While you are never too old to hit the road and see the sights around the world, there is something particularly special about travelling in your 20s
While your bank account might require some creative management in order to afford the plane fare, your stamina is high, your curiosity is piqued, and your responsibilities are fewer than they will as you get older. Grab life by the reins – it’s time to get out and explore the planet.
From sacred spiritual sites to wild parties you will never forget (if you can remember them), here are our recommendations for 10 trips you need to take in your 20s.
- Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru – There is a good reason why permits for the Inca Trail are often booked up a year in advance. This is one of the most iconic and breathtaking trails on the planet, and the cherry on top? Machu Picchu, a massive and equally breathtaking archaeological site that is impossible to oversell.
- Fall in love with Paris – Being just across the Channel, Paris can feel a bit like a domestic city. Don’t let that keep you away from the City of Love – Paris is filled with surprises, culture – and of course, romance. Why not spend a few weeks (or even a few months) here, learning the language, drinking the fantastic wine, and maybe even having a Gallic love affair?
- Marvel in wonder at Kathmandu, Nepal – There is nowhere quite like Kathmandu. This is an ancient city in the land of the Buddha, a place where animism, Buddhism and Hinduism meet to create their own unique culture. Far easier to travel as a solo woman than India, Nepal will get in your bones and make you want to visit again and again.
- Take advantage of your Youth Visa in Australia or New Zealand – Many countries around the world (including Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Canada) offer UK citizens a special youth visa that allows you to work and travel through the country for up to 2 years. Whether you choose to advance your career in the fast paced economy of Sydney or you want to be a beach bum on the Gold Coast, don’t squander this time-limited opportunity. After all, as soon as you turn 31 (36 for New Zealand), this visa is out of your grasp forever.
- Snowboard in Whistler, Canada – The towering mountains in Western Canada will have your jaw dropping and your feet itching to snowboard. Equally beautiful in the summer as in the winter, there is something truly social about Whistler. Home to a thriving and raucous international community of 20-somethings taking advantage of youth visas, the dozens of bars in the ‘Village’ are the perfect place to party after a long day on the slopes.
- Learn to dive in Dahab, Egypt – Now, you’d think that conservative Egypt might be the last place we’d recommend for a vivacious 20-something, but you’d be mistaken. Dahab is a Red Sea hippy enclave located one hour North of the resorts of Sharm El Sheik on the Sinai Peninsula. It is known for its wellness centres, colourful camps and diving, diving, and more diving. Regarded as some of the best diving in the world, this is an ideal place to take your Open Water Course and start a lifetime of diving. When you’re not under the waves in the world famous Blue Hole, the Canyon, or the Eel Garden, you can relax at one of the many bars and restaurants along the sea.
- Backpack through Vietnam – Vietnam is one of the most fascinating countries on the planet, and its well-travelled backpacker route is perfect for solo female travellers. You can keep things solitary, or meet up with new friends along the way. Whether you choose to traverse this country on a motorbike, via surprisingly comfortable tourist buses, or even on a pedal bike, Vietnam is filled will surprises. Known for its jaw-dropping scenery as much as its delicious cuisine, Vietnam should be on any 20-something’s list.
- Zip line your way through Costa Rica – Costa Rica is one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic eco-systems. You can surf, scuba dive, trek and commune with nature all within the same day. Known for yoga and meditation retreats, Costa Rica is also crisscrossed with a series of thrilling zip lines that will have you marveling at the landscapes while you soar through the air.
- Camp in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – The Serengeti is widely regarded as the best wildlife reserve in the world. This is a trip of a lifetime – there is something so incredibly freeing and wondrous about staring out over the landscape and seeing lions, elephants and giraffes on the horizon. You can choose overland trips at all different price points, from the most basic camping to swish air conditioned convoys and ‘glamping.’
- Learn why there is no city quite like New York – You have seen it on countless television shows and movies. You have read about it in great literature. You have heard people sing about it in nearly every genre of music. Now it is time to get on a plane and experience what all the fuss is about in New York City! While the Big Apple is a brilliant place to visit at any age, there is something so special about exploring the five boroughs in your 20s. Shop til you drop, take in a show, and then party in Brooklyn til the sun comes up – you’ll never forget these experiences.