In my opinion, the best time to travel is when you’re in your 20’s. For many people, they’re just graduating college, still in school or working. However, most do not have the same responsibilities as they would when they’re older. Here’s some of my advice on why you should travel while you’re young and how to do it:
1. Decide whether you want to travel solo or with a group
- Whether you want to travel solo or with a tour group, one tour company I would suggest is Contiki. Contiki is a travel company that has a wide variety of trips for people ages 18-35. This is nice because everything is targeted towards that age group. I’ve been on 2 Contiki’s so far and I fell in love. You get to meet so many people from all over the world while exploring and making memories. I’ve gained lifelong friends through these trips. If you’re not ready to travel/backpack on your own, going on one of these tours would be the best option. Another great perk of these tours is that they have a lot of stuff included so you don’t have to worry about booking certain things or worry about getting around. Every tour has a trip manager. The trip manager is responsible for booking certain activities/tours, educating the group about the area as well as making sure they have the best time ever. They are there if something goes wrong and you need help and they also give you advice on the best places to go.
- Another great tour company would be EF College Break. These are tours for anyone 18-28. Although I’ve never been on one of these tours, my sister went her senior year of high school through the school. Unlike Contiki, these trips include the flights in the prices. You also receive city transfers to and from the airports as well. From what my sister has told me, she had an amazing time. They went to a handful of different countries with a group of about 50. These tours also have a tour director that helps you get acquainted and also gives the best advice on how to live like a local.
2. Explore your options
A lot goes in to planning the perfect getaway. You want to make sure you pick somewhere that interests so you get the best out of the destination. Some of the top places I would recommend outside of the country would be Ireland, Italy or England. These places have a lot to do especially for young people looking for adventure. (If you want to know more about my trip to Italy you can check out my other travel blogs).
When exploring your options, you want to take into consideration flights and hotel stays if you’re not going to go through a tour company. Depending on when and where you want to go, prices can vary. The one website I’ve bought multiple flights through is studentuniverse.com, out of all the other websites I’ve done research on, Student Universe had the best deals. The company offers the best prices not only on flights but hotels and tours as well. You do have to register with the name of the school you’re currently enrolled in, that way they know you are in fact a student. Another site for cheaper flights is Cheapoair, although Student Universe definitely had the best deals in my opinion. Also, if you’re open to different dates, you can click the “flexible” option so you can see the different prices for flying in and out on certain days. Another good website for this is SkyScanner.com.
3. Book early or book last minute
The reason I say book last minute is because some tour companies offer Last Minute Deals such as Contiki. Although flights might be more expensive the longer you wait, you will wind up saving a good amount by choosing one of the last minute deals. Not all the trips they have are offered last minute so I would do research before hand and have an idea of what trips you would want to do. This is also good for those who like to be spontaneous just to book a trip and go.
Here’s the link to Contiki’s Last Minute Deals so you can check some of them out !
If you’re going on your own, definitely try to book tours and transfers early. The later you wait the quicker the tours will fill up and you might miss our on certain activities you really wanted to do. If you’re going independently, check out TripAdvisor or Viator for some of the best prices and reviews on tours for your next adventure.
4. Before you leave
Before you leave the country there are a couple things you should do:
- Make sure you place a travel plan on any credit cards you will be using that way your bank doesn’t assume it is fraud.
- Check to see if your credit card issues foreign transaction fees. This happened to me the first time I went out of the country, I wound up spending about $100 just in foreign fees. Cards like Discover and the Capital One Venture Card are a couple that allow you to use it without getting penalized.
- Make sure you get currency of the country/countries you will be visiting. The average is about $50 to $100 per day you will be there. Unless you’re like me and love to shop, then make sure you have extra. Certain places you will go you might need to have cash on you so definitely make sure you have enough. One thing to keep in mind when you get home is most banks will not exchange coins so definitely try to use those up unless you’re planning on going back.
- Chat with your phone carrier about international plans. This is very important because you can spend hundreds of dollars if you don’t check. Verizon offers a Travel Pass that is $10 a day for every day you are out of the country. The awesome thing about the Travel Pass is that is uses your existing data plan and stays on your account so it automatically activates when you’re in a different country. If you’re carrier doesn’t have an international travel plan, I’ve of a lot of people buying prepaid SIMS cards in the airport and using that instead. Either one works, just make sure you do your research.
5. When you’re there
When you get to your destination remember a couple things:
- Pay attention to everything around you. I know you want to just enjoy but a lot can happen around you. Pick pocketing is a huge issue in touristic places so make sure you keep your eyes open. These people are very sneaky and you might not even realize it until you get back to your room that something was even stolen. Just be aware of your surroundings and if you’re with a group, stay with the group.
- Keep a copy of your passport in the lock box in the room. In case something happens and you lose your passport, you have a form of ID with you as a back up.
- I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but tipping is not mandatory everywhere you go. People work for their tips, so if you tip them what you feel they deserve base on the service.
Traveling makes you a better person in my opinion. It gives you a way to experience the world and different types of people. By traveling often, you gain a better insight on how people live. You also create amazing memories so travel far and travel often !