You're scrolling through Instagram and you see another picture of the back of some girls head as she stares off into a beautiful background of crystal blue waters and palm trees. You all know what picture I'm talking about. Literally any of those amazing travel junkie pictures that make you want to book the next plane ticket to god knows where. But then that annoying little voice in the back of your head starts telling you that it is impossible to just jet off to some exotic location. Well, tell that voice to shut up!
Traveling in your 20s is the absolute best idea!! I can't stress that enough! There are so many articles out there discouraging young people from taking time off to explore the world and they could not be more wrong. Whether you have just graduated college, are working some random job you think you belong in, or are just starting to figure out this whole adulting thing, travel is going to change your life completely. Being able to experience new cultures and come face to face with views you only thought existed in pictures awakens a whole new side of you. And the best news of all, it's way easier than you might think.
So if seeing the world is so fantastic then why doesn't everyone do it? Because people have a tendency to over think. Now don't get me wrong, I am a horrible over planner. The amount of To-Do lists I write on a daily basis would scare anyone, but when it comes to my travel plans I have figured out that no plan is the best plan. The more people overthink, the more they convince themselves that traveling is too expensive or too complicated. I get asked all the time, how do you save money or how do you figure out where to go? Well, instead of keeping my secrets to myself, I have come up with little tips and tricks that will help you travel the world in your 20s.
First things first, SAVING MONEY IS ESSENTIAL
One of the main questions I always get asked is what do you do to save money? What job do you work that allows you to travel so much? How do you do it? BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET! If you're like me, fresh out of college working as a server while I figure out my life, you don't have a crazy high income. So I make lists and charts. Yes, I am that dorky but it works. I average out how much money I need every month to keep my bills covered and I average out how much I could possibly make. Once you have all the numbers, it's really up to you and how badly you want to travel. Also, find unique ways to minimize your outside spending. Personally, I am a shopaholic so what I like to do is hide my money from myself. I have this handy dandy little box in my closet that I call my travel bank. Any cash tips I make through my job go straight into this box so I'm not tempted to spend them. If you stay strong and don't touch that money you'll be surprised how fast it adds up.
Second, DON'T BE PICKY ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION
One of the best parts about traveling in your 20s is that you don't even know what's out there. There are so many breathtaking destinations that are ridiculously cheap to travel to because they don't cater to tourists as much. So don't be scared to go somewhere just because you haven't seen your favorite travel bloggers there. Personally, when it comes to picking a destination I like to go on Expedia and check out last minute deals or whatever sales they are having and just pick a cheap flight and book it. Once you hit that book button you can figure out the rest. I'm telling you, some of my favorite trips have happened through random, spur of the moment booking.
Third, DON'T GO ON A SPENDING SPREE
Because you are young you need to remember that money isn't everything. Yes, you could spend a ton of money on fancy hotels, nice meals, and guided tours, but that is not what traveling in your 20s is all about. Of course, we all want to travel in style but for those of us on a budget, try changing your picture a little bit. Use hostel world or airbnb to find beautiful places to stay for a fraction of the cost. And instead of over-spending in a restaurant, go to a local market and cook up something using fresh ingredients from the country. It can be easy to get caught up in vacation fever and just want to spend spend spend, but if you really want to get a taste of the world, dial it down and enjoy what is available to you.
Fourth and final, GO OFF THE BEATEN PATH
It is natural to be drawn to touristy things. That is why they are touristy. We see all the pictures on the internet and think, wow I want to go have dinner on a rooftop in front of the Eiffel Tower like that. Well, why not trade in the dinner for a picnic instead? Fewer people and less money. By finding unique activities you will avoid falling into a tourist trap and spending a butt load of money only to be jammed into a bus with 50 other people and then herded around the Mayan Ruins like cattle. So before a trip, I will take a
good couple of days to just comb through every corner of Pinterest. You would be amazed by some of the crazy cool secrets you can find. Search things like weirdest things to do in ___ or hidden gems of ___. I guarantee the things you find will make your trip unforgettable.
So as you can see, when you take a step back and stop over thinking it, traveling in your 20s isn't rocket science. People always ask me for advice on how to get started when it comes to traveling. They want to be handed a guidebook with step by step instructions. But the reality is, they just need someone to reassure them that spending the money is worth it. We all want to get our lives together so of course, we have priorities but honestly, why shouldn't you put travel at the top of your list? If you want my advice, no matter what age you are, material possessions don't come close to the experiences you get out in the world. Spend the money, see the sights, eat the food, DO IT!