We’ve all seen it. The quote image often found on Pinterest that says, “Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.”
“Wow,” we all think. “That’s so right! I’m going to do that this year!” and then…..well, we don’t.
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But why not? If you ask me, we’re at the best possible time of our lives to be traveling because we’re young! And many of us don’t have anything tying us down or preventing us from going. So this year is going to be the year that you’re finally going to take the advice of that Pinterest image!
Here are some of the reasons you should travel when you’re young:
In my opinion, budget travel is easier the younger you are. One of the main reasons for this is because of the accommodation factor. When you’re young, staying in hostels and renting out dorm rooms with 6+ strangers is no big deal and they’re super cheap. Hostels are most common in international destinations but there are some hostels right here in the states as well. They generally cater to a younger crowd, usually featuring multi-bedded dorms, shared bathrooms, community kitchens, and hang-out spaces. Hostels are great for meeting people when traveling alone!
When traveling internationally, I almost always use hostelworld.com . They have a fantastic review system which breaks down reviews in all kinds of categories so that you can pick out what’s really important to you and pick a place based on that. For example, I care about location and security so I look for places with high ratings in those areas.
And please for the love of all that is holy do not say, “But aren’t they sketchy?” because nope, they’re not. Turn off the horror movie and put down the remote. Every hostel I have ever stayed in was perfectly fine. Sure, the pillows could have been a little fluffier or the Wifi signal a little better but hostels are perfectly safe and you should definitely take advantage of them!
When you travel when you’re young, it’s super easy to find budget transportation. There are so many budget airlines that are great for seeing the world on the cheap as long as you can avoid their minefields of fees. There are also websites that offer discounts to a younger crowd, such as StudentUniverse.com. Plus I’ve learned that as I get older, I start looking for nicer things and more luxurious ways to travel. So I guess what I’m trying to say is you should travel when you’re young and your standards for transportation are still low. 😉 Go ahead and take that booked-full bus from Zagreb to Split because you’re young and don’t care that the bathroom is broken! Seriously, though, take advantage of those kinds of opportunities while you can because those are once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
And while this tip doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with age, you can always use a website like Airfarewatchdog.com to find the best deals on flights. You just enter the place you’re going, where you’re flying from and your dates and Airfarewatchdog will let you know when the fares have reached the lowest so you can book at the best price. It’s such an easy way to make sure you don’t have that moment of, “Aw come on I just bought that ticket for $50 more yesterday!”
Nothing to tie you down
Traveling while you’re young also generally means that you don’t have much tying you down. Now don’t take this too literally because, yes, everyone has something worth sticking around for. But generally if you fall into the 18-25 age range, you probably haven’t been in your job for very long which means that taking some time off for traveling can be pretty easy if you’re willing to figure it out. If you’re just working in an office somewhere but it’s not what you really want to do with your life, why not spend a year saving every penny you earn so you can quit your job and travel the world for a year?
The older we get, the more we naturally have more things that tie us down like car and house payments, kids, steady jobs, 401(k)s, aging parents, etc. etc. If you’ve got the itch to see the world, do it now before real life sets in!
It’s a big ole world
Ok, so maybe this one doesn’t have much to do with age either. But I’m about to get philosophical on you here. This planet that we’re riding around on is pretty dang big. And if you don’t start seeing it now, you might miss out on a lot. There are places that literally might not be around much longer (think glaciers and island cities like Venice). There are places that are changing constantly and you’ll miss some pretty cool stuff if you don’t go see it right now. And most of all, there are places that need you to come visit to stay alive. Some of those places might base their economy on tourism dollars but others still just need someone to come and see the beauty and then preach about that beauty to the world.
I have this crazy notion that the world could be at peace if we were all willing to travel and learn about each other’s cultures and backgrounds. If we all could literally walk a mile in each other’s shoes, think about how much we would learn. So why should you wait for that? There is literally no age too young to start traveling and definitely no cut-off age but why not start now? Travel while you’re young and able!
If you’re feeling the itch of wanderlust and don’t know how to start, there are tons of resources to get you started. My personal favorite is Pinterest because of the sheer volume and variety of resources. Places like Lonely Planet or Trip Advisor are also great for finding attractions and things to do. And I can guarantee that people who have already been bitten by the travel bug will be willing to share their tips and tricks with you as well!
So….what are you waiting for?! Get out there and travel when you’re young! And let us know in the comments below about your favorite place you’ve ever traveled so we can all give it a shot!