Your twenties are a time for finding yourself, learning how to navigate the world, and figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. They’re transformative years that provide feedback that hurts, stings, and makes us smile. No matter what you do in your twenties, travel should definitely be a part of it. These are some of those transformative trips that you can take in your twenties.
1. Backpack Through Southeast Asia
Start at the top of Vietnam in Sa Pa with a trek through the mountains, and work your way through Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia. It’s a straight shot full of Full Moon Parties, buckets of alcohol, pristine beaches, used books, and endless memories. Southeast Asia is affordable enough for young travelers offering plenty of hostels and shared transportation options to get from point A to point B. Travel with buddies, with a partner, or go solo – it’s safe, the people are friendly, and the food is delicious.
2. See the Golden Triangle
We maintain that India is a country that should be returned to every decade, as it holds an endless amount of wonder for travelers. Start early and see the Golden Triangle, India’s most famous tourist route, when you’re in your twenties. The trip includes stops in Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It will open you up to a new world of travel possibilities – one filled with new sights, sounds, smells, and yes – a little bit of culture shock. Learn about the culture and the religions practiced in India, and why their food is some of the best in the world. You might be a vegetarian when you return from your travels without trying at all.
3. Drive the Southwestern USA
Road trips are a key part of your twenties. Grab a tent, a few good buddies, some beef jerky, and hit the open road. You’ll find that the planning and charting of your course are daunting, but honestly, it’s half the fun. One of the main reasons we recommend doing this in your early twenties is because it will teach you about just how amazing the US National Parks system is at a young age. Pack a tent and a grill and take advantage of them, then spread the word about how important they are. For us, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah make for some of the most beautiful scenery in the USA. Bring your camera and a big portable charger.
4. Explore Lesser-Known Europe
Everyone wants to go to Paris, London, and Rome. But there’s a side of Europe that’s less traveled, equally as beautiful, and much more affordable. We’d recommend flying into London for one day and then booking a cheap flight straight to Ljubljana, Slovenia. This is an amazing city that is still not flooded with tourists, though one thing is certain: they’re coming. So, hurry. Ljubljana is a beautiful city with affordable lodging in hostels, vacation rentals, and Airbnbs, and it’s a great jump-off point so some of Europe’s other lesser traveled cities. We’d recommend traveling through to Piran, then heading into Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and flying into Budapest to cap off your trip. This is an amazing trip that will cost 1/3 less than some of the larger cities in Europe – save those places for your thirties and forties!
5. Climb Something
Yes, we’re deliberately being vague here. The point is, you should tackle a mountain, a hike, or a climb that scares you at some point in your twenties. Whether it be hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, climbing Kilimanjaro, or scaling Mount McKinley in Alaska, take on a challenge that seems impossible until it’s done. Your health isn’t guaranteed, and many people put these types of trips off until they’re out of reach. In your twenties, you can afford to sweat a little and reap the rewards of a job well done.