countries over the past two years by planning long stopovers in countries on my way to my final destination or home.
Another highly effective method that helped me jump start this list below was my parent’s love of cruises. Cruises definitely aren’t for everyone, but there is no denying that a 12-day cruise in the Baltic sea that took us to 8 countries changed our view of the world and allowed us to experience a ton of culture in a short period of time.
All of the Countries (and territories) I’ve visited
Below is a list of all the countries and territories that I have visited to get the magical 50 countries number. If we were only talking UN countries then I’m sadly stuck at 44, but hopefully, I will have some more epic adventures coming soon! How many countries have you been to? Tweet me your answer @passports2life
European Countries Visited
1. Czech Republic
Visited in 2009 on the cruise I mentioned above. I absolutely loved how charming the streets of Copenhagen were and this is a place I definitely need to return to ASAP!
Another country we visited on the 2009 cruise. Beautiful and historic Tallin should be on your European bucketlist.
I absolutely loved Helsinki. We visited in 2009 on the Baltic cruise, but I have been itching to go back since seeing influencers like @doyoutravel’s amazing stay in Levi.
My travels have taken me to France several times, but the first was on a school exchange trip all the way back in 2006. Most recently Mallory and I spent a few days in Paris before we got married.
Brand New Blog Post up today! When most people were trying to leave the snowiest city in America we booked a flight in! • Throwing it back to Oktoberfest in Munich last September with two of my best friends! • Who do you know that loves beer and would enjoy Oktoberfest? • • • #travelnow #travelmore #travelporn #travellove #travelholic #travelgoals #travelguide #traveljunkie #travelwithme #travelwriter #travelbuddy #wanderluster #wanderlusting #beautifulworld #beautifulviews #throwback #createeveryday #createandcapture #photographerslife #onthemove #bloggervibes #bloggerslife #wandering #liveit #adventureawaits #oktoberfest #munich #germany #bavarian #traveldudes
Another spot I’ve visited a number of times. The first time I think was on the 2009 cruise, but have been back twice for Oktoberfest in the past 5 years. Prost!
We quickly fell in love with Ireland during our four-day visit. We rented a car in Dublin and drove around the green isle staying in bed & breakfasts along the way. I highly recommend this way of experiencing Ireland because one of the best things Ireland has to offer is its kind people.
I visited Italy back in 2012 when my dad and I did a cruise from Rome to Miami. We arrived in Rome a few days before the ship left so we could take in the historic Italian city. I would love to go back and spend some more time exploring the regions I didn’t make it to like Positano and Venice.
I looooove Monaco! There is something about the city-state that attracts me. I’ve had the chance to visit Monaco a couple times, first on the cruise with my dad, and more recently to attend the Monaco Yacht Show with one of my closest friends.
On yet another cruise my family took back in 2005 or 2006 we cruised from Dover in the UK to San Juan Puerto, Rico stopping several places along the way including Lisbon!
One of the tougher countries for an American to visit due to the extensive visa process. We visited the magnificent city of Saint Petersburg on the Baltic cruise. We stayed for two days so we were really able to do a lot of exploring.
My first trip to Spain was part of the 2006 exchange trip I mentioned above in France. We were in Madrid during the 2006 world cup during the Spain vs. France Match. It probably would have been more fun if Spain had won, but the atmosphere was still electric!
Another stop on the 2009 Baltic cruise, and also one of the places I need to get back to! Our stop in Stockholm was shorter for some reason so we didn’t get a lot of time to explore.
15. United Kingdom
My love of London is well documented on the blog. Its one of my favorite cities in the world and a place I always find myself returning to. It’s the most accessible European city from the US so even long weekends aren’t that strenuous! You can see everything London has to offer on a Self Guided Pub Tour, and the exchange rate is still pretty favorable.
16. Vatican City
The home of the Catholic Church is just a magnificent sight to behold. Walking through the Sistine Chapel and just imagining all of the history that has taken place makes it a location that everyone should experience in their lives. I visited the Vatican City during my short stay in Rome.
North American and Caribbean Countries Visited
Nearly all of these countries were visited on cruises as I grew up, but you may have read about some of them here on the blog!
17. Antigua and Barbuda
Surprisingly we never did a cruise that took us to the Bahamas! My first experience was visiting Atlantis for New Years a couple of year ago.
We visited Belize on our end of year cruise in 2016. Belize is an adventure travelers paradise!
I grew up in Erie, PA, snowiest city in America, and 2:30 driving or just 35mi across Lake Erie from Canada. Growing up so close to Canada meant we had a chance to visit quite frequently. The only downside is I’ve only ever seen Toronto and Niagara Falls! There is so much more of Canada I need to get to!
24. Cayman Islands
I wish I could find the photos of me in the Cayman Islands when I was a little one! I first visited when I was about 4 years old and the tour operators for stingray city said they had never seen flippers so small! I have been back a couple times on cruises throughout the years, but have been eyeing a return since it is so easy to get to from Tampa.
25. Costa Rica
26. Dominican Republic
Our travels have taken us to Mexico countless times, but I have had my eyes on returning to Riveria Maya and Tulum for a while now! Don’t be surprised if you see us there before the end of the year!
33. Saint Lucia
34. St. Maarten/Martin
St. Maarten has a special place in our hearts as it is where we took our honeymoon! Hopefully the recovery from Hurricane Irma is going smoothly as I would love to return to St. Maarten and the Sonesta Ocean Point.
35. United States
Born and raised, but it counts!
37. Puerto Rico
African Countries Visited
38. South Africa
I never ended up writing about our short stay in Livingstone, Zambia. Even though we did several activities and Victoria Falls was magnificent, I didn’t feel like I had enough content for a full blog post.
The other side of Victoria Falls. It was kind of crazy how the landscape changed after you crossed the bridge. The road to the airport made it seem like the Zimbabwe side of Victoria falls was much dryer and arid.
Middle East & Asian Countries Visited
I’ve now visited Dubai twice, but the first one was a crazy 5 day trip with Thad in 2016! Flying to Dubai in style in Emirates First Class for only $83 was fantastic, but I can’t say enough how surprised I was about both Dubai and Abu Dhabi and how much I loved the two cities.
43. Hong Kong
Three days is definitely not enough to see the country. Especially when one whole day is spent on trains trying to get the perfect Instagram photo!
The clearest, bluest water I have ever seen in my entire life was in the Maldives. I don’t just want to go back I need to go back! There is a villa that has its own waterslide now!
48. South Korea
I had a strange experience in the Korean Air Business Lounge the first time I flew through Seoul.
The steamy city of Bangkok hosted me for a long overnight layover where I stayed at the JW Marriott and was upgraded to a ridiculous suite!
Where am I off to Next?
Since the goal to visit 50 countries was completed more than two years early, it got me thinking about what my next big travel goal should be and I think I figured it out. It also involves the number 50, but I’ll be staying closer to home. I want to try and visit the rest of the 50 states here in America that I haven’t yet visited. Right now the number is 26. If I can visit 26 states before my next birthday I think I may do a big giveaway!
I’m in the very early stages of getting a plan together for this massive undertaking, so if you have any tips or advice for visiting a lot of states fairly quickly without driving across the country more than once please reach out here or on Instagram!