6 Trips You Should Take Before Turning 30

As a newly minted grad or carefree 20-something, there are certain things you take advantage of. One of those things is travel. Here are the six trips you should take before you hit the ripe old age of 30.

1. The Road Trip

Ever jumped in the car sans suitcase and without a final destination in mind? Now’s the time. A road trip across the country is practically a right of passage for young Americans (see: Jack Kerouac). Get out there and explore. There are many different parts of the nation worth seeing, and you may be surprised by what you find. You may even find your new home.

2. The Out-of-Your-Comfort-Zone Trip

That hike through the Andes? That cooking class in Thailand? That jaunt through the Turkish bazaar? There’s no better time than the present. While it’s important to always push your boundaries and keep exposing yourself to new and interesting things as you age, you’re currently responsibility-free and should seize the opportunity to travel somewhere exotic unencumbered by work, life, or family commitments.

3. The Solo Trip

It’s important for everyone to have the experience of traveling alone at one point in his or her life. Not only do you get to have complete control over the itinerary — where you go, what you do, which things you see, whom you talk to — but also you’re forced, out of necessity, to talk to strangers, pick up a bit of a new language, try new foods, make your own flight and accommodation reservations, and take in and form your own opinions about a new place. In other words, it teaches you a lot of crucial life lessons. Go forth!

4. The Hostel Trip

The days in which you’ll want to traipse around Europe with nothing but a backpack and a map, bunking in hostels, are numbered. There will come a time when you’ll want a whole room — nay, a whole bathroom — to yourself. I know, crazy, right? But trust me. So there’s no better time to do the hostel thing than when you’re in your late teens or early twenties, flexible, ready for adventure, and open to making new (and likely weird) friends.

5. The Family Trip

The times you’ll want — and be able — to take a vacation with your family are also numbered. One day perhaps you’ll have a family of your own, so cherish the time you’re getting to spend with the one you were born into. Also, keep in mind that you’ll be the parent on that future family trip, so soak up this time to still be the kid. Wonderful memories are formed during family vacations, and the bonds with your relatives will last a lifetime. And if that’s not enough incentive, it’s likely your flight and accommodations will be paid for.

6. The Girls or Guys Trip

Sure, you may have the opportunity to attend a bachelor or bachelorette party down the line. But now’s the time when you can take a full-on vacay with friends without any agenda other than having fun. That girls' getaway to Barbados? That boys' weekend in Wyoming? Pencil it in.

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Agatha Gilmore

Writer, editor, dreamer, New Yorker.

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